What Is FRM® Exam Computer-Based Testing Like?

By: Kaplan Schweser
April 6, 2021
FRM candidate taking the exam in CBT format.

The FRM® Exam is now computer-based. So, what is the FRM exam computer based training like? And what should you expect from a computer-based training (CBT) FRM exam? This article answers these questions.

Scheduling Your CBT FRM® Exam

To schedule an exam, you can log into or create a GARP account, go to “My Programs,”  and click on the Exam Setup button to schedule. Candidates must have a paid registration in order to schedule and may only reschedule their appointment once. The last day to change your exam site is April 8 for the May and July exams, and October 20 for the November and December exams.

If you need to defer an exam to the next available exam month, log in to your account, go to “My Programs,” and click on the Exam Setup button. Candidates must have a paid registration in order to change exam months and may only do so once for a fee of USD $200. The last day to switch your exam month is March 31 for the May/July Exams, and September 30 for the November/December Exams. 

Before Exam Day: Study Materials

Start studying as soon as possible. Begin preparing for the FRM exam as far out from the exam date as you can. Allow for 200–240 hours over a few months, making sure to structure your study plan and preparation. Candidates are more likely to succeed with a carefully constructed study program. If you’re not sure how or where to start, a good FRM prep package will include a scheduling component that helps you plan what to study and when, as well as plenty of practice to keep your skills sharp.

Make sure time management is part of your FRM study program. You have an average of about 2.5 to 3 minutes per question on the FRM exam. So, as you progress through your study plan and become more confident in your knowledge, work on timing yourself when you’re answering questions and look for calculation shortcuts.

Learn your calculator, and practice with it. Familiarize yourself with the calculator you’ll use for the exam, configure it properly, and make sure you know all the shortcuts. Make sure to become familiar with how the exam tests your ability to use analytical techniques by answering practice questions and taking mock exams. Save at least one FRM practice exam for the final weeks and treat it as if it were the real thing.

Have a solid plan for staying calm on exam day. You can prevent exam day panic if you have a good plan that includes answering easy questions first, rereading questions that are giving you trouble, and putting your pencil down to take some deep breaths if you are struggling.

Make Sure You Are Allowed In

Be sure to show up about 30 minutes early for your exam time. It is a good idea to map out where the testing center is and figure out how long it will take you to get there. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test. If this happens, then you will not get any kind of exam fee refund, nor will you be able to transfer the fee to a different appointment.

GARP strongly encourages you to bring as few items as possible on exam day. You’ll be asked to leave whatever you have brought with you in a locker, storage bag, or area at the testing center and you’ll be able to collect it after the exam. You may bring one cellular phone into the exam room, but if it makes any type of noise, you won’t be able to complete the exam. You are allowed to have a printed confirmation on your desk during, along with an approved ID and calculator. GARP has a list of what you should not bring with you here. Proctors and security personnel may ask to inspect your belongings at check-in to ensure that prohibited items are not carried into the testing room.

Taking the CBT FRM Exam

Here are some tips for taking the CBT FRM Exam.

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 questions are challenging, so you need to be alert and save time to solve the difficult ones.

Look for easy pickers. These are the questions that have quick solutions. Solving them first will help you save time for other questions and also increase your chances of clearing the sections.

Watch out for lengthy questions. These questions are filled with words, and they require you to take multiple steps to come to a solution. Decide whether you want it to take these at the beginning of the end.

Have Other Questions about CBT and the FRM Exam?

Check out GARP’s FAQ page to learn more about what you should expect going into the exam. You can also ensure you are prepared for the computer-based exam with Kaplan’s preparation packages. We have study options to suit all learning styles! Get started today.

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