About the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)

The SQE exams explained

Your guide to understanding the Solicitors Qualifying Exam assessments

Find out how BARBRI can help you prepare for the SQE with confidence

SQE: Exam dates, locations and how to book

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam is centralised and run by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). If you want to sit the exam, you need to:

  1. Register on the SRA website. You can do this at any time. You'll verify your identity, confirm whether you have any exemptions or request reasonable adjustments. Click here to register with the SRA.
  2. Book your assessment date. You can find the SQE dates and locations here. And here you'll find booking opening and closing dates, plus the results dates.

The SQE1 assessment: Legal knowledge

The SQE1 assessment tests your functioning legal knowledge (FLK). It is a computer-based multiple-choice exam with 360 questions spread over 2 days. This exam can be sat worldwide.

SQE1 assessment fees:

Current fees: £1,622 (£811 for FLK1 and £811 for FLK2)
September 2023 onwards: £1,798 (£899 for FLK1 and £899 for FLK2)

All fees are VAT exempt.

You must book FLK1 and FLK2 separately but pay for them both in a single payment at time of booking. FLK1 and FLK2 must be taken in the same assessment window (unless an exemption applies).

Subjects tested:

  • Business Law and Practice (including taxation)
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Contract
  • Tort
  • The Legal System of England and Wales
  • Constitutional & Administrative Law & EU Law
  • Legal Services
  • Property Practice (including taxation)
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates (including taxation)
  • Solicitors’ Accounts
  • Land Law
  • Trusts
  • Criminal Law and Practice

The SQE2 assessment: Application of knowledge in practical situations

The SQE2 exam tests your ethics and professional conduct, and you’ll be required to demonstrate that you can apply fundamental legal principles in a way that addresses a client’s needs and concerns, rather than your ability to memorise legal knowledge. The SQE2 assessment is a skills-based examination of 16 written and oral skills assessments. The written elements of the exam can be sat worldwide. The oral elements must be taken in person in England or Wales.

The SQE2 oral exam:

The oral part is made up of four assessments, which take place over two half-days. These will assess your practical skills via role-play, covering court-based scenarios, solicitor-client interactions and file reviews.

The SQE2 oral legal skills test covers:

  • Client interviews and attendance note
  • Advocacy

The SQE2 written exam:

There are 12 written assessments over three half-days, completed on a computer.

The SQE2 written legal skills test covers:

  • Case and matter analysis
  • Legal research and written advice
  • Legal drafting
  • Legal writing

SQE2 assessment fees:

Current fees: £2,493
September 2023 onwards: £2,766

All fees are VAT exempt.

You must book both the written and oral assessments together, and pay at the time of booking.

Skills tested:

  • Client interviewing (and attendance note)
  • Advocacy
  • Case and matter analysis
  • Legal research and written advice
  • Legal writing
  • Legal drafting
  • Subjects tested:
  • Criminal Litigation (including advising clients at the police station)
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property Practice
  • Wills and Intestacy, Probate Administration and Practice
  • Business organisations, rules and procedures (including money laundering and financial services)

* Ethics & Professional conduct will be examined throughout.

Download our Funding Guides

SQE1 Funding Guide

We are here to help with the common questions on the costs associated to SQE1. Download the guide for an overview of the support you can secure to help fund your SQE1 Prep studies.

SQE2 Funding guide

We are here to help with the common questions on the costs associated to SQE2. Download the guide for an overview of the support you can secure to help fund your SQE2 Prep studies.

View our SQE prospectuses

Download the SQE Prep Prospectus

Read our SQE Prep Prospectus to discover key information about the Solicitors Qualifying Exam and BARBRI.

Download the Qualified Overseas Lawyer Prospectus

Learn more about the route to SQE qualification, how SQE exemptions work and more. 

Next steps

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