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Exam Feedback July 2021 Part 1 Exam Feedback

bollengc

Member
Subscriber
hi all,
I took FRM part 1 yesterday in the Netherlands. (not going to talk about content here and now, as exams are ongoing - feel free to remove anything you judge not appropriate here @Nicole Seaman or @David Harper CFA FRM )
Just to let you know that when you are done with your test, you get a summary screen with your name and so on.
on the top left side of the screen, it is written results. I pressed on the arrow on the left side of results, it gave me my score. (65% in my case)
Not sure this raw info is really relevant however.
I also had a colleague in the same room as me and when discussing after the exam, we noticed we had some questions in common and different questions as well.
From my side, I also felt I had several times really similar questions... :confused:
good luck to all of you taking July 2021!
thanks,
Camille
 

Meta

New Member
Subscriber
I did my exam on July 14th and got a score of 62/100. I am quite disappointed with the score, but kind of expected it with my performance during the exam, guessing for quite a few questions (that were odd and I felt like I had never seen the terminologies used?! - I hate GARP). I guess there is 50-50 chance of passing part I for myself.

I can't really remember most of the topics, but I agree with the bunch here that it was (quite) qualitative. Some of the calculations were tough though, I am decent with quant concepts so I know what is tough when I see it.

Good luck for those that are still taking it! If your exam venue allows you to start anytime, I recommend you start later than the others, because people that come in after you do discuss how to use the CBT machine (with the proctors) and their voices can get quite distracting - especially when you are nervous and settling down during the first 30 minutes.
Thank you for you feedback, i take the exam on July 23th.

Based on a reddit poll about FRM, it seems that people with score under 60 have passed the FRM Part 1. It is a bit annoying to have uncertainty about the form of the exam and be surprised after a such time consuming preparation. Based on people feedback in general, I understand that i have to be fully clear on the concept and pray when it is 50 / 50...
 

nc27

Active Member
Subscriber
I did my exam on July 14th and got a score of 62/100. I am quite disappointed with the score, but kind of expected it with my performance during the exam, guessing for quite a few questions (that were odd and I felt like I had never seen the terminologies used?! - I hate GARP). I guess there is 50-50 chance of passing part I for myself.

I can't really remember most of the topics, but I agree with the bunch here that it was (quite) qualitative. Some of the calculations were tough though, I am decent with quant concepts so I know what is tough when I see it.

Good luck for those that are still taking it! If your exam venue allows you to start anytime, I recommend you start later than the others, because people that come in after you do discuss how to use the CBT machine (with the proctors) and their voices can get quite distracting - especially when you are nervous and settling down during the first 30 minutes.
You will be fine , no worry mate
 

rbaratyants

New Member
Subscriber
Got a score of 66%. Exam was pretty hard, I am quite surprised with my score, cause I thought it will be total disaster. Hope it will be enough to pass.

Thanks BT for additional source of material!
 
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littleberries

New Member
Subscriber
Hi guys, I took the test today on 21st Jul in Singapore. The examiner assisted me to click on the result and so I did got to see it. Fingers crossed. Hope I pass.
 

olivier.detraz

New Member
Subscriber
I took the exam this morning. It was nowhere near expected. Very few quantitative questions. Time was not really a problem.

I studied most BT materials and nothing from GARP's materials except some questions/answers that I read yesterday. I will go for BT for Part II but I will also read GARP's materials this time because I think it could have helped narrowing down the correct answers with a better confidence.
 

Meta

New Member
Subscriber
I have taken my exam this morning in Paris. I have felt that they were a little desorganized. Arriving in the testing center, they seem to struggle to register candidates. I have felt that they were quite unprepared, and the whole structure was low cost... I did not expect it from GARP, considering the fees paid.
For sure, it can't be compared to CFA for which the organization was quite military and very professionnal (impressive). I think GARP really has to work on the candidate experience.

For the exam itself. Even if I was quite informed, reading everything about the exam, I have also been very surprised! I am very grateful to Bionic Turtles for providing us with difficult questions, I would not have had a chance to pass without BT preparation. I though that BT exaggerates the level of difficulty, in fact, it is not... :) So, thank you to the team, you are doing a great job in forcing us to understand the details of every concept!

I was also amazed that a very little subject could be asked twice in the exam whereas BSM ou put call parity were not even tested...
The first 20 questions, i was quite shocked by the obscure qualitative questions. Some questions were not understable... ( maybe because i am non native).
I think that garp has created a question bank, in which they randomly choose a set of questions. It would explain some imbalances, in the tested materials.

Time was not a constraint, I have finished 32 minutes earlier, which enables me to correct some mistakes. The CBT software is quite good. Strange thing is that i have never had to look at the z table...
 

Nicole Seaman

Director of FRM Operations
Staff member
Subscriber
We hope that everyone did well on the FRM Part 1 exams over the past two weeks! :) We would love to hear any feedback that you have about the exam, especially any helpful information that you can provide about the new CBT format. How did the exam go? Did you encounter unexpected questions? How was the experience with the COVID guidelines? Thank you in advance for any feedback you can provide! (Note: The above posts were shared before I created this thread)
 
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Meta

New Member
Subscriber
From what i remember :

* Sharpe, Treynor ratio, Information ratio: 2 or 3 questions (very easy)
* code of conduct 2 questions
* CAPM formula: 2 questions (very easy)
* M fold vs General to specific 2 questions ( why!?) ( by pure luck, i was reading my notes about this 1 hour before the exam...)
* management fees & incentive fees: 1 question (easy)
* option strategy: 2 or 3 questions of which a butterfly ( confused)
* Bonds, cash price, dirty price: 3-4 questions (why so many questions)
* Eurodollar: 1 question (tricky)
* Great financial crisis: 2 questions
* Financial disasters: 2 questions
* Term structure: 2 questions
* Greeks: 2 or 3 questions ( vega, gamma)
* Binomial tree, european, one step: 1 question (lucky question! very easy)
* ARMA, AR, MA, GARCH: 4 questions ( conceptual and calculation)
* Bayes probability: 2 questions, of which 1 seems to have 4 false choices
* Fund: 1 question,
* Swap: 3 questions ( too long, I skipped, trade off between time and 33% of chance getting one point, given one option was obviously false)
* insurance: 2 questions ( i did not expect question on solvency)
* hazard rate given cumulative default rate (easy if you know the formula)
* distributions: 2 very basic questions on which kind of distribution to use (easy)
* student's t formula in a very specific context

I will edit if i remember more... I have forgotten some difficult questions...

My advice is to be prepared for the easy-moderate questions that could give you 30 points. For the harder questions, if you have studied enough, you can narrow to 2 solutions.

Final score: 62... (disappointed, i aimed at 70)
 
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xov91

New Member
Subscriber
I took the exam in the U.S. on 7/10. Fortunately, I didn't have any issues with the testing process itself. Unsurprisingly, everyone had to wear a mask the entire time. Given that this requirement is unlikely to be relaxed for the tests later this year, I recommend that those with glasses bring a glasses strap. Having a strap helped a lot with keeping my glasses-mask interaction from being a distraction.

To prepare I read the four GARP books and worked bionic turtle practice problems. I'm glad I worked through the latter, especially for topics like foreign exchange and BSM, but if I had had perfect foresight about exam topics, I would have shifted more of my time to rereading GARP materials.

Overall, I felt like the exam was not overly difficult, just disappointing. It was much more qualitative than quantitative. Going in, I was worried about the limited scratch paper availability, but I only used ~3/4 of a page for the whole test. Questions centered around the same 15ish topics, several of which were quite niche. Big topics such as put-call parity and binomial trees were totally absent from the exam. As has been mentioned in the past, some questions were worded very poorly and had seemingly no correct answers. Also, some questions were basically restated versions of previous questions. This was probably done for psychometric reasons. However, as a test taker, it is frustrating to wade through the same poorly worded answers more than once and to be potentially doubly-penalized for a wrong answer.

I remember getting multiple questions on the following topics:
  • CAPM
  • ARMA
  • GARP code of conduct
  • Jarque-Bera test (!)
  • Confidence intervals / hypothesis testing
  • Delta-gamma hedging
  • Term structure theory
  • EWMA model
  • BSM
  • Hazard rates / default probability
  • Binary options (i.e. cash/asset-or-nothing calls/puts)

Some surprises included a question on the Ho Lee model (not in the GARP lvl 1 materials IIRC), two questions on Jarque-Bera, and just the total absence of certain things that seem foundational to the curriculum.

Edit: sounds like my exam was quite a bit different from Meta's.
 

rixabh

New Member
We hope that everyone did well on the FRM Part 1 exams over the past two weeks! :) We would love to hear any feedback that you have about the exam, especially any helpful information that you can provide about the new CBT format. How did the exam go? Did you encounter unexpected questions? How was the experience with the COVID guidelines? Thank you in advance for any feedback you can provide! (Note: The above posts were shared before I created this thread)
The overall experience of the CBT exam was better than the earlier CBT examinations related to Engineering entrances and Business school s entrances.

On the question and the difficulty, I had a mixed review of the above two feedbacks from Meta and Xov91. So overall on the questions part it is standard.

I still fail to understand on the GARP mocks being provided and why are they in a different context to the actual exam. Understand that the questions cannot be the same, however the essence of the mocks and the actual exam should be the same, and that was rather surprising to encounter.

On the difficulty level, looking at the feedbacks on various forums, looks like the difficulty levels were reduced as the exams progressed. The people who sat in the initial days of the July window were getting an average of 45-55 (for the ones who could see) and exceptional students getting above 60. This seemingly changed in the later part of the window, with 60 being the minimum scores which were seen. So either the students sitting in the latter part of the exam window were better than the prior lot or the normalization of the exam would be required.

Comments are welcomed and the anxiety is too much to sustain for the next month.
 

Neptune

New Member
Subscriber
Hi all,

I'm new here, my first post on the forum.

I sat for the P1 exam on July 12, but most certainly did not pass. I clicked on my profile after the test out of curiosity and saw that my score after was only 39%, which is why I registered for BT now. I'm hoping I'll be able to pass in November instead with a solid study plan to follow.

My experience of the exam is that it was far more qualitative in nature than I anticipated and what little material I had available (practice tests and some old question banks from a friend who had passed in 2015) was far more calculation-intense. For instance, not a single question on my exam related to the Black-Scholes Merton model, or the binomial tree method.

Anyway, I am attempting to do early-bird registration to the November test, but I cannot register using my logged in profile on GARP. When I click "register now" on the main link of GARP's homepage, I get "Registration is currently not available." as an error message and I'm sent back to my dashboard. Since early bird registration lasts until July 31, I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else is experiencing the same issue with re-registering for the P1? What could be the reason for this?
 

lushukai

Active Member
Subscriber
Hi @Neptune ,

Glad to have you on the forum.

I'm not sure what the exact nature of the issue is with the GARP website, but perhaps its because they have not tabulated the scores. My guess is that you will not be able to sign up for the GARP Pt1 early bird in November due to the score normalization (which will only be done by September). However, please feel free to post questions as we have a very active member base on BT and we can get back to you quickly!

Warmest regards,
Shu Kai
 

Neptune

New Member
Subscriber
Hi @Neptune ,

Glad to have you on the forum.

I'm not sure what the exact nature of the issue is with the GARP website, but perhaps its because they have not tabulated the scores. My guess is that you will not be able to sign up for the GARP Pt1 early bird in November due to the score normalization (which will only be done by September). However, please feel free to post questions as we have a very active member base on BT and we can get back to you quickly!

Warmest regards,
Shu Kai
Shu Kai,

Thank you very much. I had a similar idea that they might be stonewalling a bit, but it's too bad those of us who know we probably didn't pass can't register for a lower fee. In any case, feels great to be here and to get qualified and proper support! That's what I was lacking last time around.

Best regards,
Neptune
 

bollengc

Member
Subscriber
Hi,
Please find my detailed feedback on the list of topics I got.
I noted down the topics I could remember right after my exam on 13th July. (and it was a good idea as I cannot recall so much now :) )
  • Financial disasters: 3 questions on Enron, Swift and Northern Rock
  • GFC: 2 questions
  • Jarque Bera: 1 quantitative question + 1 question on distribution
  • Hedge with duration and convexity: 2 questions
  • CAPM: several questions (computation of beta, computation of Expected return, questions on Sharpe Ratio / Information ratio)
  • EWMA: 2 questions (1 qualitative, 1 quantitative)
  • Strategies: butterfly (max profit), Asset or Nothing
  • Option price with dividend (intermediate calc was to compute PV of div to substract to Spot, then simple BS)
  • Funds: open fund, ETF
  • Mixture of N(0,1) and N(0,3): is it a normal dist, not nomral with peak and fat-tail, ...
  • Lots of questions on term structure (this is where I had the feeling to get the same question several times): answers where mentioning liquidity theory, expectation theory,...
  • Option and future on commodity: qualitative question on delta comparison between both (which is bigger when IR changes)
  • Loss following a uniform distribution, taking values between -10 and +12. Compute the 1day 99% ES
  • Insurance claim 7.5 million every year for 7 next years then 4 million for following 3 years. Compute PV (flat IR curve, continuously compounded rate) -> I found it really tedious, not making any stupid mistake with the calculator. I tried it several time and did not end up with any of the 4 answers proposed
  • Option with delta =xx at t1. You hedge it. At t2, new option delta is yy. How many stocks you need to hedge the full position at t2. (full position being option + t1 hedge)
  • CTD bond (CF, settlement price and bond prices given)
  • FX swap
  • hazard rate
  • CCP: 3 questions
  • Loss frequency distribution
  • Bayes theorem
  • Early exercise of American option with / without dividends: 2 questions
  • Time series (ARMA,...): 3 questions
  • White test
  • Random walk / unit root: 2 questions
  • Weighted coupon for 3 mortgages given remaining notional, coupon rate, bond price per 100
  • 25 loans of 30 000 CAD each and default proba of 0.1%. Std dev of 1 default?
  • 10 returns and associated std dev: calculate median and interquantile of std dev
  • confidence interval
  • p value
  • Stress testing
  • delta VaR comparison between 2 products
  • Fwd exchange rate
  • Moments: 2 questions
  • Y=a+bX, b<0: 1. skew(Y)=skew(X) 2. skew(Y)=-b 3. kurtosis(Y) = kurtosis (X) (different propositions on values of skew or kurtosis of Y compared to X)
  • Shape of distribution based on mean, std dev, skewness (<0) and kurtosis (=2.6<3) compared to N(0,1)
In terms of organisation, I struggled until the day before the exam to get the confirmation letter with all my names. (initially my fault not to put all names...) and the proctor did not check the letter at all (but that does not mean it could not have happened though)
We could ask for more paper.
We were 6 taking FRM in my room + people taking other exams. That was a bit annoying because they entered the room later and had shorter exams so could be a bit noisy at some point
You start your own exam yourself so when you press on start, the 4h will start.
Navigation between questions is easy, you can see an overview of what you answered and what you did not.

I had expected a bit more quantitative questions than qualitative. I scored 65, (people in my test center scored 46, 49, 51 and 53 but we did not get the same questions) let's see if it will be enough to move to part 2.

About my preparation:
I finished my studies in 2008 (math + finance) so my theoretical knowledge was really behind me.
I took my time to prepare for part 1. Started in Jan and planned to go through 3 to 4 chapters per week. (I am working full time and did not want to spend all evenings + week-ends to keep a balanced life)
100% BT videos and notes. I did not cover all end of chapter pdf questions.
once all chapters covered, I went through the formula pdf to refresh my memory on all topics.
Then I did the end of topic exercises + quizzes + the 2 mocks + the GARP 2021 test given.
When I did not understand the answer provided, I was reading through the forum and generally finding someone asking similar question.
I went to GARP books to read about the rank correlation (Spearman) and Kendall's tau as I did not see them in the BT notes.

Sorry for that long post. I hope it can be useful for some of you. Now 'holidays' (working but no studying ;) ) and waiting for mid-September.
thanks,
Camille
 

warren_munger

New Member
Hey everyone

Gave Level 1 in July. Made a few silly mistakes and ended up with 56. Pretty sure that I'm gonna have to redo.

Quant was very easy. Subjective and regulation questions were tricky in that couple of options always seemed similar
 

Wakkanei

New Member
Hey everyone

Gave Level 1 in July. Made a few silly mistakes and ended up with 56. Pretty sure that I'm gonna have to redo.

Quant was very easy. Subjective and regulation questions were tricky in that couple of options always seemed similar
I think you will pass!
 

bollengc

Member
Subscriber
hi all,
results are now out for July.
I passed with 65%, quartiles 2-1-1-1.
nice start of the week :)
thanks a lot to BT and the community for such helpful exchanges
 
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Meta

New Member
Subscriber
Hi all,

I confirm that results are out and positive (for me)
I passed with 62%, quartiles 1 2 2 1.
It seems that 53 is the minimum pass rate score for the moment, this is as low as last May.
Given the time and effort, i am on the clouds today.

I have only used Bionic Turtles (+ Youtube videos) for my preparation , so thank you very much for the quality of the content.
The most important thing is that i feel like I have learnt a lot from the FRM program. Let's go for level 2 next May!
 

bollengc

Member
Subscriber
Hi @Neptune ,

Glad to have you on the forum.

I'm not sure what the exact nature of the issue is with the GARP website, but perhaps its because they have not tabulated the scores. My guess is that you will not be able to sign up for the GARP Pt1 early bird in November due to the score normalization (which will only be done by September). However, please feel free to post questions as we have a very active member base on BT and we can get back to you quickly!

Warmest regards,
Shu Kai
@Neptune @lushukai not too sure how the early bird timelines apply.
Just got part 1 result and have the option to register to part 2, december session with early registration fee (even if FAQ says 31st July as early registration end date)
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