Additional Information about The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

Additional Information about The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

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Last Updated: September 15th 2021

SQE Assessments

Beginning September 2021, the SRA is changing the path to become a solicitor by introducing the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). If you began a qualifying Law degree or Law conversion course before the SQE was introduced, you can choose to follow either the old or new route to qualification during a transition period, which will be available until 2032.

The SQE will be a common, centralised entrance exam, and be administered by a sole assessment provider, Kaplan. It will test you on your functioning legal knowledge (SQE Stage 1) and your practical legal skills (SQE Stage 2) through written and practical assessments. If you’re starting the route to qualify as a solicitor after the SQE is introduced, you will need:

  • A degree in any subject, or equivalent qualification such as a Level 7 apprenticeship or professional qualification or experience
  • To pass part 1 and part 2 of the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)
  • Two years’ qualifying work experience, which can start before part 1 of the SQE is taken and can be with more than one employer
  • To pass a final SRA character and suitability test

Questions about your eligibility should be addressed to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN, UK

Tel: + 44 (0) 121 329 6800 Email: Web:

Format of the SQE

The SQE involves two stages: SQE1 and SQE2.

SQE1 – Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK): this part will test the knowledge and understanding of various legal practice areas. SQE1 includes two FLK assessments, each with 180 multiple choice questions. The assessment is offered across two days and lasts about 10 hours in total.

SQE2 – Practical Legal Skills Assessment: the second part of the SQE tests six skills: Interviewing, Advocacy (known as SQE2 Oral), Case and Matter analysis, Legal Research, Legal Drafting, and Legal Writing (known as SQE2 Written). The assessment runs across five days.

SQE2 is conducted in the context of five legal practice areas: Business Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Litigation, Property Practice, and Wills and the Administration of Estates. The legal skills are assessed through 16 various simulated legal environments known as ‘stations’ using different techniques, including actors as interviewed clients, and writing legal reports to clients or partners of the firm.

Assessment Rules

  • You must first pass SQE1 before attempting SQE2.
  • You are allowed to attempt each stage of the SQE three times within a six-year period.
  • You must complete both parts of the SQE within six years after attempting the first assessment.
  • The assessments are closed-book – you are not allowed to bring any materials with you into the exam.

Sitting the SQE Assessments

The SQE1 assessments are held in London, at other locations in the UK, and in various locations around the world. The exam is delivered online (computer-based assessment) in conjunction with Pearson VUE SQE2. It will initially only be offered in the UK.

The cost to sit SQE1 is £1,558 and SQE2 is £2,422. Candidates do not have to pay VAT on SQE exam fees.

There are no formal steps you need to comply with in order to sit the SQE assessments.

To check a test centre availability, use the Seat Availability function on the Pearson VUE SQE website.

Year Assessment Date
2021 SQE1 November
2022 SQE2 April
2022 SQE1 May
2022 SQE2 October
2022 SQE1 November


Note that spaces are limited and subject to availability, so candidates are advised to book early to guarantee a place.

The results for SQE1 will be released within 6 weeks after the assessment date. The SQE2 results will be published within 14 weeks after the assessment.

Once you have passed the SQE assessments, fulfilled the qualifying work experience requirement, and the SRA character and suitability test, you may apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales.

Visit for additional information about the SQE assessments.

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