Thursday, 17 March 2016

Pre-Exam 2016: results

The Pre-Exam 2016 answers and results were published ion the EPO EQE website earlier this evening.

The answers match the answers given in our earlier blogs for the legal part as well as for the claims analysis part:

1:  F T T T
2:  F F F F
3:  F F T T
4:  T T F T
5:  T T F F
6:  T T F F  
7:  T F F T
8:  T T F F
9:  T F T T
10: T F T T

11:  F T T F
12:  T F T F
13:  T T T F
14:  F F F T
15:  F F T F
16:  F F F T
17:  T F F F
18:  F T F T
19:  T F F F
20:  T F F T

792 candidates enrolled for the pre-exam, 763 candidates sat the exam (29 0-scores).

169 candidates scored between 1 and 69 marks and failed: 22% of all sitters, 25% of all who enrolled.
594 candidates scored between 70 and 100 marks and passed: 78% of all sitters, 75% of all who enrolled.

No candidate scored 100 marks, 4 scored 98, 15 scored 96, 144 (19%) scored 90 or higher.

137 out of 220 candidates that failed in 2015 have been resitting this year: 68 passed and 69 failed again.
32 candidates that failed in 2014 have been resitting this year: 12 passed and 20 failed again.
1 candidate that failed in 2013 (and 2015) has been resitting this year, and failed again.

The score distribution (5 marks bin width, labelled by their upper values) for all candidates is:


The score distribution for the 2015-resitters is:



The 2016 score of the 137 2015-resitters compares to their 2015 score as follows:






87 comments:

  1. Well done, Delta!

    I'm surprised that 17.1 is false. How can it be true that a technical effect can contain an unclear term? "Maintain the lid _close to_ the container" is not clear, whether the application says so or not.

    What are your thoughts?

    I passed :-)

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thanks for the stats. Interesting that resitters do so poorly. Besides pour preparation, could it be that at least some of them don't deal well with being at the exam,as such, I wonder?

      Delete
    2. And for some, the Carnaval of a few weeks before may still play a role... Is mostly a few weeks before. The EQE is planned at what should be a sufficient distance in time from Carnaval however... And it is taken into account when the EQE is scheduled: because the Carnaval is late next year, the Pre-Exam is only on 6 March in 2017.

      Delete
    3. Thank you Delta for your good work once again!

      Here's one happy resitter from 2015. :)

      Best regards,
      Jay

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. There is one more big point about 17.1...

      [017] states:
      The lid 15 can be rotated in the cooking position and in the straining position WHILE KEEPING THE LID 15 ON THE CONTAINER 10.
      This means: There is no position of the lid, while rotating, where it is just "near" the container...only "on" the container.
      Philological: Near and on are in conflict with each other.

      Also I never can be "near" to Amsterdam, while I am "in" Amsterdam.

      Delete
    6. Hi KKNS,

      Do you plan to file an appeal on 17.1? We can work on this together if you are interested, or we can at least exchange the arguments we plan to file.

      BR,
      Ivana

      Delete

  2. Joeri Beetz18 March 2016 at 11:26
    2012: 5 non-zero fails (1.28%), 2 passed in 2013, 3 never tried again
    2013: 2 non-zero fails (0.31%), 1 passed in 2014, 1 passed in 2015
    2014: 93 non-zero fails (14.35%), 13 were allowed to sit the main exam anyhow, 17 passed in 2015, 12 passed in 2016
    2015: 205 non-zero fails (25.8%), 68 passed in 2016

    22 candidates (all from 2014) already did three non-zero attempts. 13 thereof have to come back again next year.

    In 2012 and 2013, the bar was at 50 marks, since 2014 it's 70.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corrected by Roel.

      2012: 5 non-zero fails (1.28%), 2 passed in 2013, 3 never tried again
      2013: 2 non-zero fails (0.31%), 1 passed in 2014, 1 still trying
      2014: 93 non-zero fails (14.35%), 13 were allowed to sit the main exam anyhow, 17 passed in 2015, 12 passed in 2016
      2015: 205 non-zero fails (25.8%), 68 passed in 2016

      23 candidates already did three non-zero attempts. 13 thereof have to come back again next year.

      In 2012 and 2013, the bar was at 50 marks, since 2014 it's 70.

      Delete
    2. Last 13 is a 14. Stop the clock!

      Delete
    3. That some people that initially failed could sit the main exam is because several candidates got a few marks more after the appeals in 2014 (10.4: 1 or 2 marks) and 2015 (cardboard issue: upto 4 marks).
      Hereby, 15 candidates went from fail to pass in 2014 and 25 in 2015.

      Delete
  3. Hi everyone,
    I'm planning on filing an appeal, does anybody know how to do so?
    Thanks!!
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you have to wait until you get your result letter. About which question?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your answer! Claims - 18 and possibly 15, but I need to sit down and look at all the questions/answers again. I can update my post once I start drafting something. I am one of the lucky people scoring 69%, so as you can imagine I am willing to at least give it a go...

      Delete
    3. Hi Sarah,

      I plan to file an appeal, got 65 points. I plan to appeal for 18.4, 15.3 and the fact that is not directly and unambiguously derivable that the straining section has holes of the same size, for which i lost a bunch of points.
      I am on vacation now, and cannot have a look into the stuff, but this is my plan.

      How about you, which questions exactly?

      I think it is good if we at least try!

      BR,
      Ivana

      Delete
    4. Hi Sarah,

      Iam also planing an appeal for 18.4 and 15.3, got 67 points at the moment. If you want we can cooperate and compare our arguments.

      Best regards,

      Michael

      Delete
    5. Ivana,

      I'm also on holidays, so I haven't looked at this in detail, but I was thinking of the same questions. I should be able to work on this next week. I think I will email the secretariat today to figure out how the appeal process works. Let's stay in touch, it's definitely worth trying!

      Have a great holiday!

      Sarah

      Delete
    6. Hey Michael!

      I think you posted your comment as I was responding to Ivana. Thanks for responding, and yes, definitely, let's all work together on this.

      Have a good Easter break!

      Delete
    7. Sounds good. I will be on holiday starting on thursday. If you have any news for the appeal proceedings please let me know. My email adress is michael.horndasch(at)gmail.com.

      I will delete my email adress after you replied.

      Have a good holiday!

      Michael

      Delete
    8. Hi Sarah and Michael,

      Sounds great!

      I also plan to file an appeal on 17.1, I was sure the answer was F (and, as i saw in the claim analysis discussion, quite a few candidates had the same opinion).

      Pls send me an email to ivana(at)girdzijauskas.lt, lets work on this together!

      BR,
      Ivana

      Delete
    9. Guys, got both your emails, so feel free to delete the messages. I will email you in a sec!

      Delete
  4. Hi everyone

    Based on your experience, do you think it is better to begin with the claim analysis?

    I scored 65, out of which 46 was from the legal part. I am thinking that high level of stress and difficult time management are both issues that need to be dealt with, apart from a good preparation.

    I just can't think of what else I should do for next year, apart from working again all the previous claim analyses of previous papers. And I feel that I might still fail again, if I don't manage to cope with stress and time.

    Congrats to all succesfull candidates,
    Natasha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We gave attention to the sequence of legal and claims analysis parts in our courses. After having pointed to the possibility to choose the order, and the recommendation to have a strategy for a practice paper and later for the exam, about 20% of our candidates started with the claims analysis part. The choice of order was very personal and based on many factors: time, attention/ concentration level, ....
      The advantage of the legal part is that you can most often positively confirm your answer with a reference in your reference book or other material. The major disadvantage in this year's legal part is the presence of topics to which the candidate is not very familiar.
      In the claims analysis part, the advantage is that it is basically one very big case, so you do not need to switch every next question to a nex context. The major disadvantage there is that there is more (albeit unambiguous) interpretation between the case, the legal test and the statement, and that the various sets of independent + dependent claims require great attention to not go wrong (one of the candidates complained that the claims part was more a concentration test than a claims analysis test).

      @Natasha: if you got a similar 45 + 20 score from the 2015 exam, and maybe from the earlier ones, and you did all of them with legal questions first and claims last, then I suggest to see what happens if you do it the opposite order. Maybe that has already a big effect.
      Also, do not just practice old exams, but review the claims analysis parts of the Guidelines - Part F, G, and H in detail -.
      Lastly, discuss your answers with an tutor that is experienced with the pre-exam claims analysis questions.

      Delete
  5. From the graphs, it looks like people who passed this year on the whole got higher marks than for 2015.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It suprised me since nearly everyone thinks that the exam this year is more difficult that 2015.

    I guess the candidates 2016 have payed more time to prepare the examen and are in a better condition to sit in the examen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I expected the pass rate to be somewhat lower.

      A possible explanation can be that more difficult may "just" require that more time is needed, but if that extra time is available (e.g., in the legal part, for more look-up and in the claims analysis part for more double checks) and used, the correct answer is found with similar effectiveness/ probability.
      I heard from quite many candidates that they needed (almost) the full 4 hours for this Pre-Exam, and that only a few candidates left the exam room in The Hague before the end, whereas many of these same candidates could do the earlier Pre-Exams in 2,5 - 3 h and in quite some candidates left the exam rooms earlier for the earlier exams.

      Also, the 25% fail rate of the 2015 Pre-Exam, and the increased difficulty of the 2015 Pre-Exam compared to 2012-2014, may have been an incentive for better preparation.

      Any additional points of view are appreciated. Would also be interesting to get some opinions from this year's resitters.

      Delete
    2. Unlucky resitter21 March 2016 at 12:03

      It seems, that the timeframe designed by and for native EN DE FR people, while non-native candidates would need more time to understand the invention and the content of D1-D4 in the necessary details, especially chemists who are not so familiar in this means plus function claim language.
      Hi Roel

      This year I got 69 marks (improved, but not enough) and I have a feeling that I would solve the claims analysis exercise much better in my mother language within the time frame.

      Delete
  7. Personally, I have the experience that I find the legal part easier, and that it sets my mind at rest to have a solid point-basis at the beginning of the exam. I think that I would grow very distracted from my insecurities in the claim analysis section and would find concentrating on legal after claims harder. I am also surprised to see that the pass rates were comparable to 2015, and not notably lower. I found it definitely harder this time (I am not a resitter). Time-wise I also needed more time than in the preparation phase. I would have liked very much to have a course (potentially web-video-based) with a small group and a tutor where you are able to discuss 4-5 times claim analysis. I personally cannot ask anyone in my surroundings to discuss claim analysis at lentgh because it would also require colleagues to spend some hours reading, understanding and discussing, and just no-one has time for that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I’m not a re-sitter, but this 2016 paper took me much much longer than any of the past papers.
    I had also expected a lower overall pass rate, however, my 2016 score was similar to the scores on the past papers.
    I finished with only about 15 mins to spare, but that might have been partly to do with the ridiculous temperature conditions in Bristol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you mean in Birmingham?

      Delete
    2. No....2016 EQE exams for UK were in Bristol.

      Delete
  9. Hi guys,

    Anyone hopeful that we can achieve something by filing an appeal on 5.4? If nothing else, there was a candidate who showed in the legal questions discussion that the same question was posed slightly differently in EN, FR and DE...maybe that could be a valid argument?

    BR,
    Ivana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My apporach would be -summarized in a few lines - something like:

      An argument may be that Hassan can only be appointed AFTER filing PCT-G by PoA which however does not have to be filed with DPMA (c.f. http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/texts/waivers.html with DPMA=RO). In case of withdrawal of an international application (PCT-G), said PoA would have to be submitted (c.f. Rule 90.5 d) PCT). The case would be different if 5.4 related to a representative in general (c.f. examiner's report). So the argumentation would have to be to show why candidates relate 5.4 to Hassan and not to a representative and then show what consequences this linguistic ambiguity has for answering 5.4 with T or F.

      Delete
  10. Yes,

    1) "the representative (...) if he (...)". [so it might be read as Hassan]. Especially, because 5.2 and 5.3 state "a representative", even in German.

    So German examinees had a different problem to solve. For them it was a German patent attorney as a representative, while it was a general representative for English and French examinees. So a different state of knowledge was needed.

    2) Different translation: English version is "only" while German is "nur dann". "Nur dann" can be understood as "only after". In this case the limitation by the wording "only" refers to the rank order (first file POA, then valid withdrawal) and not to the number of persons (Hassan/representative and Greta/applicant).

    Imho this is are possible interpretations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder when Germans and French would resign to the fact that English is the international language.

      Delete
    2. I wonder why a person posting in this Forum posts such an (at least) irrelevant comment. Apparently he/she is not aware of e.g. Article 12 IPREE. The fact that the wording in the three languages of the Exam is not consistent is at least remarkable.

      Delete
    3. I agree with you that another interpretation is possible if 5.4 relates to Hassan and not to a representative in general.
      However, "nur dann" cannot be understood as "only after" but as "only if".

      Delete
    4. I wonder why a person waste his/her precious time answering to posts he/she consider irrelevant. Furthermore, i believe that language is an important issue in our profession and not just for the examination and that European 3 languages system is useless. Anyhow, since this is a free organisation, I will post what I want and when I want. Steeve

      Delete
  11. I was a resitter this year and made 77 Point, woho!!
    I Think this years exam was more difficult than previous years´, lot of tricky questions on the legal part, the Points that I missed there was only from not being certain what the question really was (got 44 Points on the legal part). The claim analysis was just to much, not really hard, but such a lot of text, it seems as if they keep adding to it every year, glad that I won´t have to do it again...who knows what it will be like next year.
    I´m so happy that I passed this year, but I studied A LOT, so I think that I really deserved it! I will enrol for A-D for next year. Don´t know if I will be able to find the time, but if I do (depends on my job) I hope to pass and never having to study this hard again- ever :)
    /Minnie

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi all,

    I planned to file an appeal for 5.4 and 18.4, but I just saw that the appeal fee is 600% of the basic fee. That is 1.200,-€, right??? What the...
    So right now I actually don't know if I have so much money left, because I'm going to be at the DPMA and BPatG in munich for the next half year without income...
    Who will file an appeal by the same questions?

    Feli

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also ich plane eine Beschwerde wegen der beiden Aussagen 5.4 und 18.4, die nach meiner Auffassung auch eine andere Antwort als diejenige im Prüferbericht zulassen.
      18.4 scheint mir jedoch vielversprechender zu sein.

      Delete
    2. There are other examinees, who want to file an appeal.

      Please contact me at: eqe.appeal@gmail.com

      There, we can communicate the further processing.

      Best regards, viele Grüße

      Delete
    3. Hi, I got 69 Points and I am considering filing an Appeal because of questions 18.2 and 18.4.
      I agrre with Steven's post on 2 March namely " although D2 does describe the notion of a closed position, the mechanism of D2 for switching between the closed position and the straining position is very different from the movement “around the vertical axis” as required by claim II.2. In order to arrive at the latter feature, the skilled person would have to thus make quite non-trivial modifications to the set-up of D2.

      Therefore, in terms of “most promising starting point”, one could argue that D3 is more promising than D2 since the technical gap to be bridged is smaller. I thought that this aspect would be more decisive than the question of which document has most features in common with the claim."

      Does anyone else agree?
      Susy

      Delete
    4. Yes. This is why there are several people who will file an appeal according question 18.2 and 18.4.

      Delete
    5. Susy, please send an email to eqe.appeal@gmail.com, we will add you to our "appeal group".

      Delete
  13. Hi,

    Has anyone received the result letter yet? They were supposed to be dispatched on March 31 but I still haven't got anything.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, received just this morning !

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info!

      Delete
    3. Yes i did yesterday :(

      Delete
  14. Dear Deltapatent Collegues

    I am drafting appeal on guestions 18.2 and 18.4.
    When arguing, that there is a doubt, whether a clear answer can be given to 18.2 and 18.4 - ie. D2 or D3 would be the closest prior art applying the problem solution approach (or at least equally close)- I would like to refer D 6/07 and D 7/07.
    "D 6/07 and D 7/07 were among a number of appeal decisions concerning the marking of paper C of the 2007 examination large number of candidates had taken as the starting point for their attack on the claims a document which the examination committee did not consider to represent the closest prior art and had been awarded no points in this regard.

    The Examination Board took the view that, in keeping with long-standing practice, some credit should be given for properly drafted problem and solution approaches even where the wrong starting document for assessing inventive step had been used.

    In the end , it was decided, as an exceptional measure, that the fairest option would be to award ten additional points (being the maximum number possible) to all candidates having sat the paper.The need to allow for the fair marking of answers which, although deviating from the marking scheme, were nonetheless reasonable and competently substantiated (D 7/05, OJ 2007, 378)."

    What do you think, are these decisions could have any relevance to Preexam cases?
    Thank you in advance

    Susy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would not cite to these decisions in your appeal. This is because careful reading of decision D 6/07 reveals that the Appeal Board was of the opinion that the general awarding of 10 points for each candidate was against the law, which requires that each candidate's answer be assessed individually. In the Reasons at item 5, the Appeal Board even pointed out that "This is not reconcilable with marking an examination paper as if it were a list of unrelated individual questions (as in a multiple-
      choice system) to which there is only one correct answer."

      Moreoever, it was clearly pointed out that it is not within the tasks of the Appeal Board to re-consider whether a document is closest prior art or not; see item 3 of the Reasons. Rather, the Appeal Board is charged with assessing whether a decision was against the law. In my opinion, however, the decision itself is not against the law, because a "fail" is merely determined based on the number of points. The degree of certainty whether an answer is correct or false is not against the law.

      In view of the foregoing, I would not cite to any of the previous decisions except for those that were taken last year when pre-exam results were appealed.

      The decision I would use is D 3/14. Here, it was also found that it is not within the tasks of the Appeal Board to re-evaluate every answer. Thus, only "Only if the appellant can show that the contested decision is based on serious and obvious mistakes can the board take this into account. The
      alleged mistake must be so obvious that it can be established without reopening the entire marking procedure. This isfor instance the case if an examiner is foundto have based his evaluation on a technically or legally incorrect premise
      underlying the contested decision."; see item 5 of the Reasons.

      This is the standard you have to meet in your argumentation.

      As a further note: Although the appeal fee is high, you should not file a statement, which can be read as conditional withdrawal of the appeal (as it was done by the appelant last year). If I were a member of the Appeal Board, I would have taken this statement alone as a clear indication that the appellant did not understand the EPC. (conditional withdrawal is only allowed for avoidance of publication or refund of the examination fee).

      Hope this helps

      Delete
  15. Does anyone know whether you receive some kind of acknowledgement when you file an appeal?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't think so. I wrote them myself to ask whether they received it and only then I got an acknowledgement. Better check with them, today is the last day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote them an Email in the end and they confirmed the receipt.

      Delete
  17. Does anyone know how many people filed an appeal?

    And if you know - what questions did they attack?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi,
    I filed an appeal – it concerned statements 12.1, 12.3, 13.3, 15.3, 17.1, 18.2 and 18.4. I scored 65 points.
    A short background for each of the statements:
    - 12.1, 12.3 and 13.3: the third embodiment talks about “A straining section” when first mentioned, thus not referring to THE straining section from the first and the second embodiment. Moreover, in the third embodiment it was written: “The skirt 40 further comprises the opening 55 of greater dimension than any of the perforations of the straining section 45.”, which completely mislead me to understand that the perforations in this embodiment are not all of the same size. I argued that there was an obvious and serious mistake made by the committee by using “a” instead of “the”, which was of a clear disadvantage to me as I lost 5 points here.
    - Statement 15.3: the claim is not clear because it does not comprise essential technical features such as an opening for pouring on the container and a skirt. The Examiner’s report talks about the mathematical relationship in this claim being clear, making the claim clear. However, I believed there were substantial problems with this claim that had nothing to do with the mathematical relationship but with a poorly written claims.
    - Statement 17.1: “close” is never mentioned in the cited paragraphs, contrary to what the Examiner’s report says. Indeed, both paragraphs [008] and [017] talk about lid being placed “ON” the container, NOT “close”.
    - Statements 18.2 and 18.4 – here it can be argued that D3 is the closest prior art, especially when it comes to statement 18.4, where even DeltaPatents guys were divided.
    Yesterday I called the EPO and heard that my appeal is going to be forwarded to the Disciplinary Board of Appeal. That said, I don’t have any other information on whether some statements were in the end awarded points for both TRUE and FALSE answers. Also, I have not yet got any email or any other information, although I was told by the EPO that they would send emails yesterday.
    I was wondering if anyone else has more info?
    Best regards,
    Ivana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would guess that you were not awarded any points (or at least not enough points to lift you above the 70 point threshold) since otherwise the Examination Board would have rectified its decision according to Art. 24 III first sentence REE.

      Delete
    2. same Anonymous as above14 June 2016 at 19:03

      Further, I haven't heard back from my appeal either.

      Delete
    3. Yes, that's definitely the case. I just hope they will provide me with more details on my appeal in their email.

      May I ask how many points you scored and which statements you appealed?

      Delete
    4. same Anonymous as yesterday15 June 2016 at 19:33

      I only appealed on the basis of 5.4 and the german wording thereof (being a German examinee)

      Delete
    5. Thanks for the answer! Let's see if we get any explanation for why they didn't find our arguments well founded...

      I just feel this is so unfair, the whole thing! Such a long period of uncertainty and unrest, the fact that they knew already on Friday the status of our appeals but they still didn't even send us emails to inform about this (why do we need to call to get the info?), the fact that it will take forever to decide on our appeals once they end up in DBoA (check D1/15 and D2/15 - the DBoA made a decision regarding the EQE 2015 appeals in May 2016 only!!!!), the fact that I don't even know how to prepare for 2017 pre-exam! What kind of weird questions are we gonna get next year I wonder?

      Welcome to the EQE world! Quite a crash landing I had :-(.

      Delete
  19. I would have attacked all questions according Fig. 1 to 3, because they asked for the disclosure or sizes in the figures, but answered with the embodiments. I got above 70 points, so I filed no appeal.

    Further I made a mistake at 5.4, but I think my answer is correct, because the question is according Hassan. But I think this is already known here. (I am a German examinee)

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      In fact I know some people who had exactly the same arguments in their appeals. Unfortunately, the Examination Board apparently didn't find them convincing, so their appeals also go to DBoA...

      Delete
  20. Apparently the letters forwarding the appeals to the Board of Appeals were dispatched on the 15th, the notifications thereof on the 16th.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Maybe preparing!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Who is also invited by the DBoA?
    Is someone interested in cooperation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did the preliminary opinion of the DBoA give any hope?

      Or did they rather repeat their "established practice" that they do not look into the merits and interpretation of terms, but only look at procedural aspects and serious mistakes?

      I heard someone saying that the DBoA said in their preliminary opinion "Although the candidate may have a point, the reasoning of the Examination Committee may also be understood, such that there is no reason to change the decision" -- in other words, the Examination Committee gets the benefits of the doubt, not the candidate (which is wrong in my view).

      M

      Delete
    2. There is a group you can join for cooperation, contact eqe.appeal@gmail.com

      Yet, they seem to admit 5.4.

      For all the other questions they don't see the obvious mistakes. I think, some more argumentation in the oral proceeding might help, because there are arguments to be clarified according the statement of the DBoA.

      Delete
    3. I appealed question 5.4 but did not request a hearing. You only get a preliminary opinion if you asked for a hearing I guess?

      Delete
  23. The DBoA has decided that both answers are correct with regard to 5.4.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you know, if this applies also for those, who didn't appeal, but would have passed because of 5.4?
      A.

      Delete
    2. Dear Anonymous,

      As the decision is not yet online on http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/recent.html, could you share the main reasons from the DBoA here? What was the "obvious mistake" they saw?

      Thx!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous of 31/08/16, 11:111 September 2016 at 12:04

      In summary, they said question 5.4 was unclear in itself by referring to "der Vertreter" while also referring to "eine internationale Anmeldung". "Der Vetreter" according to the decision, refers to Hassan but "eine internationale Anmeldung"does not refer to PCT-G due to the use of "eine". Based on these observations, they provide a long argument why this renders the questions unsuitable for a multiple-choice question. If you want I can send you the entire decision by email.

      Delete
    4. So that would/could mean that the German version (ambiguous --> both answers correct) gets a different treatment than the English and French versions (unambiguous --> only one answer correct)?

      But how does the exam committee know which language versiob you used? In contrast to the main exam answer sheet (cover sheet), the pre-exam answer sheet does not require nor allow you to indicate which language version you used, or?

      Delete
    5. @Anonymous of 31/08/16, 11:11:
      Thx, it would be appreciated if you can send the entire decision - roel.van.woudenberg@deltapatents.com .

      @Anonymous of 1/09/16, 13:21 and Anonymous of 31/08/16, 16:00 (below):
      In the pre-exam appeals from the the last two years, the exam results were corrected for ALL candidates that had failed and where the correction made them pass. See e.g. the Addendum to the Examiners'report of 2015 (15.2 and 17.3): "In addition, also candidates who did not file an appeal on this issue but in the light of these considerations would have passed, were upgraded and were informed accordingly. "
      It seems a legitimate expectation that this will be again, and that this will be done for all language versions, as there can be no certainty from the answer as handed in as to the language used. But we need to await an official communication from the exam committee.

      Delete
    6. Hi everyone, I have just noticed that the appeal decisions concerning the question 5.4 were published yesterday. Therefore, I wanted to know whether anyone has some news from the Examining committee concerning the candidates who did not file an appeal on question 5.4 ?

      Delete
    7. Hi, My grade has been changed to a PASS due to 5.4, and I did not appeal.

      Delete
    8. Many thanks for the update

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  24. TBH, I don't know but doesn't it usually apply to everybody? My appeal decision does not talk about it in any case.

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  25. My appeal was accepted on clarity of 5.4 even though I took the exam in EN

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    1. Hm, so the German version had one problem and the English version also had a problem, but another problem? Anyone knows about the French version?

      M

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  26. D 4/16:

    10. Hence, the Board considers that for an examination question statement 5.4 has not been formulated in a sufficiently clear and comprehensible manner to ensure that the answer could be only "true" or "false" what is required by a "multiple-choice" question of the pre-examination. An unclear and confusing examination question constitutes an obvious mistake (D 13/02, point 4 of the Reasons).

    11. Therefore, the contested decision is based on serious and obvious mistakes which have been established without reopening the entire marking procedure. The appeal is thus well-founded and allowable. According to Article 24(3) REE, the contested decision has to be set aside and the appeal fee reimbursed.

    See http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/recent/d160004eu1.html

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  27. The appeals D 1/16, D 2/16 and D 13/16 were all in German and addressed (just) the German version of the Pre-Exam. The DBA considered statement 5.4 (German version) to be self-contradictory and confusing, in that it leads on from a given situation, at the same time containing a generalisation -- the "der/the" vs "ein/a".

    D 4/16 is an appeal filed in English and referring to the English version of the paper. Interestingly, the arguments why statement 5.4 is ambiguous -also for the candidate that appealed in English- are based on the German text, as well as the difference in wording between the English and German text. The decision does not give any reason why the English version of quesion 5 or statement 5.4 would be ambigous without comparison/reference to the German version.
    D 4/16, r.5. As a consequence, statement 5.4 (German version) is self-contradictory and confusing, in that it leads on from a given situation, at the same time containing a generalisation.
    D 4/16, r.9. A further ambiguity in respect of the interpretation of statement 5.4 lies in the difference regarding the respective wording, namely "a representative" in the English version in contrast to "der Vertreter" in the German version.
    D 4/16, r.10. Hence, the Board considers that for an examination question statement 5.4 has not been formulated in a sufficiently clear and comprehensible manner to ensure that the answer could be only "true" or "false" what is required by a "multiple-choice" question of the pre-examination. An unclear and confusing examination question constitutes an obvious mistake (D 13/02, point 4 of the Reasons).

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  28. Please note, that comparing the EN, DE FR language versions of Question 5 it can be seen that in question 5.4, the expression „ a representative” is translated differently in the English and German versions (while in question 5.3 all three translations are in cohesion).
    To resolve any indefiniteness discovered in the text of the questions candidates are always advised to check the examination papers handed out in the three official languages during the Examination subject to Article 12 (1) REE

    S

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    1. I recommend to answer the questions when sitting the exam, and not trying to see where the Committee wetnt wrong in drafting the questions and/or in making translations.
      There is many more marks to win if you are well prepared on the merits of the paper, then there are to win from bug hunting.

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    2. Thank you. Never thought about that...

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  29. Decisions D 3/16, D 5/17 and D 7/16 are out, none of them successful. They appealed decisions addressed 12.3, 17.1 and 17.4; 12.3, 17.1, 18.2, 18.4 and 19.1; and 12.1, 12.3, 15.3, 17.1, 17.4, 18.2 and 18.4 respectively.

    None of the Exam Committees answers were considered to be incorrect.

    However, worth noting are the following comments from the Disciplinary Board of Appeal, taken from D 5/16, and also made in the other cases. The first comment is directed to the Exam Committee, the second to the candidates.

    32. Die vorliegende Beschwerde gibt der Beschwerdekammer Anlass für eine an die Prüfungskommission gerichtete allgemeine Anmerkung. Das Beschwerdevorbringen in diesem Fall macht deutlich, dass es im Rahmen einer Prüfung im multiple-choice-Modus wie hier bei der Vorprüfung zur Europäischen Eignungsprüfung von essentieller Bedeutung ist, die Prüfungsfragen bzw. zu bewertenden Aussagen klar und eindeutig zu formulieren. Insbesondere sind Begriffe und Formulierungen zu vermeiden, die die Bewerber zunächst zu einer Auslegung und Interpretation verleiten, die sie im Ergebnis zum Teil von der von den Aufgabenstellern eigentlich verfolgten Antwort und technischen und/oder rechtlichen Bewertung wegführt und zu Überlegungen und Ergebnissen seitens der Bewerber führt, die dem Sinn und Zweck der Vorprüfung nicht gerecht werden. Im Hinblick darauf, dass bei der Vorprüfung von den Bewerbern keine Begründung für die jeweilige Antwort „wahr“ oder „falsch“ gegeben und auch eine gegebenenfalls vertretbare alternative Lösung der Prüfungsfrage nicht berücksichtigt werden kann, kommt es bei der Formulierung der Aussagen entscheidend darauf an, dass nach dem zugrundeliegenden Sachverhalt eindeutig nur eine Antwort „wahr“ oder „falsch“ möglich und „richtig“ ist. Die Prüfungskommission wird gebeten, diese Anmerkungen bei der Erstellung künftiger Prüfungsaufgaben in geeigneter Weise zu berücksichtigen.

    33. In Richtung der Bewerber sei angemerkt, dass es Sinn und Zweck der Europäischen Eignungsprüfung ist, festzustellen, ob ein Bewerber geeignet ist, vor dem EPA als zugelassener Vertreter aufzutreten (Artikel 1(1) VEP) und er „fit to practice“ ist. Dies bedeutet auch, dass häufig vorhandene Mehrdeutigkeiten von Begriffen und die Relevanz von Fakten bei der Lösung der Aufgaben von dem Bewerber berücksichtigt und in Betracht zu ziehen sind. Da auch in der Praxis nur in seltenen Fällen von einer absolut klaren Bedeutung eines Begriffs auszugehen sein wird, ist in diesen Fällen eine entsprechende Auslegung und Würdigung gefordert. Wenn eine Aufgabenstellung sinnvoll und logisch und daher nach allgemeinem Verständnis klar ist, welche Antwort von dem Bewerber erwartet wird, kann dieser nicht auf Ausnahmen von der Regel vertrauen oder Interpretationen der Aufgabe erörtern, um zu zeigen, dass auch eine abweichende Antwort in Sonderfällen und bestimmten Situationen denkbar wäre.

    See http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/recent/d160005du1.html

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