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Number Theory
04-20-2011, 07:33 PM
Has anyone tried any of the TIA practice exams? I am having some serious trouble, not with the material, but with actually finishing the exam. I never have to stop and think about a question, and am writing as fast as my hand will work, but I am unable to get to about 8-10 of the points possible for the ratemaking exams (maybe 5 questions). The reserving exams are timed an hour, but I am finding that I need about an hour and a half to finish them.

booyah81
04-20-2011, 11:00 PM
If it's a practice exam based on a past exam, then the difficulty level is appropriate. If it's just questions Ken made up, then you can expect it to be on average more difficult than actual exam questions. At least this is my experience with Ken's material.

Haven't gone through any of the 5A exams yet, have gone through the quizzes. Definitely more difficult than past exam problems.

Vorian Atreides
04-20-2011, 11:44 PM
I'm expecting the computation questions to be of the same level of difficulty as similar question on past Exams; what'll be different is the level of detail expected for full credit and more detailed questions about the "qualitative" material in Friedland and W&M.

The last several sittings of old Exam 5 (Ratemaking) has had a large point problem. It's to your benefit to review those and master them. All-in-all, those are some easy point, IMO.

Number Theory
04-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Here's an example: TIA Ratemaking Practice exam 3 is exactly the 2009 exam just with the non-relevant questions removed. (I didn't realize this until after I took it). The time that Ken has allotted is 2.5 hours. The actual exam is 4 hours 75 points. If you take the actual 2009 exam and whittle it down to what is tested in PE #3, you get about 75% of the points remaining. Almost all of the questions that are removed are non-computational easy essay questions, so I am thinking that this probably should have been a 3 hour + practice exam, not 2.5 hours. I could have finished it in 3.

booyah81
04-21-2011, 09:10 AM
I wouldn't worry about it. For non-computational problems, use these last two weeks to clean up your responses to make sure you're concisely answering the question and not just regurgitating everything you know on the topic. The actual exam will be fair as to time and difficulty so don't sweat it. Besides, not like you can do anything to change it...

Ceej
04-21-2011, 02:28 PM
...so I am thinking that this probably should have been a 3 hour + practice exam, not 2.5 hours. I could have finished it in 3.

Did you use the old exam problems for practice? If so, then you didn't have to really think about something that would have been a tad bit tricky seeing it for the first time. Ken is deducting the "thinking" time from the 3 hours that you would have received and believes you should completed it in 2.5 hours.

(Personally, I need to challenge myself to work on speed - I wrote too much as far as showing work last sitting and shot myself in the foot for the remainder of the exam.)

Vorian Atreides
04-21-2011, 04:51 PM
If Ken says that you should complete something in x hrs and you finished it in x+0.5 hrs; not a problem at this point IMO. Wait a day or two, and do the same Exam and see if you can get it in x hrs. If you do, then you're doing well.

If you're still doing it in x+0.5 hrs, at least you're consistent and you should focus on adjusting your Exam strategy to ensure that you're getting the big point problems completed during the first x hrs.

Also, practice just writing something down initially (without any details) for those 1 point problems and use any time remaining at the end of the Exam time to add details.

booyah81
04-22-2011, 02:06 PM
Hey Number Theory, I just took practice exam #6. I took it casually, broken up over several hours with breaks in between, but I estimate it took me about 3.5 hours and Fikes shows this is a 2.5 hour exam. Just letting you know you're not alone.

Ceej
04-22-2011, 10:12 PM
Ohs, I should probably qualify my statement above to note that for Ken's quizzes I run over probably by half the time he estimates to complete the whole thing. I haven't taken Ken's exam (the one not based on old exam) yet - but if I remember from last Fall, it was a blood bath for me to finish. I think it was the general consensus from the folks in my student program at work that it is a challenge to finish within the time allocated.

I was just restating the logic Ken used in seminar about the exam/quizzes timing estimates.

booyah81
04-24-2011, 05:37 PM
FYI: I just took Practice Exam #5, and under time pressure I was able to do every problem, even with the frustration of not knowing what Ken was asking for in problems #7 and 19 and an unfinished question in 20(a) ("Using the...method, calculate the").

Ceej
04-25-2011, 10:11 AM
Oh update! I spoke to a few folks that went to Ken's March Exam 5 seminar and Fikes stated that for the quizzes the time estimates may be a tad off and one should probably multiply the time allocated by 1.5, which makes me feel better about some of those quizzes.

The practice exam note above was his stance for the last fall sitting for old Exam 6.

chopsuey
04-27-2011, 09:56 AM
Hey Number Theory, I just took practice exam #6. I took it casually, broken up over several hours with breaks in between, but I estimate it took me about 3.5 hours and Fikes shows this is a 2.5 hour exam. Just letting you know you're not alone.

Ditto, I broke it up because I reached the time limit with about 6 problems to go. Took me a good 3.5.

Vorian Atreides
04-27-2011, 10:25 AM
Those of you hitting the time limit might want to consider adjusting your exam strategy a little bit. For those non-calculation questions, you might consider just writing something down (w/o writing out a complete response) and move on and come back to those questions at the end if you have time.

It's not good to leave questions blank at the end of Exam time; especially if you know the answer.