Our Study Notes are summaries of the readings which GARP recommends for the current FRM exam. Please notice that, strictly speaking, GARP’s readings are recommended, not required. Why? Because GARP actually tests the key concepts and knowledge areas associated with each section within the FRM.
This can be a point of confusion for some candidates who expect to succeed with memorization. The FRM does not necessarily reward memorization. Because the emphasis is on concepts and knowledge, the current set of readings will have various levels of importance; some new readings will be critical to the current exam, but some readings will offer lower relevance because their topic hasn’t really “seasoned” into the exam fully or is currently esoteric.
For example, the topic of statistics (in Quantitative methods) has contained essentially the same topics in recent years, although there have been three different texts assigned. An older text (e.g., Gujarati for statistics) is not necessarily inferior to the newer text (e.g., Miller for statistics). In this way, many of the literal details in the most recently assigned statistic text are less relevant than the same underlying concepts which tend to be more timeless. The good news here, for candidates, is that you don’t need to worry too much about memorization within the current set of recommended readings, except for the Current Issues topic. This is also why summaries can be sufficient.
Do you need our study notes in addition to GARP’s recommended readings? We think the answer depends on your current level of experience. If you have experience in financial risk (for example, if you are already comfortable with quantitative methods in general), then perhaps you do not need both. However, if much of GARP’s syllabus is unfamiliar, or if you do not arrive with quantitative aptitude, then we recommend using both the recommended (source) readings plus our Study Notes as a supplement.
Our Study Notes do not aspire to great length (i.e., many pages). They try to summarize the main points, with illustrations, as efficiently as possible. We hope you find them helpful. Please do not forget to visit the forum to discuss content in the notes, ask further questions, or to identify possible errors.