Announcement on the EQE - Paper D

T. Reijns

Article 1(4) REE and Rule 26(1) IPREE specify that the purpose of Paper D is "to assess candidates' ability to answer legal questions and to draft legal assessments".

Over the last 4 years we have noticed a decline in the quality of candidates' answers to the legal questions in Paper D. The candidates appear to be less well prepared on the legal documentation in the syllabus. It also appears that candidates focus more on the preparation for the legal assessment part (part 2) of Paper D than the legal questions (part 1).

With the formal merger of the two parts of Paper D into a single exam some years ago, candidates have shifted their focus to the legal assessment and moved to answering the legal questions only in the time they have left after completing the legal assessment. This in itself is a way of time management that is allowed and could be a good strategy for some candidates.

What is not desired is when candidates do not prepare for the legal questions enough and focus only on the legal assessment. Fifteen years ago, more emphasis was given to the legal assessment by changing from a 50:50 point distribution to 40:60, because candidates at that time put most of their effort on answering the legal questions and gave little attention to the legal assessment. We have now reached the other extreme.

In order to be considered "fit for practice", candidates must know the law and be able to apply it. Only being able to do one of these, is not enough.

For this reason, the point distribution between the legal questions and the legal assessment will be floating with a variation between 60:40 to 40:60 from EQE 2020 onwards.

Since the purpose of the floating point distribution is to encourage candidates to prepare well for both parts of Paper D, the distribution will not be announced before the date of the exam. Of course, the point distribution will be clearly indicated on the exam papers.