May 2012 Exam Results


Active Member
I agree with many observation here that GARP may have lowered the bar. Seriously, I was afraid I may not have passed as I was pretty sure of getting 20 out of 80 questions wrong based on a lot of post exam discussions here. But I ended up getting all 1's. That can mean only one thing and that is the passing score must have been very low for me to in the 1st quartile of everything. But it does not really bother me. GARP has more at stake than us to keep both the standard and the membership base at the optimum level.

Aleksander Hansen

Well-Known Member
...and I do think GARP is acutely aware of the trade-off. After all, if it is perceived as being easy people will seek out other designations. If it is perceived as being too difficult (most) people will seek out a different designation. If there is not a critical mass and brand recognition, people will seek out other designations.

What I can say is that GARP is currently investing a lot in brand recognition, and marketing the FRM to an audience that includes the financial elite. I see their advertisements - often whole page, and believe me NOT cheap - in the following:
  • Bloomberg Markets Magazine (a monthly [great] magazine that is sent out to every person who has a Bloomberg Terminal. The Bloomberg Terminal is in every IBank, hedge fund and so forth. ~$20,000 a year to have a terminal, and everyone who is someone in finanance has one, and the magazine is popular (including for academics).
  • Bloomberg Businessesweek (this is a weekly publication. Everyone can buy it but terminal owners get full online access for free and pay only $30 a year for print [as opposed to $250 a year for a "regular" subscriber]. This is a new push on the part of Bloomberg to provide a full and integrated data and news service. Recently underwent a major change following their acquisition of Businessweek.
  • The Bloomberg Briefs (these are daily briefs, available on a variety of topics: Economics, Risk, Hedge Funds, Regulation, Mergers & Aquisitions... around $1200-$1500 for each
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Forbes
  • Fortune
  • Wall Street Journal

Overall that push is great and highly beneficial to us, so I think GARP has vastly improved their overall strategy and exposure.


Someone I know, on another site, quoted that he passed P2 with 2-2-3-4-4 !!

Reiteration - GARP should be concerned about quality. Not only about increasing the base of certificate holders.
Hi Jasvinder,

That's unfair as I had better results than 2-2-3-4-4 for level II back in November 2011 and I did not pass!!!


New Member
Hi David,

I cleared FRM L1 paper. I am really glad to have joined BT. I started studying around 1st week of april. Without BT video's it would have been difficult to finish the course content by reading from the books.

I scored Quantative analysis and Financial markets and products in top quartile. i was placed in 2nd quartile in Foundations of Risk management which seems bad. my worst result was valuation and risk models where i was places in last quartile. I knew after the exam that some of my answers related to options were incorrect. I know i missed quite a few questions from this section.

as everyone is stating it, i passed L1 with 2,1,1,4.


Suzanne Evans

Well-Known Member
An individual wrote me via email for some advice. Perhaps someone might be able to give the individual some feedback and/or advice. I'm posting this for the individual and will provide the individual a link to watch the forum. For their own reasons, they would not like their information posted and therefore I told them I would post for them:

Dear Suzanne,

I am writing to you directly by email, since, as you can imagine to post in the forum my forth failure of sencond level does not represents an event to be proud of.

Nonetheless my uncoutable efforts and hours dedicated to study and review the same topics; my more than 6 years job experience so close and pertinent to the exam’s argument and with a good reputation; nonetheless I prepared the exam not only with your material (with success score of 70-80%), but also with Schweiser and Jorion; on last 5th of June I had again the same disappointing news my skills and standard knowledges were not adequante to the FRM ones.

I’m writing you to have an advice from a professional of educational sector of certificate about that and understand how is it possible and how probable is it, to get a score so far from home simulation and from skills currently proven and well-acknowledged by subordinates and chiefs.

That’s as if I’m living a nightmare where two worlds never meet and I do not understand which one is wrong. Theoretical aspects and questions are affordable (of course not everyone, but after I can go back to the reason of mistake) but at the exam session it is as if something switched off and I cannot recognize my score.

I am 34 years old, a degree in finance in one of the best Italian university and a very diligent approach to my challenges and responsibilities. But I can’t understand how to pass FRM even if I repeated topics for several times? How is possible? Please I don’t expect from you a psychological support, but an honest opinion if in such situation it is worth to follow like that.

I thank you in advance for every kind return you’ll esteem to be worth to provide me.



Is he facing problem in understanding / interpreting correctly the english language (intent) of the questions?

Just trying to look at a different possibility... I have seen individuals struggle to get a good score primarily because of lack of comprehension / expression.

Aleksander Hansen

Well-Known Member
It is hard to explain exactly what affects you without knowing you or your situation better, however I will share with you my observations, opinions and advice.

Please do note that, although I have taught statistics and economics at the graduate level, I am not an educator nor do I have training in any pedagogical methods. Moreover, I am not competent to give any psychological or medical advice. I will simply give you my take. I apologize in advance if any of my observations offend you in any way; that is certainly not my intention.

  • My first impression is based on your writing and how you structure sentences and use the English language.
    Based on your writing I find it plausible, that under the stress on the exam day, that you might misread or misinterpret a question and the answer options. On the exam day, it is imperative that you take your time and read the question properly. Be aware of small nuances that will alter the interpretation of the question such as is, is not e.g. significant. Furthermore, a lot of times, when doing exercises, you will see a question reoccur frequently, although using different numbers for example. You may be able to solve these questions very efficiently; however, if the same question appears on the exam, and instead of just changing the numbers, they actually change what they are asking for (as an example, might ask for gamma rather than the more usual long-term variance). This would be an easy question to solve, but since you have been conditioned on solving that type of question in a specific way, it is not unusual that you would solve for the wrong variable/parameter. This is a common method used to keep students on their toes. So paying close attention to what is asked is of great importance. The solution to this is obviously to read the question carefully as mentioned. Another thing you might want to consider is to read a few books [written in English]. The potential benefit here is that you build your understanding of the English language, how sentences are structured, as well as how basic verbal logic is used. For example, if I write,"if X is substituted for Y and Z is substituted for F", do you understand what you currently have and what you are supposed to use?
  • You mention that you have used both Bionic Turtle as well as Schweser and Jorion. However, have you delved a little deeper and gone through all the core readings assigned by GARP? If not, I would highly recommend that you do. In addition, having sat the exam, you know what sections you scored well in, and what sections you did less well in. Ask yourself why you are doing better on some sections and worse on others? Do you tend to score lower on the more quantitative sections; or the more verbal sections? Do you score higher on the topics you are more interested in? Finally, are there certain topics that - after reading the notes and core readings - that you are generally able to solve when doing the practice questions, yet that you don't fully understand the mechanism/theory of? If so, this might indicate a need to find a book specifically on that topic, and dig a little deeper to gain that understanding. I will generally not be satisfied with my performance on any given topic before I truly understand the economic and mathematical intuition behind it.
  • You write that you feel competent in the subjects, and your work is closely aligned with some of the material, but that on the exam day you "switch-off". Was this ever the case in university? A lot of people get nervous in stressful situations, and that is exacerbated by the "test setting", the pressure to succeed and your past experience. For most people this nervousness and stress does not inhibit their performance, rather it can in fact help make them stay more focused - as a primal reaction. However, for some this nervousness can be overwhelming and inhibiting, and is then better described as anxiety. If you think this is indeed affecting you in a negative manner, I would strongly encourage you not to just brush it off; but rather speak to your doctor about your situation. Again, I am NOT trained or qualified to give any medical advice, hence the reference to the doctor, but in these situations you should ask whether prescribing benzodiazepines, such as Alprazolam (Xanax), Loazepam (Ativan) or Clonazepam (Klonopin) to help manage the anxiety experienced in that situation would be beneficial.
  • people learn in different ways, so make sure that you explore both audio/visual, readings as well as questions. Now it seems from your writing that you have already done much of the above, so you might just need a different approach or strategy to complement your efforts. Some people swear to flash-cards, others to mind-mapping, others yet to being quizzed on some of the questions [the more qualitative questions] would be the most relevant for the latter. Finally, consider joining a study group. Now I have no clue where you live, but you can find study groups through GARP's linkedIn web-site for example. Now, if you don't live close to any current study group, and starting one in the area is not an option, don't forget that a study group in the for of online collaboration can be just as effective, considering you have both audio/video available for free, as well as through a host of programs for sharig content in real-time.

These are just my observations and opinions based on what you wrote and it might be entirely inaccurate or inapplicable to you in your situation. It is hard for me to know. For various reasons several other members on the forum have sent me private messages/conversation/mail through Bionic Turtle asking a wide variety of questions that they did not feel comfortable sharing with the entire world, and you are, of course welcome to do the same.

Regardless of your choices and approach forward I wish you the best of luck! Also, don't forget to give youself a sound dose of credit for persevering and not giving up! It takes strong will and determination to do so, and writing Suzanne to ask her to convey your questions is both courageous and admirable.

All the best,

Hend Abuenein

Active Member
I'd like to express my deep sympathies with you (anonymous candidate), and also to express my admiration for your perseverance.

Now that Aleksander and Fermion have covered many of the points I wanted to make, there is one perspective left to look at the reasons.

You say that you've done simulations of exams and answer 70-80% of BT's questions correctly, but in the exam you turn off. I find it difficult to explain that you passed the much harder level 1, but are having difficulty with the much less quantitative level 2. Something must have changed between the times you sat for the two levels.

I don't think it would be far fetched to consider physical problems related to low absorption of some vitamins and minerals that might have happened during that time. Health does affect our cognitive performance a great deal.
For example, low intake/absorption of vitamin B12 causes temporary impairment of memory, low ferritin/iron storage causes cognitive problems and agitation under stress as well. You might want to consult with a doctor if you are sure you have done everything else to rule out any effort related causes.
You might also consider a supplement of omega 3, known to boost retention of information.

I hope that helps. And wish you the best of luck next time. Don't give up.


Active Member
Aside from the suggestions already made to the anonymous candidate, I would like to offer up my own exam preparation technique, which is really quite simple. My observation with both CFA and FRM has been that they hardly ever test you on the very complicated topics/points. Basic understanding is sufficient for about 70-80% of questions. Due to the sheer volume of the readings (even if you used the third party), I normally print out all the summary notes (I used Bionic Turtle notes for Level I and Schweser for Level II) and then add my own notes (mostly bullet points) to that as the summary prepared by third party is not quite sufficient for most topics. These summaries should be concise enough for you to be able to go through in 2-4 hours. I read these notes and repeat them as many times as possible few days before the exam. I found my notes covered more than 90% of exam questions and that is more than enough to get a pass... Of course, I also highly recommend practicing question. Sample exams from GARP, Bionic Turtle and Schweser are the best. You can add Schweser's Qbank to that... This strategy has always worked for me and I never failed any level either in CFA or FRM... Please don't give up and I am sure you will have it nailed soon... Best of luck.

Aleksander Hansen

Well-Known Member
Good question... I see they changed the count from likes to ratings... Also three categories. I assume one is good, one is bad (it is red) not sure what the third one is though.
Why don't you give it a try Hend by giving me a lot of positive ratings and I'll let you know if the "double count" :p


Apparently so.
But seems like we can select any one of these at a time. :confused:
How do I indicate that the article is Funny, Useful, Informative, Creative and that I like it !!! :D:D