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#2072571 - 04/05/16 08:20 PM CRCM Exam
Anonymous
Unregistered

I'm trying to get some opinions on how long people study for the CRCM Exam. Obviously, this is very dependent on an individual's experience, but a general idea would be helpful. I'm planning on attending the CRCM Bootcamp on May 1st 2016 and then will be taking the exam on May 6th. In other words, I have about 4 weeks remaining to study (including the CRCM Bootcamp). My experience is 8 years as a Deposit Compliance Officer and BSA Officer for our bank; I lack experience in lending compliance.

Thanks.

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#2072574 - 04/05/16 08:30 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Anonymous
Unregistered

Well since you are not a true fully well rounded compliance professional covering all business lines as a CRCM designation might suggest one should be, I have no idea how long one should study considering you have no experience in about 50% of what the examination covers. The designation should show you have a full well rounded experience throughout compliance. Not that you are simply really good at cramming for a test.

I am beginning to wonder what good the certification is anymore. The pool of test takers appears to be highly diluted.

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#2072593 - 04/05/16 11:39 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
ItNeverEnds CRCM Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 992
Looking for my sanity
Originally Posted By Anonymous
Well since you are not a true fully well rounded compliance professional covering all business lines as a CRCM designation might suggest one should be, I have no idea how long one should study considering you have no experience in about 50% of what the examination covers. The designation should show you have a full well rounded experience throughout compliance. Not that you are simply really good at cramming for a test.

I am beginning to wonder what good the certification is anymore. The pool of test takers appears to be highly diluted.


Wow. This was really inappropriate. To the original anon, it's tough to say because only you know how easy/difficult it is to learn and retain information. I would say to refresh your knowledge by going over the areas you know and put the majority of your study time on the Loan areas.

It's a tough exam, good luck!
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- George Carlin

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#2072628 - 04/06/16 02:39 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
justsayjulie Offline
Gold Star
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 293
back home again
I agree, ItNeverEnds, on the inappropriate response from Anonymous.

To the original Anon, ask to borrow the Reference Guide to Regulatory Compliance (hardcopy study guide that comes with the online training course), if anyone in your organization has a copy. The lending section should help you in prepping for the bootcamp.
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#2072641 - 04/06/16 03:35 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
osucpa Offline
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,395
I am amazed someone would make that comment. Maybe they have not had luck at passing the exam and have hard feelings.

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#2072657 - 04/06/16 04:28 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Anonymous
Unregistered

Nope, passed the first time. And I don't think it is inappropriate at all. A certification is meant to show a depth of universal knowledge of a subject or field. There isn't a Loan CRCM or a Deposit CRCM. I'm just stating that I feel it is disengenous to go for a certification in a field that you have little knowledge of 50% or better of.

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#2072658 - 04/06/16 04:28 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Compl101TX Offline
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Compl101TX
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 378
W. TX
I didn't find that comment too inappropriate. The eligibility requirements clearly state that “A minimum of three (3) years of U.S. experience as a compliance professional with primary responsibility for the full range of compliance functions is required.”

If you don’t have any lending experience (3 years) how can you sit for the exam?
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#2072671 - 04/06/16 05:02 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
David Dickinson Offline
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David Dickinson
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 18,762
Central City, NE
I understand how Anon's comment may have seemed harsh, but s/he is also correct. So maybe it's just harsh truth. Compl101TX correctly points out "full range of compliance functions is required."

We also see a lot of "CRCM" in titles here on BOL posts that are very basic questions. Makes me wonder some times.
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http://www.bankerscompliance.com

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#2072676 - 04/06/16 05:10 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Anonymous
Unregistered

Interesting discussion. A lot of people in larger institutions are very specialized, so not many people in the largest organizations have the "full range of experience." Most of my experience has been in Corporate Compliance, Enterprise Compliance Risk Management, and Corporate Operational Risk, so I had oversight over the full range, but I didn't deep dive on a daily basis. Frankly, my roles have been more focused on aggregating and reporting risk than writing detailed compliance program procedures or developing a deep understanding of the covered regulations.

To the original poster, I only attended the National Compliance School for my first attempt and failed the exam by two points (needed a 71 and I got a 69). On my second attempt, I studied sporadically for a couple months and really crammed for about three weeks before the exam, then I passed by 9 points (needed a 69 to pass and got a 78). I'm also a lawyer and a member of the bar, so I've covered some topics in CLE and some of the concepts, like protected classes and disparate impact, are kind of addressed in a few different law school courses.

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#2072729 - 04/06/16 07:22 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Rocky P Online
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,201
Florida
Interesting discussion. A lot of people in larger institutions are very specialized, so not many people in the largest organizations have the "full range of experience."

I knew one compliance officer at one of the mega banks that was eventually responsible "only" for on line applications - nothing else. Very limited, but he was probably a subject matter expert.

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#2072742 - 04/06/16 07:51 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Anonymous
Unregistered

Wow. I'm the original poster of this thread that has sparked some controversy. I should have made myself more clear, I do have lending compliance experience but my focus is on BSA and Operational Compliance. Our institution is large enough we have a dedicated Lending Compliance Officer.

Thanks for the insights.

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#2072763 - 04/06/16 08:38 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
trout22 Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 313
FWIW: My experience was that a good deal of real-life experience is much more important than hours spent studying, as the questions were more based upon the "best answer" or "most important" or "first step". Yes you have to have the book knowledge but to get the answer right you also need logic and to be able to apply it to the situation.

How long did I study? I had the Reference Guide to Regulatory Compliance so I maybe dedicated 5 hrs to research/study and I passed by a decent margin. Full disclosure, my peers said I'd have no trouble so I didn't worry too much about studying in advance and by the time I sat for the test, I was in a different role so it didn't really matter if I passed.

But my take-away from the experience was this: I'm not the most experienced compliance professional so for me to breeze through it, I was left with the feeling that having the designation maybe isn't as prestigious as it was cracked up to be.

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#2072802 - 04/07/16 12:58 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
osucpa Offline
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,395
A lot of us have different professional certifications, it doesn't mean we use every part of the certification on a regular basis.

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#2072813 - 04/07/16 01:31 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
#Just Jay Offline
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#Just Jay
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,387
Cheeseheadland
Agreed, but you should have prior and working knowledge of the subject matter prior to obtaining or earning such a certification, this I will agree with Anon and others with.
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#2072841 - 04/07/16 03:30 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Ishmael Offline
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Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 23
My experience is similar to the original poster's, but my experience was in lending at community banks, with no practical deposit or BSA/AML experience. I had 5 years of experience (4 in community banks, 1 in a national bank) when I took the test, and I was always interested in deposits and BSA/AML, took all the trainings available through my banks, read articles, etc. I'm a lawyer, too, and real comfortable with sitting still and creating and studying outlines, doing flashcards, etc. from law school.

I went to a 1 week ABA-run school and studied 2-3 hours daily for a month before the test. I passed comfortably. Friends at work without the sort of experiences I got doing compliance in smaller banks--consulting the eCFR, reading Staff Interpretations, properly disclosing construction loans, scrubbing a LAR, etc.--also passed. In a way it was a letdown that this test I'd been really campaigning to take for 3 or 4 years could be passed easily by people with a totally different background/skills, but then again, there's many ways to skin a cat, and many different skills needed to manage a compliance program. I think it's nearsighted to think otherwise.

It sounds doable for you. Good luck!

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#2072872 - 04/07/16 05:11 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
ACBbank Offline
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ACBbank
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,950
New York City
I know really, really smart compliance professionals who don't have CAMS, CRCM or any other letters after their name. Some of who post quite often on these forums.

Don't get caught up in the alphabet soup nonsense.
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#2072878 - 04/07/16 05:54 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Anonymous
Unregistered

Well this was a very disheartening thread to read....I just passed the exam with a very respectable score and was very proud of the accomplishment...I studied extremely hard for several months....I have worked in compliance for several years and my job touches all the regulations....however, I by no means consider myself any kind of expert and do at times have to ask very basic questions on the BOL threads...for that reason I will not add the designation that I worked very hard for to my name on here...I was looking for a thread to share that I passed and celebrate the accomplishment with others....this thread totally deflated me.....

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#2072879 - 04/07/16 05:56 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Skittles Offline
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Skittles
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 13,935
TN
Don't let this deflate you. What you accomplished is an amazing milestone and you should be proud. Congratulations!!
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#2072891 - 04/07/16 06:15 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Soccer Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,002
Utopia
What Skittles just said. Congrats! it is a huge accomplishment, I too just recently passed this test and I just had an examiner basically tell me so what. Well guess what? I did it for me and no one else.
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#2072894 - 04/07/16 06:27 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Anonymous
Unregistered

Thanks, Skittles and Soccer........Soccer....I did it for me too....it was a goal set for myself when I first started out in compliance....and I am proud of myself for having done it....I learned an awful by studying all the material....did I need it all for the exam...no....but it made me even more well rounded....it's no big deal around here at the bank...but I'm still glad I did it.....just won't advertise it on here...

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#2072898 - 04/07/16 06:42 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
osucpa Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,395
Any professional certification is something to be proud of. Use that designation proudly you earned it, especially juggling work, family and studies.

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#2072971 - 04/07/16 10:17 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
SMQ, CRCM Offline

Power Poster
SMQ, CRCM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,828
Between the lines
Anon, congrats on passing, it is an accomplishment and share those initials with pride. You earned it!

As for some of the other comments, we all have different experiences and backgrounds in banking. Sometimes this helps more on the exam than you would think. Some people have a greater ability to remember everything they read while others have to study harder. And some people just test better or guess better than the next person.

It doesn't devalue the certification just because it might have been easier for you to get a better score than you anticipated. And don't let the fact that some did not work as hard for it as you did make you feel that it was not an accomplishment. Lots of people do not pass, they just don't talk about it.

Congrats to everyone that passed!!!
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#2072991 - 04/08/16 12:56 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
Cyndi12, CRCM Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 54
Houston, TX
Thanks SMQ! Like Anon, it was a very disheartening thread to read, especially since I received my test results on Wednesday and I PASSED! I spent many months and long hours studying, researching, asking lots of questions and taking the 10-week online course in preparation for the exam. I'm extremely proud of this accomplishment and all the hard work it took to obtain this certificate. I’ve decided not to allow others who may devalue this certification to dampen this exciting moment of a goal that I set out to accomplish almost a year ago. Congratulations to all the others who recently took the test and passed.

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#2072998 - 04/08/16 01:10 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
rlcarey Offline
10K Club
rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 76,933
Galveston, TX
I sometimes love anonymous posters. If they want to disparage the certificate fine, but have the guts to post under your real user name and we will then be able to determine the depth and knowledge of your skills to see if you just got lucky or actually have the "well rounded" skills as you claim.

For those of you who take the time and energy to study appropriately and use that opportunity to broaden your compliance skills, pass or fail, congratulations. It's not the test itself that is the most valuable lesson learned in the process.
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#2073015 - 04/08/16 02:03 PM Re: CRCM Exam Anonymous
happyauditor Offline
Platinum Poster
happyauditor
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 804
NY
Please also note that some banks may not offer all the product/service types with regulations specific to those products/services covered in the CRCM...does that mean you should not sit for the test and should not be awarded the CRCM designation? Example: Does every bank engage in consumer leasing (regulation M) which is covered in the exam? No. But that should not preclude someone from taking the exam and obtaining the certification. That's my two cents. Congrats to all those who passed.
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