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Grading System in SQE: Understanding How Exams are Evaluated

Grading System in SQE: Understanding How Exams are Evaluated

If you’re considering a career in law, chances are you’ve come across the term SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Examination). The SQE is a new assessment framework introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to ensure that aspiring solicitors have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice law effectively. But how exactly are these exams evaluated? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the grading system in SQE and give you a clearer understanding of how exams are evaluated.

Before we get into the details, it’s important to note that the SQE consists of two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. SQE1 focuses on testing your functioning legal knowledge, while SQE2 assesses your practical legal skills. Both stages are challenging and require thorough preparation to succeed.

Grading System in SQE1

SQE1 is a multiple-choice exam that tests your legal knowledge across various practice areas, including constitutional and administrative law, criminal law and practice, and property law, among others. The exam comprises of 360 questions, divided into four sections. Each question is followed by five answer options, and you must choose the most appropriate one.

The grading system in SQE1 is based on a pass/fail criterion. In order to pass, you must achieve a minimum competency level set by the SRA. There is no numerical scoring system, and your actual score is not disclosed. This pass/fail system ensures that candidates are evaluated purely on their ability to provide correct answers, and not on how well they performed compared to others.

Grading System in SQE2

SQE2 focuses on assessing your practical legal skills through realistic scenarios and simulated exercises. This stage involves a range of assessments, including oral exams, written tasks, and role plays. The tasks are designed to replicate real-world legal scenarios and evaluate how effectively you can apply your legal knowledge in practice.

Similar to SQE1, SQE2 also follows a pass/fail grading system. The SRA has set the minimum standard of performance required to pass SQE2. It is worth noting that candidates must pass both the SQE1 and SQE2 exams to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Understanding the Scoring System

While SQE exams follow a pass/fail grading system, it is essential to have a clear understanding of how the exams are evaluated to formulate an effective study strategy. Although the SRA does not disclose the actual score or provide additional feedback, it is important to note that some questions in both SQE1 and SQE2 may carry more weight than others. This means that the difficulty level and importance of each question can vary.

As an exam candidate, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the syllabus and focus on the areas that carry greater significance in the exam. This approach will not only help you allocate your study time wisely but also allow you to prioritize key topics and maximize your chances of success.


The grading system in SQE is designed to ensure that aspiring solicitors possess the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the legal profession. While both SQE1 and SQE2 follow a pass/fail criterion, understanding the evaluation process is crucial for effective exam preparation. By familiarizing yourself with the exam format, syllabus, and key areas, you can enhance your chances of success and confidently embark on your journey to becoming a qualified solicitor.

Remember, preparation is key, and seeking guidance from experienced professionals can make a significant difference in your SQE journey. So, gear up, dive into your studies, and pave your way to a successful legal career with the SQE exams.






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