Can I self-study for the SQE2? 

Can I self-study for the SQE2?

With the announcement of rising fees (see SRA notification here), and prep course providers often charging eye-watering fees, it comes as no surprise that an increased number of students are considering self-study. The short answer to the question to “can I self-study for the SQE2” is “yes”. The long answer is, it depends. 

It is certainly possible to pass the SQE2 by self-studying (and some people have done so), but it will require more planning and additional considerations. With self-study, there is no one to look over your should to tell you what you need to know. You will need to know yourself.  

When people ask for my advice as to self-studying, I always ask a question back: “what is your background?” 

What is important to note at this stage is that regardless of your background, if it possible for you, I would recommend going with a comprehensive prep course. It will simply give you the best chance of covering everything you need to know and will make the process a lot less anxiety inducing. If you cannot under any circumstances, I have a number of affordable revision aids and resources that can help your preparation here

In any case, here are a couple of my thoughts on self-studying depending on what your background is: 

1) Law degree (LLB or GDL) and LPC. 

In my opinion, if you have passed the LPC recently, you are the most suitable candidate to forego a prep course. It is a fact that the LPC and the SQE2 have some overlap in terms of the assessments and subjects covered. 

I have come across students who studied predominantly with their LPC notes which pretty much covered their SQE2 preparation, and who ended up doing well in their exams. Many of the LPC assessments (e.g., interviewing, advocacy) mirror what is on the SQE2. They mainly have to brush up on their legal knowledge, which they did by completing the SRA FLK which is available here with their own notes from the LPC or by purchasing outlines (such as the ones I have available here). 

Note that if your LPC has been some years ago, it might be tricky for you to work out what has changed since then in terms of law. 

2) Law degree (LLB or GDL) and SQE1. 

Some people and prep course providers think that if you have studied for the SQE1, you will have covered the legal knowledge for the SQE2. In principle, the SQE1 FLK and SQE2 FLK do overlap (the SQE2 FLK is shorter and includes fewer subjects). However, the way you study for SQE1 is going to be very different compared to SQE2 – with multiple choice, you train to spot the correct answer. With SQE2, you have to know right the answer without anything to go on. That makes a huge difference in terms of approach. Therefore, I do not believe that having studied for the SQE1 is going to be enough preparation alone in terms of legal knowledge to go into the SQE2. 

I have come across people who have self-studied successfully, but it is a lot harder. You need to find ways of practicing mock exams. There are a few providers that offer mocks separately such as e.g., myself here, or Preptackle. You also will have to consider buying books to cover the skills and the functioning legal knowledge, unless you have recent textbooks from the SQE1 or LLB that cover the SQE2 FLK comprehensively. 

3) No law degree and SQE1. 

The same applies here as with (2) i.e., having a law degree and having done SQE1. It is possible, but it is harder and requires some planning to ensure you have all the resources to cover everything on the FLK, and practice mocks. 

4) Foreign qualified lawyer. 

If you are foreign qualified, I think self-study is likely to be a gamble (in particularly if you were SQE1 exempt). You likely won’t have as many materials to go on from past studies (compared to students who have completed some of their legal studies in the UK) that can help you prepare for the SQE2. 

If you can, try to go for a prep course. Alternatively, I have a number of affordable revision aids and resources that can help your preparation here

I hope that helps a little in your decision how to study for the SQE2, but any questions, please let me know at 

Leave a Comment