Are SQE preparation courses necessary?
To help you prepare for the new SQE exams, a number of law firms are offering preparation courses. These allow you to learn more about what the exam involves, and gain access to valuable study resources. Although the courses are useful, they’re not for everyone, as this article will explain.
Are the SQE preparation courses mandatory?
The SQE preparation courses are designed to prepare students for the SQE1 and the SQE2, but they are not mandatory. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has even stated that the education and experience you have should provide you with the skills needed to pass the assessments. Instead, the courses are for those who feel they need additional support.
What are the disadvantages of taking a preparation course?
The biggest disadvantage is the cost, with typical prep courses costing around £5,000. The courses are also designed so you need to complete two (one for SQE1 and another for SQE2,) meaning you might be paying up to £10,000 to prepare. This doesn’t include the cost of the exams themselves (£3,980).
Another disadvantage is that the classes are quite structured, with regular practice assessments and personalised feedback from a tutor. While some students can find that this helps motivate them, you may prefer to go at your own pace. It depends on how you study.
What are the advantages of taking a preparation course?
SQE prep courses suit those who aren’t too confident in their legal ability, or struggle to motivate themselves to self-study. Although there aren’t any formal assessments, you’ll be able to complete regular practice assessments, and will even receive weekly individual feedback for a tutor.
Many courses provide you with additional resources, such as study manuals, textbooks and even the option to retake the course if you fail the exam.
How can I self-study for the exam?
Firstly, come up with a study schedule, detailing all your commitments until the exam. This way, you can work out when you have the time to study, and have scheduled time to relax as well. To make sure you know exactly what you need to study, the SRA website provides a detailed syllabus. You can use this to see what areas you are confident in, and which areas you might need to work on.
It’s also a good idea to get a hold of some textbooks and practice questions. There is a limited selection of practice questions available on the SRA’s website which you can also use as well, but it may be worth paying for a wider selection.
Finally, to help motivate yourself, why not organise study sessions with your friends? You could even share resources to keep the costs down.
However you plan on studying for the SQE, we wish you the best of luck.