Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Registering for the Global Association of Risk Managers’ exams is the first step towards that prestigious certification. The Financial Risk Manager title is recognized and respected the world over in the field of finance.
Many benefits wait on the other side…if you manage to pass your exams. Herein are tips, exam dates and all the information you need to know about the exams.
For the Latest Dates and Notices
Be sure to check the official GARP website to view the latest examination dates and changes using the links below:
Now, we discuss a few things you should know…
Join a like-minded study group
Study groups will enable you to learn faster and get the most out of your study session than when doing it alone. As d-day draws nearer, you can benefit from the pooled knowledge of your peers and friends.
Working with like-minded individuals is also a morale boost.
With study groups you learn plenty by asking questions; instead of wasting time trying to internalize hard concepts in risk, you can learn the easy way by having a friend explain it.
Then again, when you help others understand something that you know, you get to perfect your knowledge in it.
Join a small group
Small groups are typically more effective than larger ones. These educational circles are closely knit, helping you to get all the support you need.
You will be able to compare notes and learn new ideas from the members effectively. With big study groups, things can get a little crowded and complex.
The other advantage of small study groups is that you get to cover more material. You need this educational mileage.
When you get together in a small group of like-minded students, you can be sure to cover more topics during the revision session.
Plan each study day in advance
When the clock is ticking fast, you need a study strategy that is time efficient. You have to create a smart plan. The plan is to help you study in an organized way. It will also help you to cover all the topics.
A personal study plan should entail scheduling in advance what you are going to study next and the time you will be allocating towards the session. Planning each study day will help you to stay committed to the study dates.
You can even go ahead and organize your materials in advance so that you have everything in one place when you settle down to study.
Finish studying one month before exam day
The sheer volume of work demands that students study well in advance before the exam day. And yes, it can be overwhelming when you have to go through all the materials.
For that reason, it is wise to finish studying approximately one month before, so that you only do some light reading as the actual exam approaches.
Early revision enables you to internalize concepts. It is also a safety strategy that will help to ensure you go through 100% of the study material. The crunch studying that most people do before exam days is simply not practical.
It is cramming and memorizing, which can lead to disastrous results in any exam.
Complete practice questions
Practice questions should be a natural part as you advance. Simulation and self-testing are necessary to find out the weak points that need strengthening. And what better way to do that than with sample test questions?
Even though GARP does not repeat exam questions year after year, the practice questions can help to reduce the exam scare. You get a feel of how questions are structured, the timing and the core topics tested.
Exam practice questions can serve as a tool to give you additional confidence. When the time comes, you will not be scared.
You will walk into the exam confident because the practice questions sharpen your knowledge of terminology and themes.
Alert everyone that you will be in ‘study mode’
It is a step in the right direction to create a study plan. However, how do you stick to it? Many students often have to juggle work, family, social life and studies.
It can be hard to follow a study schedule if your friends and family constantly demand your time.
It is advisable to set times when you will be spending time with friends and family, and to block off the rest for studying. When it is time to study, let your family and friends know in advance that you will be unavailable.
Most will be supportive and respect that.
Plan to isolate yourself 2 – 3 weeks before the exam
As the date draws near, you will need to adjust your study plan accordingly. That means allocating more time to your revision about 2 or 3 weeks before the big day. You might need to cut down on your social life activities.
Social interfering can stifle your preparedness for the examinations. You will need to go off the grid.
Studies show that even a second long interruption from a friend or a text message while studying sets you back 20 minutes, reducing your brain’s processing speed.
Consider switching off your phone or turning off notifications, then find an isolated place to study.
Always maintain a healthy diet and exercise
The stress of the course could fall hard on you. You will need strength and good health to be able to put in the long hours of study. For that reason, it is imperative to maintain a healthy diet and workout routine.
Healthiness is an indispensable part of the equation to academic excellence. Studies show that regular workouts can improve a person’s cognitive abilities and boost memory.
It will be thus helpful to incorporate a workout routine into your daily plan.
Just because you have to study for long doesn’t mean that you get to skip proper meals. Set aside enough time for your meals (not snacks). Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and stay hydrated all the time.
You want to make sure that when the exams come you are healthy and robust to perform well.
Truly test yourself with sample questions
As mentioned before, practice questions are a good way to gauge your understanding of crucial topics. To get the most of out of the simulation, make everything seem real.
That includes removing interruptions, timing your progress and approaching the questions with a high level of seriousness.
From your performance in the practice questions, you will be able to know whether you need to do more. You can then endeavor to optimize your areas of weakness before walking into that room.
Track and measure your progress
Measuring your progress helps you stay on point with your goals. It’s important to test yourself to determine whether you have reached the level of success you desire before stepping into the examination room.
You can use mock exams and test questions from our website for this purpose.
The tests are in May, July, November and December (Part 2 only), close to 100 locations across the world.
You can also request to change your exam site. Contact GARP with the request as soon as possible and they will advice you of the outcome.
Difficulty is high
The pass rate is historically in the 40% region. It is important to walk into the exam room prepared for complex and comprehensive questions.
Traditionally, the Financial Risk Manager exam is among the hardest in the financial sector.
Overconfidence often leads to disappointment in this case. Plan to use your time well, to read all instructions and to analyze and understand each question before answering.
The low exam pass rate is no reason to be scared. With the right planning, you can easily make it to the 40% range.
Also remember that if you opt to take both parts on the same day, it is obligatory to pass part 1 of the exam for part 2 to be graded.
You must pass two
As mentioned, if you elect to sit for part 1 and part 2 for the same day, part 2 will not being graded if you fail part 1. Nevertheless, it is possible to sit for both exams and pass.
Each of the exams is 4 hours long, so you have to plan for an eight hour exam day.
How to pass both exams? Go through both the level 1 and level 2 materials and attack those sample questions hard! That will take you double time, so instead of 200 – 300 hours of study, it will take 400 – 600 hours.
Exams are multiple choices only
Part 1 of the Exam is done in the morning, and it consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.
Part 2 occurs in the afternoon, and it comprises of 80 multiple-choice questions.
Mark your dates
Plan your time accordingly. It would be best if you structure your calendar way in advance to be successful.
The dates might interfere with your summer or Thanksgiving holidays, but that’s part of the price you have to pay for the prestigious title.
There are varying registration deadlines
FRM exams have flexible registration dates, but the longer you wait, the more fees you will have to pay, particularly for new candidates.
There are no penalties for incorrect answers
There is no marking-down for incorrect answers. That should give you the confidence to answer all questions. It is important to remember that no one ever gets a perfect score in the exam.
Even if you miss some questions, you can still pass.
However, don’t leave any questions unanswered. Plan to read all questions carefully and to go through all the various choices before deciding on the final answer.
The result is either pass or fail
You will get a pass or fail result six weeks after sitting for the paper. GARP will also send quantitative scores so that you can see how you performed in comparison to other candidates.
Part 1 of the exam is statistically proven to be more complicated than part 2.
You will receive your results within six weeks
GARP is very clear on when the results come out. All you can do is relax and wait. With all the intensive studying that you would have done before the exam, you deserve that grace period.
There are many benefits to being certified
After passing the exams and attaining the certification, your career in finance will get a significant boost. Some of the benefits include higher salaries, more job responsibilities, promotions, and deeper networking opportunities.
The bottom line
As your FRM exam date approaches, you will need to be adequately prepared. Adjust your study plan as the big day draws close to ensure maximum effectiveness.
It is also important to register early and plan your time wisely so that you are able to conquer anything that is presented to you in that room.
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