8 Killer Points to Pass the FRM Course

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes



Becoming a certified Financial Risk Manager can have many benefits. The program by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) distinguishes you in the job market. It also prepares you for a successful career in several fields, such as:

  • An operational risk manager or director
  • A credit risk manager or director
  • A regulatory risk manager or director
  • A market risk manager or director

These are all critical roles in any firm; therefore, it is essential that you register, prepare, and excel throughout to gain this endorsement.


About the course

This is a specialized program that finance professionals can do. It comprises getting through Part I, Part II and having two years of relevant work experience.

Candidates register, prepare, and sit for their exams at designated periods available twice each year.

Now, here are some tips to help you on your journey.


1. Proportion your time accordingly

Know the topics and their relative weightings before sitting. This knowledge will help you study smarter.

Remember, Part I has 100 questions on 4 topics. The weights are as follows:

  • Foundations of risk management (20%)
  • Value and risk models (30%)
  • Financial markets and products (30%)
  • Quantitative analysis (20%)

Part II has 80 questions from 6 areas:

  • Market risk measurement and management (20%)
  • Operational risk and resiliency (20%)
  • Credit risk measurement and management (20%)
  • Current issues in financial markets (10%)
  • Risk management and investment management (15%)
  • Liquidity and treasury risk measurement and management (15%)


2. Start early

We cannot emphasize this point enough. You will be evaluated on your ability to read, analyze and properly apply concepts. Simply put, understanding the materials will give you the best chance of passing.

Last-minute cramming will not be helpful one bit. The sheer volume of information can overwhelm you, complicating your preparation efforts.

Start reading early. Try to put aside at least 300 hours of study for each level. Starting a day or two after your (early) registration will give you a great start.

The extended study window helps you to gain essential knowledge in a calm and stead manner.


3. Create a structure

GARP will test your understanding of the various sections and the application of the concepts. You may miss out on considerably if you do not cover all the examinable parts.

Structuring your preparation is the best way to cover all applicable topics. From this, you can allocate adequate time and resources for each segment.

You will not only have adequate knowledge at the end but also time to absorb everything.

If you are unsure of where to start, our prep packages can help you. Use these resources to maximize your workflow and understanding of how to answer questions.


4. Shift focus near exam day

At this point, your attention must be turned towards practice questions. Treat them as the real deal and time yourself on each run.

Grade yourself strictly to know what areas to focus on in the last days of your preparation. Knowing your strengths is good, but understanding and correcting your weaknesses is much better.

Repeat this process until you experience significant improvement in your trouble areas.


5. Familiarize yourself with the venue

Visit the test venue a few days before in order to plan your way. Additionally, be sure to time this travel and try to account for more traffic on the day.

This tour will help you figure out essential things and mitigate any surprises. For example, you will know how long it takes to get to the venue and the extent of parking availability.

These are some basic issues that can distract you if you do not prepare for them.


6. Rest before attempting

Get enough rest before you go in! Spend the day before for relaxing and rejuvenating your mind and body. Do things that help you relax and you should also get enough sleep the night before.


7. Be calm in the test room

Chances are, you will be calm if you have a game plan. Arrive at the venue early, do a short review to improve your confidence, but don’t overdo it.

Staying calm many benefits. It can actually help with you with recollection efforts. We also suggest that you start with a few of the shorter/easier questions to build some confidence and gather momentum.


8. Be a great time manager

Always be mindful of the time.

Proper time management is absolutely critical to answer everything satisfactorily. Each exam lasts for 4 hours. This may seem more than adequate, but remember some questions will demand a lot more effort than others.

On average, candidates will be looking to spend just over 2 minutes on the ‘average’ question. Remember, you are expected to spend less time on those that are considered ‘simple’ and more time on the complex ones.

Follow this and you will have enough time to finish everything, with some minutes left over for a quick revision.


In conclusion

Follow these tips to increase your chances of success and use our additional resources for more help:


Success is near,

The QuestionBank Family