53% of students pass latest SQE1

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By Thomas Connelly on


Up slightly on previous sitting

A little over half of candidates passed the latest Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), the regulator has confirmed.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) newest statistical report focuses on students who sat SQE1 in July of this year.

The report shows that of the 3,475 candidates who attempted SQE1, the first part of the two-part assessment, 53% successfully passed. This marks a slight improvement on the 51% success rate achieved by those who sat SQE1 in January.

The SQE was formally introduced in September 2021 as the new route to solicitor qualification. SQE1 focuses on functioning legal knowledge (FLK) whilst SQE2 focuses on legal skills.

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The latest report, published last week, shows the pass rate was slightly higher among those sitting the exam for the first time, at 56%. The pass mark for the two papers (FLK1 and FLK2) that comprise SQE1 came in at 53% and 52%, respectively.

Last month Legal Cheek reported that 77% of the 996 students who went through the latest sitting (April and May) of SQE2 had passed. Of those attempting the exam for the first time, the pass rate came in at 80%.

Want to know more about the SQE? Be sure to check it out our SQE Hub for more information on the law schools offering support one the new pathway as well as more information about the assessment itself.



Is a move from 51% to 53% a “slight improvement” as reported or an indication of a further dumbing down of the examination standards?


Dumbing down?…..have you taken the exam? My guess is no and you’re speaking on something you know nothing about

It's Relative

It is just a vocational examination. The bar is set very low for such things. It is not that the examination is difficult, it is that there are too many applicants with unrealistic belief in their own ability.

Tone inquisitor

You must be fun at parties

Future city trainee

I passed with a bit of a buffer.

It really didn’t feel like there was anything ‘dumbed down’ about those exams… they were hard.

My background was a good Russell group STEM degree.

Heard of some really great people going to good firms failed FLK 2.

Sir Dongle Wongle

The exams are difficult bruv. No more easy LPC route

Future City Trainee II

I sat SQE1 in July and passed both exams comfortably. However, there was nothing easy about them. I know a few amazing students who failed one or both exams.

A 53% pass rate is basically a 50/50 chance of success. That alone should tell you how hard the exams are.


you think if u have a tc at a mc firm and fail, they will without question rescind the offer?

Future city trainee

Depends on the firm. Some I know have been rescinded. Some I know have been kept on and given a second bite of the cherry at a different firm.


I know of someone, who exactly that happened to, failed by one single point.


Agree and they lowered the pass mark from 56/57 to 52/53 and only a two percent increase from the last SQE1 exams. Methinks this shows these exams were harder/the hardest yet…congrats though.

Is it studious if you get half of it wrong?

You are joking that you can pass this exam getting 47% of it wrong?


Congrats on your success of passing SQe1. Please Guide me for FLK 1 and2. Request.


Whilst likely a comment borne of ignorance, you are actually correct. They lowered the pass mark from 57% to 52% and with that the pass rate crept up slightly Go figure.


180 MC questions only shows how cerebral output has been reduced. We had to know what we were doing this generation of solicitors are just supremely confident.


Who knows, check your TC offer conditions..


Looking forward to the Law Society paying a diversity consultant to churn out a report stating the exam was discriminatory again. As if these consultants ever say anything else.

Kaplan enjoyer

They should spend the money doing a report as to why Kaplan can’t write questions in basic English. I am a native speaker and only speak English and some of the questions in these exams often may as well have been written in Hieroglyphs. Feel sorry for anyone who took them with English as a second language.



Kipling enjoyer

You only have one language and you write that poorly in it?

Kaplan enjoyer


At least I can get a job at Kaplan if my TC doesn’t work out.




There’s a question about difficulty, yes. But there’s also a question about the type of exam and what is being assessed.

This is why we keep reading comments about some “top students with top degrees from top universities” failing the SQE. It’s not necessarily because of difficulty or those students not being capable. It could also be because the SQE is very different to the tests they have sat before and/or because they failed to adapt their exam preparation to reflect those differences.

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