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FAQ Before Exam Study Plan Guide

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Active Member
#81
Thank. The other candidates’ progress bar is what I was looking for. Currently still in “Building Big Picture” phase.
Yes, the depth of material is overwhelming, not the volume of material. I’m a CFA Charterholder so this is no such shock. The volume for both is not larger than for 1 CFA exam.
Why 2 in 1.
1st to save the money on plane ticket and accommodation costs since the exam is not in my country.
2nd, I just want to avoid studying in December and January which is Annual Financial Reports preparing and Auditing core period.
Last but not least, I want the certificate ASAP.
 
#82
Dear all

I have registered for FRM 1 exam in November.I have started my preparation but I am finding it quite challenging due to my hectic schedule at work 100% and my family life with 2 kids.I work in the financial industry.I would like to know if I can take a chance by concentrating solely on the Bionic Turtle notes+ question sets and watching the videos which I find very good. I do have the GARP books but I find it time consuming and a bit dry from time to time.

Looking forward to a good plan

Thanks a lot

Jean
Geneva,Switzerland
 

Nicole Seaman

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Thread starter #83
Dear all

I have registered for FRM 1 exam in November.I have started my preparation but I am finding it quite challenging due to my hectic schedule at work 100% and my family life with 2 kids.I work in the financial industry.I would like to know if I can take a chance by concentrating solely on the Bionic Turtle notes+ question sets and watching the videos which I find very good. I do have the GARP books but I find it time consuming and a bit dry from time to time.

Looking forward to a good plan

Thanks a lot

Jean
Geneva,Switzerland
Hello @jean.kavalakat

Please note that I moved your post to this thread, which discusses the study plans that some of our members have posted. :)

Nicole
 

Karim_B

Active Member
Subscriber
#84
Dear all

I have registered for FRM 1 exam in November.I have started my preparation but I am finding it quite challenging due to my hectic schedule at work 100% and my family life with 2 kids.I work in the financial industry.I would like to know if I can take a chance by concentrating solely on the Bionic Turtle notes+ question sets and watching the videos which I find very good. I do have the GARP books but I find it time consuming and a bit dry from time to time.

Looking forward to a good plan

Thanks a lot

Jean
Geneva,Switzerland
Hi @jean.kavalakat
I'm in the same boat as you and just relied on BT as my primary source, referring back to the GARP materials from time to time when an acronym wasn't explained or I struggled with a topic. It would have taken too long for me to read through the GARP material as my primary source.

My wife felt like a single mother since I had to put in lots of time, but I know there are others on the forum who've managed to be more hands on with the kids while studying :) I need to learn how to get through the material faster.

I don't have a study plan to recommend, but I think the BT material will suffice.
Best
Karim
 
#85
Hi @jean.kavalakat
I'm in the same boat as you and just relied on BT as my primary source, referring back to the GARP materials from time to time when an acronym wasn't explained or I struggled with a topic. It would have taken too long for me to read through the GARP material as my primary source.

My wife felt like a single mother since I had to put in lots of time, but I know there are others on the forum who've managed to be more hands on with the kids while studying :) I need to learn how to get through the material faster.

I don't have a study plan to recommend, but I think the BT material will suffice.
Best
Karim
Dear Karim

Thanks for your note.I feel better now :). So you completed your FRM 1?

Regards,

JJ
 

Nicole Seaman

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Thread starter #86
The following is a study tip from HangOnLittleTomato in our May 2018 exam feedback thread: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-22#post-61479

Background: degrees in economics and statistics, 5+ years in derivatives/risk mgmt

Study time: <2 months, 3-4 hours/day

Study method: read GARP books, do book examples and past GARP mocks. Do daily BT questions.

Pass score: 11111 (frankly unexpected, i expected to just about make the cut)

Thoughts: just reading the books cover to cover was not the most efficient approach, though the book questions helped. I didn't struggle with concepts so YMMV. Ops risk and Basel material was extremely boring. (I don't see the point of testing whether one has memorized the correct multipliers for capital ratios etc) i enjoyed the current events papers. What helped the most was reviewing carefully all the questions i couldn't answer at first, and understand/memorize as necessary. I also wrote up the equations and key concepts on a piece of paper. Going over that on the day of made a difference. I haven't done many BT questions. Overall impression is that they are often harder and in-depth, sometimes unnecessarily so. They helped, though I found the GARP questions much more relevant to the actual exam.
 

Nicole Seaman

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From @willyong in the May 2018 exam feedback thread: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-22#post-61502

One aspect that hasn't been discussed so much is time management, and knowing when to cut your losses. Your studies almost never go according to plan, because life. I passed 1,1,1,1,1 but even up to 4 weeks before the exam I thought I wasn't going to make it because there was just so much material to cover.

Pacing yourself is an art - I kept to my schedule for a few weeks, then things started to slip.. and slip. I'd furiously try and catch up and fail - the problem was that I was trying to do too much (make summaries, read and remember, do questions etc.) but I wasn't necessarily understanding what I was reading because I was just doing. After credit risk, I decided that I would just stop and start from the back. I worked my way backwards through each chapter as it was more engaging and less daunting to complete the current readings which were an easier and more fun read. Of course, there's a sequence the material is laid out but the surprising effectiveness of this technique is that it enables you to raise questions on materials you may not quite understand and then connect immediately when the more fundamental material is presented.

I used Schweser for the readings then BT for the questions, mocks and some readings to shore up areas I didn't understand under Schweser. BT notes are compressions of the original readings but are still summaries. Schweser presents some original material that BT doesn't, especially on the academic literature. Having access to both will help a lot but the amount of reading can be overwhelming.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. Having working experience (which I do) helps immensely, so if you're experienced in risk management, you can rely on parts of your job training to push you along (or even challenge the readings!) On the other hand, I have had no practical experience in certain topics so it was a struggle to make the concepts real and tangible. Those are the areas you need to focus on learning and also where the BT forum really shines - if you have a question, it's likely someone else would have asked that question before too. And if not, @David Harper CFA FRM will come to the rescue!
 

Nicole Seaman

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Thread starter #88
From Bilal Ehsan in the May 2018 exam feedback thread: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-21#post-61312

Guys the thing which matters is the clarity of the concepts and how you test yourself by solving maximum questions from different sources. Solving same questions again and again won't help you unless you understand concepts.
I appeared for level 1 in nov 2015 and studied for 2.5 months. My result was 2,1,1,1. I totally depend upon on Schweser
I wasn't able to appear for level 2 due to some personal issues. I started preparing in Feb 2018 and cleared on my first attempt.
My result is 1,1,2,2,1. This time I relied on Bionic and Schweser both .
I believe the key is to practice as many questions with concept understanding .
If you don't then there is no advantag3 of solving questions.
Make sure you understand concept whether from Schweser or BT or from Google.
Engage yourself in discussion and ask as many questions as possible
Also for me Garp mock exam is very important . There were many questions on the same concepts .
 

Nicole Seaman

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From stephenjohn in the May 2018 exam feedback thread: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-21#post-61314

You may find the below useful as a strategy (which is what I employed in order to pass part 2).

*Concentrate on doing BT's questions and asking the people on the forum with regards to anything that may not be clear. (I did this all the time). Furthermore, I would make notes of the questions that I found the most difficult. Even though you may know an answer, working through the logic step-by-step is still useful.

*Create your own sheet of formulas for each of the 4 main topics and construct notes around them. This may include the assumptions behind some of the formulas, or model classification such as the model types for the interest rate trees. It may take some time but I found it useful for revising the key points.

*Apologies if it sounds obvious but unless, it’s a new topic I wouldn't bother reading the syllabus again. Having said that don't do what I did and not take the current issues section seriously. I sat the exam in November 2017 questions were not always obvious to me. As a result I got a “3”

*On a lighter note, if you are like me and you are fond of beer, then cut it down to a minimum. I had to do this in the final few weeks leading up to the exam as it was turning my memory into jelly. Seriously I was struggling to remember an awful lot of basic stuff.
 

Nicole Seaman

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Thread starter #90
From mssnal in the May 2018 exam feedback thread: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-21#post-61319

I started preping for FRM part 1 in August 2017. Totally relied on Schweser. At the time i had not heard of BT. Although the preparation was haphazard and had no defined strategy to tackle the exam. In my opinion i performed poorly in the exam as i marked straight Cs for 12-15 questions. I attempted around 35 correctly IMO . Results 1121. I did well in the hindsight.

Started preparing for part 2 in Feb 2018, this time with a defined strategy. Did on the exam well. Used Schweser and went through three years of candidate feedback in the last 18 days and worked on weaker areas (by this time i had heard about BT). Results 11121

My method, if it works for you....Go through every book in 12-15 days without trying to understand dense/harder parts just to get a sense of what is covered in the LOs. Give a second read. this time give full attention to every concept and do relevant exercises. Reserve the exam month for practice and strengthening harder concepts...Get help from google and youtube if needed. Going through last three years of candidate feedback from BT forums was very helpful (emphasis on very)

If i have a chance to do it all over again and have sufficient time i would use only BT as its coverage is far better than any prep material available. Plus forums are helpful and you prepare as part of a broader potential FRM community. It also provides dedicated help.

I had to manage all this with a full-time job and family commitments.
 

Nicole Seaman

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Thread starter #91
From @Karim_B in response to a member who did not pass in May 2018: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-21#post-61323

Some things to consider:

1) For the topic where you scored a 2 (Risk Mgmt & Investment Mgmt?), what was different about it for you compared to the other topics?
Maybe you found it more interesting, more relevant; whatever the difference was see if you could possibly apply it to the other areas, or maybe change your perspective on the other topics to incorporate it.

2) "We become what we think about" - Earl Nightingale
I found this quote and the video linked below by Tom Bilyeu very helpful, especially as I passed through particularly tough readings.


So instead of talking about "the Nov 2018 attempt" picture yourself passing and remember why you signed up for the FRM and what you're planning to achieve when you get certified. This will hopefully get you fired up and ready to do what it takes to pass this time :)

3) Try to find linkages between topics and formulae
GARP love to mess with us on exam day by giving us pieces of information which aren't sufficient to directly get the answer, but combined with other tangentially related information can be used to back out the answer. For example the formulae for Beta and Correlation use almost the same inputs, so you might need to use the result of one of them to back out the value of the other.

As others have mentioned in the posts above, making a formula sheet and/or mind map of key topics and how they're related can help give you a big picture overview.

4) Understand the why behind formulae to remember them more easily
I find it much easier to remember a formula when I understand the intuition behind it. I realize this isn't always possible for those with complex derivations, but where possible it helps a lot.

5) Time management on exam day
I like to do the easy questions first, then come back to the hard ones so you can bank as many points as you can on the 1st pass. It also helps you build confidence since you start with easier questions, and by the time you get back to those you skipped, later questions may have prompted your memory to better tackle those tough questions you skipped.

It can get tricky if you end up mis-marking the answer sheet, so you have to be careful. I just fill in my letter of the day for the questions I skip, then make corrections on the 2nd pass to avoid the mis-marking issue, but it can be a pain (and it does involve going back through the test to the questions you guessed which takes some time).

6) Often GARP questions are filled with useless fluff or irrelevant info to misdirect you.
Try reading the last part of the question first - often it just asks you to identify correct/incorrect options below which are independent of the previous info. If you did need info from the earlier paragraphs, having the question in mind can help you select the relevant info (which is often camouflaged amongst other irrelevant details) & find the answer more easily. See if these tips work for you when doing practice questions.
 

gprisby

Active Member
Subscriber
#92
Dear all

I have registered for FRM 1 exam in November.I have started my preparation but I am finding it quite challenging due to my hectic schedule at work 100% and my family life with 2 kids.I work in the financial industry.I would like to know if I can take a chance by concentrating solely on the Bionic Turtle notes+ question sets and watching the videos which I find very good. I do have the GARP books but I find it time consuming and a bit dry from time to time.

Looking forward to a good plan

Thanks a lot

Jean
Geneva,Switzerland

I work full time in the finance industry (past 3 years in Treasury/Derivatives/Counterparty Risk)and have a wife, baby, and *gasp* side job. I started out reading the GARP books, but was able to get work to pay for my BT access. Currently, I go through the videos first, then the notes, then the practice problems. Then I skim the readings and try to focus on anything that wasn't clear in what I had already read in BT. Not sure if that's the most effective approach (haven't taken the test)... But I feel its more targeted since David/team know what the test takers focus on more than me.
 

Karim_B

Active Member
Subscriber
#94
From @Karim_B in response to a member who did not pass in May 2018: https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/may-2018-part-2-exam-feedback.13919/page-21#post-61323

Some things to consider:

1) For the topic where you scored a 2 (Risk Mgmt & Investment Mgmt?), what was different about it for you compared to the other topics?
Maybe you found it more interesting, more relevant; whatever the difference was see if you could possibly apply it to the other areas, or maybe change your perspective on the other topics to incorporate it.

2) "We become what we think about" - Earl Nightingale
I found this quote and the video linked below by Tom Bilyeu very helpful, especially as I passed through particularly tough readings.


So instead of talking about "the Nov 2018 attempt" picture yourself passing and remember why you signed up for the FRM and what you're planning to achieve when you get certified. This will hopefully get you fired up and ready to do what it takes to pass this time :)

3) Try to find linkages between topics and formulae
GARP love to mess with us on exam day by giving us pieces of information which aren't sufficient to directly get the answer, but combined with other tangentially related information can be used to back out the answer. For example the formulae for Beta and Correlation use almost the same inputs, so you might need to use the result of one of them to back out the value of the other.

As others have mentioned in the posts above, making a formula sheet and/or mind map of key topics and how they're related can help give you a big picture overview.

4) Understand the why behind formulae to remember them more easily
I find it much easier to remember a formula when I understand the intuition behind it. I realize this isn't always possible for those with complex derivations, but where possible it helps a lot.

5) Time management on exam day
I like to do the easy questions first, then come back to the hard ones so you can bank as many points as you can on the 1st pass. It also helps you build confidence since you start with easier questions, and by the time you get back to those you skipped, later questions may have prompted your memory to better tackle those tough questions you skipped.

It can get tricky if you end up mis-marking the answer sheet, so you have to be careful. I just fill in my letter of the day for the questions I skip, then make corrections on the 2nd pass to avoid the mis-marking issue, but it can be a pain (and it does involve going back through the test to the questions you guessed which takes some time).

6) Often GARP questions are filled with useless fluff or irrelevant info to misdirect you.
Try reading the last part of the question first - often it just asks you to identify correct/incorrect options below which are independent of the previous info. If you did need info from the earlier paragraphs, having the question in mind can help you select the relevant info (which is often camouflaged amongst other irrelevant details) & find the answer more easily. See if these tips work for you when doing practice questions.
Hi everyone
A few more study & exam tips in addition to my post above:

1) If you don't get a concept 100% on the 1st pass, that's OK. Don't dwell on one thing for too long since you'll end up having to rush through later readings to stay on schedule. There's a lot of material to cover, and there may be repetition of some parts of topics across authors. So you might understand more about the concept in the next section, during the prep provider's end of topic review, and finally you'll need to come back to it and review anyway after you 1st pass through the materials.

2) Doing lots of practice questions at the end is key to refresh your memory and solidify your understanding. Don't get discouraged if you score poorly on a practice exam. Review your answers & learn from the mistakes. GARP like to throw questions at us from unexpected angles, so once you get used to thinking about the concepts in different ways it's less of a shock when they throw the next curve ball.

3) GARP mock exams include lots of repeated questions - e.g. the 2018 practice exam is very similar to the 2017 practice exam. Not much variation from year to year. Lots of typos, so beware.

Happy studying :)
Karim
 

AJ

New Member
#95
Hey all:

I read over this thread but couldn't find anything regarding the amount of chapters studied per day.

I am taking both FRM parts on Nov 2018, and was wondering if doing 3 chapters a day is doable?

I have free time from now up to the exam date, and was aiming to put in about 8hrs/day. In your opinion, what would be the best approach to get it done efficiently? and if 3 chapters a day a good idea?

I feel this way would allow me to study the material twice. Here is my plan (reading GARP core-> BT videos -> BT notes -> BT questions for each), after all its done, then again (BT notes -> BT questions for each) and referring to videos or core readings if necessary. At last this will leave me with 20-30 days before the exam to do mock exams and review for each exam?

Just figured I share to see if someone had a better way to go about it, any ideas/comments/thoughts are welcome!
 
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Karim_B

Active Member
Subscriber
#96
Hey all:

I read over this thread but couldn't find anything regarding the amount of chapters studied per day.

I am taking both FRM parts on Nov 2018, and was wondering if doing 3 chapters a day is doable?

I have free time from now up to the exam date, and was aiming to put in about 8hrs/day. In your opinion, what would be the best approach to get it done efficiently? and if 3 chapters a day a good idea?

I feel this way would allow me to study the material twice. Here is my plan (reading GARP core-> BT videos -> BT notes -> BT questions for each), after all its done, then again (BT notes -> BT questions for each) and referring to videos or core readings if necessary. At last this will leave me with 20-30 days before the exam to do mock exams and review for each exam?

Just figured I share to see if someone had a better way to go about it, any ideas/comments/thoughts are welcome!
Hi @AJ
Doing 3 chapters a day with all of: "reading GARP core-> BT videos -> BT notes -> BT questions for each" sounds like a lot to me, but I know I'm slower than average at getting through the material.

Personally I started doing BT videos -> BT notes -> BT questions but wasn't diligent enough early on and had to switch to BT notes -> BT questions and skip the videos about half way through my studies for Part II.

In hindsight I would possibly try reversing the Videos & Notes since the notes are more detailed and give you the fuller picture so BT notes -> BT videos ->BT questions would get you the detail with the notes first, then review the key points with the video before attempting the questions.

Also be careful with the BT forum as you go through the materials. It's both a fantastic treasure trove of information, and a dangerous time warp when you follow interesting posts and end up going deep down the rabbit hole for far longer than you'd planned :)

I realize I don't go into enough detail on your original question of how much to cover per day, but I think it's hard to say since we all have different rates at which we get through the materials. However definitely leave plenty of time for practice questions and practice exams at the end (at least 3 weeks).

Best
Karim
 

AJ

New Member
#97
Hi @AJ
Doing 3 chapters a day with all of: "reading GARP core-> BT videos -> BT notes -> BT questions for each" sounds like a lot to me, but I know I'm slower than average at getting through the material.

Personally I started doing BT videos -> BT notes -> BT questions but wasn't diligent enough early on and had to switch to BT notes -> BT questions and skip the videos about half way through my studies for Part II.

In hindsight I would possibly try reversing the Videos & Notes since the notes are more detailed and give you the fuller picture so BT notes -> BT videos ->BT questions would get you the detail with the notes first, then review the key points with the video before attempting the questions.

Also be careful with the BT forum as you go through the materials. It's both a fantastic treasure trove of information, and a dangerous time warp when you follow interesting posts and end up going deep down the rabbit hole for far longer than you'd planned :)

I realize I don't go into enough detail on your original question of how much to cover per day, but I think it's hard to say since we all have different rates at which we get through the materials. However definitely leave plenty of time for practice questions and practice exams at the end (at least 3 weeks).

Best
Karim
@Karim_B

Thank you :)
 
#98
Q 300.1.

Can someone please explain what exactly is this? What is anti derivative and how it was derived in the first place?
Not just this, I find so many questions appearing out of no where and without any reference to any study materials ! There are so many sections in the notes where it feels there are no heads or tails and the topic is being discussed. I am frankly speaking a bit disappointed with the QA section of the Bionic Turtle.
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
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#99
Hi @vaisman Our questions do engage in the learning objectives more thoroughly (aka, deeply) than many others, it's true. But these questions are sourced in GARP's assigned Miller and the associated learning objectives which are repeated at the top (AIMs: Describe the concept of probability. Describe and distinguish between continuous and discrete random variables. Define and distinguish between the probability density function, the cumulative distribution function and the inverse cumulative distribution function, and calculate probabilities based on each of these functions.). Miller's use of calculus has always been a bit "controversial," but that was GARP's decision to include assignments that explicitly include calculus. Our questions do go deep, it's a strength that has an associated cost (often: we can't link every little detail back as easily as we could if the coverage were more superficial).

Our material does not (yet) include an introduction to calculus. You can see that, early, in this thread I pointed to some recommendations (see https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/p1-t2-300-probability-functions-miller.6728/#post-23640). You do want to learn the core basics of differentiation/integration, but the basic-basic calculus is just a few rules, and the power rule itself gets you surprisingly far. Eventually, we do want to add "ramp-up calculus" to the material, but we just don't have that yet. In the meantime, I would suggest that you view our questions, to some degree, as a means to learn the material. I hope that helps a little, thanks,
 
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Hi @vaisman Our questions do engage in the learning objectives more thoroughly (aka, deeply) than many others, it's true. But these questions are sourced in GARP's assigned Miller and the associated learning objectives which are repeated at the top (AIMs: Describe the concept of probability. Describe and distinguish between continuous and discrete random variables. Define and distinguish between the probability density function, the cumulative distribution function and the inverse cumulative distribution function, and calculate probabilities based on each of these functions.). Miller's use of calculus has always been a bit "controversial," but that was GARP's decision to include assignments that explicitly include calculus. Our questions do go deep, it's a strength that has an associated cost (often: we can't link every little detail back as easily as we could if the coverage were more superficial).

Our material does not (yet) include an introduction to calculus. You can see that, early, in this thread I pointed to some recommendations (see https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/threads/p1-t2-300-probability-functions-miller.6728/#post-23640). You do want to learn the core basics of differentiation/integration, but the basic-basic calculus is just a few rules, and the power rule itself gets you surprisingly far. Eventually, we do want to add "ramp-up calculus" to the material, but we just don't have that yet. In the meantime, I would suggest that you view our questions, to some degree, as a means to learn the material. I hope that helps a little, thanks,
Hi David. I understand your point. However, as someone with knowledge of only basic mathematics/statistics, what would your suggestion be in wading through the QA section ? Will just practice and repeated practice be useful or you suggest that this section be given more importance and be done fundamentally bottom-up?
To digress a bit, I have completed Topic 1 (Fundamentals of Risk Management) fully and have 3 more sections to go before completing this by September-end /October first week. Your inputs will be highly appreciated !
 
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