First-ever SQE exam dates announced

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SQE1 to take place on 8 and 11 November 2021, with SQE2 in April 2022

The dates for the first-ever sit of the new solicitor super-exam are in the public domain.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), a two-part national assessment to be set and examined centrally, will be introduced from this autumn, with the Legal Practice Course (LPC) being gradually phased out. Legal Cheek can reveal that the first stage of the assessment, known as SQE1, will take place on 8 and 11 November 2021, with SQE2 in April 2022.

Initially there will be two sittings of each exam per year. SQE1 involves around ten hours of exams completed over the course of two days, while SQE2 takes around 14 hours over five half days.

Secure your place: The SQE Sessions

The highly anticipated SQE is set to shake-up legal education and training, and years of exams being set and marked by more than 100 different training providers.

Already we have seen new providers grapple for a share of the lucrative SQE market: BARBRI, QLTS School and the College of Legal Practice (CoLP) have entered the scene in recent months with competitively priced SQE1 and 2 prep courses. Both BARBRI and QLTS School begin their SQE1 prep courses as early as next month, and in time for the first November sit, with CoLP starting from summer next year.

In June, the Solicitors Regulation Authority unveiled the final SQE design. SQE1 will focus on examining functioning legal knowledge, i.e. black letter law, in the form of a computer-based, multiple-choice assessment, while SQE2 will examine six practical legal skills through 15 to 18 tasks. The total cost will be £3,980.

The Legal Services Board approved the new route to solicitor qualification in October.

Next month Legal Cheek is hosting an afternoon of virtual seminars to mark the start of the SQE launch year. ‘The SQE Sessions’ takes place on 28 January 2021, and tickets are available to purchase now.

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Great post, fantastic read. On a separate note, can anyone let me know what is the NQ salary at Vardags? Asking in case that Kirkland application does not work out (4 months without any response – they are suppressingly slow there).


John Smith Esq.

£50k plus a £20k cardigan allowance



Are you sexy enough? They only do sexy, in a “been working BA long haul for 30 years” kind of sexy.


SQE a definite win

Nice to see future legal professionals having to go through the difficulty of SQE exams with 0 legal background…

In 2030 we can expect legal providers to offer other groundbreaking ways of preparing people for the legal profession such as matching shape exercises and naming the colour



So what’s the point in me doing a qualifying law degree, regulated by the SRA, if I can just take an exam – and have the same legal standing as someone who spent 3 years studying sports science?


Terry Tibbs

none. Stamina and team work will be needed in any event. Plus if you are useful at football or rugby you will go straight into the five a side or first XV. Sports science also suggests much time spent bonding and networking in the bar- all positives. You will be invited to corporate marketing events – ruggers at Twickers and will not need to have the offside rule explained. All in all, just bring your own or a mate’s law notes in to work and make sure you know the weekend’s results. Law degree not required.



No-one who needs the offside rule explained gets a place on my team. Otherwise imagine what they would be like at a corporate event? And they better be able to name at least 8 ways of getting out in cricket too. And I consider 8 generous, it used to be more, but I reduced it as part of a diversity drive.



Hopefully future employers are more likely to want you with a law degree. I have seen multiple choice in this context and those who are bright can probably pass with guessing if they get a bit of legal knowledge. I even wonder if first year undergraduates this year with not much on doing a different subject might to have a go at SQE1 in nov 2021 as they will have all summer to prepare and practise and then study for SQE2 to take during year 3 on their non law degree; do legal work experience of a qualified supervised kind in university holidays and when they graduate after 3 years not in law be qualified solicitors even or a law degree doing SQE1 perhaps after year 1 of the degree, then during year 2 or 3 take SQE2 and do enough supervised work the summers before and during university and other holidays that they again can fully qualify on graduation [ and I thought I was young to qualify – graduated in law aged 20 a year young, solicitors’ finals age 21, qualified aged 23]



caveat to the above – I am not sure if you cannot do SQE1 and 2 exams whilst you are still an undergraduate or not…


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