So the exam was dreadful. Pretty much everything that Schweser would characterize as “low probability of being on the exam,” was on the exam. Of the tens of formulas I knew cold going in, I would honestly say that I used perhaps 2 or 3 of them, tops.
I ran a post like this after Level 1 and got all disgusted, but then of course upon learning that I passed, my hindsight vision kicked in and then I began to think Schweser was ok after all. I won’t get fooled three times if I don’t make Part 2 this go-around.
Bionic Turtle’s questions are VASTLY more representative than Schweser’s, not only when it comes to difficulty, but (and this is important), more specifically, the actual types of questions they will ask. When you read Schweser, you develop your little mental map of how Schweser sees Part 2, and everything makes sense and you’re doing ok on the practice exams, and so you think, “I’m ready to kill this exam.” But then you see the exam and you wonder what you were studying for when you spent all of those hours reading the Schweser books, because it certainly wasn’t the FRM Part 2 exam that you now see before you.
The problem with Bionic Turtle is that the design of their website and product cohesion is, frankly, sh!t. It seems like the materials are all over the place, not in one document, and clearly they are understaffed. Because of this, it is all too easy to get lured in by the shiny covers, holograms and stock photos of successful financial professionals that are all provided by the Schweser product. The trouble, of course, is that the books may as well contain blank pages – they would be of equivalent use on the exam.
I don’t know what the answer is for somebody coming in new and asking “Schweser or BT?” What I can say is, I would pretty much be using strictly BT if I had to do it over again (and I hope I don’t), but there are other factors at play (i.e., I’ve already had broad AIM exposure now, the BT folks will actually be able to complete the 2013 product by November’s exam, etc.). I had access to BT but, because the usability wasn’t the greatest, I didn’t spend enough time reviewing their version of the FRM Part 2 world. HUGE mistake.
Of course, if I learn in July that I passed, I will probably develop amnesia and say that Schweser seemed to do the trick for me.