Bionic Turtle FRM Review

RATING: ★★★★★

Bionic Turtle was one of the first FRM preparation providers to instruct with videos and e-learning tools.  Founded by David Harper in 2004, the owner continues to write practice exam questions and tests them out on the world’s most active FRM forum that Bionic Turtle has developed.

The company’s goal is to provide high quality materials at a reasonable price. The study planner, study notes, instructional videos, practice questions and student forum deliver a well-rounded package that prepares you for the FRM exam.


1. Instructional Videos

bionic turtle videosBionic Turtle’s videos focus on the most important concepts and distill the more complex topics which makes them easier to understand. The FRM requires a high level of quantitative skills. Many concepts are hard to understand without visual demonstrations, so the videos help you comprehend the material better.

Its high quality videos are colorful and well-designed. Complex concepts are explained in a straightforward and clear language, and a yellow “spotlight” that moves over words and concepts helps direct your attention to specific points.

2. Excellent Study Materials

Its study planner helps you create a personalized plan and gives you an easy way to bookmark resources. The study planner is also searchable if you are looking for information about a specific topic. FRM study materials include daily questions, videos, learning spreadsheets, study notes, focus review videos, quizzes, and practice question sets. You can check out the free samples of all materials on the company’s website.

3. Question Bank

The large practice question database contains thousands of practice questions which are continuously updated (often by founder David Harper himself). You can find thousands of questions on the forum, or you can choose the packaged Question Sets that come with the paid courses. Question Sets come in PDF bundles.

4. Huge Community Forum

bionicturtleYou will have ample opportunities to connect with other FRM candidates thanks to the  30,000+ community forum which Bionic Turtle is famous for. The BionicTurtle forum, which has been around for 10 years, includes 3 main sections: The Office, Financial Risk Manager, and FRM Practice Questions. The first two are free to everyone, but the practice questions can only be accessed by subscribers.

The Office area posts announcements and daily practice questions. Financial Risk Manager includes a group of individual forums that cover basic information about FRM and more specific forum domains dedicated to individual components covered on the exam and how they are weighted. The FRM Practice Question Forum (locked until you purchase the course) includes practice questions and solutions.

5. Price

Bionic Turtle is one of the more affordable FRM prep courses. Considering the number of options and time allowed to access the program, Bionic Turtle’s courses offer the best overall value out of the courses we’ve reviewed. You can also go to their discount page to submit a request for an additional discount if you qualify (full-time students, purchased another product from Bionic Turtle or a different company).

6. Access for 1 Year

One of the most attractive features of Bionic Turtle’s platform is that you receive access to materials for a full year. This should be more than enough time if you make a study plan and stick to it. A three-month extension is also available for an additional fee. I highly recommend that you sign up for a Free-Trial to get a first hand look at their study materials.


 1. No Hard Copy Materials

All study materials are available electronically, and there is no option to buy a hard copy textbook. Materials can be downloaded and printed out, but that can be cumbersome.

2. Does Not Include All GARP Curriculum

Some resources and readings that appear in the GARP curriculum are not covered in Bionic Turtle’s study courses. This is a deliberate choice on the company’s part. Bionic Turtle does not review every reading on the GARP syllabus because the FRM syllabus includes so many concepts that there is no way that every concept will be tested for on the exam. Readings also frequently change from one exam to the next. Bionic Turtle focuses on the most important concepts and practices instead.

Ideal User

bionic turtle frm prepBionic Turtle offers an efficient and effective review course for FRM clients who already have some experience in the field. If you have a lot of experience, Bionic Turtle’s review course may be the only resource required.

However, you may want to use the GARP core books and other study materials in addition to Bionic Turtle, especially if you are looking for a more comprehensive and all-encompassing review that includes all of the suggested readings and concepts. In other words, if you are not as familiar with the topics and lack some experience, you may prefer to supplement Bionic Turtle’s review course with other study aids.

My Suggestion

Students who have enrolled in one of Bionic Turtle’s review courses have high praise for the materials and give the company a lot of credit for helping them pass the FRM exams. The forum is a great resource that you should check out. There is a wealth of information about the exam, study hints, practice questions, and other useful strategies that are sure to cover everything.

The Study Notes and videos are also excellent and really help you focus on the concepts that matter most. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has a good foundation and is serious about passing the FRM exam on their first try!


Basic Course
Price: $249/year for Part 1 or Part 2; $399/year for both Part 1 & Part 2.
Includes: Full Forum Access, Question Sets, and Study Notes.

Advanced Course
Price: $349/year for Part 1 or Part 2; $599/year for both Part 1 & Part 2.
Includes: Full Forum Access, Question Sets, Study Notes, Instructional Videos and Interactive Quizzes.

Professional Course
Price: $449/year for Part 1 or Part 2; $799/year for both Part 1 & Part 2.
Includes: Full Forum Access, Question Sets, Study Notes, Instructional Videos, Interactive Quizzes, Focus Review Videos, and Learning Spreadsheets.

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