SQE1 pilot assessments held

More than 300 candidates take part in SQE1 pilot

This information was published, as part of the SQE development process. This remains on our site for information purposes. Visit the main SQE page for the latest information.

SQE1 pilot assessments completed

The SQE1 pilot assessments were held 20-22 March. A total of 316 candidates completed three days of assessments at 46 different test centres in England, Wales, Scotland and internationally. Read the findings.

What the pilot set out to cover

The SQE1 pilot assessments involved a multiple-choice test and skills assessments of legal research and writing.

The assessment specification for the SQE1 pilot sets out what we assessed in the pilot, how we assessed candidates and the standards we applied. The legal content of the assessment has not changed from the 2017 draft specification (PDF 99 pages, 1MB).

The pilot assessment specification includes an assessment blueprint, which sets out the weighting given to different parts of the three Functioning Legal Knowledge assessments.

We continue to seek views about the structure and content of the assessment specification. This may then change in the light of this work and the pilot findings.

How we selected candidates

Candidates were selected to create a sample group as representative as possible of those who will sit the SQE when it is introduced. In terms of prior education and experience, this means that candidates should either:

  • have completed SQE1 (the compulsory stage) of the Legal Practice Course (LPC), or
  • have completed a period of study and/or work experience equivalent to SQE1 (the compulsory stage) of the LPC, or
  • be a qualified lawyer in a recognised jurisdiction eligible to qualify via the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, or
  • be a barrister of England and Wales.

The pilot was oversubscribed and so preference was given to those who applied early.

What happened next?

Candidates received a transcript with detailed results including a comparative result, which they will be able to show to any future employer.

Candidates who completed the entire SQE1 pilot received £300. Candidates whose results ranked in the top 10 percent received an additional £200.

In addition, leading law firms offered career development opportunities to the best-performing candidates. The opportunities include a training contract assessment day place, open day places, skills workshops, and one-to-one coaching sessions.

The firms offering these opportunities were:

  • Atherton Godfrey
  • Brethertons
  • Browne Jacobson
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
  • Mayer Brown
  • Moore Blatch
  • Sidley Austin

Results of the SQE1 pilot

We reported on the pilot's findings in July 2019. Read the findings.

How do I find out more detail?

Read more information about the SQE.

If you have questions, get in touch.

How can law firms help?

If you work in a law firm, or in an organisation with a legal department, you can get involved by offering career development opportunities for the best-performing candidates in the Stage 2 pilot.

Get in touch with your details so we can contact you.