Study Plan for FRM Part I Exam in 2023

Study Plan for FRM Part I Exam in 2023

Are you looking to take the FRM Part I Exam in 2023? If so, then having a well-structured study plan is essential for your success. A good study plan can help you stay organized and motivated. At the same time, it ensures that you cover all the necessary topics in enough depth to pass the exam. That said, we’ve provided a step-by-step study plan for FRM Part I Exam to help you maximize your study time.

We cover the topics you need to know, how to best structure your study time, and other helpful exam tips. With the right approach and dedication, you can be confident in your ability to pass the exam.

Overview of the FRM Part I Exam

The FRM Part I exam is the first step in becoming a financial risk manager. It tests your knowledge of financial risk management and your ability to apply that knowledge in real-world scenarios. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions in CBT (computer-based) format, with a fine mix of qualitative and qualitative items.

To pass the FRM Part I Exam, you will need to show a high level of expertise in four core areas: Foundations of Risk Management (Book 1), Quantitative Analysis (Book 2), Financial Markets and Products (Book 3),  and Valuation and Risk Models (Book 4). The exam is designed to test your knowledge of a wide range of topics in each of these core areas. You should prepare yourself by studying a variety of materials that cover all of these topics. After passing Part I, you still need to pass Part II to be certified. The exam has traditionally been offered twice each year at Pearson VUE testing centers around the world. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, an additional August session has been introduced to provide more opportunities for prospective candidates.  

Types of Study Materials

There are different types of study materials, and some of these are more effective than others. Therefore, it is important to choose wisely.

Here are some of the most relevant study materials:

  • GARP books: GARP stands for the Global Association of Risk Professionals. It’s the official body responsible for administering the FRM Part I Exam. The GARP books are an essential resource for candidates. They include a comprehensive study guide, study notes, and end-of-chapter practice questions.
  • Third-party books: These books focus exclusively on various aspects of risk management. They include financial engineering and derivatives pricing, structured finance, banking operations, international portfolio diversification, commodity trading, and fixed-income securities. Through these books, you will gain valuable insight into all topics related to the FRM Part I Exam. However, it’s essential to work with the FRM curriculum guide if you opt for these books. This is to ensure you don’t stray away from the stipulated learning objectives.
  • Approved Prep Providers like AnalystPrep: If you prefer learning through videos and reading short articles, a prep provider like AnalystPrep may be a better option. Several approved prep providers offer comprehensive study packages for the FRM exam. These can supplement or replace GARP’s official materials. These packages usually include instructor guidance, practice questions, quizzes, and supplemental learning resources like interactive webinars or video tutorials. Depending on each provider’s offerings, you may get added benefits. It could be an interactive performance dashboard or lifetime access if you need a year plus to prepare for exams.
  • Online articles: While you can’t learn a subject as deeply as you would with books or courses, articles are a good source of light reading. They cover a wide range of topics in summary that you can easily understand. You can also use articles to supplement your online course or book readings.

How Long Does it Take to Prepare for the FRM Part I Exam?

Preparing for the FRM Part I Exam is no small feat. The average pass rate for FRM candidates between 2019-2022 was 44.6%. That means, it takes dedication and commitment to pass the exam. To be successful, you should plan to spend at least 300 hours studying for the exam.

According to GARP’s study, the average time spent preparing for the FRM Part I Exam is 275 hours; however, some candidates have reported studying up to 400 hours.

How, then, should you spend your 300 hours?

It all boils down to two key issues: Your pre-study knowledge base and the exam weights of each of the four main topics.

You may only need a quick refresher if you have studied the FRM exam learning outcomes in your undergraduate or as part of another professional program. However, it’s still important, to be honest with yourself here so that you can study effectively. The easiest way to identify your weaknesses is to take an assessment.

There are many online assessments available that will test your knowledge on a variety of financial risk management topics. They can be a helpful way to identify your weaknesses and direct your studying. You can also create a list of topics you don’t feel confident in and then find study materials that would be most helpful for those topics.

If you do not have prior knowledge of the underlying learning outcomes, you’ll need to invest more effort into your preparation.

Once you’ve identified your areas of strength and weakness, you can begin devoting more specific amounts of time to each topic area based on the exam weights listed by GARP. Foundations of Risk Management and Quantitative Analysis each contribute about 20% of the total score. Thus, it would be prudent to devote at least 60 hours to each area. On the other hand, Financial Markets and Products and Valuation and Risk Models each contribute 30% of the exam, so you would need to allocate at least 90 hours to each area.

Creating Study Plan for FRM Part I

Many people find it helpful to create a calendar and block out specific times and days for studying. This will help you stay on track and ensure you don’t fall behind. It is also helpful to create a list of topics you want to study for each month, along with the amount of time you want to spend studying each topic.

For example, let’s say you have six months (approximately 26 weeks) to prepare for Part I. You would need to spend around 12 hours studying per week. If the exam is three months (13 weeks) away, you need 24 hours of study time every week. You should clearly outline this in your study plan for FRM Part I.

Having regular blocks of time specifically set aside for study can help make sure progress is being made within a reasonable timeframe. Candidates working full-time can allot certain days during the weekend strictly for studying or divide up 3-4 hours over Monday through Friday.

Tips for Studying

For best results, you might want to practice the following:

  • Take breaks: Studying is a long process, so it is essential to take breaks. You should take some time off between each topic and break up your studying into manageable chunks. It is also helpful to take a break after each section of the exam.
  • Have a study buddy: Working alongside a study buddy is a great way to hold each other accountable and stay motivated while studying. A study buddy can also be a good source of advice and inspiration.
  • Track your performance: AnalystPrep provides tools to help you track your performance. For example, you can keep track of the topics you’ve already handled via an interactive dashboard. You can also take a quiz that combines two or more topics and use the score to adjust your study plan as needed.
  • Create a productive study environment: Ensure you have access to all the materials you plan to use, such as textbooks, practice questions, or slides. Ensure you have plenty of space to spread out your material, a comfortable chair and desk, and adequate lighting.
  • Schedule regular breaks: Scheduling regular breaks while studying helps improve concentration and keep motivation levels high. It allows your mind to take a break from all the studying material before diving back in again with renewed energy.

Practice Exams Deserve a Special Mention

Taking practice exams is a great way to test your knowledge and identify any areas you might need to study more. GARP Practice exams are a great resource, but AnalystPrep also provides well-curated practice exams that reflect the structure and level of difficulty of the actual exam.

It is important to try different types of resources to ensure you are prepared for anything the exam might throw at you. It is also a good idea to take practice exams under exam conditions, so you will know how the time is distributed and how you react when under pressure.

For best results, you should take at least two practice exams 3-4 weeks before the actual exam to give yourself ample time to work on your weak areas.

It’s Challenging but Doable!

FRM Part I can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can pass the exam and move on to the next step in your career.

The best way to prepare for the exam is to follow a well-structured study plan that caters to your weaknesses and focuses on areas you need to improve. Once you have created your study plan, be sure to stick to it and study consistently.

With the right amount of focus and dedication, you’ll be prepared for exam day.