How to Choose the Right Help for Your FRM Preparations

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes



GARP’S Financial Risk Manager course needs no introduction. It is the ticket to risk proficiency and career advancement in the financial world.

When preparing for these exams, practicing with test questions has been found to increase retention rates.

But we have countless FRM question banks online, which one should you choose?


The best options provide a comprehensive view

The solutions should give explanations as opposed to simplistic “this is the correct answer…”.

These in-depth expressions help to jog your memory and strengthen your understanding.

The more detailed the answers are, the easier it will be for you to resolve conceptual conflicts.

Detailed explanations also train your understanding with regards to what examiners want.

A good simulation also reveals common phrasing ambiguities, similarities in answers, and other confusing characteristics of the FRM exam.


Helping you keep track of progress

Fitness enthusiasts have a leg day, chest day, and so on in their schedule. You similarly need a testing schedule to effectively track your progress and cover all areas by the time the exams come around.

Choose a provider that has categorized the questions topic-wise for your planning is a must.

Topic-wise testing allows you to keep track of your weekly or monthly goals. You get to have 100% clarity on a given topic by testing yourself before you advance to the next.

Attempting questions at random is best done after you have mastered everything, and that is ideally in the last few weeks leading to the exam.


It should be up-to-date

Every year GARP revises its program content to keep it relevant to the skills needs of the industry.

It’s therefore crucial that you find a question bank that factors these updates in their test questions.

Before subscribing to any platform, go through the site to find out how often they update their materials.

Outdated questions might mislead you and waste your time.

And if the question bank has gone without updating for a long time, it will probably miss essential questions that will feature in your exams.

For accurate preparation, find options that reflect the latest exam changes. Read reviews, especially those from past candidates.


There should be a fully experienced team behind it

Often, students fall into the trap of cheaper study materials that contain inaccurate, misleading, and incomplete information.

When you scrutinize these sites, you find that they rely on individuals with no experience to create questions in the first place.

GARP states that it works with educators, regulators, business executives, and certified FRMs in the creation of the exams.

Your online help should thus try to reflect what the actual test could be about.

Therefore, it’s only fair that the people behind it should be of diverse skills and experience.


Questions should have proper weight

If a 20% weight in practice is only worth 5% in the actual exam, you’ll end up wasting your time.

That’s because you might research more than necessary, and use more time at the expense of other topics.

It’s essential to study every topic with importance. There is no doubt about that. Nonetheless, weightier questions need more time.

They need more in-depth studying. Any provider should make that clear, for instance, by highlighting frequently confusing sections.

You can then be able to ready your mind and time as appropriate.


The material should show connections

The concepts in Financial Risk Management are not stand-alone. The real exam can have questions that touch on several different topics.

The right bank must include questions that show how different elements fit together so you can expand your understanding in this field of knowledge.

The real test often requires students to make practical connections to their theoretical understanding.

In such cases, having a bigger picture through the understanding of the synergetic framework in the program content will help a great deal.


A great design could power you through your studies

Many question banks are hosted on digital platforms, where design and presentation matter a great deal. The best provider takes your learning seriously.

They have structured the questions in an easy to follow layout with easy navigation and clear menus.

Finding and attempting the questions should be easy. A great design optimizes your drive for learning, and as you will find, visual coherence boosts retention rates.

So, when choosing a question bank, consider aspects such as readability and user-friendliness.


The questions should be original

By keeping things new every year, GARP ensures that no questions are repeated in the exams.

It would thus be unwise to use a question bank that attempts to “predict” questions in this year’s exams based on last year’s questions.

Instead, you can enhance your preparedness by working with a company that provides new and diverse sets of questions.

Avoid generic tests. The testing needs to be highly specific for each topic.

And for mock tests, the exams should be full, precisely weighted, and with a complete marking scheme.

Only with such features can you accurately test and track your progress.


Practical application

Does the q-bank build your skills through practical-based questions? Do the questions align with GARP’s syllabus and course objectives?

The right provider strengthens your expertise and fulfills the course objectives through case studies and practical examples that relate to current experiences in the industry.


Must summarize your course content

Even though details are a must for proper answers in any question, they should be summarized with references for more reading.

The purpose of a test is not to serve as the main point of knowledge acquisition, but as a place to test, remind yourself and correct your misconceptions.

Summary answers may be easy to skim through when you are short for time.

These answers must, however, fully answer the question so you can find out where you erred in your thinking.


Full digital capabilities

You should have full access to the questions…. whenever and wherever.

The best bank provides both desktop and mobile accessibility to the questions without compromising design and readability.

Security is another thing to consider.

You may be asked to give personal information at certain sites, and they must, therefore, have assurances in place for data protection.

Also, you don’t want to spend weeks without access to content because of down-times orchestrated by a cyber-incident.


More questions for the money

The right test provider must be a true ‘bank’ that provides an endless wealth of knowledge through hundreds of questions and dozens of quality content material in the form of articles or blogs.

It’s unsafe and inaccurate to gauge your preparedness based on results from a few tests. You should attempt as many of them as humanly possible.

Learning through many diverse questions improves your exposure. It expounds your thinking and ability to:

  • Understand examination language
  • Time yourself
  • See subtle differences in answers
  • Apply theory to practice
  • Stay calm through an exam
  • Think fast and make accurate choices


The degree of question complexity must be high

If the questions are too easy, they can drive you into false confidence.

Scoring highly on such tests can make you feel invincible only to get crushed on D-day. That’s dangerous.

On the other hand, questions that are too hard can break your confidence before you even walk into the room.

In both cases, these extremes interfere with your ability to prepare for the real thing.

The right guide should have questions that rightly picture the nature of the real thing.


Shop around

At this point, you know exactly what kind of testing you need to complement your FRM exam preparation.

But which question bank meets the above-stated requirements and recommendations?

Ask for a free trial: The best provider should let you have a taste of what they offer before you fully commit. Sampling will help you make the right decision.

Consider the price: You will want to make sure that the offering sits well with your budget.

Don’t stress yourself financially, but remember…cheap is often much more expensive.


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