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CFA Level II and FRM in the same year?


New Member
Hi David,

A colleague of mine just passed FRM and recommends this course highly. I am contemplating taking CFA Level II in June 2009 and FRM exam in November 2009. I've been told that there are many similarities between the 2 courses so studying for CFA Level II will help in preparing for FRM.

a) Can you kindly opine on whether doing both exams in the same year is advisable?

b) Secondly I will probably need a month off to recharge my batteries after the CFA exam and therefore will the 4 - 5 months from July on be enough to study for FRM?

Thanks in advance.


David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Hi Irfan,

a) I have a hard time saying what' "advisable" because personal situations vary and both the CFA and the FRM are *very* time consuming. I know it's "possible" b/c I've consistently had a couple/few customers doing both. The plan, it seems to me, ties up the bulk of your extracirricular time over the entire year, so this plan is a major time committment. On the one hand, there is significant overlap (e.g., much quant, much derivatives, some fixed income) but on the other hand, there is a lot of non overlap (e.g., in the CFA, FinStatement, economics, ethics and almost all CorpFin finds no redundancy in the CFA).

b) Yes, definitely that is possible. The key, of course, will be to truly activate in July - my estimation is that, in reality, if you activate your preparations with a regular plan, you will be somewhere near enough to the "median" of the time when most people realistically start preparing with discipline (or, in other words, you won't be too far behind; a fabulous few will start early in March in earnest, or in April, but each year it seems that most start to really kick in as Summer approaches). Your july start combined with being fresh from the CFA II, would actually put you, content wise, in an "above median" position. So, I have no doubt this is possible, i think (IMO) it's more a matter of whether you want to be all year in prep.

Thanks, David


Vice President
It's doable - I almost pulled it off. Failed CFA-2 in the 10th band, then passed FRM. It doesn't make for the most fun year ever, but studying CFA-2 definitely gives you a leg up on other FRM candidates. You can start FRM in mid-July and be fine, especially if you've written CFA-2.