View Full Version : Question from a potential exam 4 candidate
05-23-2002, 05:34 PM
i just took exam 2 today. my question is:
i have taken some two classes in regression and survival analysis (using the pindyke and the other yellow book). but i haven't taken anything in loss models or credibility (nor have i seen the loss models stuff from course 3). is it possible for me to jump on to course 4 in november, by simply studying credibility and loss models? I guess a better question would be: do i have to read and understand all the loss models material on course 3 to attack course 4?
your help is greatly appreciated!
05-23-2002, 06:02 PM
I'd say if you want to jump to 4 go ahead. I got credit for 3 in the transition and managed to pass 4 w/out having had the loss models material on 3. For me the survival analysis stuff was a bigger problem, so if you've had classes in that and using the Pind&R text for regression stuff I'd say it makes sense to try 4. Did you get to the ARMA/ARIMA stuff in your econometrics class? That was the hardest part of that book for me, mainly b/c there was no intuition to it, you just had to memorize a whole bunch of formulas. But then again, that pretty much sums up most of Course 4... If you can get the Mahler guide for the loss models and credibility portion, do. And the ASM guide is a must.
05-23-2002, 06:56 PM
I agree with Anoony. Go ahead and try C4. It's actually easier than C3, in my opinion. In your case, get Mahler's notes for the Loss Model, Simulation, and Credibility stuffs. He reviews the Loss Model from C3 also, so you have nothing to worry about.
If you want a complete review (but not detailed explanation) of all the topics, buy ASM. It's excellent!
05-23-2002, 07:12 PM
I was in a very similar situation 6 months ago to the one you are now in. I had passed Exam 120 under the old system (time series / regression) but not any of the other Course 3 / Course 4 materials. I took Course 4 without having done Course 3. I would say that I'm glad I did.
I agree with the above posters that you should get Mahler's notes. They cover everything that you haven't already studied. I can't speak to the ASM because I didn't use it, but if Mahler's notes aren't enough for you, I can't imagine what would be. Did anyone seriously get all the way through Mahler's notes and was still looking for more reading material? :P
05-23-2002, 07:18 PM
thank you all so much for your quick responses@@!
one more question: should i get mahler's notes for course three as well (to get the basics)? or just for course 4?
05-23-2002, 07:20 PM
If you're just studying for Course 4, don't get the notes for Course 3. The Course 4 notes contain some "review" of the topics covered in Course 3.
Save the trees!
05-24-2002, 12:29 AM
ed999, you don't need Mahler's notes for C3.
4sigma, Mahler's notes are self-contained for the topics that he covers. But remember that he covers only half (or less than half?) of the exam material. You still need to review the other half.
05-24-2002, 12:41 AM
I used Mahler for the credibility and curve fitting and Mehta/Hill's notes for the Regression/Time Series.I learned what I could from the sample survival models material from old actex materials.
You do not need course 3 to pass this one, esp. if you just use Mahler's notes for the Loss Models material
The temple seminar helped.
Passed the first time. I didn't get a perfect score, but my score was a perfect number :D
But really, study what interests you most - you'll be more motiviated that way, and just accept you're not going to be an expert on everything. But do be expert on a few topics. It will help you after the exam too, since the material you are expert on you'll still remember, whereas the stuff you cram will be forgotten the day after the exam. I kid you not - I cannot tell you a single thing about survival models.
05-24-2002, 09:00 AM
I am starting to prepare for Course 4. I am not working for an actuarial company and so don't have free access to notes and stuff. If anybody has any notes (especially ASM) to sell for course 4, I will be interested in buying it.
New at pd
05-24-2002, 10:24 AM
Here's my input to the situation. For each of exams 3 and 4, I started about 4 months before the exam (basically when results came out confirming that I was going to take each exam.) Anyway, this is what I used:
Actex primarily, with a little bit of CSM thrown in there. Didn't need CSM at all. For example, a general formula for calculating reserves, PV(Future Benefits) - PV(Future Premiums), was broken out about 80 different was in CSM. This exam requires you understand the material and be able to apply basic concepts to a variety of situations. Break down Actex into notecards. religiously worked past exams, and studied the style of problems. Got used to working with the Illustrative Life Table, which you will use in the exam.
~300 hours, scored a 9.
It's all about ASM. It's all you need. It's not an exam of understanding; it's an exam of doing. ASM does a great job of breaking the material into bite-size pieces that are easy to apply, digest, and memorize. When I took this exam, there were 6 "theory" questions that required reading the book -- this was more than any other exam to that point - didn't get any of them correct -- got a 10. BTW, my only experience with stats of any kind was studying for exam 110 (now rolled up into course 1)
That's my story.
05-24-2002, 11:13 AM
I strongly recommend Mahler's notes for both Exams 3 and 4. He doesn't cover everything, but he does an excellent job on what he does cover. He explains things thoroughly starting with the basics. After using his material, you should be able to answer all questions since you will have a deep understanding of the material. And get ASM for Exam 4 !!!
05-24-2002, 01:14 PM
How would I go about getting Mahlers notes for Course 4. I thought I saw something in the actuarial bookstore, but I thought it said it was only have of what a seminar taker would get. I also tried look for the NEAS website, which I swear I've seen before.
05-24-2002, 01:18 PM
There's a link to their order form on the main page that lets you order just the Mahler notes.
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