Thursday, August 15, 2013

Has the Pre-Exam improved the D-scores?

The results for the D paper are much higher this year.
"Pass":  62% from 1056 candidates - 4.2 % with 50 or more, 13.8% got 45-49
A 45 or higher is now considered a pass because of the new compensable fail system. 

So it is the highest passing rate in 10 years.

Over the years, the "pass" rate has fluctuated. We have also always seen that 1st-time sitters always had a higher chance of passing - for D, the first time you prepare properly and take it it is usually your best chance of passing.

The 1st-time resitter rate is not reliable, because from 2010 there is no official figure any more (the old modular system was abandoned from 2010, making the calculation more difficult). Using the published results, we have made estimations ourselves. For 2013, I have considered only those who passed the Pre-Exam in 2012.
The difference can also be seen in the distribution of the scores.

1. D 2013 candidates who passed Pre-Exam in 2012 (no zero scores considered)
Nr: 302 candidates           Average score: 58.3
less than 45 points = 17.2%           44-49 points = 11.3%        50 points or more = 71.9%
45 points or more = 82.8%

2. D 2013 candidates who did not take Pre-Exam in 2012 (no zero scores considered)
Nr: 754 candidates           Average score:45.0
less than 45 points = 46.3%           44-49 points = 15%        50 points or more = 38.7%
45 points or more = 53.7%

So why is the passing rate suddenly higher? There are at least two factors:
  • Those who did the first Pre-Exam were mostly over-prepared in 2012 because they expected a very difficult exam. They have now had an extra year to raise their knowledge and practice for the Main Exam.
  • Whenever the papers change in format [this year was the first 5-hour paper], candidates put more effort into practicing papers and thinking about time management. I know a lot of people complained in the EQE survey about too little time on B, C and D, but it does not seem to have been a problem. 
It is certainly good to see fewer disappointed candidates - the D paper is one exam that you only want to take once.


  1. The group who did not do Pre-Exam 2012 (includes many re-sitters) also did better than in previous years.

    So was the exam easier?
    I don't think so. The DII had no unusual legal problems, but it was still a lot of work. The DI questions were not easy.
    But with a single 5-hour paper, everybody can concentrate on the part that they do well - 1st-time sitters tend to be legally knowledgeable with little experience (good on DI), and re-sitters tend to have more experience but be slower at finding things in the law (better on DII).

  2. So the exam in itself was not easier, but it was easier to pass the exam? :-)