FRM Level 1 after CFA Level 2

Hi all,

I’ve just written my CFA L2 and am awaiting scores. I found it a tough exam and suspect I will be re-doing it next year. I passed CFA L1 on first attempt and both CAIA L1 and L2 back to back on first attempts. None of them compared to the mountain that is CFA L2.

I’m thinking of taking FRM L1 in November. My question is: given what I have already studied, how challenging is it likely to be. If it’s another CFA L2, I am not sure I want to undertake that this year. However, if there is a fair amount of overlap, it might be a manageable and acheivable task before I get stuck back into CFA in January 17.

Thanks in advance.

I was in same boat last year. Passed CFA Level 2 in June, took Part 1 in November. I think the overlap is decent on the quantitative methods side: heteroskedasticity, the central moments, time series, fx rates, duration basics. The new stuff/extra emphasis would be on VaR methods, GARCH, Black-Scholes (the actual formula), key rate duration, financial/risk management crises, enterprise risk management. I read the GARP and Schweser material slowly over the summer, and got serious about my studying around October and did about 120-140 hours studying in total. Thought the November Part 1 exam was easy relative to the CFA Level 2, and it turned out to be more qualitative than expected.

Thanks, Macro. Very helpful. Passed L2 on first attempt?


Great info there.


Material difficulty of FRM 1 is equivalenet to CFA L2, maybe even more difficult in terms of the quant depth. BUT there is way less material in FRM L1 and there is even significant overlap between FRM L1 and CFA L2. Even if you didn’t pass CFA L2, having exposure to the material will help you drastically in FRM L1. And if you write FRM L1, you will be in a much better position to pass CFA L2 the second time around. In essence, they complement eachother.

Quick relevant info about me: I also just took the CFA L2, and took FRM L1 + CFA L1 last year.

I’d recommend taking it if you’re interested in risk management or challenging yourself. It’ll keep you sharp and solidify topics that overlap w/ the CFA curriculum, and suspect it will help w/ the portfolio management component of CFA L3 (although I haven’t looked at the L3 curriculum yet so can’t be certain).

FRM L1 is hard but YMMV. One reason it’s harder is that the CFA curriculum and prep material is more mature and better/extensive. FRM lacked sufficient study materials and mock exams.