Everything You Need to Know About the SQE

Everything You Need to Know About the SQE

Everything You Need to Know About the SQE

For individuals aspiring to become solicitors, the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) serves as the primary gateway to enter the legal profession. Introduced in 2021 to replace the Law Practice Course (LPC), the SQE represents the primary path for both law and non-law graduates seeking admission as solicitors in the UK or for lawyers from other jurisdictions seeking UK solicitor qualification. Oversight and administration of the SQE are managed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The SQE comprises two main assessments, SQE1 and SQE2, accompanied by a two-year requirement called Qualified Work Experience (QWE), designed to assess your legal knowledge and skills. While QWE can be undertaken at any time, the only prerequisite is the completion of SQE1 before proceeding to SQE2.


SQE1 consists of two tests, FLK1 and FLK2, evaluating functional legal knowledge. Each assessment comprises 180 questions and is conducted on separate days, with each day divided into two sessions. Each session involves answering 90 questions, lasting approximately two and a half hours, separated by a one-hour break.


SQE2 necessitates scheduling both its components simultaneously, as it includes a written assessment and an oral skills evaluation, assessing the application of functional legal knowledge.

Oral Assessments:

Oral exams are conducted in three cities: Cardiff, London, and Manchester, spanning half a day and spanning two days. These assessments test client-interviewing skills and practical abilities, such as note-writing.

Written Assessments:

There are four written tests on each day of the three-day testing period, divided into two sessions.

Qualified Work Experience (QWE):

Before becoming eligible for solicitor admission in England and Wales through the SQE, candidates must successfully complete the QWE. This entails gaining two years of work experience at a maximum of four organisations, under the supervision of an English and Welsh-qualified solicitor. This experience should contribute to the development of the aspiring solicitors’ SRA competencies.

SQE Costs:

SQE1 and SQE2 have different pricing structures, and candidates must pay for each examination separately. SQE1 costs £1,622, covering the expenses for both FLK1 and FLK2, which are collected together. SQE2, which includes both oral and written assessments, costs £2,493. Candidates enrolled in SQE preparation courses may have access to vouchers for online payment.

Alternatively, candidates can choose an apprenticeship route, such as the Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship and Level 7 Accelerated Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship, offered by Law Apprenticeships. These apprenticeships, supported by 95% Government Funding, cover SQE1 and SQE2 exam costs (£4,564) and SQE preparation expenses (over £7,200). Successful completion of these apprenticeships qualifies candidates as solicitors.

Learn more about our Level 7 Solicitor Qualifications.

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