SQE Update - September 2023
In this bulletin, find out about the new SQE assessment specifications, changes to SQE1 sittings and results which will become effective from January and booking dates for exam sittings in October and January. You can also book a place on our future webinars.
Subscribe to alerts so that you know when we publish the latest SQE Update bulletin.
New SQE assessment specifications now live
Following the annual review that took place earlier this year, the slightly amended SQE assessment specifications are now live and are in use for all future assessments. Most of the amendments from the review are minor. The only substantial change is to make clearer our expectations around understanding how the laws in England and Wales differ.
April 2023 SQE2 marking
Kaplan has been in touch with some candidates who took the April 2023 SQE2 sitting, as they have identified an isolated marking error in one of the 16 stations.
Kaplan believes the error is limited to a small number of scripts with low scores on the station. However, the marking of all scripts that could potentially have been affected by the error is being reviewed.
Current information suggests that any changes in marks will be upwards not downwards, and that very few marks will be changed.
Candidates whose scripts are being reviewed have been advised that they will be contacted again regarding the outcome of the review by 13 October.
Booking SQE1 in January 2024
We have increased the number of SQE1 testing dates within each assessment window. From January 2024, we will be moving to week-long assessment windows.
The dates for the next SQE1 assessment are:
- FLK1: 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 January
- FLK2: 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 January
The booking process will remain the same, however, candidates will be able to pick whichever dates they prefer (subject to availability). For example, they may prefer to sit FLK1 on Tuesday 16 January and FLK2 on Wednesday 24 January.
Bookings open on 4 October at 10.00 (UK time) and close on 15 November at 17.00.
New scaled scoring for SQE1
So that we can offer more choice to candidates about when they sit the assessment, but maintain the integrity of the assessment, there will be different papers in an assessment window.
In order to maintain the integrity of the assessment, candidates taking SQE1 on different days will not all be sitting the same paper. Scaled scoring enables us to make sure we can still achieve accurate and fair comparisons between test takers.
Scaled scores are routinely used in high stakes assessments, for example, by in medicine, accountancy and by the New York State Bar.
We will also be providing a breakdown of results by practice area for each candidate and more data for training providers.
SQE1 July 2023 results report
The results for the SQE1 July 2023 sitting have been published. A total of 3,475 candidates completed both parts of SQE1 (known as FLK1 and FLK2). Of these, 3,005 candidates sat SQE1 for the first time and achieved a 56% pass rate.
The overall pass rate, including those who were resitting for the first or second time, was 53%.Tthe pass mark for each part of the assessment was 53% for FLK1 and 52% for FLK2.
SQE assessment dates for 2024 now available
All the dates are now available on the SQE website for the 2024 assessments. Take a look to see when the exams are taking place and the relevant booking windows.
Updated guidance on spelling for SQE2
We have published some additional guidance to help candidates understand how markers approach spelling and grammar when marking the written SQE2 assessments. We have had questions from candidates on this, as there is no spellcheck function available to candidates during the assessment.
SQE: What it means for law firms (YouTube)
When: Wednesday 8 November, 14.00 – 15.00
As part of Compliance Officers Virtual Conference week, we will be holding a session on what the SQE means for law firms and other employers. Find out more about the SQE assessment two years on, as well as essential information on qualifying work experience.
SQE: data publication and scoring (webinar)
When: Thursday 23 November, 12.30 – 13.15
Join us for a free webinar looking at the types of SQE data we'll publish later this year and changes to how SQE1 results will be presented from January 2024.
Aimed at aspiring solicitors and training providers, hear from both the SRA and our assessment provider Kaplan about:
- what data on candidates' overall performance will be available
- how this can help aspiring solicitors when looking at SQE training options
- changes to SQE1 sittings and new multiple sittings in one window
- how the new SQE1 results will look following the scaled scoring approach we're introducing.
- the information we're providing on SQE1 candidates' performance in particular areas of law.
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.