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View Full Version : May 2002 Course 3, answers

josephtse
10-05-2002, 05:34 PM
Hi, I know that for course 4 people were able to compile the questions and answers for this past May, but did anyone manage to piece together Course 3?

I was able to remember a lot of the questions right after I took it in May, and I was trying to get together w/ people to compile the questions, and hopefully, w/ enough people you could also get all the right answers.

I can name out questions but I don't know the question number to go with it; I just remember most of the questions I was stumped on, and I was hoping people could either give me the solution to those questions or stuff like that. With enought people, we should be able to compile the exam and the solutions, by the law of numbers.

Joe

megasoft
10-06-2002, 06:25 AM
yeah~~ i totally support your act. I really hope a set of sample 2002 May question will be surfaced soon. I'll try to ask my friend who passed in may if he could contribute some questions :P

cheers

thing
10-07-2002, 02:23 PM
I've moved on, taking Course 4 this time around. But I can tell you a few problems from last May...
&lt;!--
There was one problem almost exactly identical to ACTEX problem 293. This stuck in my mind because I had looked at the ACTEX problem the night before and rejected thinking about it; since nothing similar had been on the published exams. There's a lesson there.

A second one I spent too much time on: X is Pareto with &amp;alpha;=2, &amp;theta; unspecified. Ratio of the mean excess loss with d = 100 to mean excess loss with d = 500 was 1.5. Find the mean excess loss for d = 150.

One more: A fully discrete life insurance was issued to (42). By mistake, they used the premium for (40). The error was not corrected. Calculate E(<sub>3</sub>L). This one must have used the sample life table.
--&gt;

Edited to edit; discovered another non-functioning HTML option. Will delete once Traci or any moderator says I should.
Good luck, all.

Moderator1
10-07-2002, 02:44 PM

All the following quotes are from this (http://www.actuary.ca/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4172) thread.

I would recommend that we not try to re-create the test. I think that would be something that would beg for disciplinary action.

Unfortunately, I agree with Toonces. We want to be able to go as far as we can in discussing the questions and remembering our answers but we don't want to push it so far that the SOA feels they need to do something about it. Recreating the exam would probably be going too far.

Unfortunately, I agree with Toonces. We want to be able to go as far as we can in discussing the questions and remembering our answers but we don't want to push it so far that the SOA feels they need to do something about it. Recreating the exam would probably be going too far.

FWIW, you all know this is action that the SOA would think that is a violation.

I'm not saying it should be a violation, or that they would or could do anything about it, just stating what seems crystal clear to me about the intent of the rules.

Not that I personally would try to do anything about it.

Since Steve is a member of the Course 3 committee, I think we can assume he's correct that the SOA would object to recreating the exam.

Dr T Non-Fan
10-07-2002, 04:04 PM
I interpret the rule differently.

Instruction #14 is for behavior during one's own and others' exam time. "During the exam" is the phrase in the very first sentence that catches my attention.

Bullet point #17 in instruction #14 has always been a source of interesting debate. "Disclosing the contents of the exam to any other person." However, since the first sentence of the instruction clearly states that these are violations during the exam.

Bullet point #12 makes it clear that you must use your brain matter to store the questions and answers, should you decide not to forget. Since the SOA cannot force you to forget the exam contents (at least in this country), your defense is built in: you have a photographic memory and you did not disclose the contents to anyone during or before anyone's exam.

But that's just me and my opinion.

The intent of the rules is make sure that no current candidate has information or resources about the current exam that the other current candidates do not have.

FIOB
10-07-2002, 05:03 PM
I'm not sure I agree with your logic. "During the exam" is in the first sentence, but the bullet points are examples of improper conduct. The bullet point immediately following the one you refer to says "Presenting false information on an exam application." They could not be implying "during the exam", since the applications are turned in well before the exam.

As I understand it, the rule was to prevent people from getting an unfair advantage. Groups of people (like students in a particular actuarial science program) could more or less recreate the exam. Then they would provide it as a resource to future students in their program. Kind of like a fraternity, but without the gang bangs. Of course, it would have made more sense just to release the exams, but FSAs always worry that future actuarial students will have it easier than they did.

Bama Gambler
10-07-2002, 05:10 PM
A second one I spent too much time on: X is Pareto with &amp;alpha;=2, &amp;theta; unspecified. Ratio of the mean excess loss with d = 100 to mean excess loss with d = 500 was 1.5. Find the mean excess loss for d = 150.

Are you sure it's not the ratio of the mean excess loss with d=500 to mean excess loss with d=100 is 1.5?

mean excess loss for pareto = (theta + d)/(alpha - 1)

(theta + 100)/(theta + 500) = 1.5 would give a negative theta.
(theta + 500)/(theta + 100) = 1.5 =&gt; theta = 700
thus mean excess loss for d=150 = 700 + 150 = 950

Bama Gambler

thing
10-07-2002, 05:15 PM
Maybe it was d = 50. Anyway, the idea is the important thing.

burton leon reynolds
10-07-2002, 05:19 PM
As I understand it, the rule was to prevent people from getting an unfair advantage. Groups of people (like students in a particular actuarial science program) could more or less recreate the exam. Then they would provide it as a resource to future students in their program. Kind of like a fraternity

Doesn't it stand to reason that the SOA has increased the chances of this happening by not releasing the exams.

Bama Gambler
10-07-2002, 05:22 PM
Maybe it was d = 50. Anyway, the idea is the important thing.

I agree. Did my solution give you the right idea? If not see if this helps: by definition the excess loss = e(d) = E[X-d|X&gt;d]. For a Pareto distribution Y=X-d|X&gt;d is a pareto distribution with the same alpha and with theta = old theta + d. So e(d) = E[Y] = (theta + d)/(alpha - 1) for integral values of alpha.

As a side note if X is exponential with mean = theta, then X-d|X&gt;d is exponential with mean = theta. Thus, e(d) = theta.

thing
10-07-2002, 05:34 PM
Oh, yeah, you were definitely right. Neat trick, isn't it...

Dr T Non-Fan
10-07-2002, 07:05 PM
Using conspiracy-theory logic, that's exactly what the SOA wants: higher pass rates among the universities with large actuarial programs.

I mean, that's how the SOA finds out if the exams are too easy, when the low-lifes are on average passing in numbers similar to the higher caste.

This way, the SOA can justify granting equivalent passage of exams to those who attend certain colleges and taking courses. I mean, they were going to pass anyway, those super-intelligent students. Look at the pass rates, after all.

Steve White
10-07-2002, 08:25 PM
I would prefer that each Course 3 exam were released, but that's not happening.

I interpret the rule differently.

1. Perhaps you are reading it too literally. Candidates are supposed to follow the rules in letter and spirit. Do you really think the SOA would agree that it's OK to recreate the exams it has chosen not to release?

2. Each of the exams is copyrighted. Doesn't that, together with the SOA decision not to release the exam, raise objections to reproducing it?

The Drunken Actuary
10-07-2002, 09:03 PM
If the exam is copyrighted, does that mean it is available publicy somehow?

Dr T Non-Fan
10-07-2002, 09:18 PM
First, "Spirit" and "SOA" are somewhat disjoint, eh?

Secondly, it seems that you and the others are reading the rule too literally, Mr White. "Disclosing the contents of the exam to any other person" literally means "ever." There is no expiration on this rule, and it certainly must have had an expiration when the SOA was making exams public. I say the spirit of the rule is to prevent those taking the test in later time zones to gain an advantage by having someone in London disclose the contents of the exam for the sole purpose of eventually finding their way to a West-Coast candidate.

In general, the spirit of the rules is to make sure that no candidate has an advantage during the exam over other candidates. Each of the rules in instruction #14 follow this spirit.

Memorizing a question and its answers cannot possibly be against the spirit of the rule, as it's the only way to challenge the wording of a question or the possible answers. Unless... that's exactly what the SOA wants you to do!

Finally, reproducing an exam for financial gain would be breaking a different rule, and there are lawyers for that kind of thing. Reproducing an exam for one's own amusement would not. It would be lunacy, but whatever floats one's boat.

Steve White
10-07-2002, 10:20 PM
Secondly, it seems that you and the others are reading the rule too literally, Mr White.

I didn't cite any particular rule, so how could you know I was reading it too literally?

Which of these best reflects your perception of the SOA's position:

- reproducing the exam, for the mutual benefit of members of a group, is fine?
- reproducing the exam, for the mutual benefit of members of a group, is not OK?
- I'm clueless about whether the SOA thinks reproducing the exam would be OK?

Assuming you choose the second one, isn't that what following the spirit of the rules means?

In general, the spirit of the rules is to make sure that no candidate has an advantage during the exam over other candidates. Each of the rules in instruction #14 follow this spirit.

It is true that is a very important objective of the rules, the primary one. That doesn't mean it's the only objective.

Memorizing a question and its answers cannot possibly be against the spirit of the rule, as it's the only way to challenge the wording of a question or the possible answers.

Straw man: who said memorizing a question and its answers is against the spirit of any rule?

Finally, reproducing an exam for financial gain would be breaking a different rule, and there are lawyers for that kind of thing. Reproducing an exam for one's own amusement would not. It would be lunacy, but whatever floats one's boat.

Copyright laws can be broken without financial gain.

I reiterate, I wish the SOA would release the exams. But if it chooses not to, I think those who systematically reproduce an unreleased exam are getting an unfair advantage over those who do not have access to the exam.

Arlie_Proctor
10-07-2002, 11:50 PM
I don't generally weigh in on these items, but on this one I can't resist. ETS recently pulled several of it's qualifying exams in computer science because it was found that foreign students, using the internet, had successfully reproduced past exams as a study aid for future students. ETS concluded that this represented a cultural difference among US/European students and Asian students with respect to their responsibilities to future students and education of those students. ETS therefore did not pursue legal proceedings against the students who had participated in the reproductions of past exams (no mention of whether it would even be feasible to pursue such actions).

This represents a nasty precedent that the CAS and SOA should sit up and notice. In today's environment, even ETS cannot control its exams, it is a joke for the SOA and CAS to think that they can do better, their resources represent a fraction of a percent of those mustered by ETS. We cannot monitor cites in hundreds of languages for violations of the "non-sharing" rule.

Release the exams and release the grading of failing papers. The pedagogical value is huge and any thoughts about "secret" questions making the exam leveling process easier just don't fly in the current internet environment. We can't control it.

Dr T Non-Fan
10-07-2002, 11:52 PM
I am discussing I-14, BP-17. I think that the rule is meant to prevent candidates with knowledge of the exam to share that knowledge with others, with the possibility that said information could get into the hands of another candidate taking that same exam.

Since the SOA had the same rule in place when it did release exams (and still does, in the case of higher-numbered exams), the spirit of the rule appears to have an expiration date. I believe the spirit of the rule makes that expiration date equal to the time when all exams of that course are officially finished. After which, discussion of the exam should not prohibited.

I think we're on the same page. Not releasing exams will provide the opportunity for concentrated pockets of candidates and mentors to reproduce the exam for future candidates within the concentrated pocket. Those without the economies of scale to reproduce the exam will be at a disadvantage. The SOA may or may not be interested in preventing such a dis-parity. The SOA has ideas to replace exams with approved college-course material. What better place than high-passing-ratio colleges to award these programs?

Besides, the real potential rule-breakers are:
1. Those in charge at the exam centers, making an extra copy for next year's seminars (or for this year's "exceptional" students).
2. London-thru-Far-East memorizers, who call their state/province-side friends with the Q/A's.

The Drunken Actuary
10-08-2002, 10:18 AM
Arlie,
what is ETS?

retaker
10-08-2002, 10:21 AM
The problem is that whether we think it is acceptable or not, you can bet your nuckies that students out there are reproducing the exams. This is not fair for those of us not doing this. The question is does the SOA care?

As for: "but FSAs always worry that future actuarial students will have it easier than they did."
I don't think we need to worry about that.

The most likely reason they don't want to release the exams or grades is that they want freedom to pass whom ever they want whenever they want without having to listen to us b_tch about them failing 60% of the candidates for an exam where the vast majority of candidates did very well.

We students are just as much to blame for allowing this as is the SOA. I believe the exam process could be reformed without de-valuing the designation. If we all worked together we could make our presence felt, but unfortunately we are too concerned with getting our raises and progressing with the exams to take a sitting off in protest.

Alya
10-08-2002, 03:28 PM
Arlie,
what is ETS?

Educational Testing Service -- provider of SAT, GRE, TOEFL, ...
http://www.ets.org/

Michael
10-08-2002, 03:43 PM
Just to inject some balance, I'll enter my opinion: I am indifferent as to whether they release old exams. In my experience with the exams, there have always been plenty of practice problems with detailed solutions, touching many aspects of the material. Many study guides exist that provide multiple angles on the topics, with shortcuts and a variety of other devices intended to smooth the examination process. In the end, I have always felt like I have plenty to practice on, and I doubt that having that one additional exam would make much of a difference.

Now, if the SOA intends on recycling questions, there is the cheating angle to concern ourselves with. But, my take on cheaters has always been that they'll lose in the end anyway, and I will be smarter than them for my honesty. If they pass all exams in large part by cheating, I imagine that that will become apparent later on. I just focus on what I can accomplish and let the cheaters slither along until they are crushed by the mounting weight of their deceptions.

Now, get back to studying!!!

The Drunken Actuary
10-08-2002, 04:06 PM
Arlie,
what is ETS?

Educational Testing Service -- provider of SAT, GRE, TOEFL, ...
http://www.ets.org/
Yeah thanks. I figured it out about 4 seconds after I posted. Thought I had deleted the post. OTOH, it was probably my moral aversion to post deleting that somehow prevented me from deleting a post, even one that [that I recognized] would make me look silly.

Elisha
10-08-2002, 04:58 PM
I sat for the last Exam 3 and there were definitely a few problems (like that Max Variance problem) that were NOT on any practice exams - meaning, there was no way to learn how to do the problem unless you could just figure it out during the exam.

I don't see what the big deal is with recycling problems - just change some of the numbers. There is still a massive amount of material to learn and you'll have to learn how to do those types of problems anyway.

retaker
10-08-2002, 05:09 PM
Elisha,
Yeah, that seems to be what they did a lot in the past. Now it seems to have changed somewhat. There aren't as many repeats. Definitely not as many blatant repeats as there use to be.

I agree with Michael’s general theme, but disagree about having as many questions as they use to.
Weren't there tons of old 140 and 150 past exam questions to use for practice under the old system? More importantly, didn't the questions pop up again on your test?

Bamma, I can see you have completely assimilated course 3 already. You're the man.

Michael
10-08-2002, 05:31 PM
It is true that the style of the questions have changed, which makes the historical pool of questions less relevant, but you can still learn the guts of the material from these questions. The modern exam questions are more ornate in certain ways, and we need to adapt to them, to imitate the style. And, yes, the questions on exam three, to a lesser degree than course one, take the form of template problems where you can automatically and mechanically react and respond. These problems require creativity, more problem solving than before, but this seems appropriate given that problem solving abilities form the essence of our role in business. And, if a question is unreasonably difficult, no one will get it correct, and it will not impact our performance.

I find that how we fare on these exams is more in our hands than is generally accepted. The exams are hard, but they can be beat. There is no substitute for 500 study hours, except perhaps a ridiculously prodigious brain.