(right: the only type of exam the IPKat is prepared to put up with)
Those who are not taking the EQEs this time round may be interested to know that, as from 2012, there will be a new 'pre-exam' that will have to be taken before the real thing. The EPO have recently slipped out a mock paper for the pre-exam, which is available here in all three official languages. The Examining Division have the following comments to make about it:
"This proposal includes legal questions and questions directed to aspects of claim analysis. The aim is to test legal knowledge and knowledge of the basic competences related to claim analysis such as novelty, inventive step (problem and solution analysis), “added matter” and clarity, needed for sitting papers A, B, C and D.
The proposal has been prepared in multiple choice format. With this format for the pre-examination, candidates would not be required to formulate answers to questions, this being tested in papers A, B, C and D, but would need to select from among alternative answers to questions. To facilitate preparation of this proposal, the legal questions are based on paper D1 of 2007 and the claim analysis questions are based on paper A of 2004.
Although the pre-examination is not relevant for candidates due to sit the EQE in 2010 and 2011, candidates for those years are welcome to try out the proposal preexamination.This Kat, who became qualified only last year, has had a quick look through the mock paper and, without the assistance of his much thumbed copy of Cees Mulder's book, was completely stumped by the first few questions. He can only hope that the real exam will be an open book one, as otherwise he thinks that only those with an eidetic memory would stand a chance. He was also slightly surprised at the new marking scheme, which seems to be partly based on the quiz show QI, since it seems to be quite possible to end up with a negative score.
The correct answers to the questions can also be accessed via the EQE internet pages.
It should be noted that this proposal has been prepared for evaluation purposes only and should not be taken as indicative of the actual form of the pre-examination to be introduced in 2012."