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Do the new compensation rules lower the bar for passing D ?

This is a post for discussion purpose !

Under the "old" rules for examination you could compensate for an exam where you scored between 45 and 49 marks if you scored more than 200 points in total, you were a first-sitter and passed the other three papers.

The "new" Rules are as follows:

Rule 6: Grades/passing the examination

(1) Each answer paper shall be marked on a scale from zero to 100 by the relevant Examination Committee.
(a) Where, on the merits of an answer paper, a mark of 50 or more is awarded, a PASS grade shall be awarded for that paper.
(b) Where, on the merits of an answer paper, fewer than 45 marks are awarded, a FAIL grade shall be awarded for that paper.
(c) Where, on the merits of an answer paper, a mark of at least 45 but less than 50 is awarded, the grade awarded for that paper shall be COMPENSABLE FAIL.

(2) Subject to Article 14(2) REE, a candidate shall be declared to have passed the  examination if he satisfies all of the following conditions:
(a) he has not been awarded a FAIL grade in any of the papers,
(b) he has been awarded a PASS grade in at least two papers, and
(c) his total aggregate mark in the four papers set out in Rule 21 is at least 200.

(3) [not shown]

The "first sitter" requirement seems to have been deleted, which to me makes sense as all four papers cover different aspects of the work of a Patent Attorney.

Anyhow, suppose a candidate scores the following:

A: 80 points (pass)
B: 30 points (fail)
C: 50 points (pass)
D: 45 points (compensable fail)

Under the "old" rules (as I understand it, please correct me if I'm wrong) this candidate had to resit both B and D.

However, the new rules seem to allow this candidate to resit only paper B in order for him to pass all four papers. Even if he would only score 50 points for paper B, he can compensate his D paper with the results for his A paper.

In another example, even when the candidate would have scored 45 points for both C and D, he seems to allowed to pass all papers by resitting only paper B.

Since in most cases scores for paper A and/or B are probably rather high (that is >60) the new system effectively seems to lower the bar for the more difficult (and from a preparation point of view extremely time consuming) paper D to 45 marks.

As I started this post it is for discussion purposes, and above that I may have missed an article or rule that renders the above example complete nonsense...... Anyway, your comments are welcome.

Read the Regulations here.

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  1. ...but compensation cannot be used to pass an exam you failed in the past (retroactively)

    So in your example, you would have to resit both B & D the next year. Compensation would be applied to the B & D (including the results from any passed papers. So results of B:45 & D:45 would mean a pass.

    This is how we understand it.

    There is an exception for 1st time sitters doing A/B in 2009 & C/D in 2010 (the old modular system allowed a retroactive passing of A and/or B). To make life more confusing, they can choose to use either the old system or the new system in 2010

  2. Salted Patent seems to be correct as regards carrying forward old results. Under Article 25 (Transitional Provisions) you can carry forward passes obtained up to 2009 and compensable fails on A/B obtained in 2007-2009. There is no transitional provision for carrying forward compensable passes on full modular sits AB-CD or on full sits of all four papers ABCD.

    However, new Rule 6 leaves things much more open for exams from 2010. My guess is that in the future it will be possible to carry forward compensable fails and compensate for them by a future pass. If the Exam Board takes a narrower view, no doubt the matter will be taken on appeal by candidates whose compensation is refused.

    Back to your example, if a candidate obtained these marks in 2009, he/she has to re-sit B&D.

    If a candidate obtains the same marks in 2010, he/she can pass the exam by re-sitting B and obtaining 45 or more. At least, that's my opinion.

    Leaving aside specific marks, the new pass scheme is going to offer re-sitters much the same opportunities to pass as first timers. We should thus see an increase in the pass rate for re-sitters.

  3. As the REE is not very clear, I recommend candidates to check any individual strategy first with the EQE Secretariat.

    I realise the deadline is tomorrow for applying to take exams next year, but you can call the Secretariaat, and then fax your application.

    An alternative is register now for everything, and decide in the coming weeks if you want to withdraw your registration for a particular paper. Depending on how late that it, you will get a portion of your fee back.

  4. Mr. Cronin, your assumption is right: "We should thus see an increase in the pass rate for re-sitters."
    Unless the papers become tougher and/or the examiners rougher (which yet seems unlikely).

  5. In June I asked an EPO Examiner involved in the Munich CEIPI course about the new compensation rules, which I found quite unclear, and, after he asked the person in charge of the EQE at the EPO, confirmed that the interpretation of the new compensation rules is correct.

  6. So as far as I could understand, a candidate scoring
    A 47 (compensable fail)
    B 67 (pass)
    in the eqe 2009 (first sitting; modular AB)

    and further failing in C and/or D in the eqe 2010 must only re-sit the failed paper he/she sat in 2010.

    Is my ineterpretation correct ?

  7. And ? What is the result? Is he right?

  8. If a candidate got 80 in A but 45 in B, C and D. Which paper should he re-sit? All of B, C, D or just two of them? If two of them, which two?

  9. Looking at the Rules above you have to pass at least two papers. As the candidate has passed A I would think he only needs to resit one paper, for which he probably will select B.

    Please check with the EPO Secretariat to make sure however !

  10. I just received my EQE results (A(2010)66, B(2009)72, C(2010)46, D(2010)42), and this comment from the EQE Secretariat:
    According to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination (REE), a paper which was not passed yet can be resat.
    In the case described below, resitting paper C of course wouldn't make much sense. I can confirm that according to Rule 6 Implementing provisions to the REE, the EQE is passed if
    two papers are passed (50+ points) and
    no paper is failed (less than 45 points) and
    the total aggregate mark is at least 200

    If we take the results you mentioned in your email

    A in 2009 66 points, B 2010 72 points, and failed C 2010 46 points, and D 2010 42 points
    resitting only paper D in 2011 and scoring 45 points or more would be sufficient in order to pass the EQE.

  11. It's all so confusing. If one year a person gets A - Compensable and B - pass, then the next year does A C D, and if they get a lower grade on the A, do they lose forever the A - Compensable?
    If the first year you fail a paper and then the next year you take it again, do you have to get 50+ or just 45+ ? (assuming other papers have high enough points). In other words, if on your first time sitting the paper you dont get 45+ do you loose the opportunity forever to profit from the 45-49 range for that paper?

  12. I have basically the same situation as ABB except that I got 50 points for paper A and 78 points for paper B in 2009. This year, I got 47 points for paper C meaning a compensable fail and failed paper D. Thus, I started an enquiry with the EQE Secretariat which told me today that I will pass the EQE if I get at least 45 points for paper D in 2011.


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