View Full Version : When to start C5?
05-10-2002, 10:33 PM
Now that C6 is over, any idea as to when to start on C5 for a first timer?
05-10-2002, 11:06 PM
The sooner, the better.
I know, studying is probably the last thing you want to think about right now, but Course 5 is a big exam with a lot of material. So, take a few weeks off and give your brain cells a chance to regenerate, and then hit the books!
Although there's a lot of material on course 5, the good news is that the Course 5 material is generally less difficult than the Course 6 material (i.e. no Panjer.)
05-10-2002, 11:43 PM
Wow. I had to read the response here. Fortunately I have no more fall exams (don't hate me because I'm beautiful) but I can't imagine studying for part 5 right now for the first time (took 200 and 210 both twice passing just 200 and then eventually part 5). I just finshed part 6 today and I am fried!
05-11-2002, 10:58 AM
Wiped out from 6, still have to take 4 on Wednesday.... I won't start studying for 4 & 5 until a week from now.
05-11-2002, 02:38 PM
...taking part 4 on Wednesday...studying for 4 and 5 in fall. Not a good sign I guess. I hope this didn't affect your abilities to pass 6 (devil on shoulder - "or at least to be effective for part 6!")
05-11-2002, 03:33 PM
I'm going to get the textbooks as soon as SOA publishes the actual syllabus. There are a lot more memorization, and less numerical questions. I feel I need to start early to be able to create and memorize lists.
I won't go hardcore for a while, but not getting completely cold on studying suited me well. (I started course 6 in December)
I am guessing JAM calender starts on 6/1.
I was definitely brainfried. I still am. I just don't want to run out of time as I know it can easily happen. Retaking course 5 would be disaster to my traveltime.
My recommendation: Get the books if you are sure you will be taking course 5. skim through very quickly on the topics. Pick some material that you are either already familiar with (from work), or something that sounds like easy/fun, and start with that. Usually if you know/like the topic, they will go a lot quicker, and you would likely to be able to retain the knowledge.
Then when everyone else is just starting, you can feel less overwhelmed because you already started. And having gone through some material, it would then be easier to tackle the more obscure topics.
If you are in the actuarial profession, I hope you like to study for exams, at least neutral positive. (I sometimes have to remind myself that I enjoy the studying process) Otherwise, you are probably not in the right profession.
05-11-2002, 05:12 PM
I'm going to get the textbooks as soon as SOA publishes the actual syllabus.
The syllabus is already available here:
Better get started :D .
Jam doesn't have a schedule for 5 yet, but the one from last year (still up at www.studyjam.com) shows start time of 6/29.
05-11-2002, 06:51 PM
Unless you are a pension actuary, learning and practicing all the pension valuation methods takes quite a bit of effort. The life insurance calculations are cumbersome as well.
05-11-2002, 07:13 PM
The permanent pessimist, that's me.
Actually, I took six as my "Intro to the SOA WA exam nightmare." As things went, I believe I got a strong 4/5. Not too bad considering half the answers I did get were from material learned 3 days prior. Course 4 is a habitual problem that I talk about often in group. ;) Fortunately, I don't work in a situation where an exam overdose hurts my career (just my checkbook). But, nicely enough, if I get that one additional point in C4 and pass this time, my "trial offer" in C6 will be forgotten, and I will be that much ahead of the game when I take it "for real." BTW, to make life more interesting, I read through the C5 material last fall, with no intent to take the exam. :crazy: I'll be ready for this one no matter how C4 turns out.
05-11-2002, 11:03 PM
I haven't checked SOA in a couple weeks. I knew that it wasn't out there when I went to JAM.
good luck on course 4. Hopefully you focused on 4 and only tested the water on 6. :)
I guess for the pension actuaries (of which I am one), the life insurance calculations will be painful, while the pension calculations are not fun for those in life insurance.
p.s. after last course 5, people at my work were complaining about the pension question! the assumptions weren't complete.
05-11-2002, 11:41 PM
Foxtrot, you've got me feeling all warm and fuzzy about 5. I'm a health actuary.... :cry:
05-12-2002, 01:31 PM
Sorry Bookworm, I didn't mean to make you (or anyone else) stressed.
As far as I know, C5 is much more list based than C6. There are only a few things that is calculations. So if you are good at memorizing lists (or start early), you should be fine.
As for the math portion, I am probably going to JAM and let Carmody teach me how the math is done.
05-12-2002, 08:06 PM
Similar to those who used this sitting for C6 as their "exposure to WA exam nightmare", I did the same thing last fall for C5.
The only reason I didn't get a 0 was because I nailed 2 out of the 3 pension questions--and I am in the health field.
So, it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and start by learning some of the pension funding formulas; I actually found this reading to be not too awful.
Also, the P&C numerical problems are kinda fun (but let any of my friends hear me say that--they all still think I'm 22% cool).
Incidentally, JAM suggests starting w/the P&C book and the Pension Funding book in the early days, kinda just to get the brain back into action (instead of reading, e.g., that awful Fundamentals of Private Pensions book).
I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks that it's not a bad idea to start studying (lightly) sooner rather than later. Just don't look at it as a Priority 1 obligation (like you normally do as you get closer to exam time).
Good luck--I'll be studying right along with you.
New at pd
05-15-2002, 09:26 AM
I'm beginning today. No rest for the wicked.
05-15-2002, 11:03 AM
Similarly to The Bomb, C5 last fall was my first time WA exposure. I got a 3, but only because I nailed all the pension questions (I am a pension actuary) and got lucky on a few others because I actually recalled the lists I memorized. That experience definitely helped me for C6 this time around, and I hope C6 does the same for those people for whom it was their first WA.
Even as a pension actuary, I found the Pension Math book to be really challenging. I also didn't think the Fundamentals of Private Pensions was all that bad. Boring as hell, yes, but not too bad. Of course, that's because I already knew most of what was in the book, and because it is only about 90 of the 1600 pages we have to read.
I don't think I'm going to be starting as early as you all, but still earlier (for me) than last time, and definitely early enough to drill the lists into my head.
I certainly hope your dedication pays off.
05-15-2002, 12:23 PM
If you have lots of time, anytime is fine.
I'll be starting in September -- for Fall 2003.
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