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Mock Exams vs. GARP Exam

Hi,

in order to allow an estimate in exam preparation I kindly ask you for your opinion:

1. What would you GUESS is the degree of difficulty and the time necessary to complete a Mock Exam compared to the GARP FRM Exam? (as at the FRM 25 questions should be completed in 1 hour on average...)

2. What would you GUESS is an acceptable level of correct answers (in%) of a Mock Exam in order to be rather confident for the exam?

3. What would you GUESS could be a minimum score at the GARP EXAM in order to be confident to pass it (e.g. 60%, 67%, 75%, even more?)?
I know hat there are no exact numbers available and that it can be different from one exam to the other...but just as a rough benchmark according to your experience.

Thank you!
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Subscriber
Hi Johnny,

I totally empathize with your questions (I would have them myself) but the actual FRM exam is famously (notoriously) difficult to calibrate and predict. I don't want to suggest I really have answers but:
  1. If history is a guide, our questions (on average) are a "notch," or two notches, more difficult and, safe to say, more time consuming; the same time constraints still work (imo) as they just represent a "stretch" environment. However, I would allow yourself some additional time to complete them, as needed
  2. We cannot know for sure, but if you can answer more than 50%, without need for a reference, then I would think you are starting to enter the beginning of a confidence zone (i.e., unlike some exams, you should not expect anywhere near 100%). At 70% (for our exam), given our questions are a notch more difficult, you have reached I think a zone where you should expect to pass the exam (e.g., that should correspond to ~ 80% +/- on the actual exam, which appears to safely pass, as far as i can tell). So, I'd think 50 to 70% is the goal; i.e., 50% as minimum lower bound, 70% as acceptable target, and 80% or more as good stretch goal
  3. We cannot know, nobody can really know (anybody who claims otherwise frankly does not know what they are talking about). But, we can glean from experience that 80% +/- say 10% (ex post impression) appears to be a safely passing zone. Clearly, many candidates had ex-post impressions of lower-than-expected number-of-correct-answers yet subsequently passed (this phenomena, on our forum, is much more prevalent [i.e., pleasantly surprised] than the inverse), so we infer the passing rate is not above 90%. However, I probably will regret posting any hunches, as the nature of the methodology (it must be stressed, their methodology grades on a curve then adds subjective judgment) combined with the lack of GARP's specific ex post disclosures really limits the utility of my statements, sorry
 

Pflik

Active Member
This is relieving to see... i was stressing 70% as the absolute lower bound to even pass.... it was really discouraging to get 44% wrong on some exams and 28% wrong on other mock exams, but never really be able to reach a good clean 90% score (on the first try that is).

Even with the practice exams I'm scoring better but not near the 85% i was aiming for (i.e. 70% + some safety margin) it's more in the region of 72%-78%

this lifted my spirits a bit.
 

cdbsmith

Member
Hi David,

I just scored a perfect 100% on Mock Exam E. :) I'm definitely making progress. Prior to my score today, I averaged ~72% on all of the mock exams. I find that I just making little mistakes that cost me several correct answers (actually, I work 10-hour days week spend the evenings preparing for the exam. So, my mental endurance has been severely challenged). But, I've been working really hard to fix that. I'm going to retake the other mock exams as well. Hopefully, I will get better scores.

Thanks again for helping me and the other subscribers (and unpaid bloggers I might add) to prepare for this exam. I have no idea what to expect, but I feel strongly that your practice questions and mock exams have been incredibly challenging. In fact, some of the questions are so difficult that sometimes I don't even remember that I worked on before. They seem like new questions every time. I also appreciate that some of your questions go well beyond what the AIMS ask for (e.q., taylor rule application).

One more day and we all get to celebrate.

Regards,

Charles
 

Pflik

Active Member
Hi David,

I just scored a perfect 100% on Mock Exam E. :) I'm definitely making progress. Prior to my score today, I averaged ~72% on all of the mock exams. I find that I just making little mistakes that cost me several correct answers (actually, I work 10-hour days week spend the evenings preparing for the exam. So, my mental endurance has been severely challenged). But, I've been working really hard to fix that. I'm going to retake the other mock exams as well. Hopefully, I will get better scores.

Thanks again for helping me and the other subscribers (and unpaid bloggers I might add) to prepare for this exam. I have no idea what to expect, but I feel strongly that your practice questions and mock exams have been incredibly challenging. In fact, some of the questions are so difficult that sometimes I don't even remember that I worked on before. They seem like new questions every time. I also appreciate that some of your questions go well beyond what the AIMS ask for (e.q., taylor rule application).

One more day and we all get to celebrate.

Regards,

Charles

unless you scored the 100% on the first try, I would suggest going back to do some older GARP exams... atleast for me, the second run through the mock exams always gives me 100%... however doing the older exams always gives me some new mistakes i will make.
 

cdbsmith

Member
unless you scored the 100% on the first try, I would suggest going back to do some older GARP exams... atleast for me, the second run through the mock exams always gives me 100%... however doing the older exams always gives me some new mistakes i will make.


I scored an 80% the first time around. So I'm trending in the right direction, which is what I care most about. In any case, I'm not going to stop studing because I got 25 questions correct. That would be absurd. I will continue doing questions through exam day. Hope you do the same.
 

Pflik

Active Member
no worries, I'm pulling my hair out of frustration :)

frustratingly... sometimes i score really well (i.e. high 80%) and sometimes just low. But it's nearly always above 60% (well above 50%)... owell... final stretch. Everything should go better now...

atleast i have the timing down much better then when i did the first mock exam. (i.e. always ran out of time, now i have loadsa time left).
 
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