SQE2 pass rate drops to 64%

Avatar photo

By Rhys Duncan on


Down from 79%

The latest round of results for part two of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE2) has been released, with the overall pass rate of students dropping down to 64%.

The fifth round of SQE2 assessments, which ran in two sittings between 23 October and 2 November 2023, saw a significant drop in the percentage of students passing, with the most recent previous cohort of budding solicitors clocking a 79% pass rate.

Those sitting the exam for the first time fared better, with 69% passing, although this is still a significant decrease from the 82% of first-time passers in the last round of assessments.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Law Schools Most List

In order to pass, the 642 candidates were required to average a mark of between 61-62%, depending on whether they sat in the first or second sitting.

A student’s overall mark is an average of their performance across 16 stations — 12 written stations and four oral stations — that assess both skills and application of legal knowledge. In order to undertake SQE2, students must first pass SQE1, an assessment of their understanding of black letter law across two multiple-choice exams.

These most recent assessments saw a significant disparity between those at the top of their cohort, the best of whom scored 90%, and those at the tail end, dipping below the 30% mark.



Will the SQE ever be scrapped?

Future city trainee

I guess thats a resit for me inbound if the recent SQE2 exams just sat follow suit.


Can the SQE just be scrapped pls


Does anyone have any ideas as to why this might be? Tougher marking? Tougher exam questions? As someone about to take the SQE2 in April/May, the lack of transparency about these exams which dictate so many futures is shocking and disheartening. They could at least release past papers.


Not entirely sure. I’ve seen some discussion that it may be due to the higher number of Foreign Qualified Lawyers taking this exam. In the sitting with the 79% pass rate, there was a lower number of FQLs with a much higher pass rate which obviously boosted the overall pass rate..

In this round of results, there was a higher number of FQLs with a much lower pass rate. It’s in the most recent stats analysis.

Archibald O'Pomposity

“Can the SQE just be scrapped pls”
– S

We live in an age where everybody is a first class graduate. A string of 10 A-grades simply means that your teacher liked you and wants to maintain their position in the league table. Academic merit is irrelevant. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is that law is hard. And despite the proliferation of straight-A students, they haven’t, sadly, become any brighter. An exam that discriminates on merit, by expecting students to be able to draw upon a wide range of knowledge – some of that knowledge being rather niche – is the last bastion of reassurance that somebody, somewhere, wants to maintain professional standards. If qualifying exams don’t reflect the rigour and unpredictability of practise, then we’re all screwed.

Keep the pass rate low if it weeds out the lazy, low-effort, academically dull wannabe practitioners. Pls.

Guy Incognito

Having just sat the SQE2 in January, I couldn’t agree more.


Then why is the lpc easy and most people get distinctions and commendations with no effort? It’s not fair that because you did law a year later you have to jump through much harder hoops. Sick of people blaming students now – we had to go through a lot harder stuff to get TCs etc. now we have to battle through 2000 applicants for 12 spaces and do a ridiculously hard exam.

Also find it strange that legal cheek are deleting comments that criticise the SQE. Wouldn’t surprise me SRA are paying them off too

Join the conversation