top of page
  • Writer's pictureNadia Cook

Studying the SQE - Where to start?

Are you considering embarking on the journey to become a solicitor in England and Wales? The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), introduced in 2021, has reshaped the pathway to entering the legal profession. It is the new route for qualifying as an England & Wales Solicitor in the UK.

Whether you're a recent graduate, a working paralegal, or shifting from a completely different career, understanding where to begin with the SQE can be daunting...

This short and snappy guide is designed to demystify the process, offering you study support group options and highlighting those to follow who have or are engaged in SQE study. The guide also shares places to find FREE resources to ensure that you are well-prepared for this challenging yet exciting new qualification route.

The SQE was brought to inception by The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) with the aim of improving access to the legal profession. You will require a degree (in any subject) and also to pass SQE1 and SQE2 exams in order to qualify. In addition to this, you will need to undertake two years of 'qualifying work experience' QWE.*

​*Good News... If you are already a qualified Solicitor in Scotland, you will only have to sit the exams for SQE1 and will (circumstances dependant) most likely receive an exemption for the SQE2 exam and the two-years of QWE requirement. However please do ensure that you check your own personal circumstances with the Law Society.

Follow others on social media who are or have been on the SQE Journey


@diaryofansqestudent has really helpful Q&A saved to their highlights, check them out!

@thatlawblog a legal apprentice has a highlight on Barbri SQE and has some prep course discount codes too!

@legaltabs provides her own candid thoughts on studying the SQE - she explains how she planned her study and how she chose a course provider.

@inhousew shares her SQE 1&2 hints & tips and what to expect when sitting the exams

Join a support group

Joining a group chat or social media group page, which includes other candidates who are currently studying the SQE can be a really valuable way to keep yourself accountable and motivated.

Invest in SQE notes and reading materials

Here are a few to get you started, make sure you research what types of materials suit your learning style ...

TOP TIP: Apparently there are lots of people selling SQE secondhand materials and textbooks on facebook marketplace, worth a look!

Considering studying a prep course - yea or nae ?

Maybe you are asking yourself the question: Can I cut costs of a prep-course and self-study using second hand text books instead?

Legal Cheek has opened up a discussion forum on this, which you can find here.

Long story short... it is possible but not advisable. Legal Cheek explain why in their SQE FAQ section.

Which provider should I study the SQE with?

Again, Legal Cheek comes to our rescue again here... by helpfully providing a list of SQE providers. There are a LOT, they vary in price and some have scholarships available too - do your research!

TOP TIP: Keep your eyes peeled for discount codes offered by 'lawfluencers' or by the course providers themselves.

Make use of the free resources already out there

Legal Cheek - SQE preparation platform - includes sample SQE1 questions and answers, an SQE1 taster lesson and revision and assessment advice.

Download My Legal Career's FREE SQE1 Specification Breakdown.

Access Flex Legal's SQE Journal and FREE QWE tracking tool

Law Answered's FREE guide on how to Master MCQs and smash your SQE exams

Some helpful insights from others

I hope the snapshot above of SQE materials is helpful for you to get you started, and all the best of luck on your SQE journey!


Views expressed in guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Scottish Lawyer.

The copyright of this work (other than credit provided above) is owned by The Scottish Lawyer. Please do not republish this work without permission. If you wish to re-post this work either in whole or in part, please contact


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page