One of the bigger names in FRM preparation is Bionic Turtle. In this guide, I am going to review Bionic Turtle, both alone, and against competitors such as Schweser, to determine what FRM training course is the best in 2021.
The FRM Exam Timeline
There is a distinct, but relatively simply to understand order that you need to approach the FRM, which is outlined in the FRM timeline. It can be summed up as:
- Study & Preparation: 100 to 400 hours (240 hours average) study time to pass the test.
- Day 1: The clock starts counting the day that you pass FRM exam Part 1.
- 4 Years Later: The deadline to successfully pass the FRM exam Part 2.
- 5 Years After Passing Exam 2: Deadline to verify your 2 years of work experience
As you can see from this FRM infographic, if you really want to stretch things out you can prolong your FRM journey upwards of a decade! However, for those who don’t want to spend 10 years on a single certification, I’ve got good news for you:
Using Bionic Turtle‘s FRM courses, you can study and pass both FRM Exam part 1 and part 2 in less than 6 months! The same can be said of the Schweser FRM courses, so which one is better?
Choosing Bionic Turtle VS Kaplan Schweser for FRM Courses?
Let’s get this out of the way, you will pass the FRM exam & acquire the expert financial knowledge that you need using Bionic Turtle or Schweser as long as you put in the studying time and effort needed.
Since both set of courses will get us to our goal of FRM certification, this forced me consider some different questions like:
- Which course is most cost effective?
- Which course teaches the most information?
- Which course provides more supplemental resources??
- What course will get me through the FRM fastest?
So to settle the debate between Bionic Turtle and Kaplan Schweser, I’ve done my best to explore both offerings to answer those 4 questions.
What Course Is Most Cost Effective?
FRM Part 1 & 2 Courses Combined Costs:
|Plan||Bionic Turtle||Kaplan Schweser|
|Basic / Essential||$399||$798|
|Advanced / Premium||$599||$1,198|
|Professional / Premium Plus||$799||$1,598|
|Overall:||50% Less Expensive||50% More Expensive|
There is no doubt that Kaplan Schweser is currently the top name in FRM preparation, but that also comes with a premium cost compared to Bionic Turtle.
With all other things being equal, the fact that Bionic Turtle cost half as much as Schweser is why we recommend Bionic Turtle over Kaplan Schweser. As someone into Financial Risk Management, I’m sure you can clearly see that Bionic Turtle has the edge when it comes to value.
Buying Part 1 & Part 2 Courses Separately:
Obviously most people taking the FRM have a large gap between part 1 and part 2. In the second part of the value proposition review, we’ll examine the pricing of purchasing courses for Part 1 and Part 2 separately.
|Plan||Bionic Turtle||Kaplan Schweser|
|Basic / Essential||$249||$399|
|Advanced / Premium||$349||$599|
|Professional / Premium Plus||$449||$799|
|Overall:||$150 to $350 Less Expensive.||$150 to $350 More Expensive.|
What Course Teaches the Most Information?
With that said, after having some time using both platforms, it appears that Schweser has slightly more material. However since both services exhaustively cover the FRM exam materials, it doesn’t end up being much of an advantage for Schweser.
What Course Provides More Supplemental Resources?
Hands down, the answer is that Schweser provides more supplemental resources than Bionic Turtle, but these “resources” feel hollow, like they’re just tacked on as a way to regurgitate existing content and make it seem like they’re offering more.
In particular, Schweser has tools that randomizes practice exams from a pool of over 4,000 questions. Realistically, this is comparable to the practice exams that you get from Bionic Turtle, so while Schweser may have this and a few other extra “value added” resources, in practical real-world learning they are both in parity.
One big advantage that Bionic Turtle has is an active community forum that you can join for free. There are literally thousands of topics discussing FRM and an active community. This means you can network, ask specific questions and generally get a response.
What Course Will Get Me Through the FRM Fastest?
Not surprisingly, this turned out to be a tough question to answer. I find that Schweser gives me more tools, but Bionic Turtle seems just as information dense, so there is no clear victor here. Officially I’m calling this one a tie/draw.
The History of Bionic Turtle
12 Years of FRM Training Experience
Bionic Turtle, LLC has focused on FRM exam preparation since it was founded in 2008 by David Harper. Since then Bionic Turtle has continued to supply updated FRM studying material for the annual GARP revisions.
Bionic Turtle YouTube Channel Started in 2008
For over 12 years Bionic Turtle has been uploading videos to YouTube about FRM, with over 500 video published to date. For example, here is an 8 part series on Market Risk (FRM Topic 5):
Free Bionic Turtle FRM Courses
Bionic Turtle allows you to sign up for free. There are actually a number of free FRM resources provided there. Here is a list:
- You can actually try Bionic Turtle for FREE without a credit card.
- You can use their FRM community forums, which is a great searchable resource that you can also reach out to ask any questions you might have.
- There are also 500 Free FRM Videos from Bionic Turtle
Bionic Turtle FRM Exam Preparation Conclusion
When approaching a difficult certification, the question has to be asked: is it worth it to take the FRM exam? If you intend to work in the banking or financial industries, then yes, the effort is definitely worth it.
To that end, Bionic Turtle offers to guide you from beginner to certified Financial Risk Manager in a cost-effective way. After deep-diving into their offerings, I was impressed by the presentation, which was simple, because the content itself is complicated.
Bionic Turtle does a fantastic job of isolating one concept in a module, teaching you everything you need to know about it, before moving on to the next concept. This insures that you don’t get information overload or learn too many concepts at one time.
Bionic Turtle FRM CoursesFrom $249
Quality of Presentation5.0/5
How Effectively the Course Teaches FRM5.0/5
Our Review of the Website Overall4.5/5
- Costs 50% less than Schweser while being just as good
- Completely covers the FRM Part 1 & 2
- Many different options for studying
- Free Active Forum
- Video content costs extra
- Branding seems a little weird, but it's the results that count