There are several windows for both SQE1 and SQE2, each with different deadlines and results days, as determined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The exams are the same for law graduates and non-law graduates.
The SQE1 is sat across two different days, with two Functioning Legal Knowledge exams, commonly referred to as FLK1 and FLK2. The SQE2 consists of an oral and written exam, which are assessed on separate dates.
There are limited places across all assessments, so make sure to note when registration opens so that you can register for your chosen dates. However, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) does note that dates may be added to meet demand if there is a considerable discrepancy.
If you are taking a prep course, it’s important to make sure you have planned for a date that works with the course you’ve chosen. Many places that offer SQE prep courses will support you with booking your tests, and may have ‘bulk booked’, which is an option exclusively available to training providers.
If you are studying independently, you should plan in advance how long it will take you to prepare for each test, including when you might like to undertake your Qualifying Work Experience (QWE).
There is no requirement to have undertaken QWE before sitting an SQE assessment.
The SRA requires that you take the Functioning Legal Knowledge exams (FLK1 and FKL2) in the same assessment window. Each window is detailed below.
FLK1: 21 July 2022
FLK2: 25 July 2022
Assessment results date: 5 October 2022
FLK: 26 January 2023
FLK2: 30 January 2023
Registration opens: 10am, 22 September 2022
Registration deadline: 5pm, 19 December 2022
Assessment results date: 14 March 2023
FLK1: 20 July 2023
FLK2: 24 July 2023
Oral (First sitting): 24-25 October 2022
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington), London (Euston), Manchester and Cardiff
Oral (Second sitting): 26-27 October 2022
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington) and Manchester
Oral (Third sitting): 31 October-1 November 2022
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington) and London (Euston)
Written Exam: 7-9 November 2022
Registration opens: 10am, 20 June 2022
Registration deadline: 5pm, 19 September 2022
Assessment results date: 28 February 2023
Oral (First sitting): 25-26 April 2023
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington), Cardiff
Oral (Second sitting): 27-28 April 2023
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington), London (Euston), Cardiff
Oral (Third sitting): 2-3 May 2023
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington), London (Euston), Manchester
Oral (Fourth sitting): 4-5 May 2023
Locations: London (Highbury and Islington), London (Euston), Manchester
Dates: 8-10 May 2023
Locations: Pearson VUE locations
If you have opted for one of the SQE preparation courses via a training provider, it may be that they have a bulk booking in place for candidates undertaking their course. Alternatively, they may give you a prepaid voucher that you can use to pay for the booking and you will be expected to make the booking yourself.
For apprentices who are taking the exams as part of their solicitor apprenticeship, your employer should have already registered your name and Unique Learner Number with the SRA. You will still need to create an SQE account and register via the SRA and let your employer know you have done so.
For those who don’t have a training provider booking on their behalf, you will need to register for an SQE account in order to book your assessments online. You won’t be able to book SQE2 until you have passed SQE1.
After booking and paying for your test, you should await the confirmation email outlining your booking.
Before booking your test, you’ll need to ensure you have requested any reasonable adjustments and confirmed any exemptions.
Qualified lawyers can seek exemptions from certain parts of the SQE, with the SRA detailing the exemptions available depending on your qualification or jurisdiction of qualifications.
You will need to apply to the SRA through your account to request an exemption and you should wait until the approval for the exemption shows in your account before booking any assessments.
If you have passed the LPC, you can sit SQE2 and undertake QWE as a training contract equivalent. If you have passed the QLTS MCT, you can take the SQE2 until December 2023, following an extension to permitted assessment dates.
Should you require any reasonable adjustments, these will also need to be confirmed before the assessment is booked. These are considered on a case-by-case basis and you will likely be asked to provide supporting evidence from a healthcare professional for your request.
The SQE1 costs £1,622, while the SQE2 costs £2,493. This is an increase of 3.4% on previous fees.
Payment for both FLK1 and FLK2 will be taken at the same time, but you will need to book your dates separately. For SQE2, you can book both the oral assessment and written exam at the same time, at which point you will make payment.
You can pay online via usual payment methods, or if your training provider has given you a purchase voucher, you can use this to pay for your exams.
The vouchers do have expiry dates, but your provider should have detailed the dates you’re expected to sit the relevant assessments.
If you need to cancel your exam, there are fees associated with cancellation after booking. These fees vary depending on when you notify the SRA to cancel your booking and you will need to provide notification in writing via email (with an optional cancellation form you can use).
Cancellations within 14 days of booking for the SQE1 or SQE2 are fully refundable. Any cancellations of SQE1 within 48 hours of the exam won’t be refunded, while cancellations 14 days or less before the relevant SQE2 assessment window opens won’t be refunded.
If you cancel the SQE1 after 14 days but before the booking deadline, you’ll receive a full refund minus £30 for one of the two exams, or minus £60 if cancelling both. For the SQE2, anyone cancelling during this time will receive a full refund minus £250.
Cancelling one FLK1 or FLK2 of the SQE1 after the booking deadline, but over 48 hours in advance of the assessment, will incur a £608.25 charge, while cancelling both assessments will incur a £1216.50 charge.
If you cancel the SQE2 assessment after the booking deadline but over 14 days before the assessment window opens, this will result in a fee of £1,869.75. These amounts will be taken from your refund.
You can book your test at a number of Pearson VUE test centres, including a number of jurisdictions. However, the SQE2 Oral assessment can only be taken at two London locations, one Manchester location and one Cardiff location at this stage.
It’s important to note these are all UK locations and the cities available vary depending on the date, so be sure to double-check that your preferred city is an option when you consider the date you want to take the assessment.
Unlike the LNAT, you can’t book directly through the Pearson VUE website, and must use the specific SQE site. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, so take note of when registration opens for your chosen assessment window.
In the event you do not pass the SQE, candidates can resit both parts, though you are limited to three attempts for each part and you must have already received your results.
The results for SQE1 are released between 6-10 weeks after the assessment, while the results of SQE2 can be expected within 14-18 weeks. For all resits, you have a six-year limit from the first attempt of the first assessment.
Resits are not permitted for those who have passed the assessment, but are looking to improve their marks. You can only resit an assessment you have not passed.
If you feel there are mitigating circumstances that weren’t considered by the assessment board, the decision or result was unreasonable or demonstrated any irregularities, or you would like to dispute a finding of improper conduct, you can make a first-stage appeal.
After this, you can make a final appeal if the decision could again be deemed unreasonable or demonstrated irregularity. An appeals form is available within your SQE account, and this is what you need to use to formally appeal a decision.
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