SQE vs. Bar Exam: Understanding the Key Differences

Title: SQE vs. Bar Exam: Understanding the Key Differences


Are you considering a career in the legal profession? If so, you may already be aware of the traditional Bar Exam that aspiring lawyers in the United States must take. However, there’s a new player in town – the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) in the United Kingdom. In this blog post, we will delve into the key differences between the SQE and the Bar Exam, helping you make an informed decision about which path to pursue.

1. Format:

The Bar Exam: The Bar Exam is typically divided into two parts – the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and the state-specific portion. The MBE consists of multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of core legal principles, while the state-specific portion assesses your understanding of local laws and regulations.

The SQE: The SQE, on the other hand, is divided into two stages – SQE1 and SQE2. SQE1 focuses on fundamental legal knowledge and is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam. SQE2 is a practical assessment that tests skills such as interviewing clients, drafting legal documents, and advocacy.

2. Content:

The Bar Exam: The Bar Exam covers a wide range of legal subjects, including constitutional law, criminal law, contracts, evidence, and more. It requires extensive memorization and understanding of complex legal concepts. Each state may have variations in the subjects tested.

The SQE: The SQE also covers various legal subjects, but with a more skills-focused approach. It tests your ability to apply legal knowledge to practical situations. The content is designed to reflect the tasks and responsibilities of solicitors, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the demands of legal practice.

3. Preparation:

The Bar Exam: Bar Exam preparation typically involves attending law school and completing a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Law school programs provide comprehensive instruction on legal principles and offer bar review courses to help students prepare for the exam.

The SQE: The SQE does not require a specific law degree or formal legal education. However, it does require thorough preparation through SQE1 and SQE2 preparation courses. These courses help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills to pass the exam successfully. Practice exams, such as the SQE1 Practice Exam Questions and SQE1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2, can be valuable resources in your preparation.

4. Exam Dates:

The Bar Exam: The Bar Exam is administered on specific dates determined by each state’s bar association. Exams are typically held twice a year, and you must register well in advance to secure a spot.

The SQE: The SQE will have set exam dates established by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). It is important to keep an eye on SRA SQE Exam Dates and plan your study schedule accordingly. Being aware of the exam dates will help you stay on track and prepare effectively.


Whether you choose to take the SQE or the Bar Exam, both paths lead to a rewarding career in the legal field. The Bar Exam offers the traditional route in the United States, while the SQE presents a fresh approach in the United Kingdom. Consider your strengths, preferences, and career goals when making your decision.

Seeking SQE 1 or SQE 2 preparation courses? Visit our website to explore SQE 1 Preparation Courses and SQE 2 Preparation Courses, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the SQE. Good luck on your journey to becoming a solicitor!

Related Articles:
SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions
SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2
SQE 2 Preparation Courses
SQE 1 Preparation Courses
SRA SQE Exam Dates






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