What to Do with Difficult FRM® Exam Questions

By: Eric Smith, CFA, FRM
January 13, 2021
FRM exam answer sheet with a question mark in the answer box

No matter how good your FRM exam preparation strategy is, there will undoubtedly be questions on the FRM® Exam that give you trouble. It is very difficult to generalize FRM Exam questions. Some are straightforward, some look straightforward but have a trick to them, and some may be worded in a confusing way. As a result, you might be getting anxious. This article looks at the most common questions related to difficult FRM Exam questions and answers them for you.

What should I do if I don’t understand the FRM® Exam 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 on. Don’t agonize over it and waste precious time that can be allocated to easier questions.

If I don’t know the answer, should I leave it blank?

Never leave an answer blank. A blank answer has a maximum point value of zero. A randomly marked answer has an expected value of 0.25 points, and if you can eliminate one bad answer, this value increases to 0.33 points. You will not be penalized for wrong answers.

Are you planning to pursue FRM® certification? Download the free Before You Sit for the FRM® Exam eBook for advice from successful FRM professionals.

What if I can’t decide which answer is the best?

If you are unable to determine the “best” answer, you still should be able to help your odds. Try to eliminate one answer choice and then take an educated guess.

What do I do if it seems like a lot of the questions are hard or confusing?

Do not lose your confidence over tough questions. Keep in mind that GARP’s objective is to evaluate your grasp of the FRM material, not to confuse or frustrate you with difficult questions. So, don’t panic. Instead, remind yourself of the concepts and techniques you reviewed and practiced. Pick the one you think might best apply to each hard question, and see if it works, pick an answer, and move on.

You can also take some comfort in the fact that the FRM exams are likely graded on a curve. If a question gave you trouble, it is quite possible that it was troublesome for many other candidates as well.

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