FRM Exam Overview, Registration Guide and Deadlines

FRM exam

FRM Exam Overview

To become a Certified FRM, candidates must pass the very difficult Financial Risk Management (FRM) exam. Candidates also have to complete two years of work experience. We put together this helpful FRM Exam Overview to help you understand the process.

  • The FRM tests collective knowledge, and everything that is tested on Part I of the exam is necessary for Part II.
  • After successfully passing Part I of the Exam, GARP allows 4 years for candidates to pass Part 2.
  • In order to become FRM certified, GARP allows five years for candidates to complete their work experience requirement after they have passed both parts of the exam.

GARP updates the FRM Curriculum each year in order to reflect the most up-to-date trends in the financial markets.

The annual update is not well understood by all candidates. For example, the FRM Exam updates more aggressively than the CFA. This has important implications: the exam is less predictable; formula and memorization are less reliable (because old questions are less likely to repeat), and the assigned syllabus (including the Learning Objectives) does not necessarily contain exact and literal pointers to exam questions.

The Two Parts of the FRM Exam

Both Parts of the Financial Risk Management Exam are offered two times per year on the third Saturday of May and November.

  • Part I of the Exam consists of 100 equally weighted multiple-choice questions. Part II of the Exam consists of 80 equally weighted multiple-choice questions.
  • GARP allows four hours for candidates to complete Part I of the Exam and four hours to complete Part II of the exam.
  • FRM Exam candidates must pass Part I before they can take Part II. GARP allows candidates to sit for both Part I and Part II on the same day, however, they must pass Part I before their Part II exam will be graded.
  • Most FRM Exam candidates choose to take Part I and Part II on separate exam days.

Part I – Tools Used to Assess Financial Risk

  • Foundations of Risk Management
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Financial markets and products
  • Valuation and risk models

Part 2 – Application of the Tools

  • Market risk management & measurement
  • Credit risk management & measurement
  • Operational and integrated risk management; including the Basel regulatory framework
  • Liquidity and Treasury Risk measurement & management
  • Investment risk management
  • Current Issues

Exam Registration and Deferrals

Registration and Fees

Candidates can register for the FRM Exam on the GARP website (

  • GARP offers three registration periods: Early, Standard, and Late. There is a difference in price between the three periods.

  • In order for your exam registration to be considered complete, payment must have been received by GARP by midnight, EDT, on the closing date of each registration period. For the May 2020 FRM Exam, these dates are January 31, 2020; February 29, 2020; or April 15, 2020, respectively.
  • The first time, FRM candidates pay a program enrollment fee and an exam fee. The enrollment fee covers the costs that are associated with developing the FRM Program and providing the FRM Exam. All candidates must pay the enrollment fee when they register for the FRM Program for the first time.

Exam Deferral

An FRM candidate can only defer their registration once to the following test date. To defer, log in to your account and go to “My Programs” and click on the deferral button.

  • Candidates must defer their Exam date before the last day of registration.
    • May Administration – April 15, 2020
    • November Administration – October 15, 2020
  • GARP charges a $150 (USD) fee for deferral of the exam, which must be paid by credit card.
  • As a deferred candidate you will automatically be re-enrolled in the next Exam.
  • If you have deferred and still attend the Exam, the deferral fee will not be refunded.

Can I cancel my deferral?
Yes. If you registered and PAID for the FRM Exam and later deferred your registration to the next administration and now wish to re-enroll in the current administration, there is a US$150 fee to change your deferral status.

GARP’s Identification Policy

A current, original, and not expired government issued passport or driver’s license is accepted. The name on your admission ticket must match exactly what you will present on Exam day. The passport or driver’s license must include a photograph of the candidate – photocopies are not acceptable.

There are NO exceptions to this policy, regardless of what form of identification a candidate may have used in past Exam administrations. If a candidate arrives on Exam day without a valid passport or driver’s license, they will not be allowed to sit for the Exam.

GARP administers its exams in approximately 90 locations in more than 50 countries. Because all of the different forms of identification that are used worldwide, which differ greatly from country to country and from culture to culture, we cannot list all forms of identification that are not acceptable. We require that all candidates must abide by this same rule, worldwide. Additionally, GARP will not accept work/employer identification cards, voter’s identification cards, a learner’s permit, student ID cards, PAN card, or national ID cards.

A Special Note: If a driver’s license is used for admission, it can only be used in the country of origin; otherwise, you must arrive with a valid passport.

Exam Results

The FRM Exam is marked as pass/fail. GARP releases the results through email around six weeks after the FRM Exam is given. GARP provides the FRM Exam candidates with quartile results so they are able to see how they scored on specific areas of the exam in relation to other candidates.

  • The passing score cannot be known in advance: GARP grades on a curve.
  • Here is their specific method: Let (T) be the average of the Top 5% of all exam scores. After analysis, GARP calibrates an overall passing multiplier; for example, 70%*T = passing score. Due to this method, it is impossible to know the passing score before the exam. However, historical experience suggests that you can miss several questions and still pass the exam. Put another way, the exam is known to be difficult; very few candidates exit the exam having confidently answered all of the questions.

View our Pass Rates comparison chart here:

In addition to this FRM Exam Overview, take a look at our other informational pages: