Vital Source Transition


New Member
(See how i snipe shot and print out these in vitalsource using snipe tool)

How are you going to stop this? See how this is easily plagiarized? By doing removing the pdf materials you may have stop some from reselling your material, but honestly it just takes one reseller to hustle through every page properly and print them out. The rest is back to history again.

So stop punishing those who really need to study.

I've found my way around this by snipe tool the pages each time i finish a chapter.

By i'm also punished for needing to go through these administrative stuff which frustrates me more and i might not consider purchasing from BT for part ii.

I'm also pretty demoralized that i have to spend much effort just to get things done in the most inefficient method (guys, please pray that i have strength to carry on. papers are already tough as it is!)

Also, @Nicole Seaman please include the support team here so that everyone can direct their questions to them instead of emailing them (to which they responded with little to no help)




New Member

I unfortunately did not receive any login information from vitalsource.

Can you please send to me the login details ASAP? Like in the new few hours please? I really only have today to start studying and am already very behind. Also, I unfortunately did not receive any notification of this change until I logged in. I have sent an email and support ticket already.

Your prompt response is much appreciated.


David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Hi @Aaron1616, @tdani3656, @bagelcoffee, @Moh, @MFole8227, Daniel (@tdani3656), @Manisangsu, @David Notter , @LCosi6229, @Sahil1999, and @cy123

(copy @JVera3537, @shubhamyadav, @RSHIV2781, @ethanyc and, and recently @SBash5958 who I realize have specific action items that in some cases hopefully have already been resolved, or in other cases, need to get resolved).

I appreciate the thoughtful comments above. First, let me admit that I did not give sufficient thought to the already-purchased members who have been involuntarily transitioned from naked PDFs to VitalSource. The reason is simple: I already use VS for our Money Education and GARP's FRM source reading assignments (and for my CFA book references). As a consumer of GARP's FRM VS format, I am not inconvenienced. I like the VS product. I go back and forth between PDFs and VS with ease; for me, they each have advantages. I apologize I didn't anticipate some of the transition issues above, that's on me. You feedback has taught us an invaluable lesson. Giving you advanced notice with information about our enhancements is critical. Thank you for that!

At the same time, we are not reverting back to naked PDFs. Recently conducted research indicates that we have lost more in sales to stolen PDFs than we sold to good customers (multiples more in fact. Think decimation). That's on me, too, because the cumulative opportunity cost of all that piracy is tremendous. To see the quantified estimates was personally devastating. I've spent years fighting with pirates, and many of them are utterly shameless while at the same time innovative in their theft. A business needs sales to continue, and it needs profits to reinvest. Nicole and I have always been deeply grateful for the good customer who paid for the product. We are confident the vast majority of our customers will understand our need to protect our intellectual property.

Sahil makes a great point that VS is an imperfect solution to piracy. Agreed. Eventually (sooner rather than later) the product will transition to a state-of-the-art LMS. CeriFi, our parent company, has already started to deploy this LMS in the market at our sibling companies and the feedback is tremendous. This LMS is our ultimate destination and I'm confident it will be the home "we've always been looking for." For example, finally the practice questions will be delivered interactively.

In the meantime, please support VS as the current platform. I reject the statement above that VS is subpar (nor does it require continuous internet, give me a break on that one, please). As mentioned, I use it for three product sets myself. VitalSource eBooks are used by universities, corporations, and regulatory bodies like GARP all over the world. It is not a second-class solution, it appears to be a world-class product; e.g., see

We do have some more help coming, in terms of features and support/instruction on utilizing the VS platform. But my audience knows I'm not a salesperson, so I won't spin the motivation: the piracy was absolutely killing us, and I'm so relieved we are finally going to protect the IP that we've spent the last 15+ years building. (At the same time, it's also true that VS has cool features, some of which I haven't availed myself).

But, okay, regarding the handful who previously purchased and still won't be satisfied by our upcoming communications: if you have not already, please contact [email protected] to arrange a time to discuss this transition in more detail. In the last nine years that Nicole and I have worked together, we've taken every single unhappy customer seriously and sincerely. I can't recall the last time we let somebody leave us unhappy! Let's connect and figure out something that works for you.

Thank you, David H.


New Member
I wanted to add my voice to those who are very disappointed by the inability to study using hard copies of material :(
I find the VitalSource Bookshelf to be much poorer. As it is, I spend all day on a computer for work and having to sit in front of it again in the evenings and at weekends to study is just depressing.
Plus I don't want to drag a laptop with me on a bus or at the playground with the kids etc., at weekende when trying to cover material.
@David Harper CFA FRM could you release a book with the notes that we could buy?

I appreciate your dedication to the site but this reduces the quality of the learning experience dramatically. Most other educational content providers let you purchase a book so can you please give us this option?


New Member
Hi @David Harper CFA FRM @Nicole Seaman ,

Thanks for your Job and I understand your point of view in the transition to VS (but I also prefer to have a printable option). I have one question related with the update dynamic. I take some notes in the book but, and in the case that you update one book, Will I lose all my notes? I have some fear with that (I’ve invested a lot of hours in that and I don’t have a backup of this)


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I have also contacted support. I have the same feelings as many above. After all, for people that are registering for the exam and already working we do not want to sit again behind the computer screen for 40-70 hours a week.

As my employer paid for the FRM exam, I paid from my own pocket for the prep package that I loved! Last year I did FRM1 and got the highest quartiles after purchasing it from Bionic Turtle - the prep package I have heard so much about last years. Now I did it again, I still love the study plan. Although now indeed we are referenced back to the chapters on Vital Source.

I must admit after a week I have not fully taken the time to study from the platform. As I used to print all the material and lay it on my desk before and after work to finish my 1/2 chapters a day. Right now I have counted the amount of pages per book and printing the pages (limited to 5 at a time) with a watermark will not do it at his point I think. The watermark over the text is not useful -- would take a shit ton of time to just print something (which I was hoping for to do)
Market risk47619.44%
Liquidity risk & Treasury39516.14%
Credit risk59124.14%
Operational risk64626.39%
Risk & Investment mng.34013.89%


Anyway, it's a very hard shame that you are facing this issue and that it was almost killing you as a prep provider. I genuinely hope that this will not influence results. I'll start using the VS and let you know what I think.


New Member
Hi thanks for notice. Still want to know whether I can get PDF version of notes cause it is so difficult to take note and greatly impact my learning efficiency


New Member
Yes , please in bookshelf we have lots of limitations on taking notes and marking and i have a habit of writing few extra learning on the page itself . cannot do much in bookshelf


New Member
Yes , please in bookshelf we have lots of limitations on taking notes and marking and i have a habit of writing few extra learning on the page itself . cannot do much in bookshe
I will have FRM part1 exam in May'23.
I faced that prob too.
I hope there will be hard book BT study notes sale soon for additional payment. I can afford additional payments for this exam. And also, I can pay the shipping fee too.


New Member
I just purchased the FRM 1 Advanced Package yesterday and today I started to not have access to the ebooks through vitalsource's bookshelf. Pretty discouraging start to the program!

The support case number is 00233764. Please fix this asap as a am loosing valuable study time because of this.


New Member
@RenanPN We transitioned to Vital Sources, as it is a more secure platform so our materials can no longer be downloaded. Once your subscription ends, you will still have access to your materials in Vital Source, however, you will not have access to any new or updated materials after your subscription expires.
this transition has created big challenge and time wasted for students to access the material


New Member
@David Harper CFA FRM @Nicole Seaman

@Aaron1616 @shubhamyadav @Moh @bagelcoffee @MAlom5561 @marcelvanderwurf @AWong0667

Hi Nicole,

Been patiently waiting for your response. It's been almost a week and I realized you skipped my post but proceeded to reply to everyone else.

I'm not sure if my post is irrelevant here, but I hope to have my point highlighted.

Each of us here are trying their very best to have a chance in life and hence passing the FRM might just be the stepping stone for us, at least for me.

For the past few days, without access to my physical copies lead me to many troublesome hassles.

The reason I paid for the professional package is so I can download notes, do them on the go, check answers instantly, and if i don't understand, get back home and read them in forums. Now, I cannot study on the go, and only manage to study when i am home after work. This has brought me 1 step backwards.

I'm hoping Bionicturtle is able to resolve the issue of 'selling & sharing downloaded materials' as highlighted by your response with Moh.

"@Moh We transitioned to Vital Source to secure our study materials, as there were too many people selling and sharing our downloaded materials. There is nothing that we can do to change this since we have made the decision to transition to this platform."

I'm upset with the way it is, but I really think this solution would impact the greater good in the long term, esp those not aided in favorable situation :(

Moreover, should anyone wishes to benefit from this, they would have already done so by now, which also means we 'could' have just bought the materials off 3rd party market but we didn't.

Please let me know soon as hope and grit is all I have now.


Yours Sincerely

P.S This is not meant to be a boycott but just tagging those who might be facing similar issue (So please do not use this post to jump on the bandwagon or add any malicious remarks to Nicole & team. I only wish for solutions to be provided to both sides.)
couldn't agree more with you. it's a big waste of time especially for working professionals


New Member

I used Bionic Turtle for my FRM level 1 preparation back in 2020, and I had a so good experience.

But when I subscribed level 2 this year and find that it is so difficult to work with the VitalSource platform, I am a bit furious!

The problem for me is not about the study note, but about the practice question sets. It takes effort even when I simply want to write down my own answers. I use my iPad, if I want to write down my answers, I need to click, select, and go into editing mode, but the editing mode is only for the single one page I am at. Then I need to exit the editing mode, and scroll down, and re-select the editing mode If I want to write down sth somewhere else.

It couldn't be more silly.

I can understand that you want to protect your copyright. But I have to say that right now I can not even say that my Bionic Turtle subscription is functioning. It is not. How can I take the practice questions on VitalSource when I can't properly write sth down????????????????????????????

Can you think of an alternative way such that I can focus on the practice questions instead of the stupid technical constraints? I have no problem with the study notes, I don't take notes there. But I really have a big problem with the practice questions. Not sure when the Cerifi interactive quize can be available, but I am extremely disappointed now.