Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Success in financial risk management depends far less on certification and more on how you can apply your knowledge to real-world problems. The FRM course offers you several opportunities to pick up those skills that can put you ahead of the curve in the industry. But you have to focus your study techniques from an exam-oriented stance to a skills-oriented position.
Understand the challenges
Think again about why you are pursuing this program. Identify what drives your passion and the challenges that are in your field of work currently. How are your studies helping you prepare for that? What knowledge must you gain to set yourself apart from everybody else in the field?
Set short and long term goals
Always think about the bigger picture. Identify and list how you intend to apply your new knowledge for practical proficiency at work. Strategize on the exams as well. Next, prioritize your learning so that you can attain both of these objectives within a reasonable time-frame.
Use multiple sources of knowledge
The scope of knowledge in risk management is wider than can ever be summarized in a single book. It’s not enough, therefore, to rely on the study materials recommended by your course providers. You need to read widely to expand your knowledge. Otherwise, your study could end up being more exam-oriented than is beneficial for you.
Thankfully with the digital revolution in education, there are many materials available online for your exploration. Concretizing your understanding by drawing knowledge from multiple sources empowers you for practical application of the same.
A student that’s focused on just passing a paper may have little time or interest in questioning what they learn. They have not set aside enough time for studying, and so they rush through the sessions, memorizing before understanding. Such knowledge is often short-lived. Simply getting a passing grade is not your ultimate goal.
A curious mind reflects on the knowledge and concepts covered in the curriculum. They research it further and critique it. Questioning develops your critical thinking skills, which are highly sought-after in the work environment. It also expounds your way of thinking and helps to solidify ideas and facts better than standard learning techniques.
Study the past and the future
There is no denying that textbooks are the biggest carriers of knowledge. But newspapers and journals are too. To achieve high-level practical skills in your profession, you must focus on both old (and traditional) and new sources of knowledge.
Watch the news. Read new research journals and company newsletters as well. Relate what is happening to what you have learned from your formal content. Hypothesize the strategies you would formulate to manage risks and generate value, save jobs, achieve sustainability, reduce costs, and much more.
Teach someone else
Think you are super ready for that upcoming challenge? Try teaching someone else the concepts that you understand well. Doing this not only improves your preparedness but also ensures that the knowledge sticks with you for a much longer time.
You can find many opportunities for teaching in your study groups. If not, film yourself solving a quantitative problem, for instance, and post it online on an education forum. It will help someone. And there will be others there who could assess it and help you understand the concept better.
Interact with your study materials
Practical application of knowledge requires that you to first have a deep understanding of the matter. It requires a high recall capacity and personal interest in the content and concepts. Making your study sessions exciting and fun may boost your retention of the FRM concepts.
Try becoming your own tutor. Make video lectures out of your content and post them on a website or social media profile. Review them later to reinforce your memory and understanding of the concepts. This participatory kind of learning readies you for the use of that knowledge not only in the test room but also in real-life scenarios.
Give more than you take
Whenever you attend a study group, talk a bit more. Verbalizing concepts helps to strengthen your understanding and commit them to long term memory. Use these sessions to test your ability to recall facts and basic concepts.
Describe, explain, and discuss what you know. Help others to interpret and apply new ideas to hypothetical cases and practice questions.
Skills-oriented learning is what separates trailblazers from everybody else in the industry. Focusing on practical improvement in your preparations will help you earn so much more value from the certification.
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