15-year-old with no legal knowledge scores 48% on SQE practice paper, claims Kent Law School deputy head

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By Legal Cheek on

Academic reveals daughter’s super exam efforts

An experienced legal academic claims her teenage daughter scored just shy of half-marks on part of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) practice paper, despite having “absolutely no knowledge” of the law.

Lisa Dickson, deputy head of Kent Law School, said in an email to colleagues that her 15-year-old daughter had used “logic”, “common sense” as well as an “understanding [of] multiple choice formats” to secure a respectable score of 48% in the first 25 questions of a practice paper covering functioning legal knowledge.

Dickson went on to reveal her daughter, who is yet to sit her GCSEs, was “extremely peeved” not to have achieved 50% and has even requested a law revision book “so she can answer the next 25 later in the week and pass!”

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) declined to comment.

The SQE assessment will be split into two parts: SQE1 focusing on black letter law and taking the form of a computer-based, multiple-choice assessment, while SQE2 will test prospective solicitors’ practical legal skills such as advocacy and interviewing. It will replace both the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) when it comes into force next September.

The 2019 Legal Cheek LPC Most List

The legal education provider tasked with delivering the SQE, Kaplan, has previously defended the assessment’s proposed multiple-choice format, claiming a well-drafted MCQ involved the “application of fundamental principles”, which in turn reduces the “likelihood that candidates will pass or fail by luck”.

Earlier this month, Ken Oliphant, a professor of tort law and head of Bristol Law School, pointed out an apparent error with one of the sample MCQs published on the SRA’s website.

Responding to the purported blunder, a spokesperson for Kaplan stressed that all questions go through an “extensive review and editing process”, and any deemed to be flawed can be withdrawn by the exam board.

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