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Jason
07-14-2008, 12:33 AM
Was just wondering, anybody have any experience with sending the paper for a re-mark? Anybody with any positive outcome from that? This is my 2nd time failing APMV, first time with a 5, im not sure about this time yet. Feeling a bit down about it. Thanks.

little_mouse
07-14-2008, 05:36 AM
Jason, I've got a 5, too. I've just sent a request to SOA for re-marking my paper, not knowing whether there are any chances of an upgrade.

Me too, never heard of any re-mark/upgrading before. Please could anyone shed some light on us for the re-marking issues?

Thanks in advance for the help.

yueZHAO
07-14-2008, 06:24 AM
Good luck with you both.

Does the re-mark need fee?

Mr. BoH
07-14-2008, 09:54 AM
I don't think they re-mark papers. It would kind of be a Pandora's box for them if they started it.

Maybe you could make a case if you got a zero on a certain question that you were sure you nailed - you could ask them to make sure the answer sheet didn't get lost or something.

But to just ask them to regrade it and hope for a higher score, I'm 100% sure the answer is no. Which makes sense, since I understand that papers on the borderline (5/6) get extra scrutiny from multiple graders as part of the grading process already.

bdschobel
07-14-2008, 09:56 AM
The SOA does not regrade papers. Never did.

Bruce

bdschobel
07-14-2008, 09:56 AM
...papers on the borderline (5/6) get extra scrutiny from multiple graders as part of the grading process already.Yep.

Bruce

higherthan5please
07-14-2008, 09:57 AM
Thanks, Bruce

The Smokin' Cracktuary
07-14-2008, 10:43 AM
I don't think they re-mark papers. It would kind of be a Pandora's box for them if they started it.

Maybe you could make a case if you got a zero on a certain question that you were sure you nailed - you could ask them to make sure the answer sheet didn't get lost or something.

But to just ask them to regrade it and hope for a higher score, I'm 100% sure the answer is no. Which makes sense, since I understand that papers on the borderline (5/6) get extra scrutiny from multiple graders as part of the grading process already.

What he said.

The SOA does not regrade papers. Never did.

Bruce

Confirmed

Yep.

Bruce

Double confirmed

Google
07-14-2008, 11:29 AM
When I failed 8V in 2005 I asked for a detailed breakdown of the score by each question and SOA emailed me the scores. I think that is all you can get.

Jason
07-14-2008, 12:41 PM
Thanks ! I'll email SOA and ask for a detailed breakdown then and try again next May

namssa
07-14-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks ! I'll email SOA and ask for a detailed breakdown then and try again next May

I don't think that you need to request the scores by question. I believe that they send these to everyone who fails an essay exam. I received it last year when I failed.

examwritter
07-14-2008, 02:49 PM
I heard there was quite a lot of new fellows and non-investment track/background people marking for this exam. Essay questions are not truely that black and white. Just wondering if they will be able to make good judegments on the questions if they have no background in the topics. Me for example, would not know much on the things i never work on. Especially with the current system that somebody without much experience can be a fellow. Having a fellowship doesn't mean they know every track.

We studied months for this exam. Should SOA be a little bit more responsible in picking the grading team???

Surely you could argue that some paper get remarked. but what about the ones that never get a chance to ??? One or two big question could completely change the result.

I dunt want to just complain but seriously, i hope this will not happen in the future.

Mr. BoH
07-14-2008, 03:30 PM
I heard there was quite a lot of new fellows and non-investment track/background people marking for this exam. Essay questions are not truely that black and white. Just wondering if they will be able to make good judegments on the questions if they have no background in the topics. Me for example, would not know much on the things i never work on. Especially with the current system that somebody without much experience can be a fellow. Having a fellowship doesn't mean they know every track.

We studied months for this exam. Should SOA be a little bit more responsible in picking the grading team???

Well, I think they are obviously constrained by who volunteers to grade. I'm sure they would love to have all graders be FSAs with 30 years of Investment experience, but that just ain't gonna happen.

Having said that:

I would hope that everybody grading the exam has at least a little background in investment (either from exams or experience).
Everybody is grading from the same grading outline, and you don't have to be expert in a subject to do that except in unusual circumstances.
If 'unusual circumstances' come up (i.e. candidate writes a good point that doesn't happen to be on the grading outline), I would hope/assume that discussion takes place among the whole grading group as to how much credit it should receive.
If #3 happens, the only way you get shafted on credit is if you right something so profound that nobody on the grading committee realized it was a correct answer. Which seems unlikely.
Surely you could argue that some paper get remarked. but what about the ones that never get a chance to ??? One or two big question could completely change the result.

I don't know that I agree with that. Are you suggesting that somebody who got a 2 might have passed if only their paper had been graded by somebody else? I guess anything is possible, but that seems farfetched to me.

bdschobel
07-14-2008, 03:42 PM
Me, too! :shake:

New FSAs are sometimes the most knowledgeable about subjects on the current syllabus. Anyway, new FSAs have always been the largest number of E&E volunteers.

The exams are graded very carefully, and borderline papers are already graded at least twice. Additional grading would serve no purpose.

Bruce

The Smokin' Cracktuary
07-14-2008, 04:56 PM
I heard there was quite a lot of new fellows and non-investment track/background people marking for this exam. Essay questions are not truely that black and white. Just wondering if they will be able to make good judegments on the questions if they have no background in the topics. Me for example, would not know much on the things i never work on. Especially with the current system that somebody without much experience can be a fellow. Having a fellowship doesn't mean they know every track.

We studied months for this exam. Should SOA be a little bit more responsible in picking the grading team???

Surely you could argue that some paper get remarked. but what about the ones that never get a chance to ??? One or two big question could completely change the result.

I dunt want to just complain but seriously, i hope this will not happen in the future.


I have talked with a few people who have graded in the past. Believe me, a great deal of care and consideration is taken. Two people grade every question. When there are differences, they reconcile them.

As far as relevant experience is concerned, they grade from an outline. they aren't subjectively assigning pts on personal knowledge. Experience is irrelevant except in a few special circumstances as mentioned above. Even then, two people grade each paper and compare notes.

Papers with borderline grades are scrutinized further.

I am sorry to hear that you have such little faith in the system, but from everything I know about the grading process, it is as objective as humanly possible. I have had it explained to me on more than one occassion, and any doubts I had about the objectivity of it, where soundly put to rest.

And anyone who is so borderline that they fail because of what very small amount of subjectivity there is, probably shouldn't pass anyway, or at least would certainly benefit from further study. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but we are talking about an extremely small margin of error. If you don't get a point, and everyone that looks at your exams agrees that you shouldn't get that point, than you probably shouldn't get it.

There isn't one person that holds your fate in their hands.

That Goblin
07-14-2008, 05:08 PM
The grading breakdown you get from the SOA is nice, but is there any way I can get more detail? I’ve failed 6 SOA essay exams in a row and I feel like I’m making the same mistake over and over again and don’t even know what that mistake is.

On the grading breakdown, most of the time, the 10’s and the 0’s don’t require any further information. But why are my 5’s not a 9 or 10? Why did I get a 0 when I thought I nailed the question? Answers to these questions would really help me on future sittings.

I would really like to see my actual answers and know exactly what is wrong with them. Am I SOL?

The Smokin' Cracktuary
07-14-2008, 05:40 PM
The grading breakdown you get from the SOA is nice, but is there any way I can get more detail? Iíve failed 6 SOA essay exams in a row and I feel like Iím making the same mistake over and over again and donít even know what that mistake is.

On the grading breakdown, most of the time, the 10ís and the 0ís donít require any further information. But why are my 5ís not a 9 or 10? Why did I get a 0 when I thought I nailed the question? Answers to these questions would really help me on future sittings.

I would really like to see my actual answers and know exactly what is wrong with them. Am I SOL?

Might I suggest a Carmody Seminar?

He gives samples of grading outlines that I found very useful in deciding how to formulate answers and what to put down.

Google
07-14-2008, 05:55 PM
This is what I received via email from SOA regarding my grade inquiry:


*Per your request, we revisited your score. It is correct.

By the end of the month, letters will be sent giving an analysis of your grade by question number. Hopefully this will give you the insight you are looking for.

We wish you luck in your future exams.

Education Staff*

Caramel
07-24-2008, 04:58 PM
The grading breakdown you get from the SOA is nice, but is there any way I can get more detail? Iíve failed 6 SOA essay exams in a row and I feel like Iím making the same mistake over and over again and donít even know what that mistake is.

On the grading breakdown, most of the time, the 10ís and the 0ís donít require any further information. But why are my 5ís not a 9 or 10? Why did I get a 0 when I thought I nailed the question? Answers to these questions would really help me on future sittings.

I would really like to see my actual answers and know exactly what is wrong with them. Am I SOL?

I share your pain Goblin. Upper level exams actually require "strategy" to pass, often we write down a lot of items that are irrelevant base on SOA grading-grid.

If you have access to JAM study manual for C6 and C8, in the volume where all the practice exams locate, Carmody gives great example on how SOA grading-gride looks like, and how can candidate answers questions in a pertinent way.

When SOA asked a question, the answer is consisted of very specific key words, bullet points. It is easy for me to rant on what I know in huge explanatory paragraphs without giving enough "key words" to score.

Once you acquires the skills of answering in the similar fashion as SOA grading guideline, you should have better luck at passing essay exams!

Register for Carmody seminar, online or live, it helps on the "technique" of writing these exams.

I believe you have learned and mastered the C8 materials well, but you just lacking the strategy of answering questions! Polish on this one, you will surely pass!

Caramel
07-24-2008, 05:04 PM
As far as relevant experience is concerned, they grade from an outline. they aren't subjectively assigning pts on personal knowledge. Experience is irrelevant except in a few special circumstances as mentioned above. Even then, two people grade each paper and compare notes.

Papers with borderline grades are scrutinized further.



I understand the process of grading, but WHO came out with the grading outline at first? Because the person who drafts the grading outline (basically, the solution to each question) must know the syllabus very well and understand the concept in great depth.

Do you know how is the grading outline being produced? And if there is peer-review of grading outline? What happens when the volunteer examination graders do not agree with the grading outline? Or what happens that grading outline actually contains error? Can candidates challenge the solution/grading outline of SOA?

Thanks!

PAK
07-24-2008, 07:05 PM
Does anybody need help on taking essay exam? PM me if you need one =)

campbell
07-24-2008, 08:28 PM
I've put this elsewhere: Advice on taking FSA exams (http://soa.org/library/newsletters/the-future-actuary/2008/spring/fut-2008-spring-campbell.aspx). As I took 8V and APMV (and have graded FET, and am now working on FETE), it's geared towards answering numerical and non-numerical problems alike.

I do not know about grading outlines before I started grading, but in the FETE exam, we have to put down the reference from the readings. Questions and grading outlines are reviewed by more than just one person, and they can be heavily revised. We refer to the original syllabus materials heavily.

Knower of Knowledge
07-25-2008, 06:01 PM
I understand the process of grading, but WHO came out with the grading outline at first? Because the person who drafts the grading outline (basically, the solution to each question) must know the syllabus very well and understand the concept in great depth.

Do you know how is the grading outline being produced? And if there is peer-review of grading outline? What happens when the volunteer examination graders do not agree with the grading outline? Or what happens that grading outline actually contains error? Can candidates challenge the solution/grading outline of SOA?

Thanks!

As it was explained to me, the people on the exam committee that write the questions think up a question and then base the grading outline for that question on the source material. They are literally sitting there with the source material in front of them as they pick out what they feel is important.

There is a lot of revision and review to get these questions and answers to the correct difficulty level and point value (i.e.- they make sure a 2 pt. question doesn't take longer to answer than an 8 pts question).

It seems unlikely given that they are forming their answers directly from the texts that they would ge something worng. They are not inputing any of their own knowledge into the answers.

The only variable that comes into play is what they think is important. What bullets pts. have the highest point value. That is where the strategy comes in on taking the exams. You don't know what they think is important. You have to try and cover as broad of a range of major points as you can and fill in as many details as you can about each one.

Here is my thinking when I answer. Say a question is asked about a reading. In this reading there are 5 major issues it wants you to know and provides detail about each one. The question may ask, what are the issues regarding [whatever]?

Now right off the bat, you must realize that just listing the 5 major issues will get you the most valuable pts. We'll say, half of the total pts. for that question. After that, the primary description of each of those issues is worth in total 1/3 of the total points. The other 1/6 of the points are minor details about each issue. That is how the grading outline will score the inofrmation you put down.

Now for illustration purposes assume the bullet points/facts associated with these go:

Major issue - 1 bullet pt
Primary description - 2 bullet pts for each of the 5 issues
Minor details - 5 bullet points for each of the 5 issues.

Now assume going into the question that you know everything on the grading outline. However, you don't have time to write it all. How do you answer?

The wrong approach would be to start with the first issue and write all you know and then move on to the next issue. Now assume you run out of time exactly half way through the 3rd issue. You get 20% of the total pts. from the first issue, 20% from the second, and will say 15% from the 3rd issue. You end up with 55% of the pts. for the question. Not enought to pass.

How many facts/bullets did you list?

Question 1 = 8
Question 2 = 8
Question 3 = 4

Total = 20 bullet pts.

Here is how you should have spent that time/those bullet points.

What you should have done was first list the 5 issues (5 bullet points). Then list the major descriptions of each one (10 bullet points). Write one minor detail about each issue (5 bullet points).

Total 20 bullet points.

Total score points:
5 major issues = 50%
Primary descriptions = 33%
Minor details = 1/5*(1/6) = 3%

Total score = 86% of the points. Easily passing.

What I have described is actually how points are assigned to answers for each question. You can see how the strategy you have when answering these and how you budget your time and knowledge can be the difference between failing and getting a 10.

Assume two people that know the material equally well. One answered the first way, the other answers the second way. One fails. The other passes with a high score, yet both know the exact same stuff.

Happier
07-27-2008, 08:34 AM
I understand the process of grading, but WHO came out with the grading outline at first? Because the person who drafts the grading outline (basically, the solution to each question) must know the syllabus very well and understand the concept in great depth.

Do you know how is the grading outline being produced? And if there is peer-review of grading outline? What happens when the volunteer examination graders do not agree with the grading outline? Or what happens that grading outline actually contains error? Can candidates challenge the solution/grading outline of SOA?

Thanks!

Especially when they make stupid mistakes of composing problems outside the syllabus! I have little confidence in the system. When they can't even put in control in designing the exam paper, how can you put trust in the grading process?! Yeah? Someone answers me.

bdschobel
07-27-2008, 10:01 AM
Occasionally a question shows up that cannot be answered using material on the syllabus, but that's very rare. SOA exams are reviewed again and again, by different groups of people, including subject-matter experts from the sections. The grading outlines are reviewed, too.

Most of the complaints here are simply unfounded. No examination is going to be perfect, but the SOA puts as much effort into getting there as anyone could expect.

Bruce

The Smokin' Cracktuary
07-27-2008, 10:18 AM
As it was explained to me, the people on the exam committee that write the questions think up a question and then base the grading outline for that question on the source material. They are literally sitting there with the source material in front of them as they pick out what they feel is important.

There is a lot of revision and review to get these questions and answers to the correct difficulty level and point value (i.e.- they make sure a 2 pt. question doesn't take longer to answer than an 8 pts question).

It seems unlikely given that they are forming their answers directly from the texts that they would ge something worng. They are not inputing any of their own knowledge into the answers.

The only variable that comes into play is what they think is important. What bullets pts. have the highest point value. That is where the strategy comes in on taking the exams. You don't know what they think is important. You have to try and cover as broad of a range of major points as you can and fill in as many details as you can about each one.

Here is my thinking when I answer. Say a question is asked about a reading. In this reading there are 5 major issues it wants you to know and provides detail about each one. The question may ask, what are the issues regarding [whatever]?

Now right off the bat, you must realize that just listing the 5 major issues will get you the most valuable pts. We'll say, half of the total pts. for that question. After that, the primary description of each of those issues is worth in total 1/3 of the total points. The other 1/6 of the points are minor details about each issue. That is how the grading outline will score the inofrmation you put down.

Now for illustration purposes assume the bullet points/facts associated with these go:

Major issue - 1 bullet pt
Primary description - 2 bullet pts for each of the 5 issues
Minor details - 5 bullet points for each of the 5 issues.

Now assume going into the question that you know everything on the grading outline. However, you don't have time to write it all. How do you answer?

The wrong approach would be to start with the first issue and write all you know and then move on to the next issue. Now assume you run out of time exactly half way through the 3rd issue. You get 20% of the total pts. from the first issue, 20% from the second, and will say 15% from the 3rd issue. You end up with 55% of the pts. for the question. Not enought to pass.

How many facts/bullets did you list?

Question 1 = 8
Question 2 = 8
Question 3 = 4

Total = 20 bullet pts.

Here is how you should have spent that time/those bullet points.

What you should have done was first list the 5 issues (5 bullet points). Then list the major descriptions of each one (10 bullet points). Write one minor detail about each issue (5 bullet points).

Total 20 bullet points.

Total score points:
5 major issues = 50%
Primary descriptions = 33%
Minor details = 1/5*(1/6) = 3%

Total score = 86% of the points. Easily passing.

What I have described is actually how points are assigned to answers for each question. You can see how the strategy you have when answering these and how you budget your time and knowledge can be the difference between failing and getting a 10.

Assume two people that know the material equally well. One answered the first way, the other answers the second way. One fails. The other passes with a high score, yet both know the exact same stuff.


:iatp:


Occasionally a question shows up that cannot be answered using material on the syllabus, but that's very rare. SOA exams are reviewed again and again, by different groups of people, including subject-matter experts from the sections. The grading outlines are reviewed, too.

Most of the complaints here are simply unfounded. No examination is going to be perfect, but the SOA puts as much effort into getting there as anyone could expect.

Bruce

and this post.

Roy Hobbs
07-27-2008, 11:21 PM
As it was explained to me, the people on the exam committee that write the questions think up a question and then base the grading outline for that question on the source material. They are literally sitting there with the source material in front of them as they pick out what they feel is important.

There is a lot of revision and review to get these questions and answers to the correct difficulty level and point value (i.e.- they make sure a 2 pt. question doesn't take longer to answer than an 8 pts question).

It seems unlikely given that they are forming their answers directly from the texts that they would ge something worng. They are not inputing any of their own knowledge into the answers.

The only variable that comes into play is what they think is important. What bullets pts. have the highest point value. That is where the strategy comes in on taking the exams. You don't know what they think is important. You have to try and cover as broad of a range of major points as you can and fill in as many details as you can about each one.

Here is my thinking when I answer. Say a question is asked about a reading. In this reading there are 5 major issues it wants you to know and provides detail about each one. The question may ask, what are the issues regarding [whatever]?

Now right off the bat, you must realize that just listing the 5 major issues will get you the most valuable pts. We'll say, half of the total pts. for that question. After that, the primary description of each of those issues is worth in total 1/3 of the total points. The other 1/6 of the points are minor details about each issue. That is how the grading outline will score the inofrmation you put down.

Now for illustration purposes assume the bullet points/facts associated with these go:

Major issue - 1 bullet pt
Primary description - 2 bullet pts for each of the 5 issues
Minor details - 5 bullet points for each of the 5 issues.

Now assume going into the question that you know everything on the grading outline. However, you don't have time to write it all. How do you answer?

The wrong approach would be to start with the first issue and write all you know and then move on to the next issue. Now assume you run out of time exactly half way through the 3rd issue. You get 20% of the total pts. from the first issue, 20% from the second, and will say 15% from the 3rd issue. You end up with 55% of the pts. for the question. Not enought to pass.

How many facts/bullets did you list?

Question 1 = 8
Question 2 = 8
Question 3 = 4

Total = 20 bullet pts.

Here is how you should have spent that time/those bullet points.

What you should have done was first list the 5 issues (5 bullet points). Then list the major descriptions of each one (10 bullet points). Write one minor detail about each issue (5 bullet points).

Total 20 bullet points.

Total score points:
5 major issues = 50%
Primary descriptions = 33%
Minor details = 1/5*(1/6) = 3%

Total score = 86% of the points. Easily passing.

What I have described is actually how points are assigned to answers for each question. You can see how the strategy you have when answering these and how you budget your time and knowledge can be the difference between failing and getting a 10.

Assume two people that know the material equally well. One answered the first way, the other answers the second way. One fails. The other passes with a high score, yet both know the exact same stuff.

What's your point? Of course the second person is going to score better as they got all the major points. They grader can only assign points based on what is written, in the first case they can't assume that because the candidate nailed the first two and a half points that they would have gotten the rest.

A large part of passing is knowledge combined with good strategy.

Another way determine who passes may be to hook up a brain analysing device to each candidate and determine how much knowledge they have. Then everyone could be ranked without having to take the test and write anything down, with the top candidates passing. That's fair!

Laurelinda
07-27-2008, 11:51 PM
A large part of passing is knowledge combined with good strategy.

I think that was Knower's point. I think s/he was also intending the explanation to help those who expressed some lack of familiarity with the grading outline format. I don't see anywhere where s/he suggested it was unfair. :shrug:

Knower of Knowledge
07-28-2008, 09:03 AM
What's your point? Of course the second person is going to score better as they got all the major points. They grader can only assign points based on what is written, in the first case they can't assume that because the candidate nailed the first two and a half points that they would have gotten the rest.

A large part of passing is knowledge combined with good strategy.

Another way determine who passes may be to hook up a brain analysing device to each candidate and determine how much knowledge they have. Then everyone could be ranked without having to take the test and write anything down, with the top candidates passing. That's fair!

:oyh:


Your question:

What's your point?

My answer:

....
A large part of passing is knowledge combined with good strategy.
....




I think that was Knower's point. I think s/he was also intending the explanation to help those who expressed some lack of familiarity with the grading outline format. I don't see anywhere where s/he suggested it was unfair. :shrug:

:judge:

campbell
07-28-2008, 10:18 AM
Knower of Knowledge's post on how the grading outline works is pretty much on the mark. For "bullet lists", not all bullets are created equal, necessarily. Sometimes they are, but many times there are some points that are much more crucial than others. The people reviewing the grading outlines do know something about the material (and we have the original sources right in front of us, and we do check it -- repeatedly.)

Again, I can only speak as to the exams I've been involved in, but I don't think the other FSA exams are that different in how the questions and grading outlines are reviewed.

And again, check out the article I linked to above. That was written after I graded FET last year. I am working on a sequel to that article, with more perspective from a question-writer and exam reviewer (as I just did that).