After serval months’ preparation, I passed the part 2 exam with 111231, and I would like to share my experience preparing for the exam, hoping to give some references to others.
Qualitative questions weigh more than quantitative ones.
From the feedback I got from the BT forum, the P2 exam has always focused more on qualitative questions in recent years.
So you better understand the theoretical concepts in the first place rather than memorize formulas repeatedly and painfully.
How to distinguish important theoretical concepts? Check the LOs.
Do NOT expect to memorize and understand everything at once.
Leave time for the second round of study.
Don’t push yourself to remember every trivial detail in the first study round, cause:
- You can’t distinguish the knowledge that matters, so your memory load is unnecessarily heavy. Finish your first study round, and you’ll get the big picture.
- Most importantly, it will frustrate you and slow down your learning pace; at this point, some candidates may feel unmotivated and want to quit. (But not YOU.)
After you finish your first study of the material, you may find yourself can barely remember what’s in the first 2 or 3 books. That’s how memory works, the good news is you can easily solidify those memory links in your second study round, and that’s where ‘Ah, everything is connected.’ happens most. Personally, I leave 6 weeks for another round of review this time. I work full-time during the daytime, so I tend to leave more time for myself. Surely, this timeframe varies from person to person.
QB and MOCKs
QB - Collect & review your mistakes regularly
I completed all BT’s practice questions. But I don’t recommend this approach, cause BT’s practice questions are far more difficult than actual GARP’s, especially the quantitative ones. If you just want to pass the exam, you do not need to spend soooo much time and energy.
However, regular review of your mistakes really helps, you may surprisingly find yourself making the same mistakes repeatedly, and you’ll learn from them every single time.
MOCKs - Do the GARP Practice Exams.
I only did two GARP Practice Exams during the whole study. I think it matches the actual exam’s difficulty and solution logic. I recommend every candidate take advantage of it, you can get it directly from GARP’s official website, totally free.
When finish the mock, carefully review EVERY problem to:
- diminish your known unknowns and, most importantly, your unknown unknowns;
- realize how different LOs are organized and tested as a whole;
- follow up the solution pattern, especially the qualitative questions, cause you often can’t solve them directly.
The previous day before the exam
- Check the calculator and all your document.
- Review all your mistakes.
- Have a good sleep.
On the exam day.
Eat breakfast (my exam was in the morning)
Your heart needs that energy to pump blood to your brain.
Bring a bottle of water.
Staying hydrated makes brains think better and make smarter choices.
Whatever questions and situations you encounter, just don’t panic.
(BTW, my computer crashed TWICE on exam day.)
Tools I use
Forget about fancy to-do apps, over-priced task management software, Notion, etc., excel is enough to quantify your OKRs and track your progress.
Powerful, intelligent flash cards. Remembering things just became much easier. — Anki
Anki is a free software(except for iOS) to make flash cards.
I use it to make flashcards of P2 LOs, so I can use the fragmented time, such as commuting, to memorize knowledge points in a way that conforms to the forgetting curve.
The Pomodoro Technique is a good way to deal with procrastination, greatly reducing the resistance to starting work. At the same time, it also well combines highly focused time and guilty-free breaks, which saves me a lot from a heavy study load.
Study Together is a discord group, where members can join a muted study call, only opening their video cameras and study live. It’s kinda like a virtual library, creating the study vibes whenever you need to figure the Greeks out.