QLTS Assessments: Challenges and Solutions
You’ve probably heard that the QLTS assessments are challenging, but with proper planning and preparation, you can succeed. It all starts with a clear understanding of the exam requirements and the level of commitment you are willing to make.
To keep you on track to succeed on your first attempt, QLTS School helps you overcome potential challenges right from the beginning, with solutions that are customised especially for your needs and circumstances.
Lack of complete preparation and understanding of the SRA requirements
It’s no secret that preparing for the QLTS assessments can be intense and demanding. Comprehensive and rigorous preparation is, therefore, crucial to passing the two parts of the QLTS assessments – MCT and OSCE. Whether you are a lawyer qualified in a common law or civil law jurisdiction, the range of subjects tested on the QLTS assessments is comprehensive and covers a variety of areas that a non-UK lawyer is unlikely to be familiar with. The SRA requires you to demonstrate you possess the same level of knowledge, understanding and skills expected of a newly qualified English solicitor who followed the domestic route to qualification.
A comprehensive review and preparation programme is therefore necessary to anchor knowledge in a broad set of topics and focus your efforts on studying all the topics covered in the assessments.
Solution: A comprehensive training programme
Successful QLTS candidates must have a thorough academic knowledge and understanding of all subject areas, but also the ability to apply their practical skills in simulated environments. QLTS School’s preparation courses for the MCT and OSCE are both comprehensive and highly focused on what candidates need to pass the assessments on the first attempt. No other training provider can offer a similar level of instructional excellence and content quality.
The courses are suitable for any lawyer from any background: for those who have little or extensive legal experience; whether English is your first or second language; whether you work full-time or part-time. Whatever your circumstances are, we’ll tailor-make your preparation and help you succeed in the QLTS assessments.
And candidates who prepare with QLTS School are twice as likely to pass as non-QLTS School candidates – data validated by an independent research firm. The same research also suggests that 3 out of 4 candidates who pass the MCT assessment, study with QLTS School.
Time Management and Exam Technique
A typical QLTS School candidate spends 6-9 months in total preparing to pass the two parts of the assessments. It’s therefore important to allocate the total preparation time appropriately and devote adequate time to each part of the assessments. Both the MCT and OSCE assessments are timed exams and you have to answer the questions accurately and quickly. To do so, you will need to learn how to understand the question quickly, identify the legal issues raised, and respond instinctively.
For the MCT, you need to allow maximum 1.5 to 2 minutes per question. Task-based simulations on the OSCE require at least 1 hour for advocacy and interviewing. Allow 30 minutes for legal writing, 45 minutes for legal drafting, 1 hour for online legal research, depending on your written ability.
Solution: Practice and planning
QLTS School’s preparation courses include timed exercises that assess your strongest and weakest areas, for both the MCT and OSCE. Our course offers thousands of MCT practice questions so that you will understand the material that will be tested and become familiar with the way the questions are phrased. And with dozens of mock tests simulating the real format of the assessments, you will be able to practise under exam-like conditions in the build-up to exam day.
Depending on the course package you opt for, our expert tutors will show you how to structure time for each assessment and provide valuable timesaving tips.
The Unique Exam Environment
The QLTS assessments present a unique challenge and environments that may be uncomfortable to you without practice. If you have sat a multiple choice test like the MCT in the past, you will appreciate that practising and attempting as many exam questions as possible is the key to your success. You need to familiarise yourself with the format and type of questions the examiner uses in the actual test (check this free sample MCT test with 20 questions).
The OSCE assessment, on the other hand, requires you to demonstrate the ability to show more than academic skills alone, and apply the practical skills expected of a solicitor, e.g. to interview or advise a client orally. You must also be proficient in using the legal research databases of both LexisLibrary and Westlaw.
See below an advocacy sample exercise:
Solution: Simulation of exam conditions
The tools and materials contained within QLTS School’s preparation courses, in particular our mock tests, are specially designed to simulate the MCT and OSCE formats so that on the day of the assessment you can focus on answering the questions, not figuring out the format and requirements. With our preparation courses, QLTS School’s candidates learn to master:
1. The legal practice areas and five skills – through a suite of study tools such as comprehensive and exam-focussed textbooks, video tutorials and extensive online resources.
2. Answering MCT questions in the same format, structure and level of difficulty as the real exam, within a time limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes per exam session. Our mock tests are attempted online in a similar way to the formal MCT, which is a computer-based assessment, and can now be taken in various locations around the world.
3. Attempting OSCE mock tests with an expert tutor, receiving immediate feedback on your performance, its weaknesses and strengths, and how you could improve before exam day in order to meet the SRA requirements.
Lack of Self-Discipline
It’s not uncommon for QLTS candidates to put off their actual assessment date even after they have started to prepare, whether as result of personal or work commitments. This can result in delaying your career plans, losing fees already paid to the assessment provider, as well as missing assessment dates.
To maximise your chance of success on your first attempt, commit to a date of qualification and map out a plan to:
- Complete preparation for each assessment
- Take the MCT and OSCE on schedule
Solution: Structured methodology and flexible schedule
When scheduling your preparation, take into account the amount of time you have available each week, both on weekdays and weekend, to commit to preparing for the assessment.
QLTS School offers customised study plans and initial guidance to help you stay on track and lead you to success within just a few months.
If you want the freedom to study at your own pace, while you’re still working full-time, whether you are based in the UK or elsewhere, QLTS School’s expert tutors will help you develop an individual study plan based on your personal circumstances and requirements, that will prepare you to pass the QLTS assessments.
Getting Started with the QLTS
Preparing to pass the QLTS assessments requires a considerable investment of time and energy. QLTS School can help ensure you maximise your return on investment, and pass the first time.
*QLTS School’s candidates pass at about double the rate—or more—compared to non-QLTS School candidates, based on Kaplan’s published pass rates. Data verified by ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI), an independent, third-party research firm.
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