But I still don't believe how I got top quartiles in all the section ( 11111), coz I ran out of time in the exam.
And i completed that last 8 questions (all were theoretical) in the last 10 minutes, after the invigilator announced that it was the last 10 minutes.
I even got a mere 55 out of 80 in the GARP mock exam the day before the real exam
Thanks to BT. They have made brilliant question sets for each topic, to augment the GARP curriculum reading.
Few points I raised in Analyst Forum which I would like to know from you all:
I have a small doubt.
I have checked there is change in Quartile reference appearing in performance analysis. Earlier the highest Quartile position was used to start from right side of bell curves basically, the shaded portion use to appear on right. This time they are referring best side from left.
I passed. 22111 (I had 1111 on pt 1 in May 2015)
Credit Risk 2
Market Risk 2
Risk Management Inv Management 1
Current Issues 1
Operational Risk 1
A little bit strange, as I had not such a good feeling about risk management/Investment and Operational (Basel details). I have the impression that scores on credit risk and market risk are higher in general as more candidates are already quite experienced in these fields. Information about quartiles says very little if average scores on the different topics are quite different. As we have very few information on the exact distribution of the scores on the different topics (skew). The information you get as a candidate therefore does not say that much if you are in the upper quartiles and passed the test. You get information that youare between 51 and 75 percentile which can be a huge difference in number of correct answers or NOT. If you fail, you can determine which are the primary areas of improvement.
The cut-off decision of the committee is based on the distribution of the total scores, which might be less skewed than some of the topic scores.
Nov 2015 Part 1 : 1112 Pass
May 2016 Part 2 : 31131 Pass
First try on both, used a combo of other sources and BT for part 1 and BT only for part 2. After Part 1 I felt very confident, I pretty much knew I passed and the exam was below expectation. After Part 2 I was very worried, the exam was above expectations (this may have to do because of the part 1 exam).
I did change my study tactic slightly for part 2 as I took thorough personal notes for part 1, whilst for part 2 I skipped making my own cheat sheet / notes. This was something I regretted as we neared exam day. From my results it seems that making my personal notes was beneficial as my performance on Part 1 was better, but there is also the fact that part 1 was a revision of many concepts I covered in my undergrad while part 2 contained many new to me concepts.
At the end of the day, I put in many hours of work to pass this exam. Maybe more than the average person and I'm satisfied with my overall results I would have liked to remain above average on all sections but at the end of the day 1st quartile in 6 of 9 sections makes me confident that I truly grasped the concepts of the FRM and that all my hours of effort paid off.
Jotted down some thoughts........
First of all I am so relieved to pass with decent quartiles (Credit 1, Market 1, Op 2, Risk Mgmt 1, Current Issues 3).
Preparation time: 5 Months (average weekday run rate of 3 hours, weekend 6 hours per day)
The amount of material is OVERWHELMING. So start ASAP.
1. BT material
2. David’s Youtube Channel
3. BT Forum
4. Occasional reference to books. I had soft copy of several books – esp. Gregory, Malz, Hull Meisnner, Tuckman came in handy
5. Focused google search
6. Schweser Q bank – was decent for beginning / occasional reference
7. EduPristine videos – not exam/BT quality but good to cover high level understanding
Study Strategy- “Old fashioned hard work; Peak at the right time”
Part 2 was one of the toughest exams I have given. Number of topics and amount of material to read, understand and retain is torturous. Unfortunately you cannot wing it. I had moderate background on finance. Part 1 was the most finance I have studied. So, I read the whole material cover to cover 4 times. BT Questions set at least 2 times.
During the earlier stages of the preparation - Read all the BT material (did not attempt the questions). Kept AIMs on one side always. Read EACH WORD of the AIM, underline “describe” vs “calculate”. I could only grasp 40% or less. In earlier stages, easy material such as Edu pristine / Schweser books is helpful with some basic / foundational stuff. Do not get stuck, park the topics and keep moving ahead. Several times when you re-visit the topic, all falls in place beautifully, aha moment. I didn’t make a lot of notes in early stage prep. I attempted easy questions here – Schweser Q bank.
After 1 or 2 read (at this point there was 2 months to go for exam) when you have reasonable understanding, start cracking BT questions, starting jotting notes/create mind maps. These notes are priceless, you will need them in last two weeks so badly. Even at this stage I only had 60-70% understanding of the subject. But repeat this cycle until last 2 weeks for exam. This stage was only and only BT for me, with occasional read from the book chapter. I did not revise any Part 1 notes.
Take off from work for at least 2 weeks before exam. This really helps. You have to peak at right time. Last 2 weeks also comprises of portions that you need to rote memorize. Yes, there are formulas (e.g. netting factor) that you need to memorize. I ended up revising using all the printouts and revisiting my notes again and again. One cool trick for quick revision is to “Play David’s videos at 1.5x speed ! J”. You would fall in love with David’s voice! Kidding, but really helped to quickly go through the content.
Participate in forum. Topic search in BT is EXTREMELY helpful. It is highly likely that the doubt you have would have been asked by someone else in past.
Physical Environment (this may differ from person to person, but I am just jotting down what worked for me)
· Print all docs – Though I started by reading soft copies, but then I almost ended printing all the BT notes / relevant chapters from book and stacked them section wise (5 stacks)
· KEEP PRINTOUT OF AIMS/Learning Objective list side BY Side ALWAYS ! Read the AIMs, carefully, go back and forth as you are reading the material
· Have some key formulas / bullet points in post-it or stuck up right-in-front-of your eyes.
· Having all the material accessible in physical form around my study table was very conducive study environment.
About Part 2 2016 exam:
Exam was tough. Several questions were from AIMs that had passing mention of the topic. The trend so far had been that Part 2 is qualitative, but 2016 Part 2 was a good mix of qualitative and quantitative. There were questions from remote corner, hence please don’t leave out any topic. With only 80- questions against 200+ topics, stakes are high. After Part 1 I was confident that I will clear, but for Part 2, I was not so confident. I believe the cutoff would be low.
This exam really tested my patience…put me in frustration zone. Esp. for working professionals. With work pressure and little available time in weekdays and weekends, all goes into prep. I worked really really hard (maybe I am the dumber one), but I was so overwhelmed that it took me a lot of effort to get reasonable grip and control on the syllabus.
But amongst all a HUGE THANK YOU TO DAVID. We have all bought services but this is different….this is much more than transactional…. Very rarely we come across people who are so humble, balanced and giving. Sir, your commitment towards your profession has touched my soul, has inspired me. I wish I can sometime meet you in person and express my gratitude. You are best teacher ever…….. @David Harper CFA FRM