Solicitors Qualifying Examination Format: What to Expect on Exam Day

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Solicitors Qualifying Examination Format: What to Expect on Exam Day

Are you preparing for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)? Becoming a solicitor is an exciting and challenging journey, and the SQE is a key step towards achieving your goal. Understanding the format of the exam can greatly enhance your preparation and help you perform at your best on exam day. In this article, we will outline the SQE exam format and provide you with valuable insights to ensure you are well-prepared.

The Structure of the SQE Examination

The SQE is divided into two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. Each stage assesses different aspects of your legal knowledge and skills.


SQE1 is a multiple-choice exam designed to test your knowledge of the law. This stage consists of two exams:

  • Functional Legal Knowledge (FLK): This exam focuses on key legal principles and concepts across six legal practice areas: Legal System of England and Wales, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Contract Law and Criminal Law.
  • Practical Legal Skills (PLS): This exam assesses your ability to apply legal knowledge in practical scenarios. It tests your critical thinking, problem-solving, and legal analysis skills.

To excel in SQE1, make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the core legal principles in each practice area. Regular practice with sample multiple-choice questions and mock exams is crucial for improving your speed and accuracy.


SQE2 focuses on assessing your practical legal skills. It consists of the following components:

  • Client Interviewing and Advising: This component tests your ability to effectively communicate with clients, gather relevant information, and provide accurate legal advice.
  • Advocacy and Persuasion: In this component, you will demonstrate your advocacy skills by presenting legal arguments persuasively and effectively in a mock courtroom setting.
  • Legal Research and Writing: This component evaluates your ability to conduct comprehensive legal research and present your findings in a clear and structured manner.
  • Case and Matter Analysis: This component assesses your analytical skills by analyzing complex legal cases and providing practical solutions.
  • Legal Drafting: Here, you will draft legal documents such as contracts, pleadings, or letters based on specific scenarios.

To succeed in SQE2, it is important to develop your practical skills through practice scenarios and realistic simulations. Familiarize yourself with legal research and writing techniques, communication skills, and courtroom etiquette.

Time Management and Revision Strategies

Efficient time management and effective revision strategies are essential for performing well on the SQE. Here are some key tips:

  • Create a study schedule: Plan your study time and allocate specific slots for each topic and practice session. This will help you stay organized and cover all the necessary material.
  • Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to success. Set aside time each day for solving practice questions and taking mock exams to improve your speed and accuracy.
  • Review and revise: Regularly review the topics you have covered to reinforce your understanding. Use flashcards, summaries, and revision notes to aid your revision.
  • Seek assistance: Join study groups, attend workshops, and participate in webinars to gain additional insights and support from experienced professionals.

For more tips and strategies to enhance your SQE preparation, check out our related articles:

Final Thoughts

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination is a significant milestone on your journey to becoming a solicitor. By understanding the exam format and implementing effective study strategies, you can maximize your chances of success. Remember to stay focused, dedicated, and confident in your abilities. Good luck!

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