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FAQ Before Exam What is the pass rate for the FRM?

Nicole Seaman

Chief Admin Officer
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#41
How do you calculate the BT pass rate and do you ever compare the pass % over time with the above charts?
@Stuart D Moncrieff

The BT pass rate was calculated from a survey that we sent out. We have not sent out another survey recently so we are not able to create a comparison chart at this time. However, we have talked about sending out another survey to our audience so this is something that we could probably do in the near future. Just keep in mind that the exact pass rate is difficult to calculate, as we can only go by the answers that people are providing, which may or may not be accurate. Also, not everyone answers the survey that is sent, so the calculation would be missing those who actually did pass the exam using BT materials but did not complete the survey that was sent to them. Because of this, it is difficult to get an exact pass rate for those using BT materials.
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
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Thread starter #42
I think on the last EPP call Lisa said GARP will be adding per-EPP pass rate reporting capability (basically, EPPs can request pass rates for their self-reporting customers), unless I misunderstood @Nicole Seaman ?
 

Nicole Seaman

Chief Admin Officer
Staff member
Subscriber
#43
I think on the last EPP call Lisa said GARP will be adding per-EPP pass rate reporting capability (basically, EPPs can request pass rates for their self-reporting customers), unless I misunderstood @Nicole Seaman ?
@David Harper CFA FRM
Yes, she did mention that. I wasn't sure if that was public information. I don't think it is something that they have started yet, but hopefully, we will get more information about that soon. I can also reach out to her for clarification. In my post above, I was just answering his question about how we had calculated the BT pass rate.
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
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Thread starter #44
@Nicole Seaman Yes understood (sorry if i spoke out of turn). I think you know how I feel about our pass rate: I am not attached to publishing it because it encourages the wrong signal. (I would be okay with dropping it, in the next major site revision) The two most important determinants in passing are (i) where is the candidate starting in quantitative aptitude; e.g., those with quantitative skills have a huge head start, and (ii) the time spent preparing. After that is the quality of the preparation; e.g., quality of practice questions. Also, so far, it's been a self-reported, surveyed metric. So, to me it is an imperfect metric that cannot successfully summarize our (BT's) isolated performance, is why I am not keen on it. Finally, I really have no idea if it has an impact when candidates shop the FRM. I've read the FRM shopping platforms/forums for years, and pass rate metrics rarely show up in shopping conversations. For all of the reasons, it continues to have low relevance but that's just my opinion ...
 

Nicole Seaman

Chief Admin Officer
Staff member
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#45
@David Harper CFA FRM Yes, I completely agree with that. I'm also not attached to providing a pass rate for the same reason. Self-reporting and surveys are great for learning more about what customers want and how they've used study materials, but it is definitely not completely accurate data for calculating pass rates. As you said, there are other factors also, and it is impossible for us to know if someone has actually used our study materials to the best of their ability (i.e. just because someone purchases doesn't mean they used the materials) or what their knowledge is before purchasing our materials. There are just a lot of factors when it comes to a self-study prep program.

From what I've seen over the years, FRM candidates rely more on real customer testimonials, which provide specific information about how BT helped them to pass the exam. That is a clear way to figure out how helpful BT materials and support are in the FRM community, as there is no question as to whether a person actually used our materials. Our testimonials page speaks to our reputation much better than data that we can't accurately obtain.
 
#47
On the GARP website it is stated, 'The exam result is determined by many factors and is not predetermined nor is it a specific percentage of the points either for individual modules areas or for the entire exam. The exam results are determined by the FRM/ERP Committee(s). '

Does this imply that there is no cut-off percentage mark? How does it help the candidates if the factors are not discussed? Is this done deliberately to filter out good test takers?

Additionally, I’ve heard that non-FRM certified individuals have been asked for contributions to questions for new exams. Question contributors have a few rounds of discussion on all new questions contributed and discuss the relative difficulty to past real exam questions. If true, this may allow poorly worded questions to be accepted as fair and propagated through exams.

Do we have confirmation that the exams are solved in their entirety by experts to check for consistency in difficulty with past exams?
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
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Thread starter #48
HI @amit.m.sharma Good questions. Who knows (the answer to your question and many others). I'm on record, multiple times, in public and privately to GARP in regard to my disapproval of the lack of transparency with respect to the actual exams, including construction and evaluation. My takeway is their semi-transparent (non-transparent?) approach affords them far too much leeway and, at the same time, gives candidates not nearly enough of what is called in the field prospective clarity (ie, guidance with respect to what is likely to be tested) on the exam. I know you saw the memo I wrote last here (https://www.bionicturtle.com/forum/...-committee-and-garps-board-of-trustees.22758/ ) because you commented on it; the primary motivation for my memo was the high error rate observed (i.e., 30%+ error rate) on GARP's sample questions, most of which apparently were sampled from actual prior exams. When you suggest that "this may allow poorly worded questions to be accepted as fair and propagated through exams," I happen to perceive that we have many such examples (surfaced mostly by forum members here) of such questions (and calculations, too: many of GARP original attempts at certain concepts had to be corrected by us; e.g., their portfolio beta and CVA questions were blatantly incorrect and required us to specifically educate them). So, in short, I think you raise good questions. I've raised similar questions many times .... Thanks,
 

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Subscriber
Thread starter #49
Below is the updated pass rate chart (cc @Nicole Seaman ). Really brief observations:
  • This is now a 10-year sample (20 exams; starting with May 2010 when the FRM split into two parts)!
  • The Part 1 pass rate of 45.9% happens to be coincident with its long-term average
  • The Part 2 pass rate of 58.6% dropped from May's local peak of 60.5%. Last May's gap of 18.7% (i.e., 60.5% - 41.8% = 18.7%) was the largest gap in the exam's history. This November's gap was only 12.7% (i.e., 58.6% - 45.9% = 12.7%) and is nearer to the long-run gap of 10.6%. Historically, we've said that the P2 pass rate is about 10% higher than the P1 pass rate, so we're getting back to that.
 
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