FRM Exam tips

This electronic book is available to download free of charge.

Please review our tips and guides at anytime you desire as many important things are discussed in relation to things to look out for before, during and after your examinations.

It is also noted that our FRM books for both exam 1 and exam 2 will address required GARP topics and are ordered within their various segments.

With over 2,000 questions and answers combined, we will get you up-to-date and ready for your test day! Segments include:

Financial Risk Manager Examination 1:

  • Risk Management
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Financial Markets
  • Risk Models/Valuations 

Financial Risk Manager Examination 2:

  • Market Risk
  • Credit Risk
  • Operational Risk / Resiliency 
  • Liquidity / Treasury Risk
  • Risk and Investment Management
  • Current Issues in Financial Markets

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In addition to studying, there are several important examination hint and tips that we believe are necessary to share with you before the actual sitting.

A summary of the highlighted points before the examination include:

  • Setting aside the appropriate amount of time to cover all the content
  • Specifically targeting your known weak subject areas
  • Making a calendar-of-events to help track important dates and milestones
  • Setting a proper environment that is conducive to studying and learning
  • Becoming part of a well-focused study group to discuss related matters
  • Having a proper nutritional plan in place to counter possible study-fatigue
  • Having a proper exercise routine
  • Taking the necessary time-off from work for final preparatory work
  • Going through exam questions to test your preparedness
  • Getting the necessary sleep-time to maintain your alertness
  • Making a full checklist to cover all the areas on exam day

A summary of the points during the examination include:

  • Scanning the exam paper to get a general ‘feel’ of its contents and requirements
  • Reading and re-reading to ensure that you know what is actually being asked
  • Targeting the known or ‘easy’ ones
  • Having a review of your paper before the time is up
  • Maintaining focus
  • Maintaining calm under stress


Tips Before the Exam

  • Attacking the challenge of the FRM examination requires a high level of focus and discipline. It is important to know that setting aside enough time before your examination is crucial for success. Creating a time-chart showing the exam dates is a great way to visualize the time that has been spent and the time that is available for preparations.


  • Along your journey, it is important to be fully cognizant of those topics that are relatively easy for you as well as those that are giving you a difficult time to get through. We believe that it is best to achieve relative ‘balance’ across all the subject areas than to be one-sided in the areas that you have studied for.


  • Additionally, making a calendar-of-events can be extremely useful for many students. In highlighting special areas such as the exam date, time and location, you will get a better sense of how close you are from your target. We also encourage students to mark special times for personal and family commitments…as life goes on regardless.


  • Selecting your study environment is also quite important. Be sure that your surroundings are helping you to achieve focus and is not a distraction from being able to get into deep study. This will undoubtedly be different from person-to-person (some will seek total silence. Some will require the right music to get the mood right). Just know what works best for you and stick to it for maximum results.


  • Many students may also seek to join study-groups as part of their preparations. This can be a great way to cover a large volume of work and to expose yourself to others that may help you in those subject matters which have been giving you a challenge.


  • Proper nutrition is unfortunately often over-looked by students trying to cram a many hours into studying as is possible but is really a key component of mental and physical preparedness. Having foods that give a slow release of energy over a longer period of time is better than having excessively sugar-filled snacks that will cause an energy spike in the short term but a crash soon thereafter.


  • Proper exercise is also an important factor to pay attention to. Engaging in consistent exercise activities will aid in the release of internal chemicals that will help stimulate the mind and body to perform at their peak levels.


  • Is it best to study by using 5-hour stints at a time? Will you clearly remember what was covered or does your mind feel a bit foggy after those marathon sessions? Taking time away to relax and do something total unrelated may significantly help in maintaining focus during studying and having clarity afterwards. Know your limits and adjust accordingly.


  • Hit those practice papers and questions with a passion! Expose yourself to as much as possible and content as varied as possible. While some will swear by a single facilitator, many others have decided to expose themselves to several instructors, including: Bionic Turtle, Schweser and Wiley.


  • In all your preparations, never forget that proper resting is absolutely essential to maintaining mental sharpness for exam day! Adequate sleep will lower stress levels and aid in mental clarity. The actual number of hours to rest will vary from person to person so know what works for you.


  • Making an actual check-list is also a great tool to have. In going through so many things during the regular course of life, you may indeed forget a thing or two, so why not write the important things down in a place where it is highly visible? Forgetting your calculator or identification card for your exam is not something that you would like to experience!


Tips During the Exam

  • Just taking a minute or two to scan the FRM paper may be very useful to many. A quick scan will give you a high-level feel of what the paper is about and this may help tune your mind before putting pencil to paper.


  • Reading the question properly. Yes, as dumb as this may sound, reading and re-reading will help you to focus on what is actually being requested. Often times, we tend to assume on that which is being asked- simply because we have gone over so much material that, subconsciously, we believe the answer is readily known. However, this is often not the case!


  • In having a difficult exam in front of you, we like to encourage our students to ‘secure the easy ones’ so as to ensure maximum points. Doing this, will also foster greater confidence as you go through your paper. And, after doing this, reviewing your paper is generally a great idea at this point. Do not be so overly-confident that you ignore the possibility of making some error during the sitting. This happens to the best of us!


  • During this sitting, be rock-solid focused on your paper and your paper alone. Don’t be concerned about anything or anybody in that room. You only have one objective and that is to destroy the paper in front of you.


  • Before the time officially starts- close your eyes for a minute and clear your thoughts.


Exam Tips After the Exam

  • You have done it. Be confident and treat yourself.


Some Additional Things to Note:


The financial risk management environment is a highly competitive industry. The goal post keeps changing each year and risk professionals are constantly being scrutinized and compared against their colleagues.

The FRM certification is an amazing avenue offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)  to stand out in the workplace. The  program equips you with cutting edge competencies and up-to-date knowledge on financial risk management, but that’s not the only reason many are seeking the certification.

After passing the level 1 and level 2 examinations, you join a global network of risk professionals.

Networking is an indispensable tool for career advancement. The financial sector is just like all other industries; you will get opportunities through who you know. This program and certification will equip you with skills to produce A-plus work, but after that, the networking part is what will enable you to actualize your career development goals!

After the economic crisis of 2008/2009, many companies around the globe started to invest heavily in risk analysis as well as risk management. The scales are shifting; operating models are evolving and many businesses are investing in technological innovation to automate functions and risk management is becoming an integral part of growth strategies.

Without being up to date, you can quickly lose your credibility or your job to such trends.

The GARP networks offer an excellent opportunity to learn, stay up to date, share information and land new opportunities for promotions and higher salaries.

Sometimes our professional and personal growth demands that we expand our influence beyond the walls of our offices. This professional network is a significant opportunity to share your knowledge and insights. If they are valuable, you will gradually start to carve out your position as an industry-influencer. Then also, by talking to other industry leaders, your opinions and inputs will go a long way in shaping the future of your industry.

Risk management job positions will also require you to have soft skills in your arsenal. You have to be an excellent communicator and learn how to handle conflict and varying characters at work. You cannot climb up the ladder without the people-management skills.

There is no better way to sharpen your soft skills than by actively participating in the risk management professional networks.

We encourage you to download all of our free content and equip yourself today with the best study materials around. 


As always, be sure to familiarize yourself with the official GARP website before your examinations and, for a full listing of our Exam Tips and requirements, please see the ‘About the Exam page.