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ed999
05-02-2004, 02:42 PM
Quick question, when you took that exam, going into the exam, were you at all CONFIDENT that you will pass? I don't think I will EVER be confident with these written exams...

Thanks.

the yellow dart
05-02-2004, 03:56 PM
I'm not qualified to answer your question, as I'm also taking Exam 5 this sitting. But for what it's worth, I've yet to feel confident going into an exam. And I did sit for Exam 6 in the fall. I think that's normal, and in some cases alot better than being over confident.

The important thing is not to let the exam psyche you out once you're in the center. This is your first written exam, if I remember correctly. You might feel better in the future having the experience of taking a written exam under your belt. Remember that you can bring more than just bottled water to the exam room. So bring something that doesn't require un-wrapping to eat (and won't make crunching noise), and something other than soda to drink. Grapes and gatorade are my personal choices. If you start getting nervous, take 15-30 seconds, eat and drink something, breathe, and then get back to work.

The multiple Choice are going to be very similiar to the questions you've seen on Exams 1-4, EXCEPT there's a guessing penalty. There will still be formula questions. There will still be triple true false. You've seen these before. You've got the experience with those type of questions.

As for the essays, you'll be given time to number your papers before the exam begins. So when the exam starts, you've already got your papers in order. Keep them in that order throughout the exam. If you get stuck on a particular question, right down the formula that you know is needed to solve the question, or start a list that is asked for, then move on right away to the next question. This should get you some partial credit, and while you're working on other questions, you may remember the rest of the list, or how to solve the problem. The same idea of not getting stuck on one question on the first four exams applies here as well. You just have to manage yourself slightly differently to get partial credit.

Also remember that you can start with the essays or MC, and you can jump back and forth as you see fit. So if you're really worried about the essay questions, look at them first if it will relieve some anxiety.

Finally, if you're finding the exam hard, then most likely so is everyone else. DON'T get worked up over this, just keep doing everything that you can.


So just keep a cool head, skip any MC choice that you have no idea on, and get as much partial credit as you can on the essays. Bring something to eat and drink that won't disrupt the exam room.

And good luck on Friday

Bullfrog1220
05-02-2004, 10:57 PM
Good advise from yellow dart.

It's very normal to not feel confident on these things. I passed Exam 5 last year, got a 5 on Exam 6. I found that no matter how much I studied, I just never felt confident going in. There's too much material covered on these things to really master it all. On the CPCU stuff, I'd study it one day, and would be able to answer every question. The next day, I couldn't remember anything.

For those two exams, my strategy was to make absolutely sure that I could do all of the numerical questions, or at the very least, understood how all of the calculations worked. I did a good job of this on Exam 5, and "think" that I scored well above the pass line. I missed a couple numerical questions on Exam 6, and narrowly failed.

Now, if only Exam 7 had more numerical questions....

Good luck to everyone this week.

Maine-iac
05-03-2004, 09:48 AM
Sometimes I've known I didn't have a prayer, but I've never been confident. Too many variables. Who am I competing against? How long is the exam? What areas were focused on? Any screwy questions?

But, as stated before, don't let it get to you. If something stumps you, move on and get points you are sure of. Come back if you have time. Keep track of time elaspsed, don't let yourself get way behind.

Personally, I like to divide the available points by 4 (usually that's 25, but not always) and check each hour that I've covered around 25 points.

Good luck!

Mel-o-rama
05-03-2004, 11:03 AM
Last year I was CONFIDENT when I went in to take the exam. I came out feeling whooped, but when the answer key came out I felt CONFIDENT that I was going to pass. I think I failed by a fraction of a point.

I've learned that confidence doesn't get you anywhere on these exams. It's the nature of the beast. Do the best you can and hope for the best.

Good luck!

ed999
05-03-2004, 09:14 PM
Thank you all for your valuable advice. I am glad to know that it's very difficult to feel comfortable with these exams. I feel like if luck is on my side, I can get this... and if they start asking NEW questions I have never seen before (especially things about WC ratemaking) then I will fail miserably.

I am going to put stamps on my return envelope soon. Is 3 bucks even goign to be enough???

Basso
05-05-2004, 01:27 PM
The only time I felt confident going into an exam was for the old part 4A (interest and Life Con). I had studied everything inside and out, and nailed the exam.

I felt really good going into old part 6 (pricing but not policy forms), and also passed, but I wasn't certain.

However, for every other exam I've taken, I felt somewhat unprepared going in. Usually post exam I have an idea about pass/fail, and I've always been right about fail, but was wrong about pass once.

The syllabus is just too big to feel confident. Just do your best.

MountainHawk
05-05-2004, 03:01 PM
I was confident going into 5. I'd spent 4.5 years in insurance pricing, and I knew the stuff cold. I walked out of the exam knowing I passed, since I figured I got about 80-85 points.

It's the only time I've walked out KNOWING I passed, and the only time I went into an exam saying that I'd be shocked if i failed.

Mapie22
05-05-2004, 03:10 PM
MountainHawk said:
I was confident going into 5. I'd spent 4.5 years in insurance pricing, and I knew the stuff cold. I walked out of the exam knowing I passed, since I figured I got about 80-85 points.

It's the only time I've walked out KNOWING I passed, and the only time I went into an exam saying that I'd be shocked if i failed.


Ditto this, except change 4.5 years to 5 years, and change 80-85 to 70-80.


Every other time, including yesterday after taking Exam 7, I have not felt confident about my performance. And in many cases, my feelings were justified, evidenced by the big fat "5" I got in the mail 8 weeks later. :shake:

proudmom13
05-05-2004, 05:22 PM
Don't sweat the CPCU Stuff! Through a little glitch on my part (we won't go into details), I had accidentally skipped a huge part of those readings, and didn't notice until five days before the exam. Even though I forced myself to read through everything, I retained nothing!

Put your money on the numerical answers. Even if you have some gaps, or you can't remember something you thought you knew, the partial credit Gods may shine on you. With CPCU questions, chances are you either know or don't know, and there's just such a huge range of questions they can ask. If you have a good grip on the numerical problems, you're in good shape. Just got back from CAS 3 today, and even with knowing 90% of any given problem, you still end up with 0 points if you got one minor error. With Part 5, you can still get a good point value, even if you don't get the answer all the way right.

BTW, passed Part 5 the first time around, without most of the CPCU stuff! Good luck on Friday!

wally world
05-07-2004, 10:45 AM
The only written answer exam I felt confident on was Ratemaking. Even then, the pass mark turned out to be really high and I think I squeaked in. Otherwise, no, I never felt confident going in to an exam.

It's hard to feel real confident on a test when you know you are going to flat out miss or skip 35% of the points going in. Especially for people like actuaries who were more than likely setting the curve in college.

Colymbosathon ecplecticos
05-07-2004, 10:53 AM
In some sense they are still setting the curve today.

The graders are trying to give you points. Make sure that they can find your work and read what you wrote.

Graduate
05-07-2004, 05:58 PM
As for the essays, you'll be given time to number your papers before the exam begins. So when the exam starts, you've already got your papers in order. Keep them in that order throughout the exam.

Well I'm not aware of any rule like that, would you plz elaborate?

the yellow dart
05-08-2004, 07:09 PM
At some point while the procter is reading the rules, he says something to the extent "The essay questions run from 18 to 49, so number your papers now" Usually there are about five minutes or so to put your candidate number, exam number and question number on the scratch paper supplied. So before the exam starts, you SHOULD have your papers in order.