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How to get started with the Energy Risk Professional exam

Do you plan to be working in the energy industry? Are you interested in the ERP designation but don't know if it is for you? Or have you already registered for the Energy Risk Professional exam and don't know how to study effectively? Don't worry, you have come to the right place. There are many links in the text below, and all of them will open in a new window or tab so you don't lose this page. I will take you step by step through the most important points when it comes to preparing for the ERP exam, what to do, what to avoid and - most importantly - where to start!

If you would like to find out what exactly the ERP is, please read the ERP FAQ on this page first. If you have decided to go for it, you can register for the exam directly with the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) here. Once you've done all this, let's get started with your exam preparation.

Get the right study material

The summarize your arsenal of reading material:

  • Original GARP reading material for the ERP
  • ViveraRISK Concept Checkers for the ERP

GARP has compiled a syllabus for ERP candidates. It consists of academic papers and specific chapters from other publications about physical aspects of energy, financial and economic basics of the industry, and risk management and mitigation. The original study material is required reading, so you should absolutely invest in this package. It's not cheap (about $500 in digital form), but in the long run, it's worth it. You can get the original reading material directly from GARP here. On the same page, there is also a study plan and AIM statements that help you study. You should download them as well, they are provided for free.

As a study complement, you should get the ViveraRISK Concept Checkers for the ERP exam. They are based on the AIM statements and the original reading but summarize the most important concepts that you have to know for the exam. You should use them to practice and reinforce the material after you have read the original reading material from GARP, or you can use them together and go side by side. Get the ViveraRISK Concept Checkers here. You can also subscribe for a free sample in the box on the right hand side.

                     ViveraRISK ERP Concept Checkers
Organize the material and make a study plan

As you will find out, the required reading material is vast. It's very important to organize it properly and get an overview, otherwise you will get lost. You should start at least six months before the exam with your preparation, otherwise it will be stressful. It can of course still be done, especially if you already have experience with the subject matter or already work in energy, but it's really much better to have enough time on your hands. You should be finished with the original reading material at least one month before the exam, so give yourself only five months to read everything.

To make a study plan, calculate your available time, for example, let's say you plan to study on four days per week for five months, that would be 4 x 4 x 5 = 80 days available for reading. Divide the number of pages of the reading material by this number to find out how much material you have to cover per day. Then strictly follow your plan, otherwise you will fall behind. During reading, make notes and summaries that you can use later to practice and reinforce the most important concepts.

Final stretch: Practice for the exam

In the last month before the exam, use these summaries you made together with the ViveraRISK Concept Checkers in the last month. Also solve as many practice exams as possible. In the GARP site there are a few available for free, but they are not full-length exams. You should really solve at least one full-length ERP practice exam that really emulates exam day. You can get such a practice exam here.

                     Energy Risk Professional Practice Exam
What not to do

You should make sure you understand all the concepts in the original reading material. You don't have to be an expert, but you should grasp the overall gist of all the concepts. Let's say you really have trouble understanding VAR, don't just gloss over it and hope there will be no questions about VAR. Find other sources that can explain you the concepts you don't understand, look it up on wikipedia and other online sources.

On the other hand, avoid going too deep into specific concepts. Once you understand the overall idea, move on and get the next topic under your belt. Time is scarce when you prepare for the exam, so don't waste it by drilling into the footnotes of the reading material. The ViveraRISK Concept Checkers also help you save time because they summarize the most important concepts briefly.

Recap and conclusion

Now you know the basic steps that will help you get started for the Energy Risk Professional exam. Congratulations for reading this guide, you are already on the best path to a successful study experience. Most candidates will probably hope they can somehow wing it on the exam, but this is not for you. Take your exam preparation seriously, and you will be rewarded.

The last month is really the most important one because that's where you really go into overdrive and practice all the concepts again. GARP offers some classes for ERP candidates, so if you can, you should attend if they take place in your area. They are costly but will put you in touch with other candidates. If this is not possible for you, at least take advantage of the study material that is available online, such as the ViveraRISK Concept Checkers and the practice exam.

I made a short Youtube movie that shows you my approach to the ERP Exam. Feel free to check it out. I wish you all the best for your preparation and the ERP exam!


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Hello, my name is Alex Janis and I am an Energy Risk Professional with many years experience in energy finance and trading.

I took the ERP exam in 2010 and share with you my experiences and insights preparing for the exam. I hope this info will help you study for the test in an effective way, and I wish you all the best for your ERP preparations.

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