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First SQE exams get underway

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SRA confirms students won’t be tested on Covid laws

Over 1,000 students will sit the first-ever Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) this week, as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) confirmed they won’t be examined on laws introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first stage of the assessment, known as SQE1, takes place across Pearson VUE test centres today and Thursday. It involves two exams, each being over five hours long and made up of multiple-choice questions on black-letter law subjects.

In a notice last week the SRA said that students won’t be examined “on any change to the law of England or Wales nor on the content of any other legal notices introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic”.

The assessment scenarios and characters within them are to be treated as being unaffected by the coronavirus, the update said.

The 2022 Legal Cheek SQE Provider List

It comes as students reached out to us asking the regulator and SQE examiner Kaplan for clarity as to whether they will be tested on the law as it stands at the date of assessment. They told us they are expected to know, in relation to laws around insolvency, the specific amount a statutory demand has to be to permit a winding up petition after 21 days. There was confusion among exam takers on whether this would be the pre-Covid £750 figure or the £10,000 introduced following the easing of restrictions last month.

The SQE officially went live on 1 September 2021 and will eventually phase out the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

According to SRA figures, 1,155 students are signed up to take the first-ever SQE1 exam.

Are you one of them? Let us know how it goes at tips@legalcheek.com.

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