Some questions regarding the FRM certification (viability of old study material)

niki.c's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | banana points 25

I am almost 100% certain of sitting for the FRM Part 1 test this coming November. I recently got a job in the risk management department of an Asset Management company, and I have a genuine interest in flashing out my career either in risk itself (ops/ent or market) or get in to the buyside as an analyst. I am more certain of the former, and less certain on the latter...and as such between CFA and FRM I have decided to pursue this first, and if I still want to, I can pursue CFA at a slower pace at some point in the future. I've been working for half a year and am prepared to earn a certification to put myself ahead of the pack when moving up or looking around for better opportunities in a similar line of work.

Anyways, I did an Actuarial Science bachelors degree that I completed last year. I got a pretty flat CGPA of 3 (out of max 4), but when looking at the FRM syllabus there are lots of things that I know I have learned before (2-3 years ago). Stuff like pricing options/derivatives, statistics, regression, hypothesis testing, some of the fixed income stuff...I cannot recall them clearly, but I know I have done them before and can do them again. I like the fact that FRM Part I is so heavy on calculations...that's my favourite!

I have a few key questions I hope esteemed members of this forum can help me answer before I get signed up:

1) I have got a full set of 2012 Kaplan Schweser study material (Book 1 - 4) and a almost full set of 2015 Kaplan Schewer material (missing Book 4). Would these suffice to prepare for the exam, or is it imperative that I get the 2017 editions of the books for them to be of any use?

2) Frankly speaking, is the Kaplan Schewer study material adequate in preparing for the Part 1 paper? Assuming I can fully grasp the fundamentals and can understand/solve all examples and practice questions, would this single study source be sufficient to pass the paper? Or is it insufficient? I know this can be a bit of a subjective question but I hope you guys can help me out.

3) Will my Actuarial Science degree, and also some basic knowledge of the world of investments help me out? For example, in the 2016 or 2017 practice tests I understand how to read/answer the question on the 1 year bond rating matrix. And as mentioned above, from my actuarial science courses I know I did go pretty specific on options pricing and on currency and forward/swaps etc but the knowledge cannot be readily recalled and will probably take a lot of effort either way to re-understand the concepts and formulas. Will all of this help me out?

I'm prepared to put in 2.5 hours daily beginning from the 1st of July. I just need to source my study material by then and am trying to see if I can get hold of anything more recent than 2015. Any comments/pointers/guides will be of great help and will be appreciated.