European qualifying examination
Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination
The Examination Secretariat,
Having regard to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives (REE) which entered into force on 1 January 2009 (OJ EPO 2009, 9), and in particular Article 9, paragraph 2, letter b, thereof, has decided as follows:
1. After they have taken their seats in the hall, but before the starting signal has been given, candidates may ask questions orally regarding the conduct of the examination. After the starting signal has been given, any questions must be put in writing. Questions relating to the wording of the papers will normally not be answered.
2. Candidates shall occupy the seat they have been allocated in the hall throughout the whole examination, unless otherwise advised.
3. In the hall, each candidate will be supplied with:
(a) a single copy of the relevant examination paper in the three official languages of the European Patent Office;
(b) a sufficient supply of lined DIN A4 labelled paper (hereinafter referred to as "EQE lined paper"), to be used for writing their answers;
(c) a coloured labelled cover sheet;
(d) for Papers A and B, upon request, a copy of the examination paper in the technical specialisation other than the one indicated on their application for registration and enrolment form.
4. Candidates shall bring a black or blue pen to the examination.
5. Candidates are advised to bring to the examination any books and documents they consider useful for answering the examination papers1.
6. They may also bring additional materials, with the exception of the items mentioned under point 15(a) below. They may not, however, append any of these materials and documents mentioned under point 5, or any sections thereof, to their answer paper.
7. When the starting signal is given, candidates shall check that the examination paper is complete and sign on the coloured labelled cover sheet. They shall not write their name or initials on any of the sheets of EQE lined paper nor shall they use their name or initials in their answers.
8. Candidates who arrive after the starting signal may not make up the lost time after the closing signal unless, in exceptional cases, the chief invigilator decides otherwise.
9. Candidates shall write their answers on the EQE lined paper only, unless they use the pre-printed opposition form as specified in Rule 25(3) of the Implementing Provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination (IPREE). They shall write on the lined side of the paper only and number each sheet at the top in consecutive Arabic numerals.
10. When writing their answers, candidates shall:
(a) write legibly. Illegible scripts will not be marked;
(b) write with a black or blue pen only and not use any highlighter pens on the answer papers (the answer papers will be photocopied for marking).
11. The end of the examination will be announced five minutes before the closing signal is given.
12. When the closing signal is given, candidates must:
(a) stop writing immediately;
(b) place the answer paper together with the signed coloured labelled cover sheet in the envelope provided (no other documents may be placed in the envelope);
(c) place the envelope to one side of their desk and remain seated until the envelope is collected by an invigilator.
13. The invigilators may take the names of candidates who do not comply with these instructions and report to the Examination Board the time when these candidates stopped writing and/or handed in the envelope, and any other relevant circumstances.
14. Should a candidate realise, before leaving the examination hall, that he has forgotten to place part of his answer paper in the envelope, he should inform the chief invigilator immediately. The part concerned must be placed in a separate envelope indicating the candidate's name as well as the date and time when the missing part was handed in and must be signed by the candidate. The Examination Board shall decide whether or not any such late-filed pages are to be deemed part of the answer paper and marked accordingly.
15. Candidates are not permitted to:
(a) bring to the examination any electronic devices other than an analogue wrist watch with no additional options, unless express prior permission to use such devices has been given by the Examination Secretariat;
(b) use staplers or other materials that may disturb other candidates;
(c) include in their answer paper any prepared material (e.g. lists of abbreviations and/or time lines);
(d) paste or staple sheets of their answer paper together;
(e) open the envelope containing the examination paper before the starting signal has been given, unless instructed to do so by an invigilator;
(f) communicate with each other during the period between the starting signal and the closing signal;
(g) take copies of their answer paper from the hall;
(h) smoke in the hall or in any other part of the examination centre.
16. Eating and drinking are allowed as long as this does not disturb the other candidates.
17. With the consent of an invigilator and provided that they hand in the question paper and their answer paper, candidates may leave the hall before the end of the time allotted for the paper. Candidates shall not be allowed to leave the hall during the last 30 minutes of the paper.
18. If a candidate disturbs other candidates during the examination, the chief invigilator shall be empowered to suspend him at once from the paper during which this occurs. The chief invigilator shall then draw up a report including any evidence of the disturbance.
19. If a candidate wants to file a complaint concerning the conduct of the examination, he shall submit it to the chief invigilator, together with a written statement of the facts, at the latest 30 minutes after the closing signal has been given on the final day of the examination.
20. Answer papers are corrected in the form in which they are handed in by candidates on the day of the paper concerned.