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Part II Study Hours and Plans & Materials Used

I m pondering whether I should do Part II in May. Would appreciate greatly if you guys can share your experience! 

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I’ll be taking the exam next week. I primarily relied on Schweser and used the GARP material in addition. I also bought Wiley’s formula sheet last weekend, but I am currently not very convinced about this (e.g. it completely lacks any description - it only shows the formula, but doesn’t say what it is; apart from this there also some formulas missing). 

I am not so confident about the exam since I hadn’t that much time to learn due to my work.

I passed all three CFA exams and FRM part I (part I in May 2017 with the same strategy, but without formula sheet) at first try (so that I’d say that I am quite experienced when it comes to exams) and found that FRM part I wasn’t that hard. My impression with respect to part II is that part II is much harder than part I and may be even compared to some of the CFA levels. This might also be due to the fact that the time you have to learn for the FRM exam is not as long as the you have for CFA (as the material comes out only a few months before the May exam and there are roughly five months between FRM part I exam results and the actual part II exam) - which is a bad thing especially for me as I have a family with two kids and can only use the evening hours for learning. The other thing is that taking part I and part II in the same year i much more exhausting than I had expected before. Combined with family and work it was/is a quite intense year 2017.

I also have the impression as when part II not only covers a wide range of topics, but that you are also expected to have a deeper understanding of the topcis.

Hope that helps…

One thing in addition: I have no idea how much time I spent. But as I wrote it was/is a quite intense time.

Hi thanks for ur reply. Since ur already a CFA, ‘maybe concepts were known to u for Frm 1. I studied the whole Kaplan, did question bank, did mock questions and Garp 100 questions. I found garp questions very tricky and I couldn’t get much right answers. Will exam be somewhat like the Garp paper or will it be tougher. Plz reply since I’ve few days and I need to be mentally prepared. Feel free to be honest

That’s right. There isn overlap of topics between CFA und FRM part I which made it much easier for me to grasp the stuff. Honestly I forgot most of the exam. But I can remember that there were more questions that I answered but wasn’t sure whether the answer was correct. As you already mentioned the questions are mostly not straight forward and you should have a good understanding of the topics covered. Schweser’s QBank is ok to quickly get an idea where you might have to go into further detail. But as you surely have already seen the QBank questions are far away from GARP’s questions (much easier, much more straight-forward).

I don’t find GARP’s prep exam questions too tricky, especially compared to questions you find in the CFA curriculum papers. In my opinion GARP’s questions are just difficult, but not tricky in the way that they try to lead you into the wrong direction. 

To sum it up: I can’t really give you an answer as I forgot most of the exam. But as far as I remember I’d say that the exam’s difficulty is somewhat comparable to the GARP paper. Schweser’s questions are unfortunately often not complex enough.  

May be this article gives you some further hints: https://quora.com/How-many-questions-do-I-have-to-solve-to-pass-the-.... What I found really interesting in this article was: “during these years, the average years of professional experience of the FRM exam takers was 15 years and the average age was about 38. The CFA avg. was about 3 years and age 27, for those enrolled”. I don’t know if this is true, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that was the case. 

I wish you the best for next week!

I wish u the best too and appreciate u taking the time to write. Thanks again 

Hi Alex74, I wrote the Wiley program and there is nothing missing in the formula sheet. Why you may thing formulas are missing is because they may be in the assigned readings but GARP didn’t assign a “calculate” learning objective for that formula. 

Don’t waste time studying things that aren’t assigned on the exam!

Christian 

Alex74 wrote:

I’ll be taking the exam next week. I primarily relied on Schweser and used the GARP material in addition. I also bought Wiley’s formula sheet last weekend, but I am currently not very convinced about this (e.g. it completely lacks any description - it only shows the formula, but doesn’t say what it is; apart from this there also some formulas missing). 

I am not so confident about the exam since I hadn’t that much time to learn due to my work.

I passed all three CFA exams and FRM part I (part I in May 2017 with the same strategy, but without formula sheet) at first try (so that I’d say that I am quite experienced when it comes to exams) and found that FRM part I wasn’t that hard. My impression with respect to part II is that part II is much harder than part I and may be even compared to some of the CFA levels. This might also be due to the fact that the time you have to learn for the FRM exam is not as long as the you have for CFA (as the material comes out only a few months before the May exam and there are roughly five months between FRM part I exam results and the actual part II exam) - which is a bad thing especially for me as I have a family with two kids and can only use the evening hours for learning. The other thing is that taking part I and part II in the same year i much more exhausting than I had expected before. Combined with family and work it was/is a quite intense year 2017.

I also have the impression as when part II not only covers a wide range of topics, but that you are also expected to have a deeper understanding of the topcis.

Hope that helps…

I’m with Alex74 here; I also felt that Wiley’s Formula Sheet is not very helpful. It just mentions the chapter and the plain formula, does not even say what the formula is doing or in what context it is used.

My experience with the FRM exam:

I cleared FRM part 1 and part 2 exam back to back in May’17 and Nov’17 attempt. I did this while doing my Full time MBA in Canada. I had the leverage in part-1 exam as I had cleared CFA level 2 exam in the past.

So, I will try to explain how I found the three most commonly used resources to study FRM exam: Schweser, Bionic Turtle and Wiley

Caution I tried all the resources, but I ended up using only Schweser since I found it to be enough to clear the exam.

Part 1 exam – For part 1, I studied only for one month overall as I could not start earlier due to my MBA. In the last 15 days I just studied for the exam. I passed with 1,2,2,1 in the exam.

For Part -1 exam I had no time for BT so I started with Wiley since it claims it be “to the point” material to study for the exam but in my view it was too much to the point and I could not find any relation between different learning outcomes. Also, it tries to answer just the learning outcome and does not provide the relevant background which I believe is required if you are just relying on the books. So, in two days I switched from Wiley to Schweser.

Part 2 exam – As soon as the result cam out for Part-1, I started studying from both BT and Schwerser for Part 2. Wiley was out of question for me this time. Till August, I majorly relied on BT but due to lack of time because of my MBA I moved to Schweser. My result for Part -2 was 1,1,2,2,2

So, in my experience:

Bionic Turtle – If clearing the exam is not the only goal and you really want to understand the risk work then go for BT.

SchweserIf you are writing the FRM exam just to get the certification to increase your market value which I believe most CFAs do then Schweser is enough for you.

WileyI found it like a summary of Schweser and BT notes. Won’t suggest it to anyone. May be it is a good resource for someone working in a risk role and is already familiar with the background but even then the risk industry is so broad and you can’t have the background for each type of risk.

For practising questions, I relied more on previous GARP papers than any other resource.

Hope that helps.