From reading past comments it seems that candidates with practice scores around 70% did ok. Can anyone comment? At what level should we start to gain some confidence?
I did not read the entire thread and just picked up this post to reply to. For what it's worth, i recovered for you my scores on the practice exams i did the two days prior to the 2014 May Part 1 exam (I never looked at these exams before and I simulated real exam situation including timing):
GARP 2011: 21/25
GARP 2012: 17/25
GARP 2013; 23/25
GARP 2014: 16/25
BT B: 19/25
BT C: 22/24
I ended up passing the exam with 1/1/1/1. One key advice i can give is timing. When i did the practice exams i remember completing them in approx. 75% of the maximum time allowed for them. On the actual exam on the contrary, i only had <15 minutes to spare on 4 hours. I think it gave me a big edge that i was able to work through the entire exam. I heard a lot of people were only able to answer 70/80 questions and randomly guessed the other (no correction for bad guesses!!).
My biggest tip i can give you is (and that's what i did): set yourself a benchmark of #of questions to solve each half hour and monitor that (my target was finish with half an hour to spare, so basicly i needed to be at ~Q15 after 30 minutes, at ~Q30 after an hour and so on). Then if i was running behind, I JUST SKIPPED QUESTIONS and categorized them in two categories with a sign in front of the question: (i) i'm sure i can make it but it takes 5-10 minutes to solve so not worth it unlesss i have time left (e.g. a valuation with a 2 step binomal tree) and (ii) i don't know the answer / methodology right away and i need to think about it. Then i used the half an hour left at the end to go through the (i) category. Then i used the time left after that to look at the (ii) category. Also very importantly, keep the answer sheet next to you and fill it out simultaneously as you answer the question. This avoids making errors in appointing the answers on the answer sheets and avoids having not enough time left at the end to fill out the answer sheet.
Good luck to everyone taking the exam!