FRM Exam

FRM Exam (Financial Risk Management Certification)

FRM exam (Financial Risk Management) is a part of tests conducted by Global Association of Risk Professionals to issue a FRM certification to the person who passes the exam recognizing that the person is eligible to work in financial environment because he has a strong knowledge and sound understanding of financial risk, its analysis and its management.

FRM Exam

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This comprehensive Financial Risk Management article will give you nuts and the bolt of FRM Certification Examination, pattern, study tips, exam resources, etc.

Please note that, like the FRM certification exam, there are various other credentials from which you could pick, subject to the area of finance you want to specialize in. You must choose yours carefully as each one is exclusive and provides certain paybacks. If not, then it won’t count. If you are confused about which one to go for, you may look at a comparative analysis on CFA vs. FRM. To get a deeper understanding of the CFA examination, you can look at the Beginner’s Guide to CFA Examination.

What is the FRM Exam (Financial Risk Management Certification)?

The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP®) came up with the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) for those interested in getting certified as someone serious about managing risks. Financial Risk Management can be a treasured certification which can help you in career enhancement, stand out and get recognized among the employers and allow you to improve your knowledge and expertise in the area of financial risk management.

FRM Certification Program completion criteria

  • Pass the FRM Exam Part I and Part II within 4 years
  • Candidates must take the FRM Exam Part I before taking Part II
  • Demonstrate 2 years of relevant work experience. This work experience cannot be more than 10 years before having passed the FRM Exam Part II. Also, the experience earned for school will not be considered, including internships, part-time jobs, or student teaching. A candidate has 5 years to submit their work experience. After 5 years, the candidate will have to re-enroll in the FRM certification program and pay the required fees again.
  • Certified FRMs are strongly encouraged to earn 40 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every two years to maintain the latest best practices in risk management.

Recommended study hours: GARP recommends that FRM candidates dedicate around 200 hours of study to prepare for each part of the FRM exams.

What do you earn? You become a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM®)

Why Pursue the FRM Exam?

FRM certification should be chosen and pursued because it is required in the current economic and finance industry. But at the same time, you need to consider your career prospects, which could vary according to your interests and recent professional experience, if any.

  • FRM Certification does not guarantee a job or a salary hike. Still, yes, it gives you an edge over your counterparts, provides a good advantage over your colleagues at your workplace.
  • With this, you get an opportunity to prove your worth, which could help you with the salary hike and not just the certification.
  • Moreover, the focused knowledge and skills you learn in financial risk management, the opportunity to network, and access with financial risk professionals can provide you with exposure to the industry.
  • This certification will give you a chance to indicate a high-value skill set in a niche fragment of the finance domain.

Have a look at the top 10 companies and the top 10 global banks employing the most FRM’s.

Top 10 CompaniesTop 10 Global Banks
Bank of ChinaChina Construction Bank
HSBCAgricultural Bank of China
Agricultural Bank of ChinaBank of China
CitigroupJP Morgan Chase
KPMGWells Fargo
Deutsche BankHSBC
Credit SuisseCitigroup
UBSBank of America
PwCBanco Santander

FRM Exam Format

FRM ExamFinancial Risk Management Certification – Part I ExamFinancial Risk Management Certification – Part II Exam
Focus onEssential tools and techniques used in risk management and various theories that use them.Application of the tools and techniques learned in Part I and deeper insights into significant sub-parts of risk management.
Exam formatMultiple Choice Questions (MCQ)Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
QuestionsEqually-weighted 100 questionsEqually-weighted 80 questions
Duration4 hours4 hours

 Key highlights of the FRM exam format

FRM Certification Exam – Part 1

FRM Certification Exam – Part II

FRM Exam Weights / Breakdown

FRM Certification Exam – Part I 

  • Every particular aspect of financial risk management will weigh differently in the exam (Breakup provided below). To clear the Part I exam, you are required to demonstrate extensive knowledge of all the areas laid down by the FRM curriculum.
  • You need to practice well for the quantitative section, especially if you from a commerce background and have not worked on quantitative problems before.
  • One great news for you. There are NO SECTIONAL CUT-OFFS! Yes, you can clear the exam even if you get the 4th quartile in one of the sections. However, it is highly advisable not to screw-up the high weight sections you see below.
FRM Part 1 Exam topics

FRM Certification Exam – Part II 

FRM Part 2 Exam topics

FRM Certification Exam Fees

The following is the information for FRM Certification Part I May 2020;

You will have to pay a one-time enrollment fee of $400. Another aspect which needs to be taken into account is the time of payment. The earlier you register for the exam, the cheaper it is. For instance, the price during the third deadline will cost you US $950, whereas the first deadline will cost you US $300 less than the US $650.

The FRM certification program enrollment fees are valid for four years, which means that you need to appear for the Financial Risk Management Certification – Part I & II exam within this period.

FRM Part 1 & Part 2 Exam Fees

The following is the information for Returning candidate FRM Certification Part 1 & FRM Certification Part II

FRM Part 1 & Part 2 Returning candidate - Exam Fees

source – GARP 

FRM Results & Passing Rates

The FRM results are declared through an email generally six weeks after the exam is conducted. You are also provided with the quartile results, which will allow you to understand how you scored on the broad areas of the exam concerning other participants. Also, the passing score is not revealed and is determined by the FRM committee.

The passing rates fall within a range of 30-60 % for both parts of the FRM exam. Let’s look at the passing rates for each of the levels;

FRM Exam Part I Passing Rates

  • For the last 5 years (2016-2020), the pass percentage for the Part I Exam varied in the range of 42% to 50%, with an average passing rate of 44%.
  • The pass rate of Part I for Nov 2020 was 45%
FRm Part 1 Exam Pass Percentage
FRM Part 1 Exam Pass Percentage
May 201645%
Nov 201645%
May 201742%
Nov 201742%
May 201841%
Nov 201850%
May 201942%
Nov 201946%
May 202044%
Nov 202045%

FRM Exam Part II Passing Rates

  • For the last 5 years (2016-2020), the pass percentage for Part II Exam varied in the range of 50% to 62%, with an average passing rate of 56%.
  • The pass rate of Part II for Nov 2020 was 59%.
FRm Part 2 Exam Pass Percentage
FRM Part 2 Exam Pass Percentage
May 201650%
Nov 201654%
May 201754%
Nov 201752%
May 201853%
Nov 201856%
May 201960%
Nov 201959%
May 202062%
Nov 202059%

FRM Exam Study Material

Here is a comparison between the study material used to prepare for your FRM Certification Part I &II exams. It includes the study material available on the GARP site and Schweser.

Study MaterialGARPSchweser
2021 FRM Exam Part I eBooksAs part of the registration 
2021 FRM Exam Part I Books$300 + shipping$399
2021 FRM Exam Part II eBooks$250 + shipping 
2021 FRM Exam Part II Books$300 + shipping$399

Also, you need to note that several packages are available with Schweser. You could choose the one with the features that suit your requirement. Although for comparison purposes, I have included the price and attributes of the Essential Self Study Package. Further to decide whether to opt for the FRM curriculum notes or the prep material will depend upon the time you will invest in the preparation of the FRM exam.

FRM Exam Strategies: before the Exam

There is no magic, no shortcuts but purely dedicated efforts that will get you through. Let’s look at a few points that you could consider including in your preparation for the FRM Part I Exam.

  • Understand the curriculum- The first and the most important thing is to get the hang of the entire syllabus that you will study. Take efforts to understand it.
  • Go through the GARP readings- It is essential to go through the core GARP readings at least once and also the FRM Handbook.
  • Find a study partner- If you can find a study partner. Look out for someone in a similar situation as your and a schedule. You can be an excellent help to each other in case of doubts and each partner’s strength in a particular subject.
  • Start early- Get this straight, these are not your college exams wherein last-minute study could get you through. To prepare well, start early and very well plan the preparation schedule, accordingly decide how much time to dedicate for each day. Especially if you are not someone from a finance and quants background, you will have to devote sufficient time to prepare.
  • Stipulate your hours of study- Though the recommended hours are somewhere around 200 hours, it doesn’t imply you will clear the exam. These criteria are entirely subjective and require sincere efforts ranging between 100-500 hours.
  • Prepare well for formulas and calculations- Important consideration for the exam takers is that there is a fair amount of quantitative aspect in the subject matter. The mathematical difficulty of the Exam is similar to that of a graduate-level finance courseFinance CourseInvestment Banking Certification Course, Financial Modeling Certification Course, Equity Research Certification Course, Private Equity Certification Course, Mergers & Acquisition, and so on are among the Top 10 Finance Certification Courses you can more. Moreover, there are essential formulas and calculations which need to be known along with its correct application.
  • Prepare your quick sheet- The syllabus involves many formulas (find them at the end of every chapter) and methods to various measurement types. Mind you, and formula sheets are not provided with the exam. So you need to memorize them. One way is to prepare your formula quick sheet and keep referring to it whenever you have free time during your work or traveling.
  • Practice, Practice, and Practice! – Going through the notes, mugging up formulas is only a part of the preparation. The key is going to be the amount of practice you do in solving the problems. It might also happen that you practice today and might forget it after a week. So you can’t do much here but just KEEP PRACTICING! Solve as many practice exams, which would give you a hang of how the real thing would be like and make you confident in the final match.
  • The course is not a novel- You should not be reading whenever you get time only for 15-20 minutes. Make a habit of studying for hours at a stretch for 2-3 hours. Learn the concepts and practice them immediately. If you do that right from day 1, you will not feel the need to, again and again, read the ideas.
  • Solve sample papers by GARP- Going through the GARP core readings properly and solving their practice exam (available for free once you register for the exam) should give you a good confidence boost to clear the paper. Also, a few more practice exams Schweser is never harmful. However, do not expect the same level of questions to appear in your form. Anticipate that the GARP guys will take you for a ride. Simple- Prepare for the worst!
  • Prepare every section- Do not drop a few concepts and topics, thinking that it is unimportant. Such decisions could backfire. You just cannot afford to ignore any formula from any corner of the books. STUDY EACH AND EVERYTHING.

Dedicate at least 1 week before the exam- If you are working, try and take a week off from before the exam and keep other commitments to the minimum. Use it to stuff yourself with some concepts for that extra edge. Devote this time practicing and rereading your material.

FRM Exam Prep Strategies

FRM Exam Strategies: During the exam

If you have prepared and done your homework well, the exam day should not be a problem. However, I have listed down a few essential suggestions that could be important.

  • Keep difficult questions for the end- Many exam takers have observed that the last 10 or so questions were low-hanging fruits, which could be solved quickly. This can be unfortunate for those who, because of lack of time, cannot manage to get that far and are forced to guess the answers. So it is always better to come back to the difficult questions later on and keep answering the ones you know quickly.
  • Be quick and alert- Although you might feel you have enough time for each question, keep one thing in mind; the Financial Risk Management questions are generally very tricky and challenging, so you need to be alert and save time to solve the difficult ones.
  • Look for easy pickers- You will come across questions wherein you could quickly find solutions. Look out for them as you will be able to solve them correctly within no time. This will help you save time for other questions and also increase your chances of clearing the sections.
  • Watch out for lengthy questions- Other types of questions that could be seen in the exam are the ones that were quite lengthy in both words and in the number of steps that were required to chalk out a solution. Plan out for them whether you want it to take it at the beginning of the end.

FRM Exam Scholarship Opportunities

  • Candidates that cannot afford and self-fund the FRM exam can access the scholarship provided by GARP.
  • This scholarship would cover only the Registration Fee for the FRM Exam Part I.
  • Also, note that the scholarships are not available for the FRM Exam Part II.
  • The decision of whether the scholarship has to be awarded to a particular candidate is at the discretion of GARP, and a candidate may be given only one scholarship with no exceptions.

Although to avail of the scholarship, the candidate will have to qualify. The following are the guideline laid down by GARP;

  • The student must validate full-time enrollment in a graduate degree program at the time of the Exam. So in case, the student is currently enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate program cannot qualify for the scholarship.
  • Faculty members would be eligible if they can validate full-time employment at their institution. A complete application form, which can be found on the GARP website, must be submitted along with the documents. 

FRM Exam Deferral policy

There could be situations wherein you cannot take the exam you have enrolled for. In such cases, a deferral may be considered. Here you are allowed to defer the exam registration once to the next exam date. Although there are a few conditions;

  • The deferral has to be submitted by the last day of registration.
  • You will have to pay an administrative processing fee of USD 100.00 to defer your Exam.
  • You will be automatically re-enrolled in the next Exam cycle, and in case you decide not to appear the next Exam, you will lose your Exam registration fee.


FRM certification should be chosen if you are keen on learning and pursuing a career in Financial Risk Management. Financial Risk Management also provides the opportunity to network with like-minded people and help you gain exposure in the Risk Industry. Though Financial Risk Management does not guarantee a job or a salary hike, yes, it gives you an edge over your counterparts. It provides a good advantage over your colleagues at your workplace. Choose this credential, keeping in mind the cost-benefit for yourself. It requires a fair amount of commitment, discipline, and hard work to be earned successfully. All the very best!

This has been a guide to FRM Exam. Here we discuss all Financial Risk Management Certification Exam, FRM Results, pass rates, exam strategies, deferral policy, and scholarship opportunities. You can also go through the following resources to learn more about FRM –

Reader Interactions


  1. Devbrat says

    I am ca final student and want to build career in Equity research.
    Should i opt for FRM?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Devbrat, if you want to build a career in Equity Research, then FRM is not the right certification to look at. FRM is all about Risk Management. Instead either take CFA or consider upgrading your excel based Financial Modeling and valuation skills.

  2. AKBAR ALI says

    Hi Dheeraj
    I have four years of experience in nationalised bank as PO and Branch Head where i was looking operations and retail loans. 1 year experience in Accounts, in Dubai Start up company. Now i am hunting for job and also planning for FRM after getting some decent job. Will my previous experience help in taking FRM.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hello Akbar, I am not sure if your previous experience will help you in taking FRM. FRM primarily deals with risk management and quant stuff. If your experience in the bank was related to risk management dept, then your experience will be helpful.

  3. purvi says

    Can u please tell me the enrollment fee for FRM is paid once for both part 1 and part 2 or again we have to pay the enrollment fee for part 2 also ???

  4. Garima says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Your article is amazing !
    Can you recommend me some good book/supplementary reading (say reference book) for FRM Part – I
    Specially for the quantitative analysis , sometimes i find it difficult to understand from the notes.
    Having some background knowledge will expedite my learning process.

    Thanks in advance !

  5. yogesh agarwal says


    First of all, thanks for taking the pain and passing a great piece of information, truly appreciated.

    My query is I have a 15 months of work experience in insurance company and 2 years of work experience in investment bank working in (interest rate derivative,bonds and controls).

    My question is whether frm will add value to my profile and whether the experience is considered once I clear the exams?

    Frm along with mba(finance) can support my career strongly?

    Please reply asap.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Yogesh, My take is that FRM will add value to your current job and profile. Are you an MBA or are you thinking of leaving your job and pursue MBA along with FRM.

      You may have to weight all options including the opportunity cost of leaving your current job and going ahead with FRM.
      If you are in a good profile, MBA may not be totally required.

      Do have a look at this post on FRM vs MBA

  6. Phani says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I have registered for FRM level one, Is the material provided by Schweser sufficient to clear the exam?


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Phani, in most cases it is sufficient. I passed the exam by only referring to Schweser. However, it is always recommended to refer to the exam books for deep understanding and preparation.

  7. Atulya says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for the such elaborate post on FRM explaining all the nitty and gritty details of it.I’m currently working in leading private sector bank in credit risk department responsible for Basel reporting for past one year .I’m planning to give FRM in May 2017 and little bit confused about where to start like which study material to use,self-study or join classes and from when I should start?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Atulya, earlier you start, better it is! You can pick Schweser guides to start with and later join a self study/classroom trainings to complement the learnings.

  8. Hardeep singh says

    Hi sir, I m working with public sector bank in credit department as Asst Manager and have done B.Tech. I m planning to take FRM in May2017 . U mentioned Schweser notes and GARP books, I have Schweser notes with me and would like to know from where we can order GARP books in India.
    Ur post is very helpful

  9. asif says

    I having general banking experience then which CFA and FRM is better for me….otherwise I having
    commerce background…

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Asif,

      Given your background in Commerce + General Banking, i think CFA will suit you more. FRM is a bit mathematical in nature.

  10. leon says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank u so much for ur introduction of CFA & FRM.

    I have a bachelor degree in Financial Engineering and a Master degree in Actuary.

    I am very bad at accounting,so is it better for me to choose FRM?

    I have just graduated and want to start my career in finance.


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Leon, FRM will be a natural choice given your background is Financial Engineering and actuaries.

      Good luck,

  11. Rajiv says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to buy the BT Professional package worth $399 for the FRM Part 1 exams in Nov’16. Wanted your advice if I should go for BT or any other service provider. I have not heard good reviews about Schweser especially for the FRM exams. I have completed my Masters in Finance. I am also planning to appear for CFA Level 1 in Dec’16. I am working full time and as such I plan to put in 4 hours on weekdays and 8 hours each on the weekends. Does it sound like a good plan to clear both the exams?


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      I am sorry for this delayed reply. You can surely go for the BT professional package for FRM part 1. I have heard it is good, though I haven’t personally used those.

      Good Luck,

  12. pradeep says

    Hi deeraj,
    I am a recently qualified chartered accountant and am planing to give both parts of FRM in Nov 2016.
    Is it difficult to write to both parts in one sitting as i was warned it is difficult to crack both parts at one go..

    Thanks in advance..,


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Pradeep, Congratulations on becoming a qualified CA! Taking both the exam at once does pose some risk like not being able to prepare for a particular exam, missing out on practice mock tests etc. However, if you are committed and can give sufficient time for the prep of both the exams, then you should go for both part 1 and 2.

      Keyword is TIME. How much time are you willing to spend?


  13. sumanth says

    Dear Dheeraj,
    I have completd PGDBS(post grduation diploma in banking service) and presently i am working in corporate credit department of Axis Bank. I want to enhance my profile so, advice me which certification will help me whether it is CFA or FRM?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Sumanth,

      Since you are working for the credit department, FRM certification will suit you more.


  14. Goutham Pendyala says

    Am handling banking operations now and i dont have any experience in risk side. i have an engineering background… can i pass the his exam whithout any finance or risk background

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Yes, you can. Why not? As you are an engineer, you must be Ok with the Quant section. Most of the risk management fundamentals derive from Quantitative Analysis.

      Best of luck,

  15. Arpan says

    Dear dheeraj ,
    I am an engineer with MBA in development management . I have been working for last five years in various banks as credit manager fro agri Business . I want to take FRM . please guide whether my experience will count or not .


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Arpit, i think it should count. Best way is to write to GARP and confirm with them on this.

  16. Neri Shah says

    I have done bach. In financial markets
    I have no experience of working yet and also i m exploring options of what to do next after my graduation
    I am good in practical subjects and average in theoretical subjects
    Do you recommend me to do frm??

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Neri, you can consider FRM only if you are interested in Risk Management side of Finance. If it doesn’t match with your interest, then FRM exam will be no use.

  17. Nikunj Paliwal says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am just a commerce graduate working with an American Insurance Firm (Metlife) as an Accounts Associate.There i am responsible for preparing reconciliations and and certain accounting journal entries for Metlife’s state side operations. Would it be a wise choice for me to take up this course? or is it necessary to earn a professional degree first and then go for FRM course?.Also, will it help in my field of work?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Nikunj, it is not necessary to have take a professional degree and then take FRM course. However, FRM exam may be of limited use in your current role of accounting and reconciliation. FRM course will be helpful if you are considering a change into Risk Management.

  18. arjun says

    Dear sir

    I am acting as an assisant manager in Federal Bank with 1 year experience.Now i do not want to do general banking any more so i have decided to expand my education now i have two choice CFA & FRM but i am confused that which one is more beneficial for my career.And my past education is MBA(Financial Markets).
    Pls sir guide me in this regard

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Arjun, please consider your interest first. CFA is broad based and covers topics of Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Derivatives, Fixed Income etc. However, FRM is totally focussed towards Risk Management. If you are keen to make a career in Risk Mgmt, then you can take FRM.

  19. Naboshree Bhattacharya says

    Hello Sir,

    I have worked as an assistant professor and my area of PG is Economics with specialization in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics. Statistics was also a major subject.The subjects i have taught are Economics,Statistics and Banking.I want to take up FRM exam this November.
    Please advise.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hello Naboshree,

      With your credentials, It should be fairly easy for you to clear the FRM examination.

      All the best,

      • Naboshree Bhattacharya says

        Hello Sir,

        Thank you for the wishes.
        I just wanted to know if my work experience will count as i read it should?
        Also how should I study so that I can clear it.

        • Dheeraj Vaidya says

          You need to start by picking some good exam prep guides and later attempt mock tests to gain confidence in the subject matter.

          Good luck,

  20. Pratik says

    Hello Dheeraj
    I have recently qualified as a Chartered Accountant and have experience in advisory, internal and statutory audits. I want to pursue a career in risk management and willing to appear for FRM part 1 in Nov 2016.
    Will my current experience and clearing FRM part 1 exam help me to get an entry level job in risk management?


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Pratik, given you are CA with experience in advisory and audit, pursuing a career in Risk Management should not be difficult. Once you clear FRM exam, you will become eligible for such jobs.
      Best of luck,

  21. Jesal Mehta says

    Hello Sir,

    I will be appearing for my CA final exam and I am planning to give FRM level one in November 2016. I have no experience in the field of equity or financial risk management. My query is that will I get a job after clearing level one? Also I want a job abroad after FRM.. What are the chances and scope?


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Jesal, just by clearing the exam doesn’t necessarily ensure a job abroad. At this stage, it is important to stay patient and build your resume and acquire tangible skills. Take FRM as one of those skills.

  22. Afnenberg says

    Hi, Can I know for Part 1 how many correct MCQ question needed to pass?


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Not sure if GARP discloses the passing marks (number of correct questions to pass). However, in the last 5 years or so, the passing rate is around 50% (out of every 100 students, approx. 50 pass this exam).

  23. Sourav Kumar Sanyal says

    I initially registered for May 2016 exam. Due to certain personal restrictions, I cannot appear in May 2016. At the same time I failed too defer to Nov 2016 and passed the GARP deadline of April 15, 2016. Now if I wish to appear in Nov 2016, do I need to pay the enrollment fee again or just the exam registration fee and how much is it?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Sourav, sorry for the delayed reply. If you are reappearing for the exams, then you do not have to pay the enrollment fees again.

  24. Chetna agarwal says

    Thank u sir.. Your article is really good and proved helpful to me.. I wanted your advise on my pursual on FRM as I would be giving my B.Com last year exams in this month and I am also doing a course an capital market.. After this should I opt for FRM ?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Chetna,

      If you are interested in Risk Management roles, then you can opt for FRM examination. Please note that FRM contains is favourable for those who have quantitative background and requires very limited/no accounting knowledge.


  25. Rajesh Sharma says


    I am MBA finance and working in small investment boutique firm for last 5 years, where I perform back end work for debt syndication (Term Loan and Working capital losn) for Small and middle group companies. My work profile is Financial and Non Financial Analysis (Initial screening and appraising the project), preparing optimum Financial Forecasts in concurrence with the management strategies, Prepare Project Report, Information Memorandum, Financial Projections, Preparing CMA data etc.

    1) I would like to know that Whether CFA or FRM or any other course that can add value to my knowledge and career?(I am keen in giving CFA Exam in Nov 16)

    2) Since in last 5 years have not studied I am little worried whether I will be able to give my 100% to studies along with work

    3) What are the best material available in the market for both the above courses?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks Rajesh.
      Answers to your questions –

      1) Given your work experience CFA will suit you more. did you appear for the CFA exam this time ?
      2) shouldn’t worry too much about last 5 years. More important is your keenness to learn going forward. If you can find around 10-15 hours in a week for studies, then it should be good enough.
      3) There are lot of different materials that you can consider – CFA institute material, Schweser Notes, WallStreetMojo’s CFA Video tutorials.


  26. Puneet Maheshwari says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planninh to take Nov FRM part 1 exam. Currently working as asset management reporting analyst with one of the global bank. will this work exp count??

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Puneet, the work ex should count. However, it is best to write to Garp and confirm from them.

  27. Sabah Sadique Shaikh says

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am part of a testing team working for Treasury ,its around AssetLiabilityManagement .Also I am aspiring for FRM. I have 3.5 Years of experience.
    Will it be advisable for me to appear for FRM?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Yes Sabah. Given that you are in ALM and Treasury, it is advisable to take FRM Exam.

  28. lokesh says


    I enrolled for FRM in Feb 2014 and wrote the exam in November 2014. Also, cleared the same.Somehow, I could not write FRM level-II till date now, I have planned to write the exam in November 2016. Can you please tell me by which time I have to compulsorily clear the exam. Also, what is the deadline for submitting the work certificate.

  29. Shubhadeep says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m pursuing BBA in Management Accounting and is currently an Operational level student at CIMA(UK). My query is- Will FRM add value to the course I’m already pursuing? Can I write FRM during my under graduation years?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Shubhadeep, Yes even an undergraduate can appear for FRM examination. No problems with that. If you are interested in Risk Management side of Finance, then FRM will add lots of value.

  30. Preetam Devadiga says

    hello Dheeraj,

    I have completed my graduation in Banking and Insurance, and worked in operations department, in a recognised MNC for just 6 months, and resigned in order to study further, that is FRM. should i go for it ?

  31. Keshav says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am CA and currently working as credit analyst for loan sanctioning in a private Bank.

    I am having few doubts. Pls clarify on below points:

    1) Can i appear for both level FRM exam in Nov 2016 considering i am working.
    2)Which book has to be referred.
    3) Suppose i start preparing now for level 1 exam for May 2016, will that be sufficient considering i am working?
    4) Will there be any change in syllabus if i buy bonks now as it will pe pertaining to May 2016 exam.



  32. vandhana says

    Hello sir,
    I m planning to write FRM part 1 on nov 2016
    ….i have just completed my graduation..and no work experience…so Frm is good option to go for?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      FRM is a good option for those who want to add value in Risk Management. If you have interest in this area, then you can go for it.

  33. Mukul Pandit says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am working as a Business Analyst in an IT Services firm in the BFSI vertical. I cleared L1 in November 2015 with average preparation from Schweser notes and some practice exams provided on the website by GARP.

    I am undecided whether to write L2 in May this year or wait for November. The reason for my doubt is that the latest notes by none of the publishers are out yet (Bionic Turtle, GARP and Schweser), they would be coming sometime in February. Also would my work experience be relevant for obtaining the charter.

    Please share your strategy for L2 and the ideal preparation time.

    Request you advice.


  34. Manoj says

    Hi Dheeraj- I pan to take CFA L2 and FRM part 2 in June 2016 and may 2016. Is this practically possible, and how much of a effort would be required.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      it is practically possible to take the exams back to back :-). Just that you need to invest time in the examinations.

  35. Tanushree Patra says


    I have completed my PGDM with Finance specialization. Before 6 months I have joined NIIT Technologies Ltd as Financial Analyst in Investment Banking process.I am planning to prepare for FRM. Does FRM would add value to my profile or I should go for any other certification course. Please advise.

    Tanushree Patra

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Not sure if FRM will add value with respect to your current role in Investment Banking Process. You can consider CFA Exam or the Investment Foundation Program by CFA institute.

  36. Madina says

    Hi Dheeraj,
    are there practice questions that require very hard calculations?
    And can one without previous deep knowledge in risk management and derivatives, understand shweser|GARP materials?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      There are many practice questions that require calculations in Schweser and GARP material. You can understand this material. I will not say they are easy, just that if you have maths background, then it may not be very tough!

  37. Murali says


    I’m working in IT for about 12+ yrs now, and recently in Risk related IT system. Just today, I’ve enrolled myself for FRM L1 exam on May 2016 to learn more about Risk. Given my long experience in IT, will having FRM help in getting a role on the business side?

    Is the GAARP notes enough to prepare or is Schweser or Bionic Turtle recommended in addition/instead of GAARP, if the GAARP notes happens to be dry and huge.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      GARP notes are great! but it is always beneficial to additionally prepare from Schweser / Bionic turtle as they are quick and to the point.

  38. Dhruve Bhatelia says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am currently working with Morgan Stanley, Testing team (Internal Audit for Operational Risk for the last 2 years almost. I have cleared Level 1 FRM in May and will appear Level 2 in May 2016. Can you advise me how to approach the Level 2. I have schweser and BT.

    • Dhruve Bhatelia says

      Also, will my experience count? Can you advise me the plan of action from now to May 20th 2016.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Practice. Try to finish the course early and appear for as many mock tests as possible.

  39. siddharth eesary says

    Hi Sir,
    I am a computer science student and working as asset and liability management analyst full-time. I am interested to write FRM, Is it possible to work for ~3 and half months and hit the exam in MAY 2016. If it is so how much time I have to invest every day to pass. If I read only SCHWESER material and do their practise questions for exam it would be fine or I have to go through any other material.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Yes, you have ample time to make a reasonable attempt. Schweser is enough as of now (given the time limitation)

  40. Himanshu Awasthi says

    Hi Dheeraj, I am a Chartered Accountant, CAIIB (Treasury Management), Certified Info System Banker, working with a top nationalized bank for past 4.5 years as Manager(Credit). Planning to take FRM part I in June 2016. Is it advisable for me to go for it?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      yes you can if you want to stay relevant with Risk Management practices.

  41. Abhishek says


    I am presently working in a bank in retail division for last 10 years and have been handling a Branch head profile for the last 2 years. It would be kind of you if you can clarify below points:

    1) Does FRM suits my current work experience?
    2) Does my experience count for FRM?


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Abhishek,

      1. You should go for FRM only if you have interest in Risk Management. I am not sure it directly compliments your current profile of Branch Head.
      2. Your experience as Branch Head may not count. However, it is best to seek a response from GARP directly. You can drop them an email and they would respond.


  42. Ayush Jain says

    Hi , I want to know if I can give frm exam side by side my under graduation 2nd year Bcom(hons) or if there are any other professional courses that I can pursue other than frm ?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Ayush, you can take FRM exam along with your graduation. Other exams like CFA etc have graduation as a minimum eligibility criteria.

  43. Javier says

    Hi Dheeraj, I have been working as a Treasury Analyst at a trading desk for the past 3 years and I have been thinking of getting either CFA or FRM as my position deals a lot with liquidity and risk management. I’m a 39 year old looking to advance in my career and I can’t afford to waste time in getting a designation that wouldn’t help at this point. I really appreciate any advice in this matter.

    Thanks in advance!


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Javier, FRM will surely help you not only in terms of knowledge but also earning credibility to your CV and experience.

  44. Anand kumar says

    I am planning to give FRM I in Nov 2016,I am working as Manager-Credit Risk in one of reputed financial services company and has more than 5 years of experience in building statistical models such as Logistic Regression, Forecasting technique, score card development using sas, sql and VBA in Insurance and Telecom industry.I am also a CFA but last 5 years i have been working in Predictive analytics and my core competency is statistics. I want to know that, does this experience will count after FRM.

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Anand, I guess your work experience may count. However, i think it is best to check with GARP on the same.

      All the very best!

  45. Ashish says

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Currently Im preparing for actuarial exams and i have done my MBA in insurance and risk management,I am working as business analyst in IT consulting firm from last 6 months. Do you think FRM will help me to get a Job in Financial Risk Management Industry..? As i have completely unrelated work experience….


    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Ashish,

      the answer to your question is a BIG YES!. please go ahead and take FRM exam, it will add lot of value to your profile.


  46. Gaurav Solanky says

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for insight on FRM exam pattern and things we should consider before writing the exam. I am working as analyst in Derivatives and planning to write it in May-2016, is it okay if I start studying with 2014 Schweser material as latest one will come in next year Feb.

    let me know your thoughts upon this. Thanks.

    • Dheeraj says

      Yes Gaurav,

      the curriculum does change a bit but normally the changes are not earth shattering. You can refer to your 2014 Schweser notes and make note of changes when they come with the new material.

      all the very best for your FRM exam,

  47. sulley samo says

    I have a degree in actuarial science from Ghana and want to know how easy/ difficult it might be for
    me as am coming from the production field.

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Sulley, if you are actuarial science student, then you will not find FRM to be very difficult.

      All the very best,

  48. Syed Noman Ahmed says

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj

    First of all, I would like to thank you and appreciate your effort for putting all of this information together. It is really useful for anyone who is getting prepared for FRM exams (I am also the one in that list for May 2016 :) ).

    So actually I would like to know your opinion about how the FRM Certification is gonna help someone who works in a Software House which purely builds applications and models used in Valuation and Stress Testing for Loans Portfolios of a Bank. I know the concepts addressed in FRM’s curriculum are exactly what needed in Valuation and Risk Business but how is the market prospects for an FRM in a financial technology services providing company?

    Thanks in advance for your time and support.


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Syed, Thanks!

      I think FRM will surely help in terms of gaining knowledge for Risk Management and Stress testing in Banks. Given that Risk plays a very important role in Banks, I think it should play an equally important role in those servicing the banks like the Financial Tech companies. With this, I think FRM should be a great credential to acquire.

  49. Khushbu Dubey says

    I am planning to give FRM I in May 2016,I am working as Relationship manager- Equity at HDFC Securities and has 1 year of experience. I want to know that, does this experience will count after FRM.


    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Khushbu,

      I am not sure if this experience would count or not. The best way to check is to drop GARP a question on the same.


  50. sai krishna says

    Thanks for the info..May i know what are the works that are taken as 2 years work experience

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Sai, the key here is the “relevant work experience”. This implies those who are working in Banks, Treasury, Credit or taking care of Risk Management in their organization should be considered as relevant work experience.

  51. s.jain says

    i have cleared my ipcc exam of ca ….and i have already registered for frm part1 exam for november attempt also i have taken classes in edupristine choaching classes(video) i have a less knowledge about the quants…..sir can u tell me how i can well prepare for frm part 1 in a short period of time… i have the material of swcheccer and edupristine…sir please tell me how many hours i have to devote for frm part 1 exam

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Subham,

      Unfortunatley, no short cuts to success here! You need to devote the number of hours required to go through the material first and atleast do one revision. Can’t be sure of how much time you may take in this process.

      All the very best,


  52. Riaz says

    Hello Dheeraj,

    I am planning to take on FRM level 1 in 2016 but I do not have any experience in Risk Management side. I am working on the Banking Operations with no knowledge of Financial Risk.

    If i go through the GARP Books or Schweser Notes by myself. Will I be able to pass the exam as I could not find any tuition or coaching available. I have educational background of MBA Finance. I also intend to take up CFA but I have decided to take it after FRM.

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Riaz, if you are MBA Finance, then you will not have much problem with FRM. The GARP books and Schweser notes cover the curriculum extensively.
      All the very best,

      • Rohit says


        Could you please confirm if there are any good coaching centers for FRM ?

        if yes, can you help with some names..

        Also, I didnt understand about the passing criteria for this exam, can you help on this one as well..

        Thanks Rohit

        • Dheeraj Vaidya says

          Hi Rohit, where are you looking for coaching – In india?

          GARP doesn’t disclose any passing criteria. Just that you should ensure that you do fair in each sections. Overall Passing rate for Part 1 is around 50% (out of 100 students, around 50 pass the exam).

  53. Maarika says

    I would like to appreciate you for the help provided through this blog post. Can you guide me as to how difficult is FRM L1 compared to CFA L1 in terms of the preparation level required?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Maarika,

      It depends on your background. If you have an accounting background, then you may find CFA easier. If you have quant background, then you may find FRM L1 easier.


  54. Uttkarsh says

    Thanks for the advice that you have provided through this article. It answers all my doubts I had regarding the FRM exam. Iam sure with this I will be able to plan out my studies for the exam in May really well :)

  55. Aaron says

    Please if you can let us know the most important topics we should concentrate for both levels of FRM?

  56. Benson says

    Dear dheeraj

    I work as a credit risk analyst. I wish to appear for both the levels together in may. Is it advisable or should I concentrate on one level at a time?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Benson,

      It totally depends on you only. If you have sufficient time for preparation, then you can go for both the levels at once. However, if you think that you may not have enough time to invest, my advise would be to take one level at a time.

      Hope it helps.

    • Isana says

      Dear Benson,

      As a past FRM student who “did” attempt both levels at once, I do not recommend it.
      As Dheeraj has rightly pointed out, this is not a college level exam and requires a lot of preparation. Also, the exam itself is exhausting for your brain and body. Imagine 8 hours of sitting stiffly and staying alert!

      Yes, it is possible but why do it? you just have to wait 6 months for the next level and it can be covered at a decent pace.

      Good luck!

  57. Pj says

    Hello Dheeraj

    I am hoping to take the november exam, i am currently working as a quantitative analyst, will the FRM add any value to my role. i would also like to know how possible is it to pass the FRM with just the GARP notes and practice tests, as I see on most people recommend the schweser as thee best notes.

    Thank you.

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi, FRM will definitely add lot of value to your resume. It is possible to pass the FRM exam with just the GARP notes provided you have read and understood those thoroughly. Advantage of Schweser kind of notes is that they are great time savers and help you to focus on the important topics from examination point of view.
      Eitherways, if you study and plan well, you should pass FRM exam!
      All the best,

  58. Anil Anand says

    Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for your valuable inputs on FRM. I am Working with a Bank as Credit Manager and I am not from Maths Background. I want to know whether my experience will be counted or not and How I can prepare for Quants Section?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      If you are working as a credit manager, then i think your experience may count. Best is to seek guidance from GARP on this.
      Also, preparing for Quant is not easy. Take access to GARP books as well as prep provider notes. Allocating more time to quant can help you a bit on this.

  59. vasu jain says

    The article was very helpful. Thank you
    i am in my 2nd year of graduation….can i appear for the exam?

  60. William says

    Thanks for your great articles, may I ask that I fail in part 1 in May and want to take it back in November, if I take the part 2 next year, if it need to pay the enrollment fee again?

  61. Anish says

    I am working in a trade surveillance role at an investment bank under the compliance division . Will the frm certification help

    • Dheeraj says

      Yes Anish, this FRM exam focuses on all kinds of risks including operational, credit and financial risks. Taking FRM will definitely boost your career.

  62. shubham rathi says

    i am undergraduate student and want to pursue for FRM course. so i need your opinion regarding what job should i do after my graduation that will be relevant experience for this course.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      considering working for banks in the risk management division or as a credit analyst etc.

  63. Patricia Williams says

    Awesome information on FRM sir.. but sir as in this competitive market what do you feel that, does FRM designation stands ahead of CFA or is it vice-a versa?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Patricia, for a moment, let us forget about interests within Finance. If this is so, then CFA has a much wider appeal and global acceptance as compared to FRM.

  64. yash says

    Hi Sir,
    Article was very helpful. I am currently working as a financial analyst and i am specialized in performing equity valuation of privately held companies. I am confused whether my experience will be counted for FRM or not.Please help

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Yash, you can try. I think your experience would get counted.


  65. Rajgopal says

    Great article! Please post most important Topics we should concentrate for both levels of FRM …

  66. Omkar Mehta says

    I have completed the CFA Level 1 and Level 2 a year back. Now I am considering appearing for both levels of the FRM in November 2015 and was wondering how many study hours I should estimate. Will the CFA preparation help?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Omkar, your CFA preparation may not help much here as FRM is all about Risk management and quantitative stuff. You may have to put anywhere between 150-200 hours for each FRM level.

  67. Namit Shah says

    Thanks for this post. I have been following your blog from quiet sometime now and find it really interesting. So please continue doing this cz it really helps. I am now preparing for my FRM Part 1 November exam and want to know which would be the best financial calculator for the exam?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Namit, many thanks.

      The financial calculators permitted by GARP are Texas Instruments BA II Plus, Hewlett Packard 10B II,10B II+,20B and Hewlett Packard 12C. You may use either of them. I bought the Texas BA II and found that it was very easy in usage.


      • Namit Shah says

        Thank you Sir!

        • Dheeraj says

          Thank you Namit!

  68. Sahil Khandelwal says

    Thank you Sir for this amazing article. My question is: What is the value of having both the CFA and the FRM?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Sahil,

      Apart from the knowledge in both the fields – Risk Management (through FRM) and Investment management (through CFA), its a great resume bullet point. It will be easier for you to get shortlists in the company of your choice.

      All the very best,

  69. Shrimay says

    Many thanks for sharing such good information..I wish to pursue both CFA and FRM..Will it advisable to appear for CFA and FRM Level 1 simultaneously?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hi Shrimay,

      taking the exam simultaneously is technically possible as the exam dates don’t clash. However, I hope you understand that the efforts required would double up. If you are willing to go that extra mile to prepare for both the exams, nothing like it.

      All the very best,

  70. Amit Banerjee says

    I thoroughly enjoyed this extremely well equipped article about FRM. I am a huge fan of wallStreetMojo, and have found a place that will answer my questions. I have gone through all the articles on this site and found that all are superb in their own ways. Keep up the good work.

    • Dheeraj says

      Thanks Amit. I am glad you like the FRM article. :-)

  71. ARINJAY says

    Super excellent,
    very finely differentiated and presented. I hope very soon you will start a course that would be sub-FRM and it will cover all types of risks and its different Matrices of Modeling with practical examples.

    Thanks for update !

    • Dheeraj says

      Thakn you Arinjay!

  72. Neeraj says

    Excellent Article Quite Insightfull

    • Dheeraj says

      Thank you Neeraj :-)

  73. Noor says


    Thanks for your wonderful article. I am FRM aspirant. I am working for UK’s largest bank as technology lead under Risk domain. My main responsibility involves delivering changes to BASEL III – Credit grading/decision application. Though i am not involved at risk model analysis, etc., but i have application knowledge as how whole things work together. Not sure whether this is appropriate knowledge to be considered for FRM?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Noor,

      Many thanks for the appreciation. Your experience on Basel III and risk application knowledge will definitely get counted!
      All the very best for your FRM examination. When do you plan to take this?


  74. Tarun says

    Hi, Thanks for the article. So informative. I am currently pursuing Chartered Accountancy Final level. How would FRM course add any value to a Chartered Accountant in terms of career opportunities?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Tarun,
      Most CA’s opt for CFA exam as both are complementary. Just that CFA is focussed for IB, Portfolio Mgmt, Asset Mgmt kind of roles. If you have very keen interest in FRM, then only should you opt for FRM.

  75. shri says

    Thanks for such interesting article. I am working in financial planning firm in backend role. Will CFA or FRM add any value in my career in future?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Not sure of if any of this will add value. If you are working for a financial planning firm, then CFP is the right exam to look at.

  76. Shreyans Garge says

    An Excellent article for anyone who wants to know about FRM!!!
    My query is- I work in a non banking financial institution and my job involves performing basic analysis to clients creditworthiness like calculating some simple ratios and ensuring that they meet the lending criteria. Would basic analysis like this be considered as appropriate experience?

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Shreyans, thanks for your query. If you are involved in measuring the creditworthiness of the company, then you do have a relevant experience. Remember that FRM has one of the core topics as Credit Risk.

  77. Shalmali Desai says

    Thanks for the great info. I was wondering if the CFA LEVEL 1 notes that i already have with me would suffice for the FRM exam 1 preparation and if yes, in which subjects.

    • Dheeraj says

      Hello Shalmali,
      CFA Level 1 notes are different from FRM notes in many ways. I think the best approach for you is to get teh FRM exam prep notes and study directly from the those.

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