І. Methodology of preparation for SQE
Methodology is based on DISTRIBUTED LEARNING, PRACTICE-BASED LEARNING, and the use of MISTAKE DRIVEN LEARNING – with students encouraged to construct their own knowledge through experience, and to reflect on those experiences. The opportunities to construct knowledge are created by ACTIVE TEACHING. Underpinning this Methodology are four articulated premises:
(i) that learning produces meaningful knowledge,
(ii) that the opportunity to take risks, make wrong choices, and remedy the problem, stimulates long-term knowledge retention and comprehension,
(iii) that, in establishing a positive learning outcome, the primary role is played by self-directed learning – with learners assuming personal responsibility for planning and carrying out their learning activities,
(iv) that, drawing on their individual professional expertise, tutors encourage the student’s learning and reflection process by:
- identifying mistakes
- building on the learner’s current knowledge
- assessing the learner’s progress.
Fundamental to the Methodology are the concepts of:
(i) Active teaching,
(ii) Practice-based education,
(iii) Self-directed learning,
(iv) Mistake-driven learning,
(v) Distributed learning,
(vi) Rational approach to exam techniques.
ІІ. Preparation for SQE1
1. Components of SQE1 preparation
1.1. Methodology of conducting live lectures
The methodology of our live lectures is based on a collaborative structure, (designed as a dialogue between two lecturers in the form of an interview, discussion) and are conducted by practising lawyers, most of whom have personal experience in passing QLTS or SQE exams. The presence of two lecturers enlivens the lecture as a traditional form of learning and teaches students to compare, to look at the same phenomenon from different perspectives, and to perceive different points of view as complementary to each other. Using collaborative lectures has the following advantages:
– creates a higher level of materials perception;
– makes not only the content but also the form of presentation problematic, which activates the thinking of students and deepens their understanding;
– allows for conveying a larger amount of information by reconstructing the material and maintaining a high level of student attention and interest;
– enables to involve practising professionals normally specialising in the respective practice area, filling the content with practical specifics.
Our study programme stands out for its innovative approach to learning using our own online platform SUPEREXAM, which allows students to join the course at any time. We create conditions for mastering study materials faster, in contrast to traditional learning methods in higher education institutions.
Students are required to watch recorded lectures prior to attending live lectures on the same topic. Additionally, students can use lecture recordings to identify topics that they need further clarification on and prepare their own questions to ask the lecturers via the online platform. The lecturer can then use these questions and other concerns brought up by students to structure the subsequent lecture. We have provided examples of such lectures on our YouTube channel (please subscribe).
Multiple Choice Questions. Effective preparation requires not only theoretical training but also practical analysis of examination tests (Multiple Choice Questions or MCQs). All subjects are divided into groups. Each group has more theoretical subjects (referred to as substantive law) and more practical ones (areas of practice). Initially, students are given lectures on substantive law, and then on the corresponding practice areas. It is precisely at this second stage that we conduct an analysis of multiple choice questions – when students already have a more complex understanding of the material.
1.2. Recorded lectures and online library
We offer a 13-month subscription to lectures that grants students access to not only live lectures but also an online library of recorded lectures. Each lecture in our online library is divided into separate sections that focus on analysing a particular legal concept, topic, or issue, as shown in Figure 1 below.
This lecture format enables effective engagement with the material, saves students time, and maintains the structure of knowledge, which allows for flexible study planning. Additionally, the library provides supplementary materials for each lecture, including slides, notes, attachments with various forms and examples, links to relevant articles, and other educational resources.
Figure 1. Example of a recorded lecture
Our summary notes for each lecture are in the form of slides, allowing us to present the topic as a system of its component elements, using the methodology of synthesis and synergy (the interrelation with other component elements of this subject or group of subjects). Visual aids such as tables, charts, mind maps, and other tools are used to enhance the educational effect of the slides, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Example of a lecture slide
The lecture material is structured in a clear and concise manner, allowing students to grasp the main concepts and ideas more easily.
According to our approach, students are required to print out the lecture notes before watching the lecture. There are “blank” spaces on each slide where students can make additional handwritten notes, which helps to activate kinesthetic memory. In addition to visual perception, using this type of note-taking can be beneficial for activating other types of memory. Watching the lectures and making handwritten notes help students activate auditory, motor, and visual memory.
“Our approach is for the student to prepare the summary notes that they can then use in their future practical work.”
Therefore, watching the lectures, working with structured and visualised summary notes, and making handwritten notes enhance the process of mastering the study material and contribute to more effective learning.
1.4. Online Seminar Group Sessions
On demand, we conduct online practical seminars as part of the study programme for SQE1. If you subscribe to the ‘SQE1+SQE2 package,’ the video-recorded seminars are included in the package. Those seminars cover 5 areas of law:
- Criminal practice
- Dispute resolution
- Property practice
- Wills and administration of estates
- Business law
Such seminars are an important element of preparation, as they can help students learn how to apply the law in practice through specially designed case studies. During the seminar, the tutor and students work together to examine and analyse specific situations in a practical manner (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Online Seminar Group Session
At these seminars, students can see how the law is applied in practice and how to solve specific situations. As a result, students gain a better understanding of the material and more confidence in their knowledge, which increases their chances of passing the exam successfully. In addition, such seminars enable students to ask questions and discuss the most challenging aspects of the law, which promotes a deeper understanding and assimilation of the material.
1.5. MCQs and books
In addition to our lectures and notes, it is necessary to purchase one or more books on preparation for SQE1.
One of the most essential books that we recommend is “OUP SQE Prep & Practice” (Oxford University Press) – an electronic manual that contains 1200 MCQs and is available as a 12 month subscription. Oxford University Press, along with CLP, is considered the best publisher of law textbooks. Its main advantage is the large number of tests that were compiled by some of the best experts in England, who may well be the authors of the questions on the actual exam.
If necessary, we can suggest other relevant manuals.
1.6. Legal English online
For candidates with a low level of English proficiency, if necessary, we can organise a special LEGAL ENGLISH online course. This is a kind of “introduction to the profession”. The course is conducted in English and is built around explaining the concepts of English law. Students are provided with lectures for preview, and then they have practical sessions in a game-like format. These sessions are held in small groups (4-5 students and a tutor), where students have to explain the legal concepts and terms they learned during the lecture in terms of their content and meaning. The course currently consists of 12 lectures, 9 practical sessions in small groups (4-5 people), and covers three subjects: Contract Law, Tort, and Business & Commercial Law.
2. Organisation of SQE1 training
The SQE1 preparation time depends on a number of factors, including the level of language proficiency, the level of knowledge of English law, and personal commitments such as work and family:
- 6 months for students who have completed an LLB or GDL in England
- 13 months (on average) for students with an advanced level of English. We conducted research by surveying our graduates. We believe that students who have not studied LLB or GDL in England require such a preparation period, otherwise, there is a high risk that the candidate’s neural system may not be able to cope with the volume of information, and the acquired knowledge will be superficial and easily lost.
- 13 – 26 months – all others with a level lower than the advanced level of English.
“We believe that our approach to determining the preparation time involves not only preparing for the exam but also mastering the material with its further practical application.”
The course structure consists of the following groups of subjects:
|Group 1 Trust based|
2) Wills and the Administration of Estates
3) Land Law
4) Property Practice
|Group 2 Dispute resolution based|
3) Dispute Resolution
|Group 3 Criminal Law based|
1) Criminal Law
2) Criminal Practice
|Group 4 Public Law based|
1) Consti and Admin (certain topics will also relate to Criminal Practice)
2) English Legal System
3) Legal Services
4) Solicitors’ Accounts
|Group 5 Business Law based|
1) EU Law (also Public Law related)
2) Business Law and Practice
Based on our experience, it is preferable to start learning with the most difficult subjects that form the basis for mastering the next group of subjects, in particular, lecture group 1 “Trust based”. The structure of the preparation course consists of 2 stages:
2.1. Theoretical training ( ≈ 10 months)
А. Self-directed learning. Students are provided with a schedule for studying subjects, and they are guided on how to use self-study materials in the library. They independently review lectures, lecture notes, and read textbooks on the relevant topics. In case students have any questions about these subjects, they can ask them through the platform. The lecturers will then use these questions and issues to build the next lecture. In this way, students work through groups of subjects one after another, according to their own schedule. After transitioning to a new group of subjects, we recommend revising the previous group of subjects using flashcards provided to the student. At this stage, it is not necessary for the student to answer MCQs, but it is important to understand the content of the theoretical material and remember the basics.
B. Attending all live lectures according to the schedule, regardless of which subject they are currently studying within the self-directed learning method. Thus, elements of “distributed learning” are used here – learning material is distributed over time and structured in such a way that the student continuously revises the material, constantly adding new subjects or topics. This helps the neural network process the information and store it in long-term memory. So, attending lectures without prior preparation is the first step towards acquiring knowledge, which will then be deepened in the self-directed learning stage. Additionally, this method allows the student to form a general understanding of both the content and scope of all subjects and stimulates the development of English language skills.
2.2. Consolidation of knowledge and practice ( ≈ 3 months)
С. Practice makes perfect. There are two components here:
(і) Flashcards – a useful tool for revising previous material during theoretical preparation and building up residual knowledge.
(іі) A systematic revision of all subjects in turn with gradually decreasing time for each subject: the remaining time until the planned exam is divided among all subjects, and they are repeated in a cycle – initially devoting three days to each subject, then 2 days, then 1 day. Just before the exam, the student will be able to revise each subject in a few hours.
D. Mastering the art of answering MCQs. Each revision of each subject should end with answering MCQs (we suggest using OUP SQE Prep & Practice MCQs). This resource has smart features where you can compare the results of students preparing for the same exam and has many other advantages.
“Choosing high-quality MCQs is crucial. They must correspond to the level of questions on the exam. OUP and CLP are considered the best publishing houses in England for such university textbooks.”
At this stage, the candidate can already plan when to sit the exam. The student is considered ready for the exam when they confidently answer the questions and achieve a minimum of 70% correct answers in both FLK. It is important to focus exclusively on the questions in the last few days before the exam. Before each exam day, it is necessary to revise all subjects and rest well.
2.3. SQE1 exam
Registration for the exam (we can also assist with this) closes 7-8 weeks before the exam itself. This means that each candidate will need to make a decision approximately one month after entering the “CONSOLIDATION OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE” stage. It is necessary to take into account the level of final knowledge and how well the candidate is able to answer questions, assuming that they still have 2 months ahead. It is also important to consider workload at work (the candidate ideally should be able to take academic leave 2 weeks before the exam) and personal circumstances.
Cancellation after the registration: If a student is uncertain about their readiness to take the exam, they can withdraw. In this case, the assessment provider retains a certain amount from the paid exam fee, and the rest is returned to the candidate or the firm. The exact amount retained by the provider varies depending on when the cancellation is made:
- 2 weeks prior to the booking window closing (approximately 8-9 weeks before the exam) – £405.50 retained
- 4 weeks or fewer before the exam – £1216,50 retained
If there is a need to reschedule the exam, we will extend access to the materials for a small fee to cover the maintenance costs. In such a case, it may be necessary to extend the subscription to OUP SQE Prep & Practice or subscribe to other manuals with MCQs.
ІIІ. Preparation for SQE2
1. SQE2 study materials
The preparation for SQE2 is carried out using the following study materials:
1) Recorded lectures and online library – students have access to an online library with audio and video lectures covering 5 areas of law, as well as lectures on developing skills: client interview, advocacy, legal drafting, legal writing.
2) Demos (LIVE DEMOS: LEGAL THEATRE) – this is an online live-stream interview with a simulated client, which students attend as spectators. They receive instructions with an assignment and a request to attend the interview (a letter from a partner). The interview is conducted by a candidate from among the students preparing for SQE2, who is not familiar with the scenario for this interview. After the session, the spectators are provided with a facts sheet (facts that the candidate was supposed to elicit from the client) and a suggested attendance note.
3) Simulations (mock exams):
Client interview – similar to an actual exam – conducted online by experienced trainer-interviewers who act as clients. The interview lasts for 25 minutes, after which the trainer-interviewer thoroughly analyses how the student conducted the interview (approximately 20 minutes). A model answer with a legal analysis of the case is provided for each interview. The student can also analyse a case on their own and submit it for review. In this case, the attendance note will be individually marked and analysed by qualified tutors.
Advocacy – conducted by qualified solicitors of England and Wales (tutors). A 15-minute presentation by the student is followed by a 30-minute individual analysis and feedback from the tutor.
Case & Matter analysis – the student completes the written work online and submits it to the tutor for review. The tutoring solicitor marks the work, leaving comments in the draft text. The results of the assignment are discussed with the student during a 25-minute online meeting. Oral interaction with the tutor at this stage lasts up to 25 minutes.
Written assessments (Legal writing, Legal drafting and Legal research) are completed online and then individually marked by the tutoring solicitor, while legal writing sessions are additionally marked and analysed by a linguist. Feedback is provided to the candidate in written form, and these mocks do not involve oral communication with the tutor.
4) Online Seminar Group Sessions (OSGS) are held for students preparing for SQE2. Overall, there are 5 OSGSs, one for each area of law – Criminal practice, Dispute resolution, Property practice, Wills and administration of estates, and Business law. The duration of each seminar is up to 1.5 hours. Participation in the seminars does not require any additional preparation from the students. At the time of the seminars, students already possess sufficient knowledge to actively participate in the seminar. Participants are provided with short scenarios for discussion and analysis during the session. The seminars are conducted by qualified tutors.
2. Organisation of SQE2 training
Each student is provided with a recommended study plan, but they can fully modify it, according to their own needs. Over 5 years of training, we have clearly understood that each student is unique and have created the opportunity for them to change their own study programme during the preparation process. Moreover, this approach has an important pedagogical effect – “learning how to learn” and develops skills in “self-organisation” and “self-control”. Preparation for SQE2 is conducted through our online platform SUPEREXAM, which was specially developed to enable students to independently book their own classes. When booking a mock (written or oral), students can choose the date, time, and tutor that is most convenient for them.
3. SQE2 exam
Qualified lawyers can apply for exemptions from the SQE2 assessments. Others, who have completed comprehensive preparation for SQE1 (seminars and skill-based lectures), will already be halfway prepared for this exam. They will only need to practise Simulations and be able to take the next SQE2 exam after receiving their results from SQE1.
Is it true that both SQE 1 and SQE 2 can be taken in the same year?