Posted By: Eric Smith, CFA, FRM
Published: May 2, 2016
Have a well-defined strategy for the last weeks before the FRM® exam. If at all possible, it is best to take some leave from your job. You should save at least one FRM 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 weeks. Time yourself so you can get a feel for the time constraints and pressure of exam day. Remember, you have an average of about 2.5 to 3 minutes per question. When you have completed the entire exam, grade your answers and use these results to identify areas where you need to focus your study efforts over the last few days. You should devote most of your time to areas where you performed poorly, but you should also spend enough time keeping your stronger topics fresh in your mind.
At some point during the week of the exam, it is a good idea to visit the actual exam center. Figure out how long it will take to get to your test center and where you can park. The fewer surprises and distractions you have on exam day, the better.
During the evening before the FRM exam, it is best to avoid cramming. Try to relax and make a concerted effort to get a good night’s sleep. Tired candidates tend to make silly mistakes on the exam. If you are not rested, you will more than likely miss easy points. This seems like an obvious and trite point, but it is difficult to overemphasize the importance of going into the exam well-rested. If for some unfortunate reason, you do not sleep well the night before, do not panic! It happens to the best of us. Sometimes your brain cannot stop thinking about the pressures of the upcoming day. Keep in mind that you can still function and give a solid effort on exam day with just a little sleep (even though it is not recommended).
Expect problems on exam day—not major ones, but be prepared for things like cold or hot exam rooms, excessive noise, long lines, and so on. Some of these problems you cannot control, but if you are prepared for them, they are less likely to affect your exam performance.
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