The SQE2 exam will consist of a mix of both oral and written assessments, as it looks to test you on practical legal skills all the while building on the Functioning Legal Knowledge that the SQE1 is based on. As part of the SRA’s new route to qualifying as a solicitor, it will be the final assessed step before you can begin to apply for qualification, once you’ve completed your two years’ worth of Qualifying Work Experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin working towards it.
Take a preparation course
Just like the SQE1, this second part of the new qualifying route’s exam component doesn’t include a compulsory course. This means that a range of training courses will be offered by institutions across the country - for instance, The University of Law.
It’s worth noting that each course will be tailored to a different academic background - if you’ve graduated from a non-law undergraduate degree, you should apply to those that act as conversion courses as well as preparing you for the SQE.
In addition, if you’ve secured a placement in the industry such as a training contract, it’s possible that your future employer has already developed a preparation course in partnership with one of the providers, so you should check with them before beginning your preparation.
Practice your communication skills
As you’re likely to be taking the SQE2 well into your training contract or other Qualifying Work Experience, you will have probably already gained some professional experience when it comes to the skills that are tested in the exam, such as advocacy, client interviewing and legal drafting. Nevertheless, you should practice these scenarios - in a real situation or trial run - as much as possible before the exam.
Brush up on Functioning Legal Knowledge
Although this won’t be the main focus of the exams, you should bear in mind that the content that was covered in SQE1 will still be assessed throughout SQE2, especially as it is considered the base knowledge that a newly qualified solicitor should have.
Beyond preparing for what’ll come up on the exam, you should also keep up to date with the administrative side of things: the SQE2 exam will come into force from the 2021/22 academic year, and you’ll be able to take it on two occasions in the year - April and October. You’ll need to sign up for these at least two months in advance, so make sure you don’t miss any deadlines!