ArticleCity.comArticle Categories FRM Exam Tips and Study Guide

FRM Exam Tips and Study Guide

Originally posted on


FRM Examination Course Guide

Thank you for visiting our How to Pass the FRM Exam Guide page! Please take your time and go through each section carefully as there are many nuggets of useful information here to aid you in the ultimate goal of being allowed to bear the FRM designation mark and become a Financial Risk Manager.

Afterwards, head on over to our Shop Page and view our books to beat the FRM course!


Examination Structure

Both FRM part 1 and FRM part 2 are multiple-choice through use of pencil only.

FRM Part 1 is 100 equally weighted questions.

While FRM Part 2 is 80 equally weighted questions.


The FRM Course Format

Exam Part I: Learn fundamental tools and techniques used in risk management and the theories that underlie their use. Your time to complete this is 4 hours or less.

The focus of the FRM books include:

  • Key concepts around risk management
  • A Formulas and mathematically focused quantitative analysis
  • General knowledge of the financial markets
  • Risk modelling and their valuation

Exam Part II: Apply the tools and techniques covered in Part I and dive deeper in investment management and current market issues. Your available time to cover this section is 4 hours or less.

The focus includes the management and measurement of various areas such as: Credit and Market Risk, Issues being faced in today’s financial world, Operational Risk and Investment Risk.


FRM Pass Rates

The FRM pass rate for the exam is normally between 40% and 50%.


Z-Table Information

A standard table is presented to you with the values for the cumulative distribution function. This is your standard ‘z-table’

As such, you are not expected to memorize CDF values.

You will also be given a list of common abbreviations used throughout the FRM examination.


Study Time

Becoming a Financial Risk Manager isn’t an easy task and many do dream of having that FRM designation to propel them further in their industry.

As a result of the relatively low pass rates, you are expected to study for at least 250 hours.

However, we must tell you that some candidates have logged over 400 hours in preparing for each FRM exam!


Exam Time

FRM Exams are offered in May and November of each year.


FRM Exam Locations

The FRM Exam is offered in approximately 90 sites over the world.

You may check the area nearest to you at


FRM Sitting Frequency

FRM registration rules actually allow you to sit for the two exams within the same day.

Please note that the FRM part 1 level must be passed before FRM part 2 is to be graded.


Allowed Persons

The Financial Risk Manager exam can be taken by anyone who desires to take it and the official FRM books may be purchased by anyone who wishes to read them.


FRM Educational Pre-requisites

There are no educational pre-requisites as the FRM exam may be taken by anyone who desires to take it.



The FRM course is offered in English.


FRM Fees

There is an enrollment fee required for each exam.

Please visit GARP to see updated fee schedules and all general information with respect to becoming a Financial Risk Manager.


FRM Refunds

GARP does not provide refunds for either the Exam Enrollment or FRM Registration Fee.


Exam Transfer to another Candidate

Candidates for the Financial Risk Manager exam cannot transfer their FRM registration to another candidate.


Exam Deferrals

You can defer your FRM registration once to the next Exam date.

Second deferrals will not be considered.

A deferral to the next Exam date must be submitted by the last day of registration.

There is a $100 fee to defer.


FRM Exam Violations

The truth is, a ‘How to Pass FRM Exam Guide’ will be of no use if you do the wrong things on exam day!

The FRM pass rate is already low enough so be sure to know the rules and regulations.

In addition to our FRM study guide, below is a list of violations that have resulted in a candidate’s Financial Risk Manager Exam not being graded.

  • Arriving after the doors were closed.
  • Opening the examination booklet early.
  • Starting the exam before “time to begin” was announced.
  • Using a non-approved calculator during the Exam.
  • Using a writing instrument that was not GARP issued on the Exam booklet and/or answer sheet (pen, pencil, or mechanical pencil).
  • Having erasers, white-out, or correction fluid/tape, highlighters, or rulers.
  • Being found with wearable technology devices such as Google glasses, smart-watches, a watch, a fit-bit, clocks, or portable clocks.
  • Writing on the admission ticket or presented an admission ticket with writing on the back.
  • Having a mobile cell phone in your possession.
  • Being caught cheating or used FRM books during the exam.
  • Leaving with exam material(s) and/or admission ticket.
  • Writing after the proctor announced “stop writing.”
  • Communicating with another candidate during the Exam.


Paper admission ticket

You should not expect to gain admission to the Exam via a smartphone that contains an electronic copy of their Admission Ticket.

A paper Admission Ticket is required for you to enter the Financial Risk Manager Exam.

There are no exceptions to this!


Typical Exam Day Schedule

Once the Exam doors have closed, you will not be allowed to enter and sit for the examination .

There are no exceptions to this rule!


Sections Covered by Exam

The Financial Risk Manager Program is designed to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in financial risk management:

Part I: Learn fundamental tools and techniques used in risk management and the theories that underlie their use.

Part II: Apply the tools and techniques covered in Part I and dive deeper in investment management and current market issues.


Exam One: FRM Books 1 – 4

  • Foundations of risk management concepts
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Financial markets and products
  • Valuation and risk models


Exam Two: FRM Books 1 – 5 

  • Market risk measurement /management
  • Credit risk measurement /management
  • Operational /integrated risk management
  • Risk management /investment management
  • Issues in financial markets

To  continue our How to Pass FRM Exam Guide, we now turn our attention to a very important section dedicated to FRM Exam Tips for repeating-or-first-time FRM candidates.


Recommendations Before Taking the FRM Exam


Set Aside Time

It is absolutely critical to maintain a good FRM study guide.

Realizing that you don’t have enough time to cover all the FRM study material necessary is one feeling that you cannot afford to have.

Setting out a time chart showing the exam dates, your work deadlines, personal and family commitments is a good way to make an assessment of the position that you’re in.


Target Weak Areas

Committing more time to your known weak areas and less time to your strong areas is always a good thing to do.

We encourage you to strive for balance.


Make a Calendar

Make markings on a large calendar and clearly write your study goals.

Show to-do’s, accomplishments and weak areas that require special focus.

Having markings for your work, personal & family commitments are also important.  And don’t forget to show the Financial Risk Manager exam date, time and where it is being held!


Set the Environment

Having a dedicated space that is conducive to concentrated study is also a good thing to have when preparing for such a challenging exam.

Try to get into an area that has as few distractions as possible (be it visual or audio distractions).

Some persons need their space to be extremely tidy, some need a certain type of music, and others need to have dead silence.

Knowing what works best for you is key.



There can be several advantages to being part of a study group. You will be able to explain topics that you are strong in as well as hear from those that are strong in your weak areas.

If you ever find yourself in a group that is always going off-course to discuss unrelated matters or simply wasting precious time, then politely excuse yourself from such persons.

You should also consider talking to those persons who already received their FRM designation to find out a bit more on how they achieved it.


Eat Well & Hydrate

Be very weary of having high-sugar snacks before the exam, as you may feel energized for an hour-or-so but will have to deal with the energy crash that follows!

Have nutritious items such as yogurt, bananas etc. that will not cause a sudden spike your energy levels in a short time span but slowly releases it with time.

Having plenty of water throughout your study period will also be of benefit to your concentration abilities.



Yes, exercise. Many students fall into the trap of saying time is short so they will have to cut things out such as daily exercise. This is a terrible mistake!

Regular exercise will improve the blood-flow to your brain and through the body, lower stress levels and help you tremendously in concentrating throughout the FRM course.

Whether it’s going to the gym, walking, jogging or swimming – just do it!


Take Time Off

Everyone is different, but many persons simply cannot study for extremely long periods of time and still do their regular day-to-day activities adequately.

Take time away and do something that will truly relax your body and mind.

Don’t feel guilty about spending a bit of time at the beach in the sun or sleeping a bit longer than usual over the weekend.

Having such breaks will almost-certainly rejuvenate your energy levels.


Practice, Practice, Practice

Going through all the FRM study material, your FRM study guide, all potential exam questions available in your text and those available elsewhere is extremely important.

Exposing yourself to the various forms of exam questions will not only inspire confidence internally, but will ensure that you are a bit more settled under real-word exam conditions.



Yes, having a good night’s sleep is one of the critical components of functioning at your peak.

So, set the alarm clock and sleep well.


Item Check

Be sure to carry what is necessary for the day. Your FRM calculator, identification card, extra cash, stationary, a fully charged phone etc.


Recommendations During the Sitting of the FRM Exam


Scan the Paper

It is generally beneficial to have a look-through of the entire paper, making markings of areas that are completely familiar and simple formulas that you can jot down quickly.


Read The Question Again

A simple request that many will not do. The FRM course can be very deceptive.

This is such an important task that we cannot over-emphasize it enough.


Secure the Easy Ones

Going through the paper with a view to answer those questions that you are extremely strong/confident about is normally a good strategy. As, in the event of time running out, this ensures a securing of points that may make all the difference in the final outcome.

This approach will also build your confidence!


Review Your Paper

Assuming that this is possible, please carefully review all of your paper, even those that you may be very confident about.



We urge you to devote your full attention to your paper.

You must not worry about that lady who is asking for a ton of paper to write things on.

Do not concern yourself with what is happening on the outside.

Focus only on your desk and what’s in front of you.


Be Calm

Having unsettled nerves will not help you one bit. Have a good breakfast.

Plan the travel route beforehand and try to arrive at the examination center with plenty of time to spare.

Go to the bathroom one more time. If possible, sit in a quiet area, close your eyes and clear your mind, not thinking about any specific topic or question.

Avoid persons who are constantly complaining or stressing about the examination.


What To Do After Completing the FRM Exam Paper?


Treat Yourself!

You have gone through all the FRM study material. You dedicated yourself to passing the FRM part 1 level as well as the FRM part 2 level.

We can say you gave it your best and you still have your sights set squarely on achieving your goal of becoming a Financial Risk Manager.

Regardless of how you feel afterwards, take some time and care for yourself.

It may be a movie, a good book, spending time with a certain person or even playing a video game!

Just take some time away and be happy with your efforts.


Want More Questions about FRM Course, FRM Designation and other Exam Rules?

Do you know what FRM calculator is accepted in the exam room?

Are you aware of all the necessary requirements to become a Financial Risk Manager?

Have you noted the FRM exam dates on your calendar?

What to know more about the FRM exam fee?

Get up to date and spend time on the official GARP website before your examinations!

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.