SQE Pass Rate: SRA Update

New SQE 1 Scoring System

Table of Contents

Changes to SQE1 Scoring Methodology

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced significant changes in how scores for the SQE1 (Solicitors Qualifying Examination) are calculated. This blog post breaks down what these changes mean for you, especially if you’re preparing for future exams.

The Old System: Variable Pass Scores

The SQE1 exam is split into two assessments called functioning legal knowledge assessments (FLK) which compose of FLK 1 and FLK 2. Historically, the SQE 1 exam didn’t have a fixed pass score. Instead, it varied, reflecting the difficulty of each exam paper. For instance, in the July 2023 sitting, the passing scores were 53% for SQE FLK 1 and 52% for SQE FLK 2. Comparatively, in the January 2023 sitting, the results were 57% for SQE FLK 1 and 56% for SQE FLK 2. Therefore, these slightly higher scores, indicate a difference in the difficulty levels of the exams.

The New System: Fixed Pass Scores and Scaled Scoring

Starting from January 2024, the SRA is introducing a new scoring system for SQE1:

Week-Long Assessment Windows:

To maintain the exam’s integrity, each sitting will have different exam papers.

The upcoming assessment window is scheduled for the following dates:

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

Pre-set Pass Score:

The pass score for SQE 1 is now fixed at 60% (or 300 out of 500). You will need to pass both the FLK 1 and the FLK 2 to pass the SQE 1.

Calculation of Scores:

Raw Data Score: The raw data score is based on the number of correct answers out of 180 questions on each FLK exam. From the correct answers out of 180, this raw score is converted to a score out of 500. For example, to attain the pass score for SQE 1 (of 60%) you would need to attain a score of 108 out of 180 on the particular FLK exam.

Scaled Score: The SRA will adjust the raw data score considering the difficulty level of each paper. This means your final score will be out of 500. Taking the last example, with regard to the score of 108 out of 180, when your paper is marked this new score will be converted to a scaled score of 300 out of 500.

Impact on Candidates

This change aims to standardise scoring and better reflect the exam’s difficulty level. As a candidate, you will receive both your raw score and the scaled score. This approach ensures fairness, as the level of difficulty is factored into the final score.

Detailed Performance Breakdown

Another significant addition is the detailed performance analysis for each practice area in the FLK:

FLK1 covers: Business Law, Dispute Resolution, Contract, Tort, the Legal System of England and Wales, Constitutional and administrative law and retained EU Law and Legal Services.  

FLK2: Encompasses areas like Property Practice, Wills and Intestacy, Land Law, Trusts, Criminal Litigation, Criminal Law and Practice.

Across both FLK 1 and FLK 2 ethics and professional conduct issues will also be examined.

This feedback will be invaluable in identifying your strengths and areas for improvement.

Implications for Training Providers

Training providers will also receive anonymised data on their candidates’ performance. This information will be instrumental in refining teaching methods and could influence your choice of a training provider.

Decision Time: Self-Study vs. Institution-Based Preparation

Making the right choice between self-study and enrolling with an institution is crucial. For guidance on this decision, click here for insights and tips.

For more information on this important update click here

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