Overview

1) The BSB has the power to exempt qualified lawyers and other suitably qualified individuals from any of the individual components of Bar training. Such exemptions may be granted subject to passing certain sections of the Bar Transfer Test (BTT).

2) Candidates may not apply for the BTT until they have been granted permission to undertake the Test by the BSB.

3) For information on transferring to the Bar as a qualified lawyer or other suitably qualified individual (eg a legal academic), please see Part 2D of the Bar Qualification Manual.

4) The BTT is delivered by BPP Law School, on behalf of the BSB. Please refer to the Law School’s website for details of how to register for the next available sitting of the BTT, course fee information, and the BTT application form.

5) There are two sittings of the BTT each year: March/April and August/September.

Structure of the BTT

6) The BTT consists of two parts (Part A and Part B), comprising written papers and oral assessments.

Part A (syllabus)

Paper 1 – Public Law (Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Human Rights)

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Paper 2 – Law of the European Union

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Paper 3 – Criminal Law

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Paper 4 – Obligations (Contract, Restitution, Tort)

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Paper 5 – Property/Land Law

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Paper 6 – Equity and the Law of Trusts

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Paper 7 – English Legal System

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2 hours

Closed book

40% - substantive law / 60% - written skills

Part B

Paper 8 - Advocacy

Duration

Format

Pass mark

12 minutes

Oral assessment based on a written component (e.g. a skeleton argument)

60%

12 minutes

Oral assessment (examination-in-chief)

60%

12 minutes

Oral assessment (cross-examination)

60%

  • All assessments must be passed in order to pass the Paper.
  • Candidates sitting the Advocacy assessment are required to attend a compulsory training course at the Test Provider (ie BPP Law School) before undertaking the assessment.

Paper 9 – Civil Litigation and Evidence

Duration

Format

Pass mark

3 hours

  • Closed book
  • Centrally set
  • Centrally marked (electronically)
  • 75 multiple choice questions (including single best answer questions)

60%

Paper 10 – Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing

Duration

Format

Pass mark

3 hours

  • Closed book
  • Centrally set
  • Centrally marked (electronically)
  • 75 multiple choice questions (including single best answer questions)

60%

Paper 11 – Professional Ethics

Duration

Format

Pass mark

2.5 hours

  • Closed book
  • Centrally set
  • Centrally marked (manually)

60%

  • Candidates will be assessed on their knowledge of the core professional values at the Bar of England and Wales.
  • Candidates must refer to the BSB Handbook as part of their reading list.

English language requirement

7) BTT candidates will be expected to demonstrate a high standard of fluency throughout each assessment (ie that their oral and written English language ability is readily comprehensible to native English speakers).

8) BTT candidates with any doubt as to the level of their English skills are strongly advised to undertake an approved English language test. The BTT Provider (ie BPP Law School) must also be satisfied as to the candidate’s fluency in English.

Failed assessments and re-sits

9) A BTT candidate has the opportunity of three attempts at the Test.

10) If a candidate fails any of the individual papers of the BTT on their first attempt, they may take that paper a second time.

11) If a candidate fails their second attempt at any paper, they will be required to re-sit all papers allocated to them by the BSB at the next available sitting of their choice.

12) If a candidate does not pass all of the papers allocated to them by the BSB within three attempts, they will have no further re-sit opportunities for a period of two years since the last attempt at a paper. At this time, a candidate may apply to the BSB to begin the entire process afresh (eg by submitting a new application for admission to the Bar as a transferring qualified lawyer).

Extensions of time

13) Candidates requesting an extension of time to complete the BTT, must submit a formal application to the BSB. The extension form can be found on our waivers and exemptions page.