SQE update: sample questions for stage 1 exams released

updated on 10 January 2020

Sample questions for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) stage 1 assessments have been released by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Stage 1 of the SQE (SQE1) covers “functioning legal knowledge”, with SQE2 covering practical skills. SQE1 is designed to test how candidates would apply their legal knowledge to real-life situations through a series of multiple-choice questions. The SRA has published 90 sample questions to help students and law schools understand the format of the assessment and its level of difficulty.

Download this PDF to view the SQE1 sample questions.

SQE1 will consist of two exams of 180 questions each, for a total of 360 questions overall.

The first exam will cover:

  • business law and practice;
  • dispute resolution;
  • contract;
  • tort;
  • legal system of England and Wales;
  • constitutional and administrative law; and
  • EU law and legal services.

Sample questions 1-45 focus on these areas.

The second exam will cover:

  • property practice;
  • wills and the administration of estates;
  • solicitors accounts;
  • land law;
  • trusts; and
  • criminal law and practice.

These areas are covered by sample questions 46-90.

The SRA says that “the pass mark for each sitting of the SQE will be set by the Exam Board. The pass mark for the SQE will vary between different sittings of the assessment, to make sure that the standard of the assessment remains consistent from one sitting to the next. On these two sets of 45 questions, the pass mark would be likely to be in the range 55% - 60%.”

The regulator is still deciding whether to include a skills assessment in SQE1. A decision will be made this year, with the SRA confirming that “if we decide to include a skills assessment in the final SQE1, it will, at most, cover legal research, analysis and writing skills.”