Post your opinion on the FRM part1 nov'13 exam

Felt like more theory (conceptual based) questions were given. Didnt have enough time to answer all questions, so had to put some random choices at the end.

I thought it was exceptionally hard. For what its worth, I passed CFA Level II and am finishing up MBA in finance, and studied for FRM Level 1 for about 3 months. Despite all the preparation, the questions were very misleading, often referencing concepts hidden somewhere in the corner of any random page in the reading. The numerical questions also required computing with as many as 8(!) decimal points, which made it much more difficult for no apparent reason. I had 15 minutes left on last 20 questions and just like you, guessed on atleast 30-40%

I felt the first 50 questions were fair game… the last 50 however… -__-

There were atleast 3 or 4 questions from the past mocks ex: the one on Ethics, the graph on hetroskedacity. May be GARP wanted to wipe away the comment of ‘Practice exams are not reflective of actual exams’. Otherwise I felt most of the questions were fair, some of the number based questions did not require calculations if you know the logic. In all I felt it is not very hard either.

I agree with revexrevex. Some questions were very misleading. Some questions don’t seem to have a sensible answer. I also agree with snimmagadda3 . Felt like more theory (conceptual based) questions were given. I expect there are about 70% questions which are “calculation based”. However, in my memory, there were about 60% only. In my opinion, this part 1 exam is not very hard, but is more difficult than the study note. However, there are some misleading questions, which cause even the best candidate has to guess.

I felt this was a gift from GARP, most of the questions were from schweser or practice papers. Even though few questions were tricky, overall it was one of the easiest paper. Unfortunately for me, time was the constraint. I was a bit slow and could complete only 80% and guess the rest. It feels odd to fail in such a easy paper. The pass marks may also be high, since I am sure for this paper, many people people may get most of the answers right. So I am not having much of hopes. So If I cannot clear, I may attempt both parts next May.

The paper is much more harder than GARP practice paper. I do feel practice papers are not much relevant to the actual one. They are some calculation intensive sum’s. I screwed up questions based Regression and duration. Couldnt solve atleast 5 easy ones, due to lack of time. Guessed answers for around 20 questions. Prepared for 3 months and I used to get around 70% in mock tests. Lost confidence after giving the exam.

I find the actual exam’s difficulty is quite close to Schweser’s and GARP’s practice exams. Most questions are reasonable but some are just impossible to get right unless you could remember that exact detail in the book. Time wasn’t a problem: I had about an hour left.

i felt the exam was a mix of 40/40/20- 20 were too difficult. 40 were sitters and 40 were concept based.

I felt the exam was very easy and a gift from GARP as mentioned by Goks 22. Moreover, the multiple choice was not to evaluate multiple statements such as I& II, I,II & IV, III & IV, IV only, which i felt always consume a large amount of time. I had 30 minutes to spare when I reached the 100th question and spent the remaining time on the 10 skipped questions. Skipping the difficult questions and not getting stuck with it emotionally, like “How can I not answer this question?” kind of feeling, is a key to complete all the questions in the given time.

The numericals were slightly indulging whereas the conceptual / theoritical questions were pretty easy esp. the sharpe ratio, all the graph questions like incorrect efficient curve, heteroskedasticity, I dont remember all the questions that I answered without any haste though. The only ones that I remember are the ones that had me think a bit.

Most of the questions were from previous year GARP exams and variations in the names of the characters or the numbers. So if you have solved the previous years questions, this exam was a no brainer.

Now the only hurdle will be the passing cut-off marks. If a majority of candidates felt that the exam was easy then the cutoff can be as high as 70. Keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for a positive result in Jan.

All the best for everyone and I wish everyone clears the exam.

It amazes me that some people write “…It was very easy and gift from GARP… but now I have to hope I managed to get into first quartile…” You contradict yourself - if it was “very easy” for you then you should pass it with flying colors and should not worry about. Do you really think if no candidate managed to get at least one question right and you got one question correct GARP would pass you because you will be in the first percentile?

The test was neither hard nor easy but it also depends on your educational background. What you have to take into account is the TIME and PANIC (created by time). If the time was not your constraint many of you (including me) would be in the first decile. Couple of the qualitative questions really seemed to have two “correct” answers, so, in order to answer them, you would have to find specific sentence in book.

Good luck to all of you

I felt the exam was pretty fine . In first 2 hours able to solve around 40-41 questions. But I have very high confidence on the answers I wrote. I should able to score in between 35-38 out of those 41 ones.

In the 3rd hour, I was able to solve around 25 questions, which I feel I have solved 75% correctly (around 17-18) .

In last hour, first half I have solved around 10-12 questions fairly. Now I had only 30 minutes and around 25 questions to solve ( those I have skipped in between). I have solved 5 out of them. And in last 15 minutes I have just wrapped the remaining ones with the gut feeling ( Though I was sure that I can solve those if enough time was available).

Overall exam was at par level, neither very easy nor very hard !!!

One point i want to make about theoritical questions, is that I have solved around 1500-1800 questions including past GARP sample practice exams, not a single theoritical question got repeated from the solved ones.

I disagree with Javed about the fact that theoretical questions were not repeated. I remember quite a few such as the one on GARP code of conduct (keeping upto date with current practices), second on select the option where the corporate bond is not getting recalled, one on sharpe ratio (with slight variation). The numeric questions were a bit indulging but again a few of them were repeated with changed input numbers.

After slight introspection, I feel that I got around 8-9 definitely wrong and there could be atleast 20-30% margin of error in the remaining questions that I solved. Hence I am not completely convinced about clearing the passing cutoff, if that will be more than 60-70%.

While many are humble enough to say that exam was pretty ok, I think it is reflection of the fact that exam was easy. As few pointed out there are atleast 3-5 questions which were from past GARP practice exams. Apart from that I would say the first 40-50 questions are pretty easy to handle which left a very good taste with me.

While the later half got slightly more difficult the confidence from 1st half helped me feel the overall exam went fine. I could not solve 2-3 questions, would have defnitely made clerical errors in the remaining. I do get a feeling cut off would be high as many whom I interacted with in the exam centre also had the same feeling (easy/ Ok).

I do get a feel after accounting for clerical errors, difference in educational background of candidates etc… the cutoff could be around 65-70%, if GARP were to maintain that 45% success rate (approx). Let us keep our fingers crossed for the next 40 odd days

I agree…! for me i would say the first 65 questions were ok but the last 35 only became more blur especially with the clock ticking faster than usual…!

Well now the results are just round the corner. Best wishes to everyone.

Just received a mail from GARP. I passed.


Great news to celebrate the new year…

Passed here as well, 2nd quartile on all the sections… i literally random guessed third of the exam… just shows relative difficulty and trickiness this year.

Passed parts 1 and 2- first attempt- already had achieved PRM during summer so considerable overlap. Thought these exams were harder than PRM and equivalent to or harder than CFA- I have level 1 there.