View Full Version : Course 6
09-10-2001, 12:34 PM
I think I might take it next session. For all those who have passed this exam, what study manuals and study methods do you recommend?
09-10-2001, 12:35 PM
I am referring to Course 6, not Course 2.
09-10-2001, 02:59 PM
Me: Can you tell me what the suggested studying start date for Course 6 is (the one recommended by JAM)? Just wondering if I'll be way behind if I wait until results come out in January to wait to order JAM materials.
09-10-2001, 03:09 PM
I'm interested in this too. It would help even more if you can tell us whether the JAM suggested schedule is suitable for a first timer.
09-10-2001, 04:07 PM
The JAM schedule for C6 2001 began on January 1st. I started studying a little bit in December and then for real about January 3rd or 4th. As to whether it's suitable for a first-timer -- well, depends how you study. I had to speed up his schedule, because I know that I need to go through the material sort of fast the first time just to get the flavor of it, taking notes in the JAM guide, then go through it again and start drawing connections through the material, before I can memorize. FWIW, I passed.
09-10-2001, 04:13 PM
JAM JAM JAM JAM JAM
I made the mistake of making my own cards for the 1st shot. I memorized TOO MUCH DETAIL and got slowed down. JAM is the way and add what you feel you need to add.
09-10-2001, 04:15 PM
Thanks to ophelia.
I didn't follow JAM's schedule, but used JAM to guide what I studied. I've never started before results came out (though that will change for 8 next year, especially since I don't have any more Spring exams).
JAM got me through 5 & 6 both on the first try with flying colors.
09-10-2001, 04:40 PM
Is the Study Schedule posted on the website or do you have to buy the guide in order to get it? I could not find it anywhere on the site.
09-10-2001, 05:24 PM
I failed first time with a 5. I concentrated on numerical problems. I had both actex and JAM, but I could not memorize the 70 pages
Second time I bought the new JAM and tried memorizing the 70 page, but I could not.
I did not stick to any schedule. But in the exam, I wrote any crap that I thought vaguely related to the keywords in the question. There was one straight list question, I remembered only 4-5 of the items.
The collard-floaters, what was that, but I wrote all the risks in fixed income investing.
I did all of the numerical parts correct, except the tree. I got a 8.
My point, memorize list but most importantly write all the crap that you could think during the exam. Never limit your answer to the question. Best example is the solution to cash flow matching question in May 2000.
I don't think you should start this early, may be December.
Dr T Non-Fan
09-12-2001, 08:33 PM
Jam has a web site, probably has last year's schedule. It's in an excel spreadsheet that you can download.
09-13-2001, 09:37 AM
If you call up Carmody (assuming he isn't teaching right now which he probably is) he is sure to be of much help.
09-14-2001, 09:49 AM
Did you guys solely rely on JAM or is reading the text books recommended?
09-14-2001, 09:54 AM
I think if you are not familiar with this type of material (bonds & other investments) then you should start now just to get the flavor of it. Make sure you understand the basics of what a bond IS, etc.
I may not be the smartest actuary out there, but this course was difficult for me as I had no background in investments at all. Just getting used to the language was difficult. (Eg, understanding that "fixed income security" mostly means "bond".)
You can memorize Carmody all you want, but if you don't have a basic understand of the language, you are going to have a hard time translating the lists into exam question answers.
As far as study manuals, I also have to highly recommend Carmody. I also like Donna Clair's manual as a supplement, when I need additional explanation of something. But Carmody's is the most complete and accurate, and his 70 page outline helps you to know what to focus on.
As far as seminars, I've heard that Carmody's is best, but I haven't been there. I went to GSU last year and found it really helpful, but I got a 5 on the exam. As far as I can tell, the pass rate of the folks at my seminar was no better than the overall pass rate, or maybe slightly better (1-2%).
Dr T Non-Fan
09-14-2001, 11:44 AM
You should read through at least once. Carmody recommends taking notes while reading. For me, his schedule is too fast. It would take me about 4 hours read and take notes on each of his days. I just don't have that kind of time.
09-14-2001, 11:53 AM
I hate anything written by Fabbozzi and most of the CIA crap.
If you are like me, I would read the Theory of Interest by Kellison, Chapter 8 (bond chapter) and 9 first. (this is not in the reading, though) Then read investment by Bodie and Kane. Read Fabbozzi last or don't read it just read the Jam/Actex/whatever, I think it is written to MBAs (idiots with big mouths).
In that exam what I like reading was Panjer.
There is something to think when you read it, not like Fabozzi verbose crap.
09-14-2001, 12:05 PM
Some chapters in the Fabozzi book is good, but some are VERY badly written. For study notes, I think you can safely bet on skipping those Canadian related topics: we know who sets the questions!
09-14-2001, 12:19 PM
Thanks for all your input.
09-15-2001, 01:26 PM
I do not understand the comment about "we know who sets the questions". Over the last couple of years there has been CIA stuff tested. If the comment above was meant to indicate that the exam writers would be baised and not ask questions from a CIA note - think again.
Although Canadian actuaries are a small fraction of SOA membership, they volunter allot.
In fact at least half the vice chairs are Canadians and between one third to one half of the markers are Canadian.
Maybe they are biased the should be to put more importance on the CIA stuff. The CIA stuff tends to be boring and breaks down to long lists that if summarized is as long as the original text.
09-15-2001, 03:06 PM
The CIA question on May 2001 Course 6 exam was not biased. Although, they probably put it on because everyone would think they would never ask something from a CIA note.
This question included principles to be applied in the US, even if it came from a CIA study note.
09-16-2001, 01:48 AM
Not all CIA notes are on 'Canadian topics'. I was referring to stuffs like the investment style/practice there and retirement plans there. I'm not saying that only Americans are setting the questions. I just feel that there is a bias among those setting the questions. For example, you saw Erisa questions before, which is US-specific, but how about Canada?
09-19-2001, 11:58 AM
I asked the question regarding "we know who sets the questions".
Point taken and well explained. I agree totally - the CIA material tested is applicable in general. Also with the ERISA comment.
09-24-2001, 10:59 AM
Can anyone give me the topic breakdown (percentage of exam that each topic worth)?
09-25-2001, 04:47 AM
REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON COURSE 6
Weighting of subject material by major topic
1. Identify and evaluate the risk and return
characteristics of various types of investment:
2. Identify how markets operate and explain the fundamental principles of modern portfolio theory:
3. Determine how options are priced in financial markets:
4. Determine the value of cash flow streams with embedded options:
5. Apply the concepts of interest rate risk
management and effective duration:
6. Explain how principles of asset liability
management impact portfolio construction and
management for institutional investors:
7. Identify and apply portfolio management
techniques to the ongoing investment management of financial institution and pension fund assets:
09-26-2001, 10:04 AM
Thank you very much, RS.
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