Home » Patents » The predictive power of the Pre-EQE

The predictive power of the Pre-EQE

Keltie LLP

K2 IP Limited

About IPcopy

IPcopy is an intellectual property related news site covering a wide variety of IP related news and issues. We will also take the odd lighthearted look at IP. Feel free to contact us via the details on the About Us page.

Disclaimer: Unless stated otherwise, the contributors to IPcopy (the "IPcopy writers") are patent and trade mark attorneys or patent and trade mark assistants at Keltie LLP or are network attorneys at K2 IP Limited. Guest contributors will be identified.

This news site is the personal site of the contributors and is not edited by the authors' employer in any way. From time to time however IPcopy may publish practice notes, legal updates and marketing news from Keltie LLP or K2 IP Limited. Any such posts will be clearly marked.

This news site is for information purposes only. Information posted to this news site is not legal advice and should not be taken as such. If you require IP related legal advice please contact your legal representative.

For the avoidance of doubt Keltie LLP and K2 IP Limited have no liability as to the content of IPcopy and any related tweets or social media posts.

Privacy Policy

IPcopy’s Privacy Policy can be viewed here.

classroom-1910012_1920It’s mid-January. Exam stress is rising. About two months from now, more than 2,000 candidates from close to 40 different countries will take part in either the EQE pre-examination or one or more of the four EQE main exams that are organised by the European Patent Office (EPO). These exams, especially the four main exams, are not easy. Only 2 in 5 candidates manage to pass all papers in their first attempt. Passing these exams is only possible with proper preparation. Following some courses is highly recommended for all papers. Thoroughly studying the (case) law and practicing a large number of old exams is unavoidable.

In 2012, the EPO introduced the pre-exam with the aim to better prepare candidates for the difficult main exams. As I already discussed in an earlier article, the pre-exam appears to serve its purpose. The overall pass-rates went up and candidates who prepare and score well in the pre-exam have a considerable better chance to be successful in their first attempt on the main exam.

Following a discussion with the EQE committees during last year’s tutor meeting, I decided to dive a little bit deeper into my database with EQE results and to give my EQE statistics website a little update. In addition to the relation between pre-exam score and pass rates for the full exam, I decided to visualise the relation between pre-exam results and the subsequent score on the first attempt at each individual paper. It was the expectation of the EQE Paper D committee that the correlation would be most visible for their paper. Let’s see how that turns out.

EQE results

In the diagrams above, you see for each paper, the proportion of people scoring above a certain amount of marks, given their earlier score for the pre-exam. Not surprisingly, certainly not when considering their higher success rate in the full main exam, candidates with higher pre-exam scores do better in all main exam papers. Interestingly, the correlation is not the same for all papers.

As the EQE Paper D committee already suspected, the predictive power of the pre-exam is highest for Paper D (legal advice). This may be because similar skills and knowledge are tested, but it could also mean that the D exam is just a little more predictable than the other three exams. With hard study and thorough preparation, you can score well in the pre-exam as well as for Paper D. For the other papers there are more factors that play an important role, such as understanding the invention, finding all the hints and writing down a proper claim or line of argument. Especially Paper A (claim drafting) results are spread widely. A good pre-exam is a nice start, but writing a proper claim in the limited amount of time you get for that appears to require some additional talents that are not really tested in the pre-exam.

What is also interesting to see is that, for all papers, the relation between pre-exam and main exam scores is strongest for the best performing candidates. It looks like a relatively low score on the pre-exam may work as a wake-up call for some candidates, while hardly any high performers decide to take it too easy with their preparations for the main exam.

And how do these statistical insights benefit this year’s EQE candidates? I’m sorry. They don’t. I can only advise you to study hard and practice a lot, but I would have done the same without this new information. If you’re sitting the pre-exam, it may be useful to realise that you don’t only study to pass the first hurdle. You’re laying a foundation for the bigger hurdles that need to be cleared next year. For the main exam, you will have to prepare well enough to make it into the upper half of all four diagrams. Even when you scored 85 or more marks for the pre-exam, you still have to make sure that it will be other people who are going to populate those relatively empty lower right corners in these diagrams.

Joeri Beetz 15 January 2019

If you’re interested in more EQE statistics (or in retrieving your own exam scores), check out my StatistEQE website: https://statisteqe.beetz.nl/.

[This article was originally published on LinkedIn – link]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: