The SRA recently finalised the Solicitors Qualifying Examination’s elements. All that is left to do is present this to the Legal Services Board for what they hope is a final review and approval of the upcoming super exam.

SQE 1: Functioning Legal Knowledge

The SQE 1 is designed to test the breadth and depth of a candidates functioning legal knowledge. This will include legal theory and legal practice and is designed to encompass the type of learning you would do in an LLB/GDL and LPC.

Exam format

The SQE 1 will be a ‘single best answer multiple choice test’. The SRA have extensively covered what this means and how it will look through this YouTube video. Sample questions are also available to look at here.

If you are not familiar with the format, it means a candidate is presented with a short case study and question and 5 potential answers to choose from. One of the answers will be the “single best answer”. Everything you need to make the right choice is within the questions itself, provided you have a good understanding of the subject

The test will be made up of 360 questions split into two assessments of 180 multiple choice questions each.

What topics will SQE 1 cover?

As mentioned above, a candidates knowledge will be expected to encompass what you may have studied in an LLB/GDL and LPC.

The SQE 1 will cover the following subjects:

  • Business Law and Practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Contract
  • Tort
  • Legal System of England and Wales
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law and EU Law and Legal Services
  • Property Practice
  • Wills and Administration of Estates
  • Solicitors Accounts
  • Land Law
  • Trusts
  • Criminal Law and Practice
Some examples of question styles used in the exam include:

  • Questions that identify a legal principle or rule and request the candidate to identify how it should be properly applied.
  • A candidate will be required to perform a calculation by applying rules, rates, percentages and thresholds to identify a correct figure.
  • Questions may ask a candidate to show they understand if a client can legally achieve the desired outcome.
You can find more information on this here.

Exam and preparation course cost

The cost of the SQE 1 will be between £1,100 and £1,1650.
The SRA have confirmed they are set to meet this estimate for the finalised exam fee.

SQE 1 exemptions

There will be some cases where a candidate will not need to sit the SQE 1. This applies to candidates who have completed their LPC and are able to apply through the SRA’s Equivalent Means route. For LPC holders, this could mean their pathway would include passing the SQE 2 and gaining their period of recognised training. You can find more information here.

Does a candidate need a degree to sit the SQE?

No, a candidate does not need a degree to sit the SQE, but they will require one (or equivalent) to become a solicitor. The SRA have made it clear that they will consider other Level 6 or 7 types of qualifications, such as an apprenticeship qualification or a professional qualification at those levels. The SRA have also stated that a candidate may meet the degree requirement through work experience and apply through the Equivalent Means route (see above).

You can read more about the degree requirements here.

Preparatory courses for the SQE

We are currently working hard to develop the appropriate content and material, but rest assured, our extensive experience in providing leading legal training means you will be well served once our courses start.
If you’d like to stay up-to-date with our SQE news, please sign up to our newsletter.


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