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FRM® Exam Preparation Tips and Recommendations

Many of Bionic Turtle’s members have provided feedback with suggestions on the best practices for FRM exam preparation. Whether you use Bionic Turtle’s materials solely for your FRM exam preparation, or as a supplement to the GARP® core books, depends on your individual education and experience.

Exam Study Hours

  • Exam study hours vary depending on your individual knowledge of the FRM concepts. For some guidance, a GARP survey conducted in May 2015, FRM Exam Part I candidates indicated that, on average, individuals devoted about 240 hours to exam preparation. Individual figures, however, varied from less than 100 hours (10%) to more than 400 hours (14%).
  • Don’t think that you can “wing” it with your FRM exam preparation. If you put the time in to study, you will get the results. There is no magical way to skip parts or cram your studying into a month and pass the exam. Take the time to study. Start reviewing the material as early as possible. You can register 6 months prior to the exam and Bionic Turtle gives you a year of access so why not start early. There is no harm in being prepared. The worst thing you can do is just leave it all until 2 months before the exam. Start early and you will have flexibility.

Maximizing the Value of Your FRM® exam preparation

  • Study all of the materials available. Bionic Turtle offers excellent study notes, practice questions (over 4,000!), instructional videos and other materials that cover the Learning Objectives that are in the FRM study guide. Read the core readings from the FRM books and read the study notes. The study notes do their best to “explain” the concepts. However, for a qualitative exam, there are bound to be some questions, the answers to which are “direct quotations” from the original books. Notes provide a good summary, which is necessary for your FRM exam preparation.
  • Complete all of the Bionic Turtle practice questions. David’s practice questions are a higher level than the exam questions and will teach you the fundamental concepts necessary for the exam. Bionic Turtle posts a daily practice question each week Monday and Wednesday. These practice questions are then compiled into the full question sets and published in the study planner.
  • Watch the Bionic Turtle videos and take your own notes as you listen to them. Bionic Turtle offers PowerPoint slides for each video that can be printed out so you can take notes.
  • Take all of the interactive quizzes after you have reviewed each topic during your exam preparation. This will help you better understand where you are having difficulty (if any) with the concepts.
  • Watch the focus review videos to make sure you fully understand the concepts that you have studied during your FRM exam preparation.
  • Take the mock exams that Bionic Turtle offers under the Topic Review section in the Study Planner.
  • Prepare your own “quicksheet”/”formula sheet” to ensure that you’ve learned the necessary formulas to pass the exam.
  • Utilize the forum as much as possible!! Bionic Turtle’s active forum consists of 50,000+ members who interact daily. There are discussions on each topic in the GARP study guide, and the forum is an excellent way to make sure you fully understand the concepts that are tested in the FRM Exam. David and Nicole offer daily support in our forum so you are never left wondering when your questions will be answered.

Other Study Recommendations

  • Create a weekly study plan. Due to the sizeable amount of material covered in the exam, it is suggested that you create a weekly study schedule that will help you learn the material over an extended period. Bionic Turtle offers a complete Study Planner to help you organize your study plan so you can keep track of the topics, readings, and materials that you have completed.
  • The FRM Study Guide contains a full listing of all the readings that are recommended for your FRM exam preparation. Key concepts appear as bullet points at the beginning of each section of the Study Guide and are intended to help candidates identify the major themes and knowledge areas associated with each section. The FRM Study Guide can be downloaded on the GARP website.
  • The FRM Program Manual was developed to assist FRM candidates in their exam preparation by outlining learning objectives and suggesting strategies for completing the reading material detailed in the FRM Study Guide. The manual also contains a sample 15-week study plan and can be downloaded from the GARP website.
  • Practice Exams. Candidates are strongly encouraged to download and take the FRM practice exams during their preparation, which are available on the GARP website. Practice exams will provide candidates with a good sense of the question types to expect when sitting for the actual FRM Exam and will allow the candidate to estimate how much time they can expect to spend answering individual questions. Each practice exam contains multiple-choice questions, and the downloaded file includes candidate answer sheets, exam questions, exam answer keys, and detailed explanations for all answers.
  • FRM Books. While there are no requirements for a candidate to purchase the FRM Books, it is strongly recommended for their exam preparation. Proper preparation for the exam without the information contained in these readings would be difficult. To facilitate candidates’ exam preparation, readings listed and described in the FRM Study Guide are available in the FRM books. Some of the readings, including all of the readings in the Current Issues and Regulatory Reference sections, are freely available on the GARP website.

Each and every FRM candidate will have different techniques geared toward their individual needs during their FRM exam preparation. All of the suggestions that are listed here provide an excellent start to candidates who are beginning their studies, as it has been stated many times, by FRM Exam candidates, that in the beginning, it can be very overwhelming to figure out where to begin and how to organize their FRM exam preparation.

For more information about the FRM exam, including how to register for the exam and important deadlines, read through our other informational articles:

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What Your Colleagues Are Saying

I took the exam in Sydney and had a similar feeling about the exam being more qualitative (but no less rigorous). However, I felt I was better prepared thanks to the BT's relentless focus on throwing real life examples and methods.

Jagan G.

I subscribed to BT for my Part 1 FRM exam and just wanted to say thanks for the depth and breadth of the study materials and practice questions. I found out that I scored in the top quartile of every topic and I absolutely could not have done this without using BT - I spent many, many hours going over the practice questions and answers! I wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude to your team for your hard work in creating these materials. Thanks!

Shu C.

The BT scripts, practice questions, global topic drills and mock exams were a great help in understanding the concepts (which I could already apply on the job!) and where structured in such a manner that the breadth and depth where optimal for exam preparation - clearly the exam would have been a catastrophe without BT!

Ivan J.

Passed first time. Happy all the hard work paid off. BT was the right choice. Thanks David and Nicole for your work and commitment.

John D.

Passed! 1,4,1,2,1,4! Thank you David and Nicole for your efforts! Thank you BT! Couldn't have done it otherwise. I'm a mechanical engineer who had a career in petroleum services, then I decided to switch career to financial risk management. Passed part 1 from the first time with top quartiles and passed part 2 from the first time as well. All with BT! BT is always the recommendation I give to people aiming at the FRM designation! Thank you again!

Feras S.

Passed Part I and Part II first time - absolutely could not have done it without BT. Like a few others I didn't even both buying the GARP books for Part II and went solely with BT materials. Just read, answered questions, watched videos, read, more questions, and... more questions! All the practice question taking looked to pay off. Thanks again Bionic Turtle for a great curriculum. Keep up the fantastic work!

John D.

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