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What is the MCT Exam

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) is an outgoing route for foreign qualified lawyers to qualify in England and Wales as solicitors. It is regulated by the Solicitors Examination Authority (SRA) and provided by Kaplan QLTS. The QLTS assessment is divided into two independent exams, a Multiple Choice Test (MCT) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS): Two Parts

The MCT exam is the first stage of the QLTS, which targets the candidates’ knowledge of fundamental legal principles and rules of their application.

The candidates must first obtain the QLTS MCT pass mark before taking the OSCE Parts 1 and 2, as the MCT exam law is also relevant for the OSCE.

MCT exam structure

The MCT is a computer-based assessment consisting of 180 multiple choice questions with 5 possible answers each (in 2 sessions of 2 hours 45 minutes each, with 90 questions per session).

The aspiring solicitors are tested in the following areas of substantive law of England and Wales:

  • The English Legal System and EU Law;
  • Constitutional Law and Judicial Review;
  • Professional Conduct and Solicitors’ Accounts;
  • Financial Regulation and Taxation;
  • Property Law;
  • Contract Law;
  • Tort;
  • Criminal Law;
  • Equity & Trusts;
  • Business Law;
  • Human Rights.

For more details please see Part A Day One Outcomes.

Subject areas of substantive law

The candidates are given a short fact pattern to choose the answer by applying their knowledge of English law.

The mark is generated out of the number of questions answered correctly. According to the QLTS Kaplan, which is the only authorised assessment provider of the QLTS exams, no negative marking is applied for the MCT marking purposes. Only those foreign qualified lawyers, who received the overall pass mark for the MCT, will pass the test and become eligible for the next stage, which is called the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

MCT marks are generally released in 3-5 weeks, whereas the OSCE results are usually available 12-14 weeks after the assessment date. In the past five years the pass rate varied from 46% to 70%.

QLTS MCT preparation

Usually it does not take very long to prepare for the MCT and the preparation should be largely focused on:

  • practising to answer QLTS MCT mock questions from the training provider, which many candidates who passed the MCT find really similar to the actual exam questions; and/or
  • reading textbooks, manuals and other QLTS MCT preparation materials.

If undergoing preparation via the second strategy, we would advise considering the following QLTS MCT study materials:

  1. English Legal System Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Tim Vollans and Glenn Asquith;
  2. EU Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Sylvia Hargreaves and Matthew J. Homewood;
  3. Public Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Colin Faragher;
  4. Legal Practice Companion by Montagu and Weston for Accounts;
  5. Foundations for the LPC (Legal Practice Course Guide) for Professional Conduct (Outcome A3), Financial Services, Money Laundering, Income Tax, CGT, Inheritance Tax, Corporate Tax and VAT;
  6. Contract Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Jill Poole;
  7. Tort Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Carol Brennan;
  8. Equity & Trusts Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Iain McDonald and Anne Street;
  9. Criminal Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Rebecca Huxley-Binns;
  10. Business Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by James Marson;
  11. Human Rights Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Bernadette Rainey;
  12. Land Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide by Victoria Sayles.

The actual prep time period depends on your availability. Some people get ready for the multiple-choice test in two months, for the others preparation for the MCT takes about 4-6 months.

Check out this article to get QLTS MCT tips and learn how much time you need to prepare for the MCT assessment.

How to pass QLTS MCT

Only foreign lawyers from recognised jurisdictions are eligible to use the QLTS route in order to qualify in England. The list of recognised jurisdictions may be found on the SRA website: .

If you are a qualified lawyer in one of the recognised jurisdictions and wish to qualify via the QLTS, your last chance to pass the QLTS MCT exam will be 7 July 2021 (the last sitting). Due to the introduction of the SQE, the QLTS MCT will be discontinued after July 2021. At the same time, the OSCE stage of the QLTS will be conducted until 31 August 2022.

Bookings for the July MCT sitting opened on 24 February 2021. The booking deadline is 17:00 UK Time on 26 May 2021.

The QLTS MCT is currently available to sit domestically and internationally via test centres administered by Pearson VUE, alternatively the OSCE sittings are only conducted in Central London. Due to a high demand on the market, the QLTS candidates are encouraged to register with Kaplan QLTS and book a place well ahead of the deadlines – to be able to have a wider choice of locations.

The prospective solicitors are eligible to apply to the SRA for a full exemption from the MCT exam if they have passed the Legal Practice Course.

The video below explains the transitional arrangements available at early stages of the SQE introduction. It is relevant for those foreign qualified lawyers who wish to qualify as solicitors via the QLTS, and have either passed the QLTS MCT or not.

MCT: Predecessor of SQE1

From September 2021 the QLTS assessments will be replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), also referred to as super-exam. The SQE will be a new common route to qualification that all domestic and overseas prospective solicitors will be required to undertake.

The SQE equivalents of QLTS MCT and OSCE are SQE1 and SQE2 respectively. Read more about SQE1.

SQE1 and QLTS MCT both are multiple-choice tests, delivered by computer-based assessment. The content of SQE1 covers slightly different practice areas than the MCT, while they cover the same subjects, as can be seen below.

MCT law SQE1 law
  • The English Legal System and EU Law;
  • Constitutional Law and Judicial Review;
  • Professional Conduct and Solicitors’ Accounts;
  • Financial Regulation and Taxation;
  • Property Law;
  • Contract Law;
  • Tort;
  • Criminal Law;
  • Equity & Trusts;
  • Business Law;
  • Human Rights.
  • Business Law and Practice; Dispute Resolution; Contract; Tort; Legal System of England and Wales; Constitutional and Administrative Law and EU Law and Legal Services.
  • Property Practice; Wills and the Administration of Estates; Solicitors Accounts; Land Law; Trusts; Criminal Law and Practice.

The QLTS candidates who successfully completed the QLTS MCT will be able to choose either the QLTS OSCE or the SQE2.