The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is a new, single assessment for qualifying solicitors and is due to be introduced by the end of 2021.

A pilot to test the first part of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination – known as SQE1 – has shown that it is on course to be a valid, rigorous assessment, while also highlighting the need for more work to see if a skills assessment is appropriate in the first stage of the exam.  Candidates will need to pass SQE1, which focuses on functioning legal knowledge, before being able to move on to SQE2, which tests legal skills.

Conducted in March, by Kaplan, the SQE1 pilot was completed by a diverse group of 316 candidates at 44 locations in the UK, and in Singapore and France. Candidates took three SQE1 papers with a total of 360 single best answer questions.  The second element of the SQE1 pilot tested skills, with one legal research and two legal writing exercises.

The pilot is part of the SRA and Kaplan’s wider work to develop a world class assessment. Hundreds of stakeholders have been involved in the development of the assessment so far. A pilot on SQE2 is due to run in December 2019.

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