We probably owe our reputation to our question sets. Our founder, David Harper, has been writing FRM questions for almost a decade. An average prep provider’s question bank is stale and, frankly, contains questions that are far too easy. That’s because writing good questions is hard work.
Our (Bionic Turtle’s) questions are known for their detail and, often, for their high level of difficulty. Preparing for the exam with questions that are too easy is a common mistake; and a common complaint heard on feedback forums. If you prepare with questions that are too easy, the exam will be frustrating. But our customers never say our questions are too easy!
We scale the questions from average to difficult; some questions are very difficult. This tends to help our customers prepare effectively. However, many of the questions do require more time than the exam. So we do recommend you take practice questions in two ways: first, spend most of your time working questions without regard to the clock. Let yourself practice concepts and drill methods. Learn the material before adding the time component. Second, as the exam nears, then add the timer and shift to our Mock Exams (which tend to employ questions that are nearer to the exam difficult level).
Most of our questions are associated with GARP’s recommended readings. For example, one recommend reading in Financial Markets and Products is Chapter 3 (Hedging Strategies Using Futures) in John Hull’s book called Options, Futures and Other Derivatives (one of the FRM’s most important reference texts!). One of the current Learning Objectives (previously called AIM Statements) associated with this reading is “Explain how to use stock index futures contracts to change a stock portfolio’s beta.” Our Question Set will then contains a question that specifically tests this Learning Objective; in many cases, there will be multiple questions because we’ve covered a reading multiple times.
Some of our questions are more like mini-labs. But that’s a good thing because the FRM is for practitioners, not just exam takers. For example, Hull explains interest rate swap valuation. To conduct a swap valuation is not a task that necessarily fits into a two- or three-minute exam question. So our swap valuation questions involve many steps (and their answers include spreadsheet references!). But it’s highly useful question for a candidate because the exercise involves many steps, each of which individually could be tested. And GARP could ask a conceptual question, for sure, but these are much easier if you’ve actually done the exercise, rather than tried to memorize details.
Further, we often go into great detail explaining the answer. In some cases, David carefully wrote questions to cross-reference other FRM topics, or explore related concepts in the false alternatives. Consequently, many of the questions are rich and deep.
Finally, we include a link in the question’s answer to our forum: each question “began its life” in our private forum! This is a unique feature. It means that if you want to explore a question (and its answer) further, you just click the link to its thread in the forum. Some of our questions have amazing discussions filled with insights! Some of the fundamental FRM concepts are utterly swarmed with insights that will give you much greater confidence heading into the exam.