Is 40 days enough?

Hello, I passed CFA Level II this past June. I am taking FRM I in November. I recently changed job and moved, so I haven’t started reviewing at all. My questions are 1) Do I have enough time to study for Part I with the FRM textbooks and the Handbook. I think I can study 20 hours a week. 2) Given there are only 40 days left, should I get Bionic Turtle and can I rely on that alone? Thanks very much for the help! jordan23

According to your time-frame, it seems that you hardly have 150 hours of study time. I would NOT suggest going through the handbook (which does not focus on the exam itself. It is rather academic in its explanations) or the FRM textbooks (It will take you 150 hours just to read through them; Too wordy). From a preparation point of view, I cannot say what will help because I, myself, am going to write FRM in November. But, I would suggest that you do use notes like Bionic turtle or Schweser which focus on specific AIMs which will more likely allow you to pass.

+1 on what Ashwin said. Steer clear of the original FRM readings and the FRM handbook, they are way too wordy and unfocused on the AIMs you need to learn. In terms of whether or not you have enough time before the November exam, 20hrs/wk may be a bit short of what you need. This would likely be a winning recipe for you: 25hrs/wk x 6wks = 150 hours

Thank you all for the comments. I am leaning towards postponing it. I might need to postpone it again as I want to focus on CFA Level III. Do you think it’s a good idea? And do you know how many times I can postpone the exam (I know there’s fee for it)? Thanks!

I, personally, would not suggest postponing it. Most of my friends who gave the exam and passed, said that they were surprised that they did. They are very certain that they barely got 50% of the questions right. On top of that, FRM and CFA have an overlap in the quant section. If you can dedicate enough time nearing the end to practice questions, you could very well pass.

Thank you all for the comments. I signed up for Bionic Turtle and am half way through the videos. My plan is to go through all the videos by end of this week and find out what areas I need to focus on. Then spend next week focusing on those areas. And I will spend the last two weeks working on problems and practice exams. Does it sound like a good plan to you guys? Would the Bionic Turtle questions and FRM practice exam be enough?

Wendy: what were the study materials that you used when you took the FRM exam, and how did you prepare for it? Thanks There are so many formulas to remember, I am quite overwhelmed. I have been studying for FRM Level 1 since July 2011 for the upcoming Nov 2011 exam

Hi PeterPan, there really are a TON of formulas to remember for FRM Part 1. Here’s how I tackled it: First, I got the Schweser FRM1 QuickSheet (Bionic Turtle probably has something similar). Then I copied each formula (or other fact that I needed to memorize) on to the back of a white cuecard. Then, I wrote the name of the formula on the front of the cuecard. (This all took quite a few hours, unfortunately.) About a week before the exam, I started going through this big stack of cuecards and quizzing myself. If I could remember a particular formula perfectly correct, I put it back at the very bottom of the stack. If I only got the formula half right, I put it back halfway through the stack. If I couldn’t remember the formula at all, I put it back near the top of the stack of cards. etc It didn’t take too many passes through the stack of cuecards to get my recall up near 100%. This is a particularly good tool to review on the morning of the exam.

Thanks, Wendy. I’ll give your method a try

Hi Peterpan, I considered FRM study materials from a number of providers. I eventually went with Shwesser for both FRM part 1 and part 2. Shwesser seems more expensive (FRM1 Notes + Qbank + Quicksheet + Practice Exam = $399) than other providers, but there were a couple of things that appealed to me about it: 1) The Shwesser materials are self-contained; you don’t need to buy anything else. Most other providers additionally expect you to buy and read the official GARP readings ($250), which are VERY long and academic. The Shwesser materials are a concise Replacement for these readings. Some other providers expect you to also buy the Jorion FRM Handbook ($175). 2) The Shwesser materials come as proper printed textbooks, while some other providers only give you electronic pdfs of their notes.

David raises a very good point against printed notes: Some candidates prefer to study from their Kindle, laptop, desktop computer, phone, etc. If this is you, then printed notes are not a good choice. On the other hand, one thing I really like about printed notes is resale value: I was able to sell my May FRM 2011 notes to a November FRM 2011 candidate for more than half of what I paid for them. I’m not certain that I would’ve been able to resell pdf notes for several hundred dollars (if resale is even possible – or allowed under prep providers’ pdf licensing agreements.)