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FAQ Before Exam Should I sit for both parts on the same day?

csawai

New Member
Thread starter #1
Hello all,

I am planning to appear for FRM exam in May 2015 for both parts. My background is MBA in IT and I work in software company as a BA. I have no math background, but fair understanding of calculations.

I have downloaded,
1) AIM statement
2) Study guide
3) Some ebooks (HULL)

My questions are,
1) Is it good idea that I give both parts on the same day. Since there are like 9 months for preparation?
2) The syllabus will certainly change for 2015 exam, but there are some core contents which will remain so I am focussing more on them. Do you think this is the right strategy to wait till GARP announces new syllabus and till then continue with common exam topics?
3) The GARP provided books list are too lengthy. Do you think just by referring to BIONIC TURTLE notes will help me pass in the exam?
4) I have downloaded an excel plan where in all the chapters are mentioned from 2013 syllabus. How much time should I put in just for learning and how much for practice exams?
5) How much TOTAL time to prepare for both the exams considering my background?
 

Pflik

Active Member
#2
Is there a particular reason you want to sit for both exams in one go? I would probably opt to go with part 1 in Nov. First and foremost, if you don't pass the first exam your second exam won't be graded. Second, you already are planning to do it in May, so you probably don't want to sit for both parts because of time constraints. Also, do realize it's going to be 8 hours of exams with a short break in between.

I don't know what your background is in finance or statistics, however I think those parts are going to be core. Understanding the statistics, understanding the financial product... those are things that don't change too much, it will also be the parts you will have to invest a lot of time in.
 

Dirar

New Member
#3
Personally I think that for a person with MBA in IT and no finance background, its better to do FRM part I alone and keep the part II for the next session.
 

Alex_1

Active Member
#4
I agree with what was answered so far, I've taken both parts in May this year and had significantly better results for part 1, not to mention that I failed part 2 (with quantiles 2,3,3,3,1 or something like that). I am not saying it is impossible, it's just a huge effort due to the sheer volume of topics. I felt almost braindead for the second part because on that day I got up at 6 a.m. (after not such good sleep) and the morning session was exhausting due to the time pressure (and the very "helpful" GARP policy of not being allowed to drink or eat anything at the desk...). If you have no finance background this would be another impediment for writing both parts in May, due to the fact that for some questions the "finance common sense" helps you in finding the answer, if not sorting out implausible answers.

To your specific questions:
1) See above. Subjective decision and everyone learns in a different manner
2) As Pflik says above some topics basically won't change (basic statistics, CAPM, regression, option pricing theory, bond pricing). I don't think it's adviseable to wait for the new syllabus IF you still intend to write both FRM parts in May
3) This is another subjective topic, I personally learned with the BT notes for part 1, occasionally I had a look at the GARP books., others use the GARP materials as reference, it's hard to say. On the other hand GARP doesn't really write the materials, they compile it from other sources, so another possibility would be to learn with BT notes and if something is unclear to try to search for the specific source material.
4) Don't forget that the 2013 syllabus is not the most up-to-date. Practice exams are important, as in recent exams some questions were very very similar to the ones from the Practice Exams, so from my personal experience I would suggest starting with Practice Exams as early as possible (meaning at latest 3-4 weeks before the exam), so you have sufficient time to review the topics for which you answered the questions not correctly.
5) Tough question... I would say start as early as possible (meaning basically now :) ) if you still intend to write both sessions "in one go". I think it's a matter of trial and error, but if you start early enough you might have some "buffer" in case anything unpredictable happens in between which could hinder you from learning...

Best of luck!
 

csawai

New Member
Thread starter #5
@Alex_1 and @Pflik ,

Thanks for the inputs. I have already started studying and decided to go for 1 exam at a time. I am confused about what books to use.

Is it good if I only refer BT/ Schweser notes and not ready any GAARP books. Let me know your personal experiences.


Thanks.
 

SYR

New Member
#6
Hi @Alex_1 and @Pflik , I am going to attempt Part 1 Exam in Nov. 2014 & reading Schweser. Can you please advise me for better chances of success as I am running out of time? Is that Q-Bank from Bionic Turtle will be helpful now? Mr. David Harper can you also help me out with your suggestions? as I also have an MBA (MIS) background.....
Regards
 
#7
Hi,
I will be sitting in May 2015 Exam for FRM Part 1. I have appeared it before in Nov 13 but was not able to clear it. My background is Graduate(Commerce) and working in risk profile from last 6 months. I am not from Math background, Please suggest me how I can improve my mathematical and statistical part which is there in FRM. I have little concept knowledge of financial product and have fair understanding of calculation/maths.
 
#8
Hi. I am an MBA (Fin-Ops) working in Risk/Regulatory Reporting for about 4-5 years now and intend to take up part 1 in May 2015. I have the Schweser 2014 notes and plan to start preparing/reading through the material. Can I supplement my reading with any books other than Hull's Futures Options % Derivatives? Please do let me know what are your thoughts/experiences.
 

Pflik

Active Member
#9
Hi,
I will be sitting in May 2015 Exam for FRM Part 1. I have appeared it before in Nov 13 but was not able to clear it. My background is Graduate(Commerce) and working in risk profile from last 6 months. I am not from Math background, Please suggest me how I can improve my mathematical and statistical part which is there in FRM. I have little concept knowledge of financial product and have fair understanding of calculation/maths.
practice is the only way.
 

Pflik

Active Member
#10
Hi. I am an MBA (Fin-Ops) working in Risk/Regulatory Reporting for about 4-5 years now and intend to take up part 1 in May 2015. I have the Schweser 2014 notes and plan to start preparing/reading through the material. Can I supplement my reading with any books other than Hull's Futures Options % Derivatives? Please do let me know what are your thoughts/experiences.
bionic turtle readings are excellent. They go into detail about how to apply the theorie and actually understanding the material... rather than just passing the exam.
 
#11
I was wondering whether it's feasible to give both FRM Parts 1 & 2 together.. I want to register for the May 2017 exams for part 1 or 1 & 2, whichever option i choose...

Background is that I just passed my CFA level 3 this June 2016 and am a CA (Indian CPA) as well.
 
#12
Hi everyone.

I Would like to know if you think it is possible for me to pass level 1 and 2 at the same day. I have passed CFA level I, and went for level II exam in June and at the moment I wait for the result. I finished my master's in Mathematical Finance for about 1.5 years ago and since then worked in market risk. Therefore, I would say I have a very strong background, but I'd like to learn more risk theories...

The reason I so eargerly pursue both on the same day is due to career planning.
 

Nicole Seaman

Chief Admin Officer
Staff member
Subscriber
#13
Hi everyone.

I Would like to know if you think it is possible for me to pass level 1 and 2 at the same day. I have passed CFA level I, and went for level II exam in June and at the moment I wait for the result. I finished my master's in Mathematical Finance for about 1.5 years ago and since then worked in market risk. Therefore, I would say I have a very strong background, but I'd like to learn more risk theories...

The reason I so eargerly pursue both on the same day is due to career planning.
Hello @champ123

Please notice I moved your post to this thread, where this question has already been discussed. :)

Thank you,

Nicole
 
#14
Hi everyone.

I Would like to know if you think it is possible for me to pass level 1 and 2 at the same day. I have passed CFA level I, and went for level II exam in June and at the moment I wait for the result. I finished my master's in Mathematical Finance for about 1.5 years ago and since then worked in market risk. Therefore, I would say I have a very strong background, but I'd like to learn more risk theories...

The reason I so eargerly pursue both on the same day is due to career planning.
Everything is possible in life even climbing up the Mount Everest without an oxygen mask, but this one (Part I & II) is highly unlikely except you spend at minimum 4-5 months preparing for it every day (full-time). The depth and breadth of the material is so huge that you are at high risk failing one part and then have to wait for another six months to re-sit it. The safe side is to tackle one part after the other. Just because you have studied math it does not say that it will take you much less preparing for the exam than the other candidates. That's what I see nearly every week: people just think because they studied math they understand each and everything like economic theory etc. which is complete nonsense. Simple example to back this up: none of the big star investors of the last decade like W. Buffett, Bill Gross, Carl Icahn, George Soros studied math and have outperformed/outstragesized all other human beings on earth.
The two major ingredients to be succesful at the exam is that you need to know the following books inside out: 1. J. Hull (Derivatives) 2. K. Dowd (Market Risk) 3. P. Jorion (Value-at-Risk). Then you have at least a solid footing for all the other material you have to study.
 
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#15
Everything is possible in life even climbing up the Mount Everest without an oxygen mask, but this one (Part I & II) is highly unlikely except you spend at minimum 4-5 months preparing for it every day (full-time). The depth and breadth of the material is so huge that you are at high risk failing one part and then have to wait for another six months to re-sit it. The safe side is to tackle one part after the other. Just because you have studied math it does not say that it will take you much less preparing for the exam than the other candidates. That's what I see nearly every week: people just think because they studied math they understand each and everything like economic theory etc. which is complete nonsense. Simple example to back this up: none of the big star investors of the last decade like W. Buffett, Bill Gross, Carl Icahn, George Soros studied math and have outperformed/outstragesized all other human beings on earth.
The two major ingredients to be succesful at the exam is that you need to know the following books inside out: 1. J. Hull (Derivatives) 2. K. Dowd (Market Risk) 3. P. Jorion (Value-at-Risk). Then you have at least a solid footing for all the other material you have to study.
Thank you for your quick response. I didn't mention my degree because I believe taking advanced math course will give a huge edge, but rather that I have studied many parts of the curriculum including studied several chapters from Hull.

Studying full time for 4-5 months is approximately 1200 hours. This seems like a very high number. I will realistically be able to 550-650 hours until the exam - which doesn't seem to be enough, correct?
 
#16
It is hard to gernalize. Most probably if you have some in-depth background knowledge across various topics then 4-5 months may not hold but remember one thing: you can never be well prepared for the FRM exam. And every hour spent 'more' (for all the minimalists) will benefit you somehow later on in your career. Let's say if you wanna tackle both parts at once in November this year you will be well advised to start now at full speed. You should at least set one month aside for revision and practice exams etc. It is definitely a tough nut to crack t0 sit for both parts within one day (do also consider the fact that you will ultimaitely sit for an 8h exam - with break betweens part I & II you will spend round 10h at the test center - and your level of concentration will drastically decrease at some point).
 
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