The new SQE2 assessment is the second part of the assessed section of the new path towards qualifying as a lawyer. It looks to assess candidates on their practical skills and the ways in which they are able to implement the legal knowledge they will have developed through SQE1, and it will consist of a mix of oral and written papers.
Usually, you would take the SQE2 well into your qualifying legal work experience, having already done the SQE1 assessments before beginning your placement.
You’ll be allowed to resit the exams only if you’ve failed to pass. This pass mark is based on all of the assessments you take as part of SQE2, so if you fail one of the components, you’ll need to retake the SQE2 in another sitting.
How long do I have to wait before resitting SQE2?
Each exam will have two sittings a year, so you’ll be able to resit within six months. For the 2021-22 academic year, the SQE2 are planned for April and October 2022, with bookings closing two months before each session.
There are another two attempts available to you after your first sitting, although you’ll have to complete the exams within the six-year period set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If you’re taking the SQE2 at the same time as your training contract - or any other legal work experience, as set out by the new qualifying regulations - it might be the case that the course through which you prepared the SQE2 was set out by them. If you need to resit the exams, it would be a good idea to speak with them about your next course of action.
Ultimately, the new SQE format is intended to widen access to the legal profession, all the while maintaining the high academic standards that the SRA expects. This is why you’ll only be allowed another two tries at the exams and you’ll be expected to complete all of the requirements within the six years.