SQE candidates unable to sit both exams this year

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Students taking SQE1 in July will not have their results in time to sit SQE2 in October

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Students due to sit part one of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) will be unable to progress onto the next stage this year.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) said that students taking SQE1 in July will not have their results in time to register and sit SQE2 in October 2022. They will instead have to wait until April 2023, causing delays to their qualification and disruption to career plans.

The regulator said the delay is to ensure it undertakes “detailed analysis and quality assurance” before results are released.

“Our priority remains, as always, to ensure complete accuracy in candidate results,” an SRA spokesperson said.

Last month’s SQE1 results day was marred by technical glitches, data issues and delays, resulting in some students finding out whether they had passed or failed late into the evening and some receiving other candidates’ scores. Just over half (53%) of students made the grade, leading some law school leaders to question the “low” pass mark. Further, the regulator found there to be discrepancies between different ethnic groups: some 65% of white candidates passed SQE1, compared to 43% Asian and 39% Black candidates.

Legal Cheek reported this month that some students faced wait times of up to two hours when attempting to book sittings for SQE2.

News of the latest delay to hit the regime came over an hour into an SRA webinar answering questions on how the first sit in November went.

Zoe Robinson, director of qualifications at Kaplan, which assesses the exams, said: “It will not be possible for the SQE1 in July, for candidates to move onto the SQE2 in October”. She said it has always been the “aim to set a timetable which will permit candidates to move through the assessments and the overall qualification quickly”.

The 2022 Legal Cheek SQE Provider List

Legal Cheek understands that some course providers have taken steps to ensure that their students who pass SQE1 in July have access to SQE2 materials to aid their preparation.

The delay will be particularly disappointing for candidates hoping to qualify this year or those who have already completed their two years Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) and just need to pass the two exams.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said in a statement on Monday: “We understand the SRA’s measures to ensure standards as the SQE assessments are still new but sympathise with the aspiring solicitors who have been disappointed and will have to wait until next year to sit the SQE2.”

“We hope the Solicitors Regulation Authority can take this feedback on board and make any necessary adjustments for future cycles to ensure that the process is smoother,” said Boyce.

The July exam is the second SQE1 sitting; bookings open next month until June.

The SRA said it will be possible for candidates to move immediately from SQE1 to SQE2 in due course “as we streamline our processes”.

“We are confident that by the time we get to the third delivery, the January SQE1 progressing to April SQE2 [in 2023], that will be possible,” added Robinson.

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The SRA is so far beyond a joke its unreal.

Maybe it should try upholding just a slither of public trust and confidence.


Cilex lawyer

What a shambles. Bring back the LPC.



cant believe i missed the cutoff to do the lpc and have to put up with shit like this, if i picked literally any of my other options when i firmed my choice it wouldn’t have been a problem



Farcical from a failing regulator.



Perhaps in view not this they should be adding in an additional SQE sitting in January too?



Something I wrote for the Law Society Gazette last year:

The SRA is at best incompetent, and at worst dishonest. It has knowingly, deliberately and repeatedly made decisions both on general regulatory matters, and on prosecutions, which evidence its inherent unsustainability in its current form. Four examples:

– The succession of “people’s private life” cases, most notably Beckwith, is unedifying, and shows a regulatory body which gleefully embraced the opportunity to pry into sexual matters which were none of its business. It was however politically fashionable to do so, as when these cases began society had switched focus at whiplash-inducing speed from ’50 Shades of Grey’ to ‘Me Too’, and the SRA seemed desperate to get on the latest bandwagon.

– The abrogation of the “costs follow the event” principle which applies in ordinarily civil litigation. While I recognise the jurisprudential foundations for this in regulatory actions (so as not to fetter competent regulators), those foundations assume that the regulatory is both competent and honest. The SRA’s competence and honesty demands that the principle be displaced. Ideally, failed prosecutions which were plainly improperly brought should also have a financial and career-ending impact on the SRA bureaucrat(s) responsible. You get what you incentivise. Presently, the system incentivises witch hunts.

– An arrogant disregard for the money they spend, which comes from us. They have no “skin in the game”, and so there is a principal-agent problem: they can squander our money with no checks and balances, and no penalties for incompetence/dishonesty. And they do. In all other spheres of life, we recognise the dangers inherent when people are entrusted with “Other People’s Money”. Not here.

– The destruction of the solicitor qualification via the wholly ludicrous SQE which has replaced the LPC and training contract. SQE is a worthless social engineering project which has at its heart the unevidenced assumption that if you create new, inferior, routes to qualification then (a) more solicitor jobs will be created (they won’t: market demand won’t change, if anything it will worsen as the qualification degrades); and (b) more diverse candidates will get through (they won’t: firms will rightly become more risk adverse, and prefer Oxbridge candidates or affluent BAME candidates from overseas, etc. for ‘diversity’, to the even greater exclusion of genuinely deprived UK candidates who previously could have demonstrated their ability through clear competition on a simple playing field). Any muppet can now purport to jump through SQE1 hoops, then play at doing trivial, notionally legally-related work, and then tick boxes in SQE2. In February 2020, a 15-year-old scored almost 50% in the initial section of the SQE, despite doing no preparation and having no knowledge of the law (“Child’s play: unprepared 15-year-old scores half-marks in super-exam”, Law Society Gazette, 26 February 2020). The SRA’s lobotomised pursuit of the SQE is an immense discredit to it, and it suggests a regulator both too incompetent to realise its failure and too arrogant to admit it. We should put a stake in both the SQE and, ideally, the SRA itself.

Finally, where is the Law Society in all of this? We need a Law Society president who will take on the SRA, and do everything possible to eviscerate its powers, eliminate it entirely, then replace it and the current motley crew of apparatchiks staffing it with a fit-for-purpose organisation. The current – and entirely justified – levels of contempt for the SRA and its functionaries can neither be overestimated nor overstated.



This comment reads as if you are unhinged and vengeful. Language such as “eviscerate”, “eliminate it entirely” “motley crew” and “witch hunts” undermines any credibility your claims might have. If this is how you always voice your concerns, I expect it understandably prevents anyone at the organisations you are concerned about from engaging with you.

Calm down and learn to analyse issues dispassionately and from the other side (a key skill of effective lawyers) so that you can have a mature, balanced discussion with a view to meaningful progress. Or carry on throwing mud in the playground while people learn to ignore you, perhaps to the detriment of the causes you purport to fight for – your choice.


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