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FRM® Exam Prep Blog

Welcome to the Kaplan Schweser FRM® Exam Prep public blog. This blog is dedicated to a single overriding purpose—to help FRM candidates understand and communicate about the FRM Exam throughout the year. With that in mind, we invite postings and comments that further this goal.

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Essential Strategies on Exam Day: What to Do With a Difficult Question on the FRM® Exam

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on October 14, 2014

There will undoubtedly be questions that give you trouble. You might not understand the question, may think that none of the answers make sense, or simply may not know the concept being tested. The following tips will prove to be useful if you find yourself facing a difficult question.

  •  If the question does not make sense, or if none of the answers look remotely correct, reread the question to see if you missed something. If you are still unsure, mark an answer choice and move…

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Essential Strategies on Exam Day: Answering FRM® Exam Questions

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on September 23, 2014

Read the question carefully! Watch for double negatives like, "Which of the following is least likely a disadvantage..." It is very important not to miss words, or parts of words, by reading too quickly (e.g., reading "most likely" instead of "least likely," or "advantages" instead of "disadvantages").

For non-numerical questions, read all answer choices. Don't just stop when you get to one that sounds right. There may be a better choice.

For long questions, dissect the bits of…

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Essential FRM® Exam Preparation Strategy #5: Final Preparation

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on August 05, 2014

Have a well-defined strategy for the last weeks before the exam. If at all possible, it is best to take some leave from your job. You should save at least one practice exam for the last week. To simulate the real exam, you should avoid looking at this exam or studying questions from it until you are ready to sit down and take it for the first time. Take this exam early in the final week. Time yourself so you can get a feel for the time constraints and pressure of exam day. Remember,…

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Essential FRM® Exam Preparation Strategy #4: “Characteristic” Lists

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on July 22, 2014

A common source of specific questions is identifying the characteristics of various securities, models, and valuation methods. A typical question format would be "Which of the following most accurately describes...?" Here, a big-picture approach can help you weed out wrong answers. Also, some candidates use mnemonics to help them remember lists of characteristics or lists of pros and cons.

Next Essential Exam Preparation Strategy topic: Final Preparation

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Essential FRM® Exam Preparation Strategy #3: Formulas

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on July 08, 2014

In some cases, you will be given a question where the answer can be obtained by using a formula and a fairly lengthy calculation; however, you may also be able to identify the correct answer without a calculation, if you truly understand the concept or relationship being tested. With any formula you encounter in the required readings, you should try to gain a clear understanding of what it is telling you (when it is appropriate to use it) and the relationship among the various input…

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Essential FRM® Exam Preparation Strategy #2: Know the Main Concepts

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on June 24, 2014

It is important to identify those concepts that are most likely to be covered on the exam. In any given year, some concepts might be omitted, but if you can answer most of the questions concerning these main concepts, you will dramatically increase your chance of passing. Generally, the idea is to be correct on most of the questions dealing with the important concepts, and then rely on your "big picture" knowledge to get points on the remaining material.

Next Essential Exam…

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Essential FRM® Exam Preparation Strategy #1: The Big Picture

By Eric Smith, CFA, FRM | Posted on June 10, 2014

Focusing on the big picture means you should know at least a little about every concept. For example, even if you don't know the formula for effective duration, at least know that effective duration is a measure of interest rate risk. By remembering basic information on exam day, you will be able to narrow your answer choices. You probably won't answer many questions correctly with only a basic grasp of the concepts, but you can improve your odds on a multiple-choice question from 25%…

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