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Thread starter #1
This thread has been created to provide information and tips about FRM part 1 examination preparation to the present and future candidates .I seek participation and feedback from the registered candidates for Part 1 examination, successful candidates of part 1 examination from the past and Certified FRM's about areas such as how should one handle individual subjects from Part 1 Exams and specific topics within them:
  • Foundation of Risk Management
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Financial Market & Products
  • Valuation & Risk Models
Participants based upon their knowledge and experience gathered in past or present can share the following feedback about chapter(s) or topic and/or subject(s):Classification -Theory based or Numerical oriented ,Difficulty level,testable or key concepts,Whether the chapters are stand-alone topics (independent reading) or have to be covered together, information about prior concepts related to P1, if applicable and mathematical concepts, which are required to read and/or comfortably handle any given chapter, suggested order of coverage etc. The participants can use their discretion and judgement to cover any other area of exam preparation in their feedback.

This thread aims to complement the information and ongoing discussion in the "Study Plan Guide"in FAQ section by providing specific inputs. Additionally,it will also have some tips related to exam day from the people who have written part 1 previously. And can also use the feature of polls to provide some direction to the registered candidates.
Thread starter #2
Starting with FRM Part 1 preparation

A.Financial Calculator - There isn't a better friend or aid than the approved financial calculator in an FRM exam.Initially one can begin by getting themselves accustomed to using some advanced mathematical operations such as square root, exponents, reciprocal,factorial,combination,logarithms etc,then move to learning calculator tools such as Format -resetting of decimal places etc, CLR work ,TVM function,Stat (Statistics) function etc.At this stage,One should necessarily familiarize,learn and practice how to store values (Sto) and Recall (RCL)them in multi step calculations.From my experience, I can firmly state that learning this useful tool of the calculator will be helpful in saving time and doing away with the need of scribbling anything on the question paper.One can take support of either the product manual of the chosen and approved calculator or simply watch any of the videos uploaded by the different study providers of CFA and FRM programs(I think,BT also has a video). Some functions such as Stat and Date can be understood with the related study material.

B.Study Material - I would recommend starting with the following topics from these subjects,Either one can start with any of the 3 books and read it till the end or can mix topics from different subjects based upon their inclination,comfort level or other factors (I used the latter approach)

1.Foundation of Risk Management - Chap 1,Risk management - A helicopter view, Chapters related to Financial Crisis -Deciphering the liquidity .....,Getting up ...one weekend's reader guide.Conceptual,Easy and interesting read.

2.Quantitative Analysis- Probability,Distribution and Basic Statistics.If a candidate is working towards finishing other topics too.they should then proceed with Hypothesis testing and cover till Hypothesis testing ... multiple regression (5 chapters)

3.Financial Markets & Product - Banks,Insurance companies and Mutual Funds - Any one or more can be read,easy,stand alone and interesting.Alternatively one can start with Introduction .. and cover till Hedging strategies ..... ( 3 chapters) sequentially (introduces basic concepts related to derivatives)

4.Valuation & Risk Models - Not recommended for studies till coverage of topics like hypothesis testing (QA) ,Options (FMP),Interest rates and Swap etc (FMP) have been done.There are some stand alone chapters,which do not require any prior coverage of any other topics of P1 in the subject's syllabus, candidate can read them while sequentially reading topics related to VAR (4 chapters) .option valuation (3 chapters),fixed income valuation (5 chapters) or can read them with topics requiring sequential reading from other subjects.
Thread starter #3
*For those who will be covering the entire syllabus only around examtime*

These four activities should form part of daily study schedule

1.Coverage of fresh chapters/incomplete topics - if there are many such uncovered chaps- Cover longest,difficult and most weighted first.Try to finish this activity till around Nov 10 or a week before exams

2.Revision of chaps covered - Should take up the following chapters first - Chapters that require memorizing In terms of formulas and concepts and have been read only once before,Any other chapters which has been covered more than once should be revised only before the exams ..

3.Memorizing formulas of covered chaps or of ones which person is covering currently ...

4.Attempting practice questions of the two kind mentioned above.First covering most repeated questions in different qbanks or at different places - EOC,sectional tests or tests covering few topics and full length mock practice tests,difficult - formula wise or needing multi step calculations.

Activities 3 and 4 can obviously be clubbed ...
Thread starter #4
Calculator tips for those,who have used different number counting systems over the years ..

Most of the figures in exam questions or appear in millions and at times billion too.Many calculations for a single questions require working with multiple such figures.This at times,can be inconvenient for people who have used different counting systems in their countries and cultures ever since growing up and not practiced enough.This can lead to calculation and compounding errors in exams,especially when the answer choices are not so obvious to make up for error in putting less or extra zeros ..

There is a solution.After the exam starts (Not before it is a violation !),store the figure of 10,00,000 (1 million) in one of the memory slots,now whenever figures appear such as 330 mn or 2 billion,multiply 330 and 2000 respectively after extracting values froom this.Needless to say,that one needs to get at least the multiples (E.g 330 and 2000) right !
Thread starter #5
*Suggestions and tips (1/2) - Before and during the exam*

Should read GARP's exam policy (does not appear on admit card).More applicable and useful for people who will be travelling to other cities to take exam and may face issues fixing the gaps or emergencies.Here are some important observations and suggestions based on this

1. *Mobile phones*

For possibly the first time,GARP has allowed the candidates to carry *one mobile* and keep it in turned off position upside down.Though will advise keeping it below desk,only when there is no alternate arrangement to keep it.

2. *Additional Calculator and batteries*

There was no specific mention about batteries last time.But GARP has allowed both additional calculators and batteries now.Firmly believe that each candidate should carry either of them and should know beforehand about the way for replacement of batteries or working of other calculator (Some features may be missing).Goes without saying that generic use of calculator and specific functions for performing certain calculation should be mastered.

3. *Medicines,Water bottle,Food item*

Some part of globe may face severe weather esp cold etc during that time,accordingly medicines should be kept ..

Having water bottles handy can save some precious time.

Food,which may appear an oddity is essential in certain medical conditions,where regular food intake is necessary.Only such people will be best served to consume food items during exam hours.

Will like to come up with some tips and suggestions for achieving optimal performance during exam hours in my second piece.
Thread starter #6
*Some mental conditioning suggestion from now until exam*

At the time of writing this,most people who are working, either would have taken break from work or will take an off soon.It is important for most of them to consciously or unconsciously consider that *how involvement and engagement in any activity or every bit of time spent during the day can/Will contribute towards achieving optimum results in the exam. Things, whether related to exams or otherwise,which can be delayed,ignored or postponed or does not require elaborate consideration for these last few days should be treated and acted upon such*

Can be ignored by ones,who have already thought and acting in accordance with the same
Thread starter #7
Suggestion and tips for revision activity from now until exams

These are some activities which can be undertaken or can be avoided

1.Avoid reading any uncovered chapter now,can complete some small section of a significant chapter though.Idea should be to master and conquer,what has been studied ...

2.Read chapter summaries,highlighted text,any self made notes etc.Avoid revising any chapter from scratch and going through whole reading.Can also refer to Focus review videos of whole subject ( but that only)

3.Should try going through all solved examples in mock tests,GARP practice tests etc,covering different variants etc.Avoid solving questions now,unless there is a great likelihood of it getting tested as observed in past papers.This tactic should not be adopted for theory material.Instead focus on activity suggested in Point 2 above ..

4.Should memorize all formulas and be clear about notations etc used in formulas.The formulas can also be revised through writing.This activity should take precedence over point 3.

Hope that following above results in a productive exam effort for the reader of this message.
Thread starter #8
Suggestion and tips (2/2) - During the exam hours

There may be different approaches for going about answering the exam questions and some precautions and activities too, which one should consciously follow or take care about.While all/some suggestions here,may be common knowledge for many,but still here are some

1.Start from the first question and go until the last question.While doing this every question need not be answered.Answer the short single step practical question and those theory question whose reading will not take much time.May just read the last part of questions to answer many question in a time efficient manner.This activity will ensure that easy picking or scoring ones are not missed,while facing time crunch during the end ..

2.Repeat the first step after reaching the last question,now one can take up relatively longer theory question or multi step practical calculations.Even here some really tough, unknown and ambiguous questions should be avoided and reserved for having a first look at the last.

3.Decide whether the question has to be answered or which option is most likely and try attempting it after the first read itself.Fiddling with the question or taking disproportionate time for deciding about answer choice for a question is one of the most significant time killers in exam

4.Mark the oval right away after deciding about the answer.It is not the most time efficient activity,but will ward off the high risk alternate option of missing out on marking the correct answers in a crunch situation..BE MINDFUL ABOUT AVOIDING THE BIGGEST PITFALL HERE ie MISMATCHING THE ANSWERS WITH OTHER QUESTION(s).THIS IS A HIGH POSSIBILITY,WHEN CERTAIN QUESTIONS ARE SKIPPED.DO REGULAR CHECKS TO ENSURE THAT ABOVE IS AVOIDED.


6.Consciously take deep breadths and try looking away and blink eyes after some predefined times.Deep Breathing ensures regular supply of Oxygen to brain,which is required for optimum functioning of brain.During deep concentration and studies,both the activities mentioned are given a miss.

7.Take at least one break to consume water, freshen up,wash face etc.If taking a single break,take a 2-3 min break just before last 45 min or so,when one is not allowed to move outside exam hall.Even if the requirement is not felt,it can just prepare one to face the pressure of last hour/half an hour or ward off any difficult situation ...

There can be more additions or insights,viewpoints etc.If it is possible,past or current candidates can share their view here.