SQE2 pass rate up 2% in latest results

updated on 29 November 2023

Reading time: two minutes

The latest results for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) assessments have been released with the overall pass rate of the summer 2023 sittings of SQE2 at 79% – up 2% compared to the April/May 2023 sittings.

According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) latest report, 1,004 candidates took the SQE2 assessments between July and August this year, with 82% passing first time.

As per the diversity and socio-economic data that the SRA collects, the SQE2 pass rate for Black/Black British candidates was up from 52% to 67%, while the pass rate for those in “other ethnic groups” saw a jump from 55% (in spring) to 83%. The pass rate for:

  • Asian/Asian British candidates was 73% (compared to 71% in spring);
  • mixed/multiple ethnic groups was 87% (compared to 84% in spring); and
  • white candidates was 87% (compared to 90% in spring).

Meanwhile, there was a reported difference in pass rates between candidates who said either of their parents had attended university by the time they were 18 (86%) and those whose hadn’t (79%). Plus, candidates with a higher degree classification also performed slightly better – the pass rate for candidates with a:

  • first-class degree was 93%
  • 2:1 was 84%; and
  • 2:2 was 47% (only 6% of candidates reported a 2:2 degree).

Candidates who attended a non-selective, state-run/state-funded school made up 32% of the candidates and had a pass rate of 81%, while students from an independent or fee-paying school made up 17% of the candidates and had a pass rate of 93%.

Candidates who had undertaken qualifying work experience performed worse than those who hadn’t – 75% compared to 91%. Plus, there was little difference in the pass rate between female (83%) and male (81%) candidates, while the pass rate for those selecting “prefer not to say” in this category was 83%.

The SQE2 is made up of 16 practical exercises (four oral assessments and 12 written skills assessments) to test candidates’ practical legal skills and knowledge.

Find out more about what to expect from the SQE assessments in: ‘SQE assessments: what to expect’ and visit the SQE hub, sponsored by The University of Law, for more information.