SQE Exam Pattern: Understanding the Structure and Format

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SQE Exam Pattern: Understanding the Structure and Format

Preparing for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) requires a thorough understanding of its pattern, structure, and format. As a solicitor, being well-informed about the exam can significantly enhance your chances of success. In this article, we will delve into the details of the SQE exam pattern, helping you grasp its essential components and preparing you to tackle the exam with confidence.

What is the SQE Exam?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is the new centralised assessment for solicitors in England and Wales. It has replaced the previous Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC). The SQE has been designed to ensure consistent standards in qualifying solicitors and to provide a more accessible and affordable route into the legal profession.

SQE Exam Pattern

The SQE exam consists of two stages: SQE 1 and SQE 2. Both stages are designed to assess the necessary skills and knowledge required to practice as a solicitor. Let’s explore the pattern and format of each stage:


The first stage of the SQE exam comprises two written assessments and a practical legal skills assessment. The written assessments are multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and written tasks. The MCQs measure your understanding of the law, while the written tasks assess your practical application of legal knowledge.

The two MCQ assessments consist of:

  • Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK): This assessment tests your understanding of the core legal principles and concepts.
  • Practical Legal Skills (PLS): This assessment evaluates your ability to apply legal knowledge to practical scenarios.

The practical legal skills assessment consists of:

  • Oral Advocacy: In this assessment, you will demonstrate your ability to present legal arguments effectively.
  • Client Interview and Legal Analysis: This assessment measures your skills in conducting client interviews and providing legal advice.
  • Legal Research and Writing: This assessment evaluates your skills in conducting legal research and producing written advice.

It is essential to thoroughly prepare for the SQE 1 exam by practising MCQs and working on written tasks. You can enhance your preparation by taking SQE 1 practice exams and mocks, which simulate the actual exam environment. Check out these related articles for more information: SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions and SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2.


The second stage of the SQE exam assesses your practical legal skills. It consists of a range of practical assessments which test your ability to handle complex legal scenarios. These assessments include:

  • Advocacy and Communication Skills: This assessment evaluates your skills in oral advocacy and communication.
  • Client Interviewing and Legal Advice: This assessment measures your ability to conduct successful client interviews and provide accurate legal advice.
  • Legal Writing and Drafting: This assessment examines your skills in producing well-structured and concise legal documents.
  • Case and Matter Analysis: This assessment tests your ability to analyse legal issues and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Legal Research: This assessment evaluates your research skills, including finding legal authorities and using them effectively.

Preparing for the SQE 2 exam requires a comprehensive understanding of legal practice areas and practical skills. Consider enrolling in SQE 2 preparation courses to master the necessary techniques and knowledge. You can find more details in this related article: SQE 2 Preparation Courses.

SRA SQE Exam Dates

Staying informed about the upcoming SQE exam dates is crucial for effective study planning. The SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) releases the exam dates periodically. Make sure to check the official SRA website for the latest information. To stay up to date on SQE 1 exam dates, visit this related article: SRA SQE Exam Dates.

In conclusion, having a solid understanding of the SQE exam pattern is vital for effective preparation. By familiarizing yourself with the structure and format of the exam, you can focus your studying efforts and approach the exam with confidence. Remember to practice with SQE 1 practice exam questions and mocks to refine your skills. Additionally, consider enrolling in SQE 2 preparation courses to enhance your practical legal skills. Best of luck with your SQE journey!

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