What is the SQE and what does it entail?

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) was introduced in September 2021 to replace the old legal education system of undertaking the GDL and LPC.

The SQE is split into two parts: SQE1 and SQE2. Candidates will also need to complete two years of qualifying work experience (QWE) before applying to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to be admitted to the roll of solicitors.


In SQE1 you will be tested on ‘functioning legal knowledge’, which tests your application of law based on realistic client-based scenarios in multiple choice questions.

The assessments will cover subjects you will have studied on a law degree or a conversion course, as well as the vocational practice areas in stage 1 of the LPC.

SQE1 is split into two Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) assessments. These assessments will take the form of multiple-choice papers with 180 questions each, covering all aspects of the SQE1 syllabus.

FLK 1 will cover:

  • Business Law and practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Contract
  • Tort
  • Legal System of England and Wales
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law and EU Law and Legal Services
  • Ethics and Professional Conduct (examined in both)

FLK 2 will cover:

  • Property Practice
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates
  • Solicitors Accounts
  • Land Law
  • Trusts
  • Criminal Law and Practice
  • Ethics and Professional Conduct (examined in both)

You must pass SQE1 before being eligible to sit the SQE2 assessments.


In SQE2 you will be tested on six practical legal skills required for practice, including:

  • Interviewing (with written attendance note/legal analysis)
  • Advocacy
  • Legal research
  • Legal drafting
  • Legal writing
  • Case and matter analysis
  • The above skills will be tested across the practice areas of:
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property Practice
  • Wills and Intestacy, Probate Administration and Practice
  • Business organisations, rules and procedures

The exam takes place over five days