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Feedback on part 1 May 2015 exam


New Member
Does garp only provide a pass/fail? Or will we get the actual questions and answers. Can you request your answers or booklet?

The conference room had NO clock. If Garp won't let you wear an ordinary watch then they should supply a clock. I made a huge mistake. I decided to circle and come back to answers if I wanted to double check the details or check for a caveat. When the proctor called 5 minutes, I went back and started filling in the circles. Well I only made it up to question
70 and ended leaving 10 to 12 questions blank...some of which I had answered in the booklet or alteast narrowed down. Don't think I passed. Think I would have passed if I just marked my answers. Not a good decision. But after 3.5 hours of testing with limited sleep, it seemed reasonable. I was ahead of the pace at 1, 2 and 3 hour marker.

For me, I am happy that learned what I wanted duration, convex, swap, bond etc. But don't think I passed. What was with all of the Basel questions?


New Member
Random Thoughts:-

1. The exam was much tougher than I ever ever expected. I did not use BT. I used Schweser Books, Qbank, Practice
Exams, some help from GARP Pearson books, Questions from FRM Handbook and GARP 2014/2015 practice questions . My average score was in the 70+ range throughout.

2. The new topics (my weak area) were given more weightage then expected. I think 20-25 questions were from the new topics.

3. The old topics (which I was very confident) in were tested in a very twisted, turned, upside down and complex. Very tricky and time consuming to decipher.

4. I was under the impression that we would be given fair amount of space to write on (scratch paper). We were told to do all workings in the 2 blank pages attached in the middle of the exam booklet. 2 sides, not 4 sides. To do 100 questions? Is that fair? We were told NOT to write or mark anywhere else in the booklet.

5. That means we had to rub off previous workings and then write again. Great. The pencils (official GARP provided) were of sub-standard poor quality, that wrote very densely and were very difficult to rub off. The quality of the eraser attached at the end was really poor.

I haven't had proper sleep. Need to clear my head. Will come back later and share more once others join in on the discussion.

God Bless.


New Member
I made the mistake of staying at the hotel exam site which was in downtown DC. There were constant fire engine calls from 2 to 4 in the morning.

They said not to write in the book? I must have missed that instruction.

I think garp should ask more questions on asset behavior to changing market circumstance and fewer questions about someone's "preferred" approach or risk metrics.


New Member
I think the exam was just about the right level. Though I can remember at least one question on Bond Pricing where none of the options matched the actual answer. I tried my head around it, cleared the calculator a couple of times, but no luck. I fumbled a little bit on Mortgage Pricing and Copulas(never understood Copulas really, as the assigned reading was purely theoretical). But I think GARP really tested out conceptual clarity with this one. You had to watch out for what the question was saying, instead of rushing to apply the formula you had regurgitated during your prep.

Overall I'm happy with what I learnt during the course of last three months. A little exhausted, and a little parched for some Beer. Cheers.


New Member
Same problem, they called 5 minutes and i was on question 90.last 5 questions I couldn't even read just circled option "c". Does any body remember what was the correct answers for last 5 questions .


New Member
Thoughts on today's exam...

I thought it was pretty fair, minus the no clock/no watches combination. I used Schweser (and nothing else) to study, and none of the questions seemed unreasonably difficult, but answering 100 of them in an hour was tough. I had to guess/fill-in on 5-7 questions I had circled to come back to.

I never heard anyone say we couldn't write anywhere in the booklet-I think that was a site-specific issue.

The only thing I'm not sure of is the candidate pool, since it's graded on a relative basis (like the CFA). Are most candidates already CFA charter holders? I passed Level 3 almost 2 years ago, and am working on the FRM just for the knowledge, since I've recently found myself thrown into a financial risk management role. If most candidates have already passed level 2 or 3 of the CFA, I should probably be a little nervous about my FRM results. Not trying to praise the CFA or anything, but there's a lot of overlap in the material...

Any data on the % of FRM candidates who have already passed L3 of the CFA?


New Member
Did you read that the FRM is graded on a relative basis? I assumed that you had to get a 70% to pass.


New Member
With a 99% confidence interval, I will be taking the exam again in November.

I felt that 20/20/30/30 weights of exam questions was a bit off.
It felt like the exam had at most 20% from Tome 1 and Tome 2 combined and more like 50% from Tome 3.
I only had 3 hours of sleep before the exam but in all honesty I do think the exam difficulty was fair but the time allocation was brutal for me.
15 Minutes left on the exam and I was ONLY at 75. I just started checking A in the answer sheet for the remaining 25 questions.

There is so much calculation involved (and I have always been the type of person who is the last to leave the exam room) and that pretty much sealed my fate.
You have very little room for reflection, the questions I could quickly skip through were because I've memorized/remember parts from the readings clearly confirming my answers.


New Member
Exam seemed fair. Although I wasn't able to answer everything (guessed on at least 10).

There were questions that appeared on previous GARP practice exams (Slightly modified).

What i learned here is to understand concepts in the AIM and not just rely on the historically highly testable items.

Goodluck to all of us. Now we wait.


Active Member
  • It was a good balance of quant and qual Qs.
  • Our site too had few issues - my booklet had just one seal and same was the case with few others. They changed my booklet. I pray they gave me a right numbered one though. Pencils thing didn't bother me much.
  • Writing on the booklet was allowed. It seems to be a site specific issue.
  • New topics were tested .. MBS, Diebold (at least 3 4 Qs) but everything was aptly covered in BT's note
Few Questions that I remember. Excuse the typos.
1. Box ljung chi square
2. TBA numerical .. positive carry and proceeds are negative/positive. Might be easy but I was unprepared for dollar roll calculation (frankly didn’t expect)
3. Calc UL give exposure
4. Multifactor beta with gdp and interest rate calc expected returns
5. Fx .. at least 3 questions
6. Calc sopt from swap rates
7. Role of audit committee in risk management - make sure risk mgmt is good
8. Role of CRO
9. Cov stationary series condition
10. 3 regression equation given.. stock vs oil oil vs tbill tbill vs oil.. was there any multicollinearity. Omitted variable
11. Adding another variable in regression increases rsq.. options were does it mean it more significant. .. easy one
12. One drawback of stress testing
13. Gini coeff and human development. .rank the countries
14. MBS calc cpr based on smm
15. Number of positions given asked whther it was calendar / butterfly
16. Easy one on pricing the bond
17. Garch graph was given x axis number od days . Y axis volatility. .. asked whether daily variabce is ... i think it was based on reading the co-ordinates from graph
18. Confidence interval .. it was long question but inc of 100 to 400 conf interval will decrease by half
19. Garch equation given then calc the today's volatility and interval for today index value ..
20. A question of raf basel recommendation
21. Which not a operational risk.. a trader entered wrong vol./ model wrong ..2 other options
22. Easy one on garp code of conduct
23. Which Dist used for loss frequency. .poisson
24. Alied and barings bank .. common trait
25. Stack and roll strategy.. when will you not make money if you are short
26. Delta normal.hedge.. when is it not effective
27. Credit rating matrix was given asked looking at that whether int. Rating used through the cycle or point in time
28. APT question..whether systematic risk in apt is zero or not... cant recall clearly
29. At least 3 questions on conditional / joint probability..miller
30. Regression. .t stat.. std error. When will u reject null
31. Corp bond...which one is most risk..debenture. equipment cert. Subordinate bond
32. Binomial tree. Vol was given. 2 traders has diff expectation by end of year. .6 and 12 percent. . In their models what would be their prob of down movement..
33. Cacl expected shortfall 100 days .. moving 10 days ahead and then recalc expectshorfall. One obs would drop out ..
34. VaR backtesting .. no of exceedances

@td, i think just rename the thread to "FRM Part 1 (May 2015) Exam Feedback"
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New Member
Came back to Unexpected Loss question at the end. PD variance wasn't given, but assume should have been inferred from bernoulli variance of p(1-p). Thought of this walking down the street after the exam and could've kicked myself for overlooking a concept I've looked at and reviewed so many times.

Agree with new topics, handful of questions. Exam had a little more qualitative balance than I expected, but certainly felt this increased the amount of answers which required less time and allowed staying on schedule.


Suprisingly (and badly for me) there was no question about ARIMA, AR, MA, WN, RW - only a short question about stationarity, distribution of Ljung/Box Test and Akaike/Black/MSE.


New Member
haha yeah, variance of PD is simply PD(1-PD). there were many tricky questions in the exam, not sure in about 25-30% of all questions, hope it's okay :/


New Member

Were we not allowed to write in the booklet?

I was taking exam in the London facility Excel and I couldn't actually understand what they were saying....because of resonance in the room!!!!

No clock...makes it hard to time!

What are consequences of writing in booklet?
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New Member
Did anyone else have issues with the BSM question where the specified the d1 and the chance of exercise? I could not get my math to work.


Hey, I think I was correct with c=s(0)*N(d1)-Ke^-rt N(d2), the tricky part: N(d2) wasn't explicitly named as N(d2) but described as the probability that the option won't be exercised. So I think you had to 100%-67% (as far I remember) for N(d2).


New Member
makes sense. Thanks. This exam tested conceptual knowledge much more than I expected.
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