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GARP materials sufficient?


New Member
Hello turtlings!

I am thinking about signing up for the FRM part 1 exams in may and am trying to learn as much as possible about the study materials available from GARP and 3rd parties. From snooping around this forum, there seems to be several options in terms of study materials:

1.GARP official text books
2.Jorio's Handbook
3.3rd party materials (Bionic turtle,Schweser,etc)

It seems that from these options, the GARP books are most in depth but suffer from a lack of worked examples (i.e.many questions do not have readily available answers). Is this true? If one were to study exclusively from the official GARP textbooks and use past exam papers to solidify the mechanics of solving problems will this be enough? Are the worked examples in the GARP readings good/relevant enough to pass the exam or will exam questions be difficult to link back to GARP worked out problems?

I rarely hear anyone using the GARP material at all or exclusively and am probably gonna get BT tier 1...but am not too sure yet! Has anyone passed the exam using GARP exclusively?

Thank you all


I dont think anyone has relied solely on GARP's readings alone, IMO it's not sufficient enough. Nowhere near, as you are right in saying that, they have a fair amount of question's per chapter but no answers at all. And the mini exam at the end of each book is inadequate. You should certainly look at third parties (for practice questions if anything) to aid you in your studies.

Also, the questions in GARP's textbooks (the ones that they provide answers for anyways) are usually not as difficult as the real exam, whereas the questions on BT are tougher than you would get on exam day. Do some research as to what you want to do but I would definitely recommend BT.


Yeah it's all online. It's because it would cost them too much to print and ship all the material out. Sucks but, not a big deal to be honest, whats important is quality.


New Member
The thing is if you don't have an ipad/smartphone (like me) then it is quite hard to make good use of study time. Does BT have a separate package that includes only sample questions/answers independent of study materials? That would be good product differentiation!

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
-MaNi- Thanks for your kind words :)


re: hard copies: I don't see us ever doing that. Three reasons:
  1. As MaNi suggests, it would definitely add a cost. More than shipping, in terms of our support time. The logistics of delivering physical product require an addition support process (at least according to the several business owners I know who ship physical product).
  2. Hardly anybody really asks for it. We get a lot of questions daily via several channels. It doesn't make the top ten, truly.
  3. Most importantly, and why i don't see ever doing it: it's totally ill-suited to revisions. We make revisions every week to the PDFs. The only way, IMO, you can ship (for example) quality hard-copy PDFs would be to reduce their aspiration such that revisions are not wanted/needed. ( I bought a CFP product from a provider, b/c i am studying the CFP curriculum, and I am constantly getting new sheet updates mailed to me. I think it's a mess. I guess one solution would be to mostly ignore errors and imprecisions ... but, honestly, any PQ sets that does not require revision can't be very good in the first place. In my opinion).
re: separate package: Tier 1 = PQ + Notes. So, that's pretty close.
We may break off PQ in 2013, but the downside is added complexity (adding 3 Tiers introduced complexity, not 100% in a good way).

fwiw, we have just hired one of the world's best designers (adding to our world class developer team) because we are redesigning the site to
  1. simplify and improve usability for paid customers (e.g., the study planner)
  2. simplify the product cart
  3. make the entire site "responsive" (i.e., to mobile devices)