SQE2 assessment dates confirmed

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From 11 April 2022

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has confirmed the dates for the first-ever sitting of part two of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

The first sitting of SQE2 will be the week commencing 11 April 2022. The written assessments will take place from 11 to 13 April and oral assessments will be 19-20 and 21-22 April.

The first-ever SQE1 assessment dates are already in the public domain, having been announced by the regulator towards the end of last year. SQE1 will take place on 8 and 11 November 2021, and has been declared safe to go ahead under current public health advice by the assessment’s independent reviewer. “Provision and planning enable exams to take place in a socially distanced manner and test centres will have enhanced cleaning and other sanitisation measures in place,” the review found.

SQE1 and SQE2 written assessments will take place at Pearson VUE test centres in the UK and internationally. SQE2 oral exams will take place at locations in Cardiff, London, and Manchester, but some oral sittings may not be available in all locations. The SRA will release more information on when bookings will open later this year.

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The SQE, a two-part national assessment to be set and examined centrally, comes into force on 1 September 2021. SQE1 examines functioning legal knowledge and involves around ten hours of exams completed over the course of two days, while SQE2 focuses on practical legal skills and takes around 14 hours to complete over five half days. The total cost to sit both exams will be £3,980.

The SRA last month revealed further SQE assessment dates beyond the transitional years for 2023/24. There will be two sittings of each exam in 2023, with the SRA monitoring demand for additional SQE1 sittings. There will then be three SQE2 sittings in 2024.

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This is after Stage 1 which now is a two part test involving a colouring in paper and a multiple choice test with questions using sentences capped at 20 words using only words with no more than three syllables.

The woke agenda. Got to love it.


How much of a failure must one’s career be to end up as bitter as yourself?


I’m doing very well thanks. I’m just sick and tired of all this woke diversity crap. The SQE is a joke and will be entirely counter-productive.

It is rather lazy and hackneyed trolling to categorise by assumption a commenter as being a failure or some other misplaced as hominem attack. I would expect those with a substantive point to make or a modicum of wit to avoid such clichéd, dull ripostes.


Woah, I’m sorry you don’t like the idea of diversity and inclusion. You’re clearly not ‘woke’ (:


How is the SQE awake to social injustice?


That’s an embarrassing question.


I feel like labeling anything you disagree with as “woke” is lazy, dull and clichéd tbh.


Bless, JS looked at his/her/zir first effort at a response and thought “that was lame”, so came back 16 minutes later with a second bite.

It evidences another lazy common fallacy of online arguments which is to say that because issue X is raised by a commenter, commenter X “always” does this. Here, because the reference to the SQE being part of the “woke” agenda, JS says that I label “anything you disagree with as ‘woke'”. I don’t do that, my allegation here was about a specific issue which was specifically affected by the woke/diversity industry.

The SQE is a disaster that came across because of a diversity drive by the woke, that will be completely counterproductive for the reasons touched upon below by Touker. My first comment on this thread comes from a specific event, namely that after the SQE1 trials, complaint was made that the pass rates by ethnicity evidenced a potential discrimination which was stated by those objecting to be potentially caused by the language used in the questions being too complex for candidates. Really, too complex for people who want to be solicitors. You could not make that up. Except you could in these times of the woke agenda driving too much of legal regulation.


The irony is that although the SQE is the latest vanity project designed by the wokesters to diversify the legal profession, it’s going to end up exacerbating the supposed inequalities among law graduates. While the LPC had many problems, at least it had some use. The SQE is the complete academic antithesis to a meritocratic qualification and almost every law firm, from City to high street, know it.


I’m not entirely sure how the SQE is linked to the “woke” agenda and you didn’t bother to explain, so I’ll have to assume it was just a throw away comment from someone who doesn’t really know what they are talking about.

You also didn’t put forward any evidence for your inference that the SQE is going to be easy. If you are going to take that view, you really ought to be able to explain why.

Multiple choice style questioning certainly doesn’t need to be easy. In my industry, a lot of colleagues take either the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification that comprises of three multiple choice questions or the Financial Risk Manager qualification that comprises of two such tests. These colleagues tend to come from elite academic backgrounds and includes holders of LLBs and LLMs, yet the failure rate within our firm is quite high.

I think the real fear from firms is not the difficulty of the test or the prospect of poorly prepared trainees but rather the reputational risk when higher numbers of trainees at allegedly prestigious firms fail their exams. The SQE is centrally administered and leaves nowhere for candidates to hide, irrespective of what school they went to or how important a client their employer is to one of the major law mills like the College of Law or BPP. Nor are there any more fluffy essays for students to hide behind in the academic stage.

I suspect that a year from now we’ll see fail rates at firms like Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy of around 20% in SQE 2 and this will open the question as to whether firms let these failures go after having completed most of their period of training or not.

There’s also the work experience element that will be fascinating. What will law firms do when they can’t so easily control who becomes a solicitor and who stays a paralegal in their firm? Nepotism will no doubt still exist but it’s going to get compromised.


The SQE will be far more difficult than GDL and LPC as it covers more subjects with a more extensive examination. Does it mean that there will be less solicitors in UK in the future ? Is it a way to compensate the future effects of brexit on the financial and legal industry and the competition of legaltech ? Why future generations will have to suffer from these whereas actual solicitors had an “easier” route for qualificaition ?

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