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Jorion Handbook or GARP Part 1 Books


New Member

I wonder if anybody here could clarify something for me please. This is not a BT related question but related to GARP.

I am a CFA charterholder and have recently registered for the FRM Part 1 Nov 2013 exam and have registered with BT for prep materials. On the GARP website, they list the Part 1 books published by them as the recommended study material for the FRM Part 1 exam at http://www.garpdigitallibrary.org/display/product.asp?pid=2475.

However, I also keep seeing mention of a 'Jorion Handbook' on various forums, prep providers' sites, etc. GARP also have it available here http://www.garpdigitallibrary.org/display/frmhandbook.asp

Would anyone happen to know what are the differences in these two readings? The handbook appears to be only 1 book (for both Part 1 & 2), whilst the GARP readings are 4 books (each part). Is it that the Jorion Handbook is a more concentrated summary? Is it useful for review perhaps?

Many thanks in advance for any clues you can offer.

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Hi luvnik,

The recommended books are the assigned FRM syllabus, and they update each year; they represent the essential FRM study.

The FRM Handbook is GARP's optional supplement and, in fact, it does cover both Parts 1 & 2 however not comprehensively (not even nearly). There have been many discussions in this forum and various opinions (like vs dislike) on the role of the Handbook in a study plan. My opinion is:
  • It's strength is that it's an efficient introduction to key parts of the syllabus, but not the whole syllabus; for this reason, many find it to be an effective complement. While Jorion did not write the questions, he wrote the text and he's excellent.
  • It's weakness is that it does not update annually (current edition is 2010), like the assigned syllabus, so the coverage is neither complete nor current (However, recency matters more in P2 than P1; e.g., Basel gets quickly outdated but not econometrics). I agree with characterizing the Handbook as a "concentrated summary" but, it is a decidedly incomplete summary.
  • It contains historical exam questions, by chapter; however, BT customers generally won't *need* these as we've generally "usurped" all of them (i.e., modified them into our database plus, importantly, we've weeded out irrelevant/erroneous Handbook PQ of which there are more than a few). I hope that helps,