SQE Retakers: Overcoming Hurdles on the Path to Solicitor Qualification

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is a pivotal milestone on the journey to becoming a solicitor in England and Wales. However, for some aspiring solicitors, the road to qualification may not be as straightforward as hoped. Whether due to unforeseen circumstances, exam pressure, or other factors, some candidates end up having to retake one or more parts of the SQE.

A Guide for SQE Retakers

If you unfortunately didn't pass SQE1, its part, or SQE2, don't be discouraged. Remember, you have up to 3 attempts to pass each part of the SQE, so don't give up.

The most important thing to do after receiving disappointing results is to analyse your mistakes. The best approach is to use your results themselves, such as a detailed breakdown of SQE2 marks. For more information on how to analyse your results, refer to the article: Decoding the SQE2 Exam Results.

Note, we provide the opportunity for a free analysis of your SQE2 breakdown. If you require this service, please book a call at https://calendly.com/info-sqe-superexam/30min.

SQE Retakers

Most Common Reasons for Failure in SQE


  • Lack of Legal Knowledge

This includes relying solely on self-study, not fully grasping legal concepts, neglecting to read law books, or reading them without retaining the information due to insufficient focus and revision.

  • Insufficient Practice with SQE1 Sample Questions

It's crucial to dedicate time to practising SQE1 MCQs, especially in the 2-3 months leading up to the exam.

  • Combination of 1 and 2

Often, failure can be attributed to a combination of lacking knowledge and practice. Addressing both areas is key to improving your chances of SQE success.


  • Lack of Understanding of SQE Exam Techniques

Not knowing how to approach the practical SQE stations effectively.

  • Insufficient Practice

Not practising enough with past papers and SQE1 one-to-one mock exams.

  • Lack of Individual Feedback

Ideally, these SQE mock stations should include personal feedback from the assessor. Self-assessment can be quite challenging, as individuals may not always be objective in evaluating their own performance. The model answers are not very helpful either, as they offer a one-sided approach.

Addressing these common reasons for failure can significantly improve your chances of success in retaking the SQE exams.

Additional Support for SQE1 Retakers: Prep Packages

For SQE1 retakers, the journey to qualification may benefit from additional support in the form of prep packages for FLK1 and FLK2. These packages are carefully curated to address the specific challenges faced by candidates who need to retake one or both parts of the SQE1 exam.

SQE1 FLK1 package

The FLK1 prep package focuses on strengthening your understanding of the following practice areas:

  • Business law and practice

  • Dispute resolution

  • Contract 

  • Tort

  • Legal system, public law, legal services

SQE1 FLK2 package

Similarly, the FLK2 prep package is designed to enhance your preparation for the second part of the SQE1 exam. It covers:

  • Property

  • Wills and estates

  • Solicitors accounts

  • Land law

  • Trust

  • Criminal law and practice

The SQE1 FLK packages include comprehensive study materials, pre-recorded lectures, concise notes, flashcards, practice questions, and access to online resources to help you refine your knowledge and approach.

Explore comprehensive SQE1 training solutions for SQE1 retakers here.

By enrolling in these SQE1 prep packages, you can benefit from expert guidance and support tailored to your specific needs as a SQE retaker. Whether you struggled with specific topics or simply need a refresher on key concepts, these packages can help you focus your efforts and maximise your chances of success in your SQE1 retake.

Overall, the prep packages for SQE1 retakers are designed to be comprehensive, flexible, and supportive, providing you with the tools and resources needed to approach your retake with confidence and determination. Consider enrolling in these packages as part of your SQE preparation strategy and take advantage of the support and guidance they offer as you work towards qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales.

SQE Fees

Beginning September 2023, the SRA raised fees for the SQE assessments, resulting in an overall 11% increase.


The total fee is £1,798, with £899 allocated to each of the two Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) assessments. These SQE1 assessments test your understanding of key legal principles and concepts across various practice areas.


For SQE2, the fee is £2,766. This fee covers the assessment of your skills in practical legal tasks, such as client interviewing, advocacy, matter analysis and legal research, drafting and writing. 

These fees are VAT exempt, providing some relief to candidates facing additional expenses.

Resit Fees

In the unfortunate event that you need to retake the SQE exam, the resit fees vary depending on the circumstances. For SQE1, if you fail either FLK1 or FLK2, you will pay £899 to retake the specific exam. If you fail both FLK1 and FLK2, you will need to pay the full SQE1 fee of £1,798 to retake both exams. Similarly, for SQE2, if you fail the exam, you will need to pay the full amount of £2,766 for a retake.

It is crucial to note that under no circumstances can candidates resit an assessment they have passed to improve their marks.

Clerical Check and Appeals

In the pursuit of qualification as a solicitor through the SQE, it's crucial to have confidence in the fairness and accuracy of the assessment process. To address any concerns regarding the calculation or collation of your exam score, the SQE provides the option of a clerical check. There is a one-off charge of £100 for this service. If an error is found, the fee will be refunded to you.

In the event that you wish to appeal the decision of the SQE Award Board, there are two stages of appeal available. 

  • The first stage appeal carries a fee of £350, which is refunded if your appeal is upheld. 

  • The final appeal, if necessary, carries a fee of £850, also refunded if your appeal is upheld.

Moving Forward with Confidence

Retaking the SQE1 or SQE2 exam can be a challenging experience, but it's important to approach it with a positive mindset. Utilise the resources available to you, such as tailored SQE1 prep packages, and consider seeking guidance from experienced professionals who can provide valuable insights. Remember, the SQE is just one step on your journey to becoming a solicitor.

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