FRM Preparation: How to Pass FRM Exams

The interest in FRM qualification has grown fast in the last few years, given the increasing demand for risk management skillset in the financial sector.

With that in mind, we have collected all the crucial FRM preparation tips in one place, to help FRM candidates pass their exams.

Let’s have a look!

1. Plan ahead and space out your studies

frm exam preparation

You can’t basically just walk in and expect to pass your FRM exams.

Just like the CFA exams, you’ll need to commit to the exams and plan your studies ahead, especially when juggling this with work and/or family life.

An effective way to commit to the exams is to start your studies early and not cram. Doing this has a few advantages which improves your chances of success:

  • Studying all topics and not skipping one due to poor time management.
  • Spacing out your studies over a longer period with constant review improves memory retention.
  • Allocating adequate time to study, review and practice.

2. Use a study plan for your FRM exam preparation

free frm study planner

One of the best ways to plan ahead and monitor your progress is by 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 5 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?”

Fret not, you don’t have to create a study planner from scratch. Get your free FRM study planner from 300Hours here.

3. Prioritize your studies according to topic weights

research planning outlook strategy

One method we prefer to use when studying for finance exams is the “sandwich method”, whereby alternating between the more difficult and easier topics together.

In this case, we also recommend prioritizing the higher weighted topics first and pairing it with the lower weighted one to keep the study momentum going.

For example, for FRM Part 2, one can pair Market Risk (MR) with Liquidity Risk (LTR), with the former being higher weighted and heavier in learning content.

Choosing to study chronologically is fine too, but you need to be mindful of time management and not let things slip so that you save up sufficient time to go through the larger topics which are sometimes at the end.

4. Use third party FRM exam prep providers for more practice

cfa candidate more recommended books orig

It is also useful going beyond the GARP reading list to third-party prep providers. 

Third party FRM study materials such as Kaplan Schweser can help summarize and provide more practice questions which can be a good investment as it saves study time and helps you learn faster by doing.

We definitely recommend looking to practice exams to highlight weak spots and get you familiar with the exam format.

Remember that you can also find the latest deals that FRM providers are offering in our Offers section!

5. Don’t skip topics


Regardless how confident you feel, try not to skip topics that you perceive as your ‘strong’ topics.

If you’ve followed the first two tips of this article, hopefully there’s sufficient time to go through everything regardless of your familiarity as ultimately the exam are based on the FRM curriculum.

6. Focus on practice questions a few weeks before exam day

CFA Practice Exam Guide

Doing practice questions is proven to be one of the best ways to learn, so this is crucial as you learn most from this stage, rather than reading passively.

Allow at least 3-4 weeks to fully focus on this practice and review phase.

Try the questions under timed, exam condition. Review the answers, find out why you’ve got something incorrect to learn from it, and repeat.

You’ll find that the scores are horrible at first, and hopefully improves as you rinse and repeat this practice drills.

7. Take some time off before the exam

juggling cfa studies and work looking after yourself orig

If possible, plan to take 1-2 weeks off work before your exam day to ensure you allocate sufficient time to do practice questions and review.

Removing yourself from work stress and deadlines does help you fully focus on your FRM exam preparation when it matters.

Something that we found useful for exam preparations is to take a couple of days leave before exam day. It just gives you a little bit of freedom to revise everything one last time.

8. Watch your exam timing

CFA exam day schedule computer based exam CBT

During the exam, time can slip away without you noticing.

It’s best to stick to your allocated time per question, and if that’s up, choose your best answer and move on. Circle the question number as a reminder to come back to it LATER if you have attempted all the questions and still have extra time.

If you’ve done timed practice exams under exam conditions during your revision, this should hopefully have further honed your time management skills as well.

We hope the core tips above are helpful in your FRM preparations! Are you a FRM candidate, or simply just thinking about it? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re interested in the FRM qualification, these related articles may be of interest:


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