SQE Update - January 2024

In this bulletin, find out about the SQE1 results explanation video, the new SQE Independent Reviewer, the new SQE exemptions finder and the SQE1 in Welsh pilot. You can also book for our upcoming webinar and our virtual SQE Conference.

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Improvements to the SQE2 booking process

The booking process for the April 2024 SQE2 will operate in a different way for candidates who sit and pass the January 2024 SQE1. Following feedback from stakeholders, we are making changes to support candidates who wish to progress from the January SQE1 to sitting the April SQE2 assessment.

We are aiming to provide a quicker and simpler way for candidates to book a seat. There will be no queueing system for candidates that pass the January SQE1 and we will use a short on-line seat reservation form so that we can reserve candidates a seat.

Learn more

New SQE1 results explanation video

As candidates can now take the SQE1 on different days, they do not all sit the same papers. Because of this, from this January's SQE1 sitting we will be presenting candidate's results using scaled scoring. This will provide a straightforward comparison of candidates results, regardless of the papers taken.

Instead of a percentage score, SQE1 results will now show as an overall mark out of 500. The pass mark will always be set at 300. We will be providing more information about scaled scoring at a webinar on 28 February, details are below in the 'get involved' section. We will also add more information to the SQE website before the webinar to provide further guidance.

The first scaled score results will be issued to candidates on 14 March. We have created a video showing candidates what they will see on their results page.

Watch our video to find out more

SQE2 April bookings now open

Candidates can book for the next SQE2 assessment taking place in April. To sit this assessment, they must have either:

  • passed SQE1
  • have the Legal Practice Course and are using SQE2, as well as qualifying work experience, as an equivalent to a period of recognised training.

To secure a place, candidates must have first completed the registration and pre-booking processes. If they need any reasonable adjustments, they should make the request as early as possible as part of their pre-booking steps. As with all sittings, spaces are subject to availability.

Find out how to book for SQE2

SQE assessment dates in 2024 and 2025

All the exam sitting, booking window and results dates for 2024 are available on the SQE assessment website. Find out the dates you need to know if you are looking to take the SQE1 in July, or the SQE2 in April, July or October.

Dates for SQE1 and SQE2 in January 2025 have also been published, and further 2025 dates will be published when they are available.

Take a look at the dates

Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) admission deadline

If you have the QLTS MCT and have passed the SQE2, you only have until 31 March 2024 (inclusive) to apply for admission as a solicitor. This includes those who took SQE2 in October 2023 and are due to get their results on 20 February.

If you have failed the SQE2 or not taken it at all, you will have to restart your qualification through the SQE route.

Find out more

SQE functioning and legal knowledge annual review

Kaplan's annual review of the functioning legal knowledge (the FLK) for SQE1 and SQE2 is now underway. It aims to:

  • update the FLK to reflect developments in the law and practice and make any other essential changes
  • offer clarification in the light of feedback from stakeholders where necessary.

We expect this to be completed by the end of April with the changes coming into effect in September. We will provide updates on any changes well in advance of then.

Find out now you can submit feedback or suggestions

New SQE exemptions finder and information

To help qualified lawyers find out whether a SQE2 exemption is available for their qualification, we have added a new SQE exemptions finder to our website. Simply look up a jurisdiction, select a qualification and find out the specific information for you.

Take a look at the SQE exemptions finder

Updated SQE2 sample answers

The SQE2 sample answers have been revised and updated to provide more detailed guidance to candidates on the types of task they could be set. We also have a video that shows a sample candidate performance taking an advocacy assessment.

Find out more about the updated sample answers  

SQE1 in Welsh pilot

To help us offer SQE1 in Welsh, we ran a pilot with Welsh-speakers last year. This looked at how questions would be translated and presented, as well how sitting the exam would work in practice.

Read the report

New SQE Independent Reviewer

Earlier this month, we said goodbye to our first SQE Independent Reviewer Geoff Coombe after five years in his role. Geoff has reviewed the SQE assessments from development and pilot stage through to implementation and the first two years of sittings. He is replaced by Ricardo Le after an open recruitment process, again for a three year term. Ricardo is Associate Professor and Academic Lead for Assessment at Warwick Medical School.

Change to EU law in FLK1

There are provisions contained in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (the Act) that came into force at the end of 2023. These include provisions relating to the revocation and assimilation of retained EU law. As a result of the provisions, the part of FLK1 in the SQE assessment specification covering EU law has been updated. This change will come into effect immediately and will apply to the July 2024 SQE1 assessment. For the avoidance of doubt, EU law is not examined in SQE2.

Find out more about the change to FLK1

Annual monitoring report for the transitional routes

We've published an annual report as part our quality assurance activities of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) route. This covers the academic year 2021-22. The report again highlighted the very different pass rates between LPC providers. This was one of the reasons for the introduction of a central assessment – the SQE – to be taken by all candidates.

Read the report

Get involved

SQE: scaled scoring and SQE1 results (YouTube)

When: 28 February 2024, 12.30 - 13.15

Join us for a free webinar looking at changes we have made to how SQE1 results are presented. Find out about:

  • what scaled scoring is and why we are introducing it
  • how the SQE1 results will look for candidates
  • the detailed breakdown of marks candidates will receive.

This webinar is aimed at aspiring solicitors and training providers.

Book now

SQE Virtual Conference 2024 (YouTube)

When: 22 March 2024, 09.30 - 15.00

Join us for our latest virtual SQE Conference, aimed at education and training providers and organisations offering qualifying work experience.

At this free event you can hear:

  • the headlines from the latest SQE annual reports from our assessment provider, Kaplan and our SQE Independent Reviewer
  • SQE1 and SQE2 sample questions and resources
  • answers to common questions from candidates
  • the latest on qualifying work experience, including perspectives and experiences from employer and candidates.

Book now

Other ways to get involved

Join our LinkedIn reference group. It will help you keep up to date with the latest SQE developments and opportunities to get involved in our surveys and events.

If you are thinking about taking the SQE, or know someone who is, please follow Career in Law for the latest information aimed at aspiring solicitors.

If you have any questions, or want more information on how you can get involved, contact us.


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Find out more about the SQE.