This Kat just learned of a most regrettable uncertainty in the issuance of the European Qualifying Examination pre-exam results today. According to the DeltaPatents blog and comments posted there, the situation, as he was informed by a concerned candidate, is as follows:
A first set of results were issued at around 10am. Of the 796 candidates sitting, 591 passed and 205 failed.
For question 20.2 the Examiner's report states:
“The statement 20.2 indicates that the material of D2 should replace the material of D1. This is not a valid argument within the framework of the problem solution approach, since D2 and not D1 is the closest prior art document. Hence, the answer to 20.2 is “False”.The formulation of 20.2 was however unnecessarily complex. Just by using the expression “D2 could be replaced by” instead of “D2 could replace” the solution would become “True”, since there is no teaching that solid wood could be replaced by the material of D1. For this reason, it is exceptionally decided to award marks for the answer “True” as well.”
Therefore marks were awarded to candidates for answering either true or false.
However, it appears that those candidates who answered false to this question actually had their marks double counted. At around 3pm a revised set of results was published, with around half the candidates scoring 2 points fewer compared with the results issued in the morning! The revised results meant that 575 candidates passed and 221 candidates failed.
At around 4:30pm, the results were revised back to the original set published in the morning. There are 16 candidates who don’t know if they have passed or failed.
This Kat can only imagine how distressing it must be for a candidate to be bounced backwards and forwards between pass and fail. Although he understands that this informal notification of results is not the binding outcome, (the results come with the disclaimer "Please note that we cannot accept liability for the information given. Only results as notified to you in your result letter are binding.") surely every care needs to be taken to ensure that they are correctly notified even at this stage.
Moreover, the fact that an ambiguity of this magnitude has arisen at this stage, and the fact that Delta Patents seem to have disagreed with the official answer in a number of further questions, together suggest that perhaps the formulation of the multiple choice questions has become too complex.
The IPKat wonders whether any readers have further news or insight into this troubling situation.