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SQE2 MARKING CRITERIA
GRADER MUST STAY “FRONT OF MIND”

To make your life easier, we have put together this cheat sheet which explains how you will be marked in each of the assessments based on Kaplan SQE Marking and Standard Setting Policy and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) SQE2 Assessment Specification

The Standard

 

Exam papers can vary slightly in difficulty, but remember the standard, based on which your performance is assessed, remains the same, namely that of the just competent Day One solicitor (Threshold Standard).

Let’s talk about your grader! 

  • Your 'client Interview' assessment will be marked by the assessor playing the role of the client.  These assessors mark you purely on skills (NOT on the law).

  • The all other assessments (including the attendance note) will be marked by a solicitor who will assess candidates on both skills and application of law.

  • Marking is based on global professional judgements rather than a ‘tick box’ or checklist approach. The starting point is the Threshold Standard. 

  • Assessors are trained to be flexible as to the approach taken by the candidate.

Marking criteria and scales

You will be judged in each of the exercise based on the SQE2 marking criteria provided belowYour performance for each of the criteria will be judged on a scale from A to F, then converted to a numerical scale such that A = 5 marks and  F = 0 marks.

  •    A. Superior performance 5 marks (i.e. well above the competency standard).

  • B. Clearly satisfactory = 4 marks (i.e. clearly meets the competency standard).

  • C. Marginal pass = 3 marks (i.e. on balance, just meets the competency standard).

  • D. Marginal fail 2 marks (i.e. on balance, just fails to meet the competency standard).

  • E. Clearly unsatisfactory 1 mark (i.e. clearly does not meet the competency standard).

  • F. Poor performance = 0 marks (i.e. well below the competency standard).  

Calculating your total mark

Step (1): Calculating your score for each station

  • Each station has a percentage score calculated from the numerical scores awarded for 'law' and for 'skills' (summated to arrive at the total for that station). 

  • In calculating your total score for each station, law and skills are weighted equally

  • SQE2 consists of 16 stations.

  • Yes! 'Interview' and 'Attendance Note' are considered as one station. ​To calculate the score of the 'Interview' and 'Attendance Note' station, the skills marks is calculated from the skills mark for the 'Interview' (which is marked only on skills) and the skills mark for the 'Attendance Note', weighted equally. The Law mark comes solely from the 'Attendance Note'. To calculate the total station score, skills and application of law are then weighted equally.

Step (2): Calculating your final score

  • The final SQE2 percentage score (across all stations) is an average of the 16 station totals. 

  • ​​​The total percentage mark will be rounded off to the nearest integer.

Passing SQE2 

  • The pass mark for each SQE2 sitting will be set by reference to the borderline regression method.

  • In order to pass SQE2, you must obtain the overall pass mark for SQE2. 

  • There is no separate pass mark for SQE2 Oral and SQE2 Written.

  • There is one pass mark for SQE2 as a whole (across all assessments).

Marking Criteria of Each Exercise

 

Client Interview

SKILLS ONLY

  • (1) Listen to the client and use questioning effectively to enable the client to tell the solicitor what is important to them.

  • (2) Communicate and explain in a way that is suitable for the client to understand.

  • (3) Conduct themselves in a professional manner and treat the client with courtesy, respect and politeness including respecting diversity where relevant.

  • (4) Demonstrate client-focus in their approach to the client and the issues (i.e. demonstrate an understanding of the problem from the client’s point of view and what the client wants to achieve, not just from a legal perspective).

  • (5) Establish and maintain an effective relationship with the client so as to build trust and confidence.

Attendance Note

SKILLS

  • (1) Record all relevant information.

  • (2) Identify appropriate next steps.

  • (3) Provide client-focused advice (i.e. advice which demonstrates an understanding of the problem from the client’s point of view and what the client wants to achieve, not just from a legal perspective).

LAW

  • (4) Apply the law correctly to the client’s situation.

  • (5) Apply the law comprehensively to the client’s situation, identifying any ethical and professional conduct issues and exercising judgment to resolve them honestly and with integrity.

Advocacy

SKILLS

  • (1) Use appropriate language and behaviour.

  • (2) Adopt a clear and logical structure.

  • (3) Present a persuasive argument.

  • (4) Interacts with/engages the court appropriately.

  • (5) Include all key relevant facts.

LAW

  • (6) Apply the law correctly to the client’s situation.

  • (7) Apply the law comprehensively to the client’s situation, identifying any ethical and professional conduct issues and exercising judgment to resolve them honestly and with integrity.

Case/Matter Analysis

SKILLS

  • (1) Identify relevant facts.

  • (2) Provide client-focused advice (i.e. advice which demonstrates an understanding of the problem from the client’s point of view and what the client wants to achieve, not just from a legal perspective).

  • (3) Use clear, precise, concise and acceptable language.

LAW

  • (4) Apply the law correctly to the client’s situation.

  • (5) Apply the law comprehensively to the client’s situation, identifying any ethical and professional conduct issues and exercising judgment to resolve them honestly and with integrity.

Legal Research

SKILLS

  • (1) Identify and use relevant sources and information.

  • (2) Provide advice which is client-focused and addresses the client’s problem.

  • (3) Use clear, precise, concise and acceptable language.

LAW

  • (4) Apply the law correctly to the client’s situation.

  • (5) Apply the law comprehensively to the client’s situation, identifying any ethical and professional conduct issues and exercising judgment to resolve them honestly and with integrity.

Legal Writing

SKILLS

  • (1) Include relevant facts.

  • (2) Use a logical structure.

  • (3) Advice/content is client and recipient focused.

  • (4) Use clear, precise, concise and acceptable language which is appropriate to the recipient.

LAW

  • (5) Apply the law correctly to the client’s situation.

  • (6) Apply the law comprehensively to the client’s situation, identifying any ethical and professional conduct issues and exercising judgment to resolve them honestly and with integrity.

Legal Drafting

SKILLS

  • (1) Use clear, precise, concise and acceptable language.

  • (2) Structure the document appropriately and logically.

LAW

  • (3) Draft a document which is legally correct.

  • (4) Draft a document which is legally comprehensive, identifying any ethical and professional conduct issues and exercising judgment to resolve them honestly and with integrity.