How to Remember Your FRM Topics

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes



Getting that FRM certification is indeed not easy. First, you have to put in a lot of effort to crack such competitive exams.

For this, you have to study many different FRM topics, spend hours to stay updated on information about current affairs and also work your way through the rounds of having a life and working.

But that doesn’t complete your growth story. Retaining the knowledge of what you have learned is critical. It is extremely vital to keep those concepts and topics retained in your memory.

Otherwise, you will not be able to climb up the ladders of business hierarchy.

Consider these ways to remember what you have studied.


1. Having a Growth Mindset

Carol S. Dweck developed the theory of Growth Mindset. This theory states that an individual can improve his or her abilities by hard work and dedication.

One’s intelligence and talents are not constrained and can be enhanced by making an effort to improve it.

There’s no way of getting around it, many of the Financial Risk Manager themes can be difficult for students to grasp and learn in a short period of time. This is especially true for those not working in the financial field.

However, if you develop a growth mindset to learn these techniques, you will become accustomed to the different principles associated with the topics. 

This will help you to retain the teachings of the topics and also improve your understanding simultaneously.

Remember, this is possible through hard work and dedication.


2. Putting studies into practice

Actively practicing something is perhaps one of the most important ways in which you can prevent yourself from forgetting it. 

Consider your driving history. First, you learned the theoretical stuff, then, perhaps you started using a simulator and finally you had a chance to put your hands on the wheel. 

Similarly, putting your theoretical learning into practice is what makes you a master at it.

Apply SWOT analysis techniques and the like in your business decisions. You can also refer to your study materials if you want to. This will ensure that you develop a practical understanding on the subject.

Make an effort to apply them in even your personal and social life. Once you develop a practical understanding, you will be able to spontaneously apply these techniques in your day-to-day life, not to mention your exams.


3. Going through many practice questions

Our minds are constantly engaged in some form of activity. In the work environment; it’s either planning or analyzing business decisions.

In the home environment; it’s trying to complete chores and balancing with family-time.

Practice questions are a great way to keep your relationship with course topics intact.

Whether you have completed your FRM course or just starting the journey, continue practicing questions to keep the knowledge alive in your mind.

Once or twice a week just sit down and answer some tricky questions from some segment you have studied. This will make you continuously reflect back on what you have reviewed, thereby solidifying its impact.

With time, getting those answers will help you to develop confidence and you will get a chance to assess your shortfalls at the same time.


4. Writing your own notes

This is something which you have been doing right from childhood. Jotting down notes in your textbook or folder can do wonders in your academic career.

You may forget what others have written in their texts, but it’s unlikely for you to forget what has been written by you! 

Write notes around the important topics that you have studied during the course and commit to revisiting them weekly.

And do not copy-and-paste what is already written in your official guides. Just a few keywords and phrases will be enough to keep the knowledge engraved in your mind.


5. Teaching others

One of the best ways to never forget about previously studied topics is to start teaching it to others. You can start with one person and slowly tutor a larger group of your peers.

Again, this will motivate you to reflect on what you previously revised and keep the information alive in the memory. 

Several research papers suggest that you can remember over 80% of what you learn when you teach it to others.

A particular research paper found that first-born children were more-likely to have a higher IQ than their later born siblings. The reason for this? The first-born child was constantly involved in tutoring their younger siblings.

This resulted in better memory retention.

Our takeaway; teaching others can be a great power-move to prevent you from forgetting your information.


6. Exercising regularly

If you exercise for 20 minutes each day, you will benefit by having a sharper brain and stronger memory. Research says that exercising regularly improves the circulation of blood around the body and oxygen to your brain cells.

This helps to reduce the possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases which can cause memory loss and other disorders. Exercise also helps to reduce stress hormones, keeping you fresh and active throughout each day.

A better memory means you will be able to remember the topical issues with greater depth and clarity, which will better equip you to deal with practical situations in work life. 

Exercising also makes you feel invigorated by addressing lethargy in the body.


7. Improving sleeping patterns

Having a healthy sleeping pattern is also a very important factor for having better memory. Sleep has two important roles to play. First it helps to rejuvenate the body.

A sleep deprived person will have a hard time with focusing and trying to learn new things.

Second, it is during sleep when the memory gets consolidated. Sleep can play a pivotal role in helping you to recall vital facts during your examination.

Ideally an individual needs 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This is the time when memory consolidation takes place. 

You can study for hours, but if you fail to get proper sleep, you won’t be able to remember the content clearly.

To store those complex subjects in your memory, it is necessary to keep a tab on your sleep.


8. Meditation and mindfulness

Over the years, several researches have proved that meditation can help to improve your memory. Many of the GARP topics are comprehensive and can sometimes be difficult to learn.

This is where mediation comes to the rescue. Purposeful meditation helps to reduce the secretion of cortisol, or stress hormones, in the brain. 

This helps to keep your brain relaxed and even slows down the ageing process of your body.

You can develop dynamism and patience with continued practiced. These two qualities are considered a great virtue for anyone in the corporate industry.


9. Reading aloud to yourself

Many times, we end up ‘mentally reading’ our study notes and texts. This forms visual pathways in our brain and we tend to remember some of it because the topic was perceived through our eyes.

In the case of individuals with photographic memory, this is enough to make them remember the text for long periods. But for those who do not have a photographic memory, this will be a difficult task.

Reading aloud to yourself can greatly help in recalling information. This simple action forms auditory links within our brain, which makes it easier to store material in the memory.

This phenomenon is termed as the ‘production effect’ by Dr. Art Markman. Reading aloud is a practice that we typically form during our childhood days.

Surprisingly, it can still be very effective in recollecting what has been studied leading up to the Financial Risk Manager examinations.


10. Replaying voice notes

This is somewhat a continuation to a previously mentioned point. While referring to your topics, you could create voice notes on particular subjects of importance.

This will help you to refer to them at will on your mobile device. Instead of taking out your notebook, you can just play the recording. Recording voice notes is very simple but can be a really effective way of memorizing things.

Similar to memorizing the lyrics of a song after hearing it repeatedly for a few times, you can learn your Financial Risk Manager topics by heart. 

You can also reflect on these voice notes while travelling or using public transportation to get around.


11. Minimizing distractions

In many ways, technology has created havoc in the way we live. Many people used to spend time reading books, journals and magazines. 

This would help to improve their vocabulary and provide a deeper insight into their field of work.

CEOs around the world have credited reading inspiring books to their success stories. Unfortunately, today’s modern-day individuals spend precious hours on needless social media interactions and unhelpful digital content.

This will disrupt the intelligence and memory of any individual. You can take time off from social media and do something fruitful, like reading. 

This will minimize unnecessary distractions and enhance your memory retention, helping you to better remember what you have studied.


12. Reading relevant blogs

There are a ton of websites on the internet and a good proportion of them are blogs. You can look for blogs in finance, management or any other niche of your preference in the risk management field.

Bloggers will post new articles and some of these articles can really be helpful to your goals. Additionally, the authors also tend to talk about the experience of putting their learning into practical work scenarios.

This can massively help anyone looking to advance their goals and career. Reading blogs can provide you with opportunities to revisit the topics you are trying to master.


13. Taking regular tests

One of the best ways to recall what you have studied is to take regular tests. There are several mock questions that you can take on the internet to test your preparedness.

It’s a fact, certain topics need to be practiced on a regularly basis to keep you polished on the principles and fundamentals. In addition, attempting questions frequently will motivate you to study those concepts.

This will help you to store the topics in your memory for longer time periods. You can also ask a knowledgeable person to test you on some specific topics.


14. Reading biographies

In reading the biographies of persons who have achieved greatly, you may be surprised at how they used to work in the founding years of their companies. 

These persons also went through the theoretical aspects you are going through today.

But they formed linkages and put theory into action. Reading their stories can be a great way to know how they shaped the multi-billion dollar organizations of today. 

Biographies can give you an insight as to how topics can be implemented in real life.

It also breaks the monotonous paradigm associated with theoretical learning. In implementing an action-drive mind-set, you will be far more likely to recall those concepts you have learned.


15. Organize a meeting

This could be a fun and interactive way to reflect on the FRM topics you have learned. Organize a dinner or just meet with your batch-mates.

It will give everyone a chance to share experiences of how they have benefited from the things they learned during the course. If a physical meeting is not possible, you could organize a video conference instead.

Hearing them speak about their individual experiences may contribute greatly in making the concepts on various topics clear. 

It can also be an innovative and dynamic way of revising and getting a deeper insight on the topics studied.

You may also get to know about the current placements and job profiles of your batch mates! The possibilities are endless.

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