The Best Study Tactics to help you pass the FRM® exam

The Best Study Tactics to help you pass the FRM® exam

The FRM certification offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) aims to provide you with in-depth knowledge and understanding of risk management concepts and gives you skills to excel in the fast-paced and ever-changing financial markets.

Attaining an FRM certification will give you an edge in the industry and provides employers confidence that you understand risk management and your skills meet international professional standards.

This article provides information on the FRM curriculum and exam structure and the best study strategies to help you prepare for your exam.

What is the FRM exam format?

If you are considering studying for the FRM course, one of your concerns will be on the exam formats and how difficult it is to pass the exam.

The FRM curriculum consists of two levels, and the exams are offered twice a year, in May and November. Due to the postponed 2020 exams, the exam schedule in 2021 will be different.  Level I will be offered in May, July, and November, while Level II sittings will be in May and December.

The FRM part I exam has 100 questions and is 4 hours long. Part II is also 4 hours long but has fewer questions than part I. Part II consists of 80 questions. Although you can sit for both sections on the same day, you should pass part I before GARP scores part II. Most candidates, however, prefer to take the exams on different exam sittings.

The exam format in both level exams is multiple choice. The exam pass rate for FRM exams in 2019 was;

  • Level I: May sitting -42% and November sitting -46%
  • Level II: May sitting -61% and November sitting -59%

There is a one-time $400 enrollment fee for new students. Early registration is $550, while standard registration is $750 for both FRM part I and part II.  You should register by July 31st, 2021, to qualify for early registration.

Study tips to help you pass your FRM exam

1. Familiarize yourself with the FRM topics and their exam weights

The FRM topics and weights vary from year to year to remain relevant in an ever-changing financial industry. The 2021 topics and weights are;

FRM part I exam has 100 multiple-choice questions that focus on the following four topics:

  • Financial markets and products (30%).
  •  Valuation and risk models (30)
  • Foundations of risk management (20%).
  • Quantitative analysis (20%)

FRM part II exam consists of 80 questions that cover the following topics:

  • Market risk management (20%).
  • Credit risk management (20%). 
  • Operational and integrated risk management (20%)
  • Risk management and investment risk management (15%).
  • Liquidity and treasury risk measurement and management (15%)
  • Current affairs in financial markets (10%)

It would be best to know basic information about the concepts in each of these topics. Having basic knowledge will help you narrow down your answer choices and quickly identify relevant information in lengthy questions.

2. Set up a structured study plan as early as possible

The FRM certification requires you to put in more than 240 hours of study for each part. Setting up a study routine and adhering to it will help you cover the curriculum. You should set up a study routine as soon as possible and maximize each study session. Pay close attention to the core areas and understand the weight of each topic.

Enrolling in the FRM study packages will help you study for the exam with expert help and mentorship through the challenging topics.

3. Use practice questions and mock exams to prepare for the exam

The FRM exams test your knowledge of the curriculum and ability to apply these concepts to real-life situations. Taking practice questions will help you practice how to use your skills and correctly answer the exam questions. In addition, you will identify areas of weakness or knowledge gaps and make the necessary improvements.

Mock tests simulate the actual exam conditions, which will help you manage time effectively during the test and give you confidence. Therefore it is vital to allocate enough time to answer sample questions and take mock exams in the last few weeks leading up to your exams.

4. Stay calm during the exam

Panicking on exam day can make even the most prepared candidate fail. You are more likely to misread the questions, doubt yourself or pick the wrong answer during the exam. Take a few deep breaths during the exam to calm down and remember that you studied and prepared for the exam.

You can avoid last-minute stress by beginning your studies early and practicing with sample questions and mock exams. Adequate preparation will help you remain confident and calm during the exam. A good night’s sleep will ensure that you are well-rested and can concentrate during the exam. Additionally, you are more likely to make more mistakes when tired.

5. Be adequately prepared on the exam day

It would be best to show up at least thirty minutes early for your exam. You might not be allowed to take the exam if you arrive late, and you will not get an exam fee refund or transfer.

GARP requires you to show a valid identification document such as a passport when registering or sitting for your exam. You are allowed to bring a printed confirmation, approved identification document, and calculator. Ensure to follow the exam regulations and rules to avoid being disqualified.

Enroll in FRM study packages from

You do not have to struggle through studying on your own. Enroll in FRM study packages from and get expert help and mentorship. In addition, you will have to participate in online classes and study groups that increase your chances of success.

Enroll with and access our up-to-date sample question bank to ensure that you get enough practice to give you the confidence to pass your exams.