CFA/FRM overlap?

For those of you who have taken the CFA exams (or at least 1 or 2 levels) and the FRM: Is there any overlap in the material? 250 hours is recommended for study time, but I’m wondering if someone who has passed all 3 levels of the CFA would be able to do it in less. I figure after the CFA, I can knock out the PRM with approximately 30-50 hours of study (the first two of the four exams are waived for CFA charterholders). If I could pass the FRM with less than 100 hours study I’d likely take it, but otherwise I might just leave it at CFA, PRM, especially considering the PRM and FRM are rather redundant.

can you use ‘search’ to find the relevant threads and post pointers here?

I had passed CFA lvl 2 before I did FRM. I was totally underprepared for the exam. I used schweser and I thought I studied quite enough. scored 80%+ with Schweser sample exams but guess 50% on the actual exam day. I passed but still felt that the exam was much tougher than CFA lvl 2. Studying for lvl 3 CFA, I find that there is about 30% of FRM curriculum that I learnt from CFA.

Unless you know a lot of stuff about risk, I don’t think you would be very likely to pass FRM with 100 hrs of study. It’s getting to be a tough exam.

I totally agree with Mr. JDV. I just received and organized all the materials: paid core readings, free core readings, and Jorion’s handbook…and there’s an absolutely ridiculous amount if you are planning to go through it all. Not aiming to optimize (too much) in the effort expended vs. passing probability space, but rather to learn as much as I can since I think it’s intrinsically fascinating stuff. I have a bit of math and graduate physics background, but know absolutely nothing about risk, neither practically nor theoretically…so I’m planning for a wild ride and charging full force from now until November.

hi boston, approx. how many pages total are all the readings for the FRM?

Hi stern, this is what i have approximately: 1. free readings [1200] 2. Jorion FRM handbook [600] 3. paid coursepack(1 of 2) [1400] 4. subtotal [= 3200] 5. paid coursepack(2 of 2) [XXX] XXX = high hundreds I’m estimating from the list on They don’t yet have these out yet, but are very close. I haven’t gone through them, but I bet there’ll be much overlap…probably multiply by factor of 0.5 to 0.75 to get the effective number of pages if you already know a bit…though of course the material is pretty quantitative so each page would probably count more than a CFA curriculum page, though there’s always the risk that I’m wrong…

Thanks boston. Are you getting the kaplan notes?

Yep, Schweser for FRM. I’m going to be one of their best customers… CAIA (both levels) + CFA (levels 2 and 3) planned as well. Although I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself… I haven’t even passed CFA L1, lol.

i passed frm last year. it’s a tough exam for sure. i think some of the level 2 materials especially bonds / derivatives are quite similar. obviously you guys all know frm focuses more on risk / quant side. there’re quite a few lengthy calculation questions.

FRM is much more math intensive. CFA math is a joke compared to it. also someone said PRM exam 3 is 30-50 hrs prep - sure, if you just want to pass, and know your matrices and calculus beforehand, and can understand arcane regulatory risk rules upon first read. otherwise, you may get a piece of paper in hand, but will be confused clueless when you come face to face with actually applying that knowledge. i agree about exam 4 - its a joke. take your time, learn the stuff, understand it, then take the exams. you’ll get more LT value out of the time invested.

is it true that you could take PRM at any time and open book? that’s weird…

Any time, yes. I never heard that it was open book.

closed book

Thanks for the feedback everyone. The reason I estimated such a short time for PRM (30-50 hours) is that L4 is easy from what I’ve seen, so essentially I’d just be studying for L3 (which I’m familiar with already). Sounds like the FRM might not be worth it for me at this point…I’d probably get a much bigger bang for my buck by sticking with CFA, PRM and devoting those FRM hours to crushing the GMAT.

GMAT? not much to crush there really :slight_smile: