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How to Adapt to SQE Format: A Guide to Exam Success

How to Adapt to SQE Format: A Guide to Exam Success

Preparing for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) can be a challenging and intense process. The new format introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires candidates to approach the exams differently compared to the previous system. In this guide, we will provide you with essential tips and strategies to adapt to the SQE format and achieve success in your exams.

Understanding the SQE Format

The SQE consists of two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. SQE1 focuses on the application of legal knowledge and is divided into two parts: functioning legal knowledge (FLK) and practical legal skills (PLS).

FLK tests your understanding of the core legal principles and concepts, while PLS assesses your ability to apply that knowledge to practical scenarios. SQE2 assesses your practical legal skills, including dispute resolution, advocacy, interviewing, and drafting.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the format and content of each stage to tailor your study approach effectively.

1. Create a Study Plan

A well-structured study plan is crucial for effectively preparing for the SQE exams. Start by breaking down the syllabus into manageable topics and allocate specific time periods for each subject. Consider your strengths and weaknesses and allocate more time for challenging areas.

Refer to reputable resources and study materials, including the recommended textbooks, to ensure you have the necessary content knowledge. Remember to also incorporate practice questions and mock tests into your study plan to assess your progress and identify areas that need improvement.

For more information on resources and tips for success in the Property Practice area of the SQE, check out this SQE Prep: Essential Tips and Resources for Success in Property Practice article.

2. Practice Time Management

Time management is crucial during the SQE exams, as you will have a limited amount of time to answer each question. To adapt to the format, practice answering questions within the allocated time limits. This will help you develop the necessary skills to effectively manage your time during the actual exams.

Your study plan should include timed mock tests and practice sessions to simulate the exam conditions. This will also help you identify areas where you tend to spend too much time and allow you to work on improving your speed and efficiency.

For interactive SQE mock tests specifically designed for the Property Practice area, visit this Interactive SQE Mock Tests for Property: Sharpen Your Skills for Exam Success article.

3. Develop Analytical Skills

The SQE exams require candidates to critically analyze scenarios and apply legal principles and concepts to real-world situations. To succeed, you must develop strong analytical skills.

Practice reading and analyzing case scenarios, identifying relevant facts, and applying the appropriate legal principles. This will help you enhance your ability to spot issues and provide well-reasoned solutions or advice.

In addition to case scenarios, familiarize yourself with sample legal documents, such as contracts, agreements, and leases. Analyze these documents to understand the structure, language, and legal implications.

4. Stay Updated with Current Developments

Stay up to date with the latest legal developments, especially in your chosen practice areas. The SQE exams aim to assess your ability to apply legal knowledge in practice, so it is essential to be aware of recent changes in legislation, important cases, and legal trends.

Stay informed through legal news publications, relevant journals, and authoritative sources. Incorporate current developments into your study plan and practice incorporating them into your answers.

For comprehensive insights into joint ownership and legal considerations for co-owners of property, read this Joint Ownership: Legal Considerations for Co-Owners of Property article.

5. Enhance Your Drafting Skills

The SQE2 exams require candidates to demonstrate their drafting skills in various legal scenarios. To excel in this aspect, dedicate time to practice drafting different types of legal documents, such as contracts, letters, and pleadings.

Review examples of well-drafted legal documents and identify key elements, formatting conventions, and language used. Pay attention to clarity, precision, and attention to detail. Develop a checklist or template for each type of document to ensure you cover all necessary components.

For essential insights into commercial leases and drafting tips for business premises, check out this Commercial Leases: Essential Insights for Business Premises article.

6. Prioritize Exam Technique

While it is important to have a strong grasp of legal knowledge, the SQE exams also evaluate your exam technique and ability to navigate through complex questions. In addition to practicing past papers and mock tests, focus on developing effective exam techniques.

Read the exam questions carefully, identify the key components, and plan your answer before starting to write. Structure your answers logically and include relevant legal principles and supporting reasoning. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points where appropriate to enhance clarity and organization.


Adapting to the SQE format requires careful planning, effective study strategies, and continuous practice. Create a structured study plan, develop analytical and drafting skills, stay updated with current legal developments, and prioritize exam technique to maximize your chances of success.

For a better understanding of tenant rights in the UK and your legal protections, refer to this Tenant Rights in the UK: Understanding Your Legal Protections article.

Remember to remain focused, motivated, and confident in your abilities. Good luck with your SQE exams!






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