SQE Exams: Challenges and Solutions

You’ve probably heard that the SQE exams are challenging, but with proper planning and preparation, you can succeed. It all starts with a clear understanding of the exam requirements and the level of commitment you are willing to make.

To keep you on track to succeed on your first attempt, QLTS School helps you overcome potential challenges right from the beginning, with solutions that are customised especially for your needs and circumstances. 

Lack of Complete Preparation and Understanding of the SRA Requirements for the SQE Exams

It’s no secret that preparing for the SQE exams can be intense and demanding. Comprehensive and rigorous preparation is, therefore, crucial to passing the two stages of the SQE exams.

Whether you are a law graduate or a non-law graduate, an apprentice, a paralegal, a chartered legal executive, a foreign lawyer qualified in a common law or civil law jurisdiction, the range of subjects tested on the SQE assessments is comprehensive and covers a variety of areas involving substantive and procedural law you are unlikely to be familiar with.

The SRA requires you to demonstrate you possess the same level of knowledge, understanding and skills expected of a newly qualified English solicitor which is based on the solicitor competence statement.

A comprehensive review and preparation programme for the SQE is therefore necessary to anchor knowledge in a broad set of legal areas and focus your efforts on studying all the topics covered in the assessments.

Solution: A Comprehensive SQE Preparatory Programme

Successful SQE candidates must have a thorough academic and practical knowledge and understanding of all subject areas, but also the ability to apply their practical skills in simulated environments.

The decision to prepare with the right training provider is therefore critical to your success. QLTS School’s SQE preparation courses are both comprehensive and highly focused on what the SRA requires you to demonstrate and pass on the first attempt.

The courses are suitable for candidates from any background: for those who have little or extensive legal experience; whether you are a local or foreign candidate; whether English is your first or second language; whether you work full-time or part-time.

Whatever your circumstances are, we’ll tailor-make your preparation and help you succeed in the SQE assessments.

Time Management and Exam Technique

One of the most important elements you should consider when your solicitor training is proper preparation and planning for the SQE.

Based on our experience in preparing candidates for the QLTS exam which are similar in style and structure to the SQE, we recommend that you spend 9-12 months in total preparing to pass the two stages of the SQE exams. It is therefore important to allocate the total preparation time appropriately and devote adequate time to each stage of the assessments.

Both SQE1 and SQE2 exams are timed exams and you have to answer the questions accurately and quickly. To do so, you will need to learn how to understand the question quickly, identify the legal issues raised, and respond instinctively.

For SQE1, you need to allow a maximum of one minute and 42 seconds per question. Task-based simulations (including preparation time) on SQE2 require more than one hour for each of the interviewing, advocacy, and case and matter analysis skills assessments. Allow 60 minutes for legal research, 45 minutes for legal drafting and 30 minutes for legal writing.

Solution: Practice and Planning

QLTS School’s preparation courses include timed exercises that assess your strongest and weakest areas, for both stages of the SQE. Our course offers thousands of SQE1 practice questions so that you will understand the material that will be tested and become familiar with the way the questions are phrased.

And with dozens of mock tests simulating the real format of the assessments, you will be able to practise under exam-like conditions in the build-up to exam day.

Depending on the course package you opt for our expert tutors will show you how to structure time for each assessment and provide valuable timesaving tips.

The Unique Exam Environment

The SQE assessments present a unique challenge and environments that may be uncomfortable for you without practice. If you have sat a multiple choice test like SQE1 in the past, you will appreciate that practising and attempting as many exam questions as possible is the key to your success.

You need to familiarise yourself with the format and type of questions the examiner uses in the actual test. Check these two sample tests with 90 questions each, including suggested solutions, for FLK1 and FLK2.

SQE2, the practical legal skills assessments, on the other hand, require you to demonstrate the ability to show more than academic skills alone, and apply the practical skills expected of a solicitor, e.g. to interview or advise a client orally.

Solution: Simulation of Exam Conditions

The tools and materials contained within QLTS School’s preparation courses, in particular our mock tests, are specially designed to simulate the formats of the two stages of the SQE so that on the day of the assessment you can focus on answering the questions, not figuring out the format and requirements.

With our preparation courses, QLTS School’s candidates learn to master:

  1. The five legal practice areas and six skills – through a suite of study tools such as comprehensive and exam-focussed summaries, video tutorials and extensive online resources.
  2. Answering multiple-choice questions in the same format, structure and level of difficulty as the real exam, within a time limit of 2 hours and 33 minutes per exam session. Our mock tests are attempted online in a similar way to the formal SQE1 assessments, a computer-based exam, and can be taken in various locations around the world.
  3. Attempting SQE2 mock exams for self-assessment and mock practice stations with an expert tutor, receiving immediate feedback on your performance, its weaknesses and strengths, and how you could improve before exam day in order to meet the SRA requirements.

Check our free sample training material for the SQE assessments.

Lack of Self-Discipline

It’s not uncommon for candidates taking any kind of professional examinations to put off their actual assessment date even after they have started to prepare, whether as a result of personal or work commitments.

When it comes to the SQE, this can result in delaying your career plans, losing fees already paid to the assessment provider, as well as missing assessment dates.

To maximise your chance of success on your first attempt, commit to a date of qualification and map out a plan to:

  • Comprehensive preparation for each assessment
  • Take SQE1 and SQE2 on schedule

Solution: Structured Methodology and Flexible Schedule

When scheduling your preparation, take into account the amount of time you have available each week, both on weekdays and weekend, to commit to preparing for the assessment.

QLTS School offers customised study plans and initial guidance to help you stay on track and lead you to success within just a few months.

If you want the freedom to study at your own pace, while you’re still working full-time, whether you are based in the UK or elsewhere, QLTS School’s expert tutors will help you develop an individual study plan based on your personal circumstances and requirements, that will prepare you to pass the SQE assessments.

Getting Started with the SQE

Preparing to pass the SQE assessments requires a considerable investment of time and energy. QLTS School can help ensure you maximise your return on investment, and pass the first time. Request a free consultation with an SQE adviser.

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Access free sample materialFind out more
Download our SQE brochureDownload
Request a free consultationFind out more
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