FRM Computer Based Testing

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What to expect

With the ongoing issues upending the usual ways of doing things, what should you expect from GARP in 2021 and beyond?

For those in or planning on entering the financial sector, the financial risk manager examinations can be one of the best routes towards success.

Especially during times of economic uncertainty, getting one’s skills up to another level establishes your rank and authority in the field, helping to keep your position secure.

GARP is short for Global Association of Risk Professionals. It’s a no-partisan, non-profit organization in charge of raising the bar for risk management. They provide certifications such for:

  • FRM (Financial Risk Manager)
  • ERP (Energy Risk Professional)
  • SCR (Sustainability and Climate Risk)

Richard Apostolik, the CEO and president of GARP, says risk management is an ever-growing field.

With geopolitical, technology and pandemic risk, testing resilience and having educational opportunities can provide a deeper understanding of such ongoing issues.

In light of challenges brought about by the 2020 pandemic, the organization has made some changes to its schedule and method of administration. Here is what you should expect:


Changes in administration

To increase flexibility and participation within its schedule, the organization has made some changes on how exams will be managed in the future.

In particular, the modifications involve:

  • Increasing the testing window timeline and
  • Shifting from paper-based to computer-based testing (CBT)

Here is a simple breakdown:

Going forward, Part I exams will be computer-based. These include the traditional May and November exams as well as an additional July exam.

In addition to the customary May and November testing schedules, GARP will provide an additional Part I exam in July. This flexibility is to ensure candidates don’t miss out because of scheduling struggles.

The May 2021 Part II exam will remain traditional pencil-and-paper style but will shift to computer-based in December.


How will computer-based-testing work?

With this move, candidates will take the exams in specific secure testing sites. They will be administered via computers instead of the traditional paper style.

Remember, these computer-based exams will be taken at secure centers, not your home. You will be required to visit the center, administered via computers there.

You will not have remote exam testing.


When are the exams?

All GARP’s exams are scheduled around two-week intervals instead of the usual one-day types.

The reason for this is to allow for computer-based testing, crowd management, and social distancing. Candidates will be able to schedule suitable dates within the two-week window.

For the latest test periods, visit the link below:

Official Testing Periods


When is registration beginning?

GARP is providing an early, normal and even late registration windows- giving many the opportunity to get in.

For the latest registration periods, visit the link below:

Official Registration Deadlines


Any changes to the exam structure?

GARP is not making any structural changes to its FRM exams. The length, breadth, and structure will remain the same.


Is the certification still worth it?

While other organizations are making significant changes on their modules, GARP already prides itself on quality exams. Their testing is among the best in the industry.

Certification by this body is a game-changer. The society is expected to maintain its rigorous methods that are trusted by banks, brokers, pension funds and more.


The study guide

Updates can be typically seen on their website by the first week in December each year.

You can check at the links below for the complete guide on exam fees, registration, and designation:

Latest Fees

Official Registration Deadlines

Official Testing Periods


Included Part I topics:

  • The different types of risks
  • ERM (Enterprise Risk Management)
  • Risk reporting and management failures
  • Statistical analysis
  • Forecasting and simulation
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Valuation of fixed income instruments
  • Derivatives


Included Part II topics:

  • Risk modeling
  • Risk measures
  • Volatility and dependence
  • Credit derivatives
  • Operational and counterparty risk
  • Liquidity and treasury management
  • Investment risk management
  • Current challenges facing the financial sector


Wrapping up

You can expect nothing short of greatness from this premier organization in charge of creating and training risk managers.

GARP has put in measures to make its environments safe and friendly for all and you should not hesitate to advance your studies.

Operating on the highest principles, you can expect the usual rigorous testing and professionalism from this body.

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