How long does it take to complete the SQE2? 

how long does it take to study for the sqe2

One of the most asked questions I get from soon to be SQE2 takers: how long does it realistically take to study for the SQE2? 

And truth be told, there is not a simple answer and it depends on your personal circumstances. 

I know people who wizzed through the material and revised for 2-4 weeks whilst working full time, and then some people who played it very safe, revising 12-18 months. 

When setting yourself a SQE2 study plan, you need to ask yourself and answer honestly the following questions: 

1) How much time do I realistically have to study considering all my existing commitments, whilst staying sane? 

This will be different for every person. I worked full-time whilst studying for the SQE2. This meant that I had about 1-3 hours each evening, and then most weekends available for longer periods of study. However, if you have caring responsibilities or a super intense job that carries into your evenings and weekends, you might have less time. However, if you are studying for the SQE2 full-time, you will have a lot more time to study for. 

2) How quickly do I pick things up and remember large amounts of legal knowledge? 

This again is a very subjective question. Some people pick things up immediately, and some take a bit longer. You really need to think about your past revision experiences and try to remember how long it took you to memorise things. The people I knew that studied for 2-4 weeks for the SQE2 and passed, were exam ninjas. You know, the enviable type who cram for a night, and then get a first-class grade on the exam the next day. They retained information super quickly and did not require a continuous period of revision. I do not fall into that category, I need to repeat information over a prolonged period of time in order to remember. I would say 10-15 pages of notes usually takes me about 1 week to memorise. Your timeline might be longer or shorter, but whatever it is, be truthful with yourself. 

3) Does time pressure undermine or boost my performance? 

Another important question. Again, it is fair to say that those people that crammed for 2-4 weeks were diamonds formed under pressure. This is not me at all. When I faced immense time pressure when sitting for the QLTS MCT, it did not work well for me – I was in tears for most of it, and I do not feel like it helped my performance. However, some people need time pressure, otherwise, they end up procrastinating and not getting as much done compared to if they were subject to a lot of pressure. Again, you need to be honest with yourself. 

Common timelines 

To use myself as an example again, I started studying in early January for the April sitting of the SQE2, so about 3 and a bit months in total. This is a very common timeline SQE2 candidates who work full-time. I studied part-time whilst working full-time – this meant revising for about 2 hours per evening during the week, and then 5-8 hours on each day on weekends. I took 2 weeks off before the exam to study full-time. For me, this was the perfect amount of revision time. Towards the end of my revision period, I getting bored and fed up of revising. I definitely could not have been doing it for longer, but also think less time would have meant that I would have had to rush things. 

If you are a full-time SQE2 student, then around 1.5-2 months should work (subject to the above questions). If you have an intense full-time job and/or other commitments, meaning you have less than 5 hours per week to study, 4-6 months is a good starting point. 

I hope that helps a little in your SQE2 timeline planning, but any questions, please let me know at

For more information on SQE2 dates, check the SRA timings pages.

For additional SQE2 revision aides, be sure to visit my SQE2 resources page.

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