Update on changes to SQE1

Sep 25, 2023

We are pleased to announce that we are increasing the number of SQE1 testing dates within each assessment window, as well as providing additional information to candidates when they receive their results.

SQE1 assessment dates from January 2024

We will be moving to week-long assessment windows for each of FLK1 and FLK2 from January 2024. The dates for the next assessment window are as follows:

  • FLK1: 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 January
  • FLK2: 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 January

The booking process will remain the same but with more dates available. Subject to availability, candidates will be able to pick whichever date in each week they prefer. For example, a candidate may prefer to sit FLK1 on Tuesday 16 January and FLK2 on Wednesday 24 January. Those sitting the assessments in different time zones will also benefit from less rigidity on exam start times. Please note that candidates will see the available test centres for each day when they are booking. Not all test centres will be available every day.

We have introduced this now that the SQE is more established to allow greater flexibility for candidates on assessments dates and improved test centre availability. All subsequent SQE1 assessment windows will follow this same pattern.

Scaled scoring

So that we can offer more choice to candidates about when they sit the assessment, but maintain the integrity of the assessment, there will be different papers in an assessment window. We will therefore be introducing a system of scaled scoring to enable us to still achieve accurate and fair comparisons between test takers. Scaled scores are routinely used in high stakes professional assessments, for example, in medicine, accountancy and the New York State Bar.

The number of questions a candidate answers correctly out of the 180 questions on each FLK is called the ‘raw’ score. If two individuals with the same ability take different papers their raw scores might differ due to the varying difficulty of the papers. Converting the raw score to a scaled score allows scores to be directly compared to reflect the candidates’ relative performance, despite any differences between the assessments.

Candidates will be given their raw score. They will also be given their mark expressed as a scaled score figure out of 500. The pass mark will always be 300.

SQE1 candidate results page

Following feedback from candidates, the candidate results page will now provide a breakdown of results by practice area as follows:

  • FLK1: Business Law and Practice, Dispute Resolution, Contract Law, Tort, Legal System, Legal Services, Ethics and professional conduct
  • FLK2: Ethics and professional conduct, Property Practice, Wills and Intestacy, Land law, Trust law, Criminal Liability, Criminal Law and Practice.

This will enable candidates to clearly see the practice areas they have performed best in and those where they may have not performed as well. By comparing these results against the information provided in the statistical report they will gain deeper insight on their relative performance. For those who may need to resit the assessment, this will assist in identifying areas of focus to better prepare for their next attempt.

This new, more detailed way of presenting results will be introduced for the January 2024 SQE1. We will update the website in the coming months with images of a results page and further explanation.

More information for training providers

As well as providing candidates with more information, we plan to share more data with training providers. Training providers will receive anonymised data on how their candidates have performed, as a group, in each practice area. This is to assist them in their course development. The data will include all candidates who have indicated on the monitoring and maximising diversity survey that they have trained with that training provider. We will only provide this data if there are sufficient entries in the survey from candidates so that they cannot be identified. We are still developing the exact format of the data we will provide but it will show performance of that group of candidates affiliated with that training provider by practice area.

This additional information will be made available from the January 2024 SQE1 sitting.