Sep 29, 2021

Written By Helena Kudiabor

Can you fail the SQE?

Sep 29, 2021

Written By Helena Kudiabor

One fear that many have about the new SQE qualifying route is that it is made up of exams, and many people naturally struggle with test-taking. If you are in this position, you may be wondering if it is possible to fail the SQE and what happens in this scenario.

Unlike aptitude tests, like the Watson Glaser test where there is no defined pass or fail mark, both the SQE1 and the SQE2 have pass marks which change depending on the difficulty of the test and how the other candidates have performed. Thus, while it is possible to fail the SQE, you will be able to take it again if you do.


When will I receive my results?

You will receive your results approximately six to ten weeks after sitting SQE1, and 14-18 weeks after sitting SQE2. You will receive a confirmed date shortly before your assessment. Once your results are out, you will receive an email and will be able to see them once you log in to your SQE account. They will not be posted or emailed to you, but you can save them as a PDF for future reference.

The results you see will include: your overall mark as a percentage, the pass mark for the exam, whether you pass or fail, how many attempts, the date you sat the assessment, candidate quintiles and the date the results were published to your account. Quintiles divide the candidates into five equal groups, which allows you to compare your performance to everyone else.

What do I need to do to pass?

In order to pass the SQE, you must pass both SQE1 and SQE2. SQE1 consists of two exams, FLK1 and FLK2, and you must achieve the necessary mark in both to pass SQE1 as a whole. So, if you failed FLK1 but passed FLK2, you would have to retake both sections. You must also pass both SQE1 and SQE2 in order to be able to apply to become a solicitor.

How can I retake the exam?

If you fail any part of the SQE at the first attempt (FLK1, FLK2, SQE2), you will be able to retake them. If you fail either FLK1 or FLK2 you will pay £779 to retake one of them. However, if you fail both you will have to pay the full £1, 558 to retake. If you fail SQE2, you will need to pay £2,422. You cannot resit an exam just because you are unhappy with your results. Although you can retake the exam, there are limits as to how many times you can do so. If you fail any part of the SQE, you will have two further chances to retake them.

However, you have six years from the day you take the first SQE exam to complete the whole course. Thus, if you fail any part of the SQE three times in this six year period, you must wait until the six year period expires before you are able to reapply. In this instance, previous passes will not be brought forward. For example, if you pass FLK1 but fail FLK2 three times, you will have to retake FLK1 as well once the six year period has passed.

Can I appeal my results?

If you disagree with the results of your exam, you can make an appeal. Further details of the SRA’s appeal policy will be released after the first SQE exams; in any case, you will have to pay £100. If an error is found, this will be refunded. If you still disagree with this decision, you can submit another appeal costing £350, and a final appeal costing £850. Again, all fees will be refunded if an error is found.

Although many are anxious about the fact that the SQE has exam components, candidates will receive detailed information about their performance as well as the chance to retake.