OSCEsmart Student Testimonials

What you will read in this post

    We have years of experience helping foreign-qualified lawyers to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales through the QLTS regime, and we continue to help all aspiring candidates to pass the SQE assessments to achieve their dream. It is always a thrill for us to see our students succeed and take their final steps towards practising as qualified solicitors.

    Some of our past students have very generously volunteered to express their gratitude and share their experience of using our dedicated training service, which includes lecture videos, study materials, and 1-to-1 SQE mock tests and practice questions with individual feedback. Check out their video feedback below to learn more about how we supported these solicitors and how we can help you to accomplish your goals.

    *These videos are not professionally produced but recorded directly by our past students. What they may lack in terms of crystal clear sound and video quality is more than compensated by the honesty and authenticity of their feedback 😉


    Noreen is a data protection lawyer with a background in the LPC

    I would say the ideal preparation time is between 5-8 months for people with an LPC background.

    You can’t approach the exam without doing mocks because they prepare you. They help you manage the exam’s time pressure, which is crucial, especially for areas like SQE2 advocacy. I recall my preparation for the criminal advocacy paper, which involved reviewing 15 pages of material. Doing mock exams with similar content accustomed me to handling large amounts of information. So, mocks are essential in preparing for the exam.

    With my existing legal experience, I saw the exam as a path to qualifying as a solicitor, so I decided to sit for it.

    I actually took a career break. I’m back in the UK now, but I traveled for a while. I got my results when I was out of the country. I did a little bit of work online, but now that I’m back, I’m looking for a new job.

    I would advise ensuring a solid understanding of the law and its principles. Also, for skills practice, don’t procrastinate. Cover each area thoroughly. For legal drafting, ensure you’ve seen legal documents before the exam. Don’t leave business law until the last minute; revise alongside other topics. Try to enjoy the exam; aspects like SQE2 advocacy and interviewing are areas where you can excel. Target the exam as challenging but find enjoyment in some parts.

    Read the full interview

    Taha is a qualified solicitor with a non-law background

    I’d say that SQE1 is a different ball game compared to SQE2. SQE1 consists of multiple-choice questions. Yes, it requires a lot of hard work, and there are many aspects one must consider. Particularly for someone coming from a non-law background, it can be quite difficult to grasp. Initially, I aimed to complete SQE2 within four months of finishing SQE1, but I reconsidered because I realised its depth and feasibility weren’t aligning with my timeline. So, instead of sitting the exam in April 2022, I rescheduled it for October 2022.

    Do as many SQE2 mock sessions as possible. It’s not just about theory; it’s about practical application. Additionally, since it’s a skill-based exam, it’s crucial to focus on improving those SQE skills alongside theoretical knowledge. That’s why I sought out additional assistance, particularly for honing my advocacy and client interview skills. I found the Academy of Smart Lawyers to be immensely helpful in this regard.

    Many tend to underestimate SQE2 skills. They might think, “Oh, it’s just an interview. I’ll be fine.” But I’ve learned that’s not the case. When I did SQE2 mocks, the feedback surprised me. The ideas I thought were irrelevant turned out to be crucial. The skill set I thought was least important became vital. I applied those lessons in the exam, and it made a significant difference.

    I initially utilised [training provider] for the material. However, I felt the need for additional practice and support. Despite it being quite late in my preparation process, I sought assistance from the Academy of Smart Lawyers. You provided the targeted help I needed, especially in areas where I was weak such as SQE advocacy and interview skills. Despite the proximity to the exam, the Academy helped me refine these areas, making my preparation more effective.

    I initially utilised [training provider] for the material. However, I felt the need for additional practice and support. Despite it being quite late in my preparation process, I sought assistance from the Academy of Smart Lawyers. You provided the targeted help I needed, especially in areas where I was weak such as SQE advocacy and interview skills. Despite the proximity to the exam, the Academy helped me refine these areas, making my preparation more effective.

    Read the full interview


    Neha Sachde has built a successful career in reputable law firms of India and Bahrain, now a dual-qualified solicitor and a member of the Corporate Commercial team

    It was a wonderful journey, and I’m so happy that I had OSCEsmart helping me throughout this journey. Really, it has played such a wonderful and important role that I cannot thank you enough, honestly.

    I come from a common law jurisdiction and I’m an Indian qualified lawyer. Solicitors from the UK are something that is different from the system where I come from. So, everything that I did here – the examination itself was different because I never have attended such kind of assessment before. Whatever we do in the Indian legal system is more based on your memory skills. You just memorise and write your answers. But here the entire way this examination is held is based on your actual skills. The amount of pressure that you have while you do the examination is something that is really difficult, and this is where you need help, guidance, all kind of tips and tricks, and expertise. This is where OSCEsmart comes in. Definitely, it was a difficult examination and OSCEsmart helps in the client interview – the way they keep the mocks, the facts, the scenarios – they are intertwined into so many things. And the way they [interviewers] do not reveal the entire picture, and you need not miss on the bigger picture. So, you need to knock him, and you need to ask the client, who is the interviewer from OSCEsmart, for information which is very very difficult. They teach you how to manage your skills, what kind of questions to ask, how much information they can give, and how alert your brain has to be – so, you don’t miss anything.

    Definitely not. Cracking this examination is not easy without any guidance. The way the examination is composed is something that is not usual. When you perform as a practicing lawyer nobody is assessing you in a way that they are marking you on your skills … Clients are more outcome-based, they want to know what has to be done. But this exam is more about marks – you have to check literally each and every box which you don’t know. So, that only comes with guidance and definitely, OSCEsmart has done a lot and I wouldn’t have done it though I am a practicing lawyer.

    I took the MCT in 2020 and got my results in March. After that, I was planning to complete the OSCE examination in the same year. But since there happened a COVID crisis I couldn’t do it. My preparation never stopped … and I finally appeared for my examination in 2022.

    It was not possible to dedicate the entire day to studying. I had to literally struggle with time because I’m full-time working, and I have a six-year-old daughter. So, my schedule was – first I go to work and then come home to do things for my daughter, for my family and then study for at least three hours every day, and at least 5 hours on weekends … I would also say that it is so necessary to be disciplined because if you don’t follow your everyday target of studying, you literally get lost … I thought I should complete my studying in four months but I failed. Then I reframed my timetables, subjects and the topics that I can cover daily. I can say it literally took me eight to nine months to prepare for the examination.

    It was two times, and Legal Theater is something that does not go with my personality. I like to keep myself as an introvert person but this is something that not only helped to develop my skills from the examination perspective but also to be an extrovert person. When you perform in a theater you have that phobia that there are so many people who are looking at you … Legal Theater is such a winning situation for myself as well as for the spectators because if I perform something good then, of course, I know that I did very well. But if I perform not up to the standards, then the spectators will not only see a version of themselves in me making such mistakes and they will never make it.

    Do you think that this is an important preparation activity for the audience?
    Yes, definitely. When I was performing in the theater, the question that was given or sent to me was just a couple of hours before as it is in the examination. These questions are never practiced in the mocks, they are completely new. And what I remember is they were really set at a higher level even as compared to the mocks: the one issue is intertwined into five different issues. Definitely, this live streaming is important and helpful for the spectators.

    Do you think that it’s enough for the candidates to just watch one or two Legal Theatre sessions and conduct no mocks to pass the exam?
    Definitely, you should add it [Legal Theatre] to the preparation. Each and every phase of preparing for this examination plays a different kind of role. … When you see someone else performing – that is also different and has its own importance.

    First reading, maybe rereading several times. Then another strategy that you have referred to is watching someone conducting mocks and benefiting from the performance, from the feedback, and finally practicing on your own which cannot be replaced by anything. Do you agree with that?
    I also used to practice on my own. I used to practice with my colleagues, I used to practice with my family which is very different. But practicing with professionals and with tutors like those from OSCEsmart is completely different.

    Definitely! Because my confidence was not that much before I started with OSCEsmart. I have witnessed myself the progress that I have done throughout my journey with OSCEsmart when I was performing my examination in London. Actually, OSCEsmart prepared me for the real show. I was not surprised with their [interviewers] attitude because sometimes you get clients with a bad attitude – sometimes they are very introverted, and they don’t want to give out any information; sometimes they are over-friendly, and you need to just stop them.

    It [advocacy/presentation mocks] was so helpful because presentation takes only some time but Olga’s reviewing your presentation took much more – I used to literally take a notebook and a pen, and write everything that she used to tell me about my mistakes I made and what I did not do. I used to review those comments before the day of my examination and it helped me so much. I also used to refer, for example, to client interviews feedback I got in terms of the [suggested] answer that was provided by OSCEsmart.

    At group seminars, you see how others perform, what they say on a particular topic, and what you say. When you perform in a seminar you know your batchmates are in the same examination and how they are going to perform. So, this is also perfectly designed to meet up with the competition at the same level, you know how to beat your batchmate against that knowledge or against that particular kind of skills.

    Definitely! I’m still absorbing the information that I have passed this examination. It was such a difficult journey and I had really put in a lot of effort. Though I’m a practicing lawyer I feel I have upgraded myself. It is a pleasure and definitely, I’m so humbled that I attained this, it adds to my career, my personality and my confidence.

    Read the full interview

    Charlotte is a dual qualified (Hong Kong and England & Wales) corporate lawyer. Beyond her outstanding professional achievements, Charlotte is a key member of the Hong Kong Lacrosse Team

    Oh, work experience was very useful. I didn’t really have to think that much about the soft practical skills. It was more about ticking the boxes for what they wanted to see in the SQE exam.

    A lot of people who come from the Hong Kong jurisdiction wouldn’t need to take SQE2. Now they can just take the SQE1. But if, like me, you do better in practical exams, then maybe this is the better route for you. 

    For me, the written part was harder because it was all written. The exam conditions were quite stressful. The whole process of getting prepped to go into that computer lab to take your exams was stressful. I perform better in practical exams, whereas this was very much essay-based. The SQE legal drafting was fine; it was more like essay questions, requiring a lot of recalling legal knowledge and application.

    The past papers I did were very useful, and obviously a lot longer than the actual exam. So, that prepped me to make sure that I never left a single question unfinished during my actual exam, which I was scared of when I was doing the past paper mocks because there were so many legal issues, I wanted to make sure I covered them all. Basically, after I did a few of those, that’s when I attempted the actual mocks.

    Spending so much time in the office, if I had nothing else outside and made a mistake, it would make me feel terrible, even if it wasn’t my fault. Having something outside of work that gives you a sense of purpose and self-worth, other than being a good lawyer, is very helpful for the long term.

    Read the full interview

    Sancho Guibert is a highly experienced banking lawyer, he initially qualified in Spain and has built a successful career as an in-house legal counsel holding the corporate title of Director and Associate General Counsel at Citi

    It was a very interesting time of my life, I have to tell you.  And I found all the mocks very, very helpful and interesting, and they were great! 

    They were very valuable. The situations were kind of difficult … much more difficult than in the exam – that is my personal impression. I think that the [OSCEsmart] standard was higher than in the exam.

    Being able to study at my own pace is something absolutely great. I am a family man; I have a challenging full-time job, and for me being able to study at my own pace is crucial … It worked out very well for me.

    You have to be very disciplined. For my particular profile: having a challenging full-time job, and you know my family situation [having a big family], it was the perfect match, the perfect choice – so, I really prefer this [self-paced study].

    The materials provided by OSCEsmart were very good. Particularly, I remember some drafting tips, how to structure an interview for instance, how to structure a client presentation, not to talk about advocacy which has perfect materials, they proved to be very valuable for me. I have to admit that I put these materials and the things that I learned as a result of going over these materials in practice very often in my day-to-day job …

    You need to be able to articulate the law very clearly. The approach of OSCEsmart is very good for that because it provides you a very structured way to approach, for instance, client presentations or interviews.

    As a lawyer, I have to participate in many conference calls with my colleagues. It is key to have good interaction with different lawyers in different jurisdictions. Learning at OSCEsmart is very good for that because it gives you good skills to be able to handle different calls, and to do client presentations.

    Being able to communicate effectively, clearly and being able to articulate the law and the substance of the matters is key. These two years that I’ve been training with OSCEsmart have given me this capability and these skills  – I really feel it.

    Client interview
    For me, these interviews were very useful because they give you the opportunity to learn how to manage an interview.

    Also, you have to find out what is missing information. A very important tip is not to miss the big picture of the matter. And that is something that I learned during the mock interviews. If you miss the big picture, then the time invested in the interview is wasted.


    When you have the opportunity to spend half an hour with a colleague to understand what is the problem, it is very important to focus, to find out the missing information or the missing details, being able to put together all the information that you are collecting from your colleagues; and structure that very well … Being able to take notes efficiently – that’s also very important and I learned that during my mock interviews.

    The drafting mocks were very good. The exercises were kind of hard because, for instance, drafting the board minutes is complex itself … Writing is essential for every lawyer.  In my case, I spend many hours each day writing emails … You need to be very effective and very precise, also you need to be able to relate the message in a very efficient manner, as Senior Managers do not have enough time to go over lengthy emails. That is something that I learned as a result of doing these drafting mocks …
    I would strongly advise them [SQE candidates] to do as many mocks as possible because they are very important.

    The way that I write my emails and draft my contracts now has improved significantly. No doubt about that!

    The recordings [OSCEsmart video materials] about how to do research are good and comprehensive. I heard about that before engaging with OSCEsmart.

    There is one video that is particularly helpful and I went over that video, I would say, three or four times, as it captured the essence very well of what is the exercise about. And that was key for me because when doing the research exercise [at the exam] I felt very comfortable.

    I managed to complete the exercise in time and that’s because of that video from OSCEsmart.

    Nana Maisuradze is a Georgian qualified lawyer, now a Corporate Solicitor of Shakespeare Martineau

    I receive more calls from recruiters. Periodically, I have to update my job search, and, obviously, I see the difference now because I get more calls from job recruiters.

    And as far as I work on various legal projects, I believe, that when this project is finished, there will be another one. And the fact that now I’m qualified as a solicitor I think it would help me as well to get promoted in future.

    I was qualified in Georgia as a lawyer and once I moved to the UK in 2018, I thought maybe I should try to qualify here as well. 

    I tried twice to pass this exam. The first try was in 2020 and unfortunately, I wasn’t successful. The second try was in 2021 and I was successful. If I compare my preparation for the previous exam and the last one, it was very different from each other … 

    As to my first exam, I would say that I was not that well prepared. I even did not have time to do mocks – only a few mocks, as I remember. I only had time for reading the books and not even to revise. So, when it comes to such a serious exam, I think it’s better to take your time, and if you feel that the plan you had to study is not accomplished better not try this time, and try another time.

    The provider which I used for my first exam prep – I think was a bit general and it would be helpful if it was more specific and more oriented. For my second exam, I just followed the exact instructions and slides that are given in the slides of OSCEsmart platform. First of all, I read these books once again and then I started watching slides from Olga which I believe are really very very accurate and very detail oriented. So, once you read this book it’s easier to understand these slides and easier to memorise.

    I believe that it’s very essential to go through the slides … Because you understand the topics in a different way and you have more questions if going through them before reading the book. Secondly, I believe that this practical advice about drafting and about interviews and all these practical pdf files which you have with suggestions were very helpful because if I had reviewed this before my first exam and studied so well I believe I would have passed it at my first attempt.

    These pdf files where, for example, for presentations, you have different topics and literally you need to memorise them because there are such tests which are very helpful. If you have this topic and you apply this test you will pass this exam with 90%, I guess. As to client interviews, what I found a bit surprising if I compare my first exam and the second one is that this time clients did not seem that eager to share information with you. So, you literally had to ask questions about everything, and these 10 minutes that you have to prepare for the interview are really essential.

    When it comes to the exam you never feel hundred percent prepared, you always have this internal stress. When I sat my last exam, I was more confident. I felt that now I’m better prepared, at least, I did my best.

    In general, I would say that the difficulty of all the tasks is more or less the same. All of them are challenging. The research was a bit more difficult compared to other tasks because I knew that it was difficult I practiced really a lot regarding research. … And I think that I did the research well.

    For the first sitting, I just did two interviews and one presentation. For the second one, I took additional mocks. I remember I had five or six interviews and two presentations. I also had drafting, writing and research. All the mocks are really similar to the exam and they’re very helpful.

    My second sitting was in November, and I started my preparation in March. So, if I take over the whole period of my prep, I would say that for my first and second preparation it was one year and two months. And this one year and two months were like intensive preparation – it means that sometimes you should say no to watching Netflix in the evening or some socialising on weekends.

    Actually, when I started the preparation I had a newborn baby; my husband supported me very well. Support from the family is important because there are circumstances when you may be down or you really need some more time. It’s very important if there is somebody to help you with this.

    So, my suggestion is that if you decide to take this exam, which is called solicitors exams, it’s better to eliminate some additional tasks, just try to focus on this exam because it’s quite important.

    I believe, this school [OSCEsmart] and this preparation really improve your knowledge and your skills as a professional lawyer. That’s why this exam is so difficult because it requires a lot of work on yourself and your knowledge. You get knowledge from many different various areas of law which are company law, property, criminal, civil, and for sure you will need this set for future practice – so yeah, it’s very helpful.

    They had to change my computer. I don’t remember exactly what was there but the screen was frozen or something like this. You raise your hand and they come immediately. It was not only me who had the issue. 

    What I found very helpful at the exams – they are offering you earplugs. On my first exam day, I did not take this, and the noise of typing from other candidates could be really disturbing. On the second day, I decided to take it, and it was a very big difference – you are more focused on your tasks. So, my advice is to take these earplugs that they offer.

    Aleksei Mozzhukhov is an initially Russian qualified corporate lawyer, practising as a senior-level lawyer in Cyprus law firms

    “I believe that your training was very helpful. Before joining OSCEsmart I tried to do that with [training provider] preparation course. And I should say that the training which you give is very concentrated and this is exactly what is needed for the exam.”

    “I would say legal research is brilliant. I didn’t have difficulty with interviews as well, because I know how to structure the interview. The structure which you give helps quite a lot.”

    “With your tutors, I had a feeling that I am moving forward, I am getting better. I knew what I was doing and what I was expected to do.”

    Maria Almodovar is a Spanish qualified lawyer with international commercial experience in markets such as the UK, US, China and the Middle East

    “What helped me a lot was to go through the slides that you’ve put together to know exactly what I was going to be assessed on…. You cover everything in your slides, everything that needs to be known. For me, that was very helpful. I hope I would have had that guidance the first time I took it [OSCE].”

    “I bought one of your basic packages in terms of mocks, and then I upgraded. Because when I started the interview and advocacy with you I realised that I do need to practise more. And that’s what I did. That helped me to pass.”

    ”I think your preparation is really focused on helping you pass the exam.”


    Xin Yu is a young lawyer from China,
    from Sep 2021 an LLM student, Cardiff University

    “I am a lawyer in China, I passed the QLTS exam in November 2020. I highly recommended OSCEsmart to all my friends especially for someone like me who has no working experience in UK firms.”

    “As we all know the exam is about half skills and half knowledge. For the knowledge part, Olga’s programme is also really helpful – she lists all the bullet points and I do the reviews based on her bullet point. But this exam is not just about reading or writing, it’s about how to respond to the examiner in real time. So Olga’s team helped me a lot on this aspect.”

    Alex is a lawyer from Panama, currently working in the field of corporate governance, including company formation and real estate

    “Olga and her team will help you to understand in what kind of skills you are going to be assessed and help you to also understand in what field of law you need to improve for this test. And I found out that the only way you can feel around this is practising. So if you are coming from a civil law jurisdiction, I recommend you to take the ‘Double’ package, which has more interview mocks, and you will also have a lot of practice.”

    “I know how difficult it [OSCE] can be if you fell the first time. But don’t worry you will pass it – just study hard, practise and be smart.”


    Karim Ramsis is a dispute resolution lawyer from Egypt specialising in international commercial and investment arbitration

    “In 2016, I managed to pass the MCT through self-study; however, with respect to the OSCE assessment in addition to self-study I relied on OSCEsmart summary notes and mocks, which proved to be indispensable and crucial for my preparation.”

    “If there is one advice that I would give anyone planning to take the OSCE assessment, it would be that you should always stay focused, you should always stay motivated until your very last assessment.”

    Hari Wadhwana is practising dispute resolution (real estate arbitration) and commercial law (commercial transactions) in the UAE

    “I passed the MCT without the assistance of a provider; however, for OSCE I realized that I would require a training provider, as OSCE assessments test you on practical skills and application of law. After talking to a few candidates who passed the QLTS, they’ve highly recommended OSCEsmart to me. Olga and her team provide personal attention to all candidates, and they’re always available to deal with queries that candidates may have. I cannot stress enough on the importance of mock tests, and this is where OSCEsmart is really good at.”

    Rosanna Morello Carrieri is an international intellectual property lawyer qualified in Germany, working with Latin American jurisdictions

    “Olga and her team provide plenty of materials to guide you through the law. They conduct group sessions to apply the knowledge, individual mock exams to practise under exam conditions, and they will always answer any question you may have.”

    “Smart team not only prepare you for the legal side but also for the exam itself, they thoroughly explain the marking criteria, and they practise with you under exam conditions. The tutors are really flexible timewise, always encouraging and supportive, and their feedback was still very honest and comprehensive.”

    Brian is a lawyer from China, practising in Japan, specialising in TMT, entertainment, data protection, and investment fund

    “Speaking of myself I spent half a year preparing for the exam. Three months were spent on going through the textbooks, and then I spent two months reviewing it, also reviewed the materials and notes I made and was preparing with OSCEsmart. The last month I did only mocks and exercises with Olga’s team. I found them very helpful, and they gave me an idea how it is going to be like in the exam.”

    “It has been a difficult and stressful exam, but if you are determined, please don’t hesitate and go for it.”


    Jeny Shaw is a litigation lawyer from India, now a successful property solicitor working in the UK

    “I went for OSCEsmart based on one personal recommendation. When I looked at their website I found that they were doing a lot of mocks, and they also had online tutorials and video lectures. And I was pretty impressed at the amount they were charging for their packages as well, it was quite drastically different from what the leading providers were charging.”

    “As we progressed through the mocks, all the tips and feedback really helped me to handle and tackle the mocks much better.”

    “I highly attribute a huge part of my success to Dr Olga and her very dedicated team.”

    Dmytro Bogdan is a Ukrainian advocate

    “Human response is one thing but the other thing is the professional assessment which Olga and her colleagues are very qualified to provide, and those responses to me were really relevant. I went to the assessment itself, I’ve sat there in the room and I was like ‘this happened to me during the mock, this also happened with me during the mock’ only because Olga and her team were really supportive, and they do really relevant exercises.”

    “She [Olga] also went through this examination, and all her colleagues live your examination together with you over and over again, and they really enjoy the job they’re doing. And that job is amazing. You go there confidently and you see how you improved your skills just in weeks.”


    Priyasha Corrie is a corporate lawyer and entrepreneur from UAE

    “OSCEsmart videos on research were a lifesaver. Conducting research in one hour can be quite daunting but thanks to her [Olga’s] tips I managed to tackle the research assessment on the exam day with relative ease.”

    “The interview mocks were extremely helpful, the clients were laypersons which is how it is on the assessment day, and the sessions with them trained me very well. The clients were so dedicated and motivated me when my confidence was low. I really appreciate that and I’m so grateful to them for the valuable contribution to my preparation.”

    Daud Farooq is a commercial and real estate lawyer practising in the UAE

    “This [passing the QLTS] was merely possible due to the extremely helpful notes, video lectures, and tailored feedback on all OSCE assessments.”

    “OSCEsmart not only helped me in understanding critical concepts but also gave me valuable and insightful tips which are extremely helpful to counter and negotiate with all of those unaccounted scenarios that can come during the exam itself. I would highly recommend all professional lawyers and students who intend to sit for QLTS to subscribe to the services of OSCEsmart.”