Although we focus on the CFA charter here at 300 Hours, a lot of our readers are also interested and write in to us about the FRM qualification. And even if you aren’t considering the FRM, it’s always good to know more about other qualifications that you could possibly pursue.
Recently, the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) hosted a webinar where FRM industry professionals shared their exam-passing strategies, hints and tips. In this article, I’ll go into the key tips FRM candidates will need to pass their exams.
Jennifer Voitle, FRM, who also writes FRM exam questions, advises not to take a lackadaisical approach to the FRM. “You can’t just walk in and expect to pass. At least I couldn’t.”
Commit to the FRM exams by:
- downloading and going through all the learning objectives
- studying for all subjects, and not skipping the topics you think you don’t need help in
- allocating adequate time to study, prepare and practice
Jennifer also recommends structuring a study plan right from the start. This keeps you in check and ensures you’re constantly building your knowledge towards exam day, and alerts you if your work circumstances are affecting your FRM preparation.
“If you register for November, [about five months before] I would lay out a study plan, plan in some slack and just commit to it. How are you going to study for this? How are you going to take the practice exams? How are you going to find the time in case work gets tough and you have to miss a few study sessions?”
Patrick Reed, FRM, recommends going beyond the GARP reading list to third-party prep providers. “I learn a lot through answering questions, not necessarily through reading comprehension – that’s a very big weakness for me. So, I got [third-party prep provider FRM question banks] to rapid fire and drill the concepts in to make sure that I had all those hammered out and down ready to go.”
Patrick also recommends looking to practice exams to highlight weak spots and get you familiar with the exam format.
In Tip #1, Jennifer has already advised not to skip topics that you regard as your ‘strong’ topics. Richard Morrin, FRM, agrees. “Everybody is going to be strong in one area of the curriculum, at least, and everyone’s going to have a weakness in at least one area. As Jennifer mentioned, don’t neglect the area that you think that you’re strong in, because you may think you know a topic inside out, but then something unexpected can always come up. It could just be a simple equation and you may just forget how to work it on exam day.”
Richard also advises taking a bit of time off right before the exam to prepare yourself. “Something that I found to be useful for myself is to try and take a couple of days leave before the exam. It just gives you a little bit of freedom to revise everything one last time.”
During the exam, time can slip away without you noticing. Richard warns, “Because I had never taken a multiple choice exam before, even just the multiple choice technique threw me off somewhat. I ended up not finishing and I’d been rushing for the last ten questions. The problem was that I was trying to make sure I solved the earlier ones without watching the time. So make sure you manage your time correctly during the FRM exam.”
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to FRM: the Financial Risk Management Qualification
- The Similarities and Differences Between FRM and the CFA Exams, Summarized
- Which Financial Qualification Should You Pick? CFA vs. CAIA, FRM and IMC
- CFA & FRM: How You Can Nail Both Instead of Choosing One
This article is from our coverage on discussions from the GARP Webinar – “How I Became and FRM and Why It Was Worth It”. You can view the full hour-long webinar here.
Are you going to start your FRM journey, or simply just thinking about it? Let us know in the comments below!