Chief Admin Officer
For all of you who are taking the FRM exam on Saturday, here are some tips that I found for exam day! All of these were written by candidates who already took the exam. Feel free to add some of your own tips that you think could be helpful! I hope this helps to ease some of your exam day stress!!!
- You don’t need to arrive at the test center a full hour early; half-an-hour is adequate. *HOWEVER*, they actually WILL lock you out if you’re not there 15 minutes before the start time.
- The answer sheet uses a carbon copy system that no-one has told you about. Don’t let this throw you, just follow the instructions, and keep in mind that you can’t erase your answer in the conventional way.
- Don’t panic! There will be some questions that almost no candidate can solve: GARP writes a hard exam. You can get 30%+ of the questions wrong and still pass.
- Work fast and don’t get bogged down. For FRM1, you need to maintain a pace of 25 questions per hour.
- Check your progress either every 25 questions or every hour. If the first 25 questions take more than an hour, you are moving too slow.
- Take snacks and drinks. Put the snacks in your pocket for your break.
- Take a break halfway through the exam; 4 hours is too long to sit. Eat your snack and drink your drink on the way to the bathroom.
- DON’T wait until the last few minutes to fill in all your answers on the bubble sheet.
- Take a pair of ear plugs to the exam. You never know how noisy it is in the site.
- Get at least 6 hours of sleep the night before. Tension could make it difficult, but you must try.
- When doing mock exams the days just before the exam, try doing them for whole 4 hours, not 4 sittings of 25 Qs each or so. In the real exam, the prolonged sitting itself could be a challenge.
- Wear comfortable outfits and shoes.
- Don’t skip questions if one of them gives you trouble, but if you have to, don’t move on to next page of questions before you’re sure you marked answers to all questions of previous page.
- When marking the bubbles, double check it’s the question number you want to fill, especially if you skipped questions on that page. You could end up marking two bubbles for a single question and leaving one unmarked, losing marks for both questions. Worse even, if you move forward without looking at question numbers, you could mismark ALL questions from that point on.
- Do NOT forget your calculator and make sure that you check the GARP website to be sure that it is an approved calculator.
- Visit the site before exam day. For one thing, ask proctors how many people are registered for the exam. This makes a difference in the time before door-closing that you must arrive at. For another, see where your seat is located relative to the room doors, this you need to know how much time it takes you to leave the room to drink then get back.