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Calm down! The route to qualification will be cheaper and, therefore, more accessible. [However, new entrants will not be as useful on Day One as a trainee (or whatever title they will have).] And we have to admit that the cost of the LPC is a formidable barrier to many. So, on reflection, the SRA will achieve its main object of making the profession more accessible.

Firstly, it has to be said that £1,650 is a huge sum for a test that will be marked automatically. I appreciate that Kaplan will have to have a huge bank of questions. But still!

As far as I understand it, the multiple-choice test of the SQE will be based on the QLTS. The bad news for students and firms is that the pass rate for the MCT, at the last sitting, was only 50% (and that was high compared to previous years).

It is extremely difficult to fail the LPC with one leading provider boasting of a pass rate of over 98%. It is also becoming increasingly easier to obtain a First Class degree at university with all this grade inflation (or, just maybe, the current generations of students are much much brighter than students in the past).

So, imagine taking Contract and Tort in the first year. Property Law in year two. And, on graduation, having to sit a MCT testing you on all you have studied with a pass rate of 50%.

Many students will fail the MCT part of the SQE, unless they take a crammer course. But if they pass the MCT, which is likely to be demanding, then they will at least all have reached a common standard. At the moment, with the LPCs being seemingly difficult to fail and degrees of varying standards, we can be sure that this is not the case at the moment.

There are some organisations out there with many years of experience at getting delegates throughout the MCT, and achieving respectable pass rates. Other organisations are beavering away on developing their own crammers. Many others, large and small, will soon jump on the crammer bandwagon and there will be a huge choice of such courses, all offering the same, probably online, product with thousands of similar online sample questions for practice, practice, and practice. This competition will push the costs down. I suspect there will be a race to the bottom. And universities will have to add on crammer courses to their degrees – they do not want large numbers of their graduates failing.

So, yes, it is a hurdle, and will, for some, prove to be a very tough hurdle. But it is likely to be a cheaper one than the unchallenging though very costly LPC.

On the downside, as much as students seem to hate the LPC, the content of the LPC, especially the Electives, does give trainees some understanding of what they are like to encounter in practice. The City firms are considering what they will do once the Electives go (along with the LPC). Smaller firms may not have the buying power to design in-house training and will need other solutions.

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