View Full Version : 8M
01-10-2003, 11:07 PM
Any advice for those of us taking 8m for the first time this fall??
01-13-2003, 11:26 AM
Come on guys - please provide some study tips on passing this exam on the first attempt ...I don't want to be Mr. Three times. I suck at these exams and I really need advice on getting this mo-fo down.
Study tips would be really helpful.
01-17-2003, 08:41 PM
just trying to put this right back up here. Need advice from 8M takers - whats the best strategy to study for this exam and not take it three times.
01-18-2003, 01:09 AM
I can not really give you any good advice because I flunked it. But just like any other exams, start early and be consistent. I plan to start studying in May.
I am getting old and can not see me taking these exams much longer. Alomost 35, with 3 kids, and still taking exams. When will this s**t end?
01-20-2003, 12:25 AM
My (not so original) advice...start early and put in alot of hours. After passing C5 a year ago, I decided to skip C7 and instead started studying in February for 8M. Since I had a 6-month old boy at the time, I knew I would need to start way early to hit my study goal of 520 hours. Managed to put in 500 hours, and passed with a 7.
Specifically, since there are no worthwhile study guides for 8M, I tried to emulate Carmody's approach. I spent the first 250-280 hours reading through each text and creating a handwritten detailed outline (this took up 7 notepads). I then spent about 70 hours creating a condensed outline in Word, trying to be as Carmody-esque as possible (ended up with an 84 page CO). Then I went through and tried to identify math problems they could pull from the text.
Six weeks before the exam I started the very painful process of memorizing my CO. Also reviewed math problems, which is difficult because there are precious few examples in the texts (IMO, this is part of what makes the C8's very difficult). Here's where I really caught a break...a co-worker of mine was also taking 8M, and he was really good at seeing where a problem could come from. A few weeks before the exam he pointed out that the case study added new material from which they could ask a question on durational factors...so we both worked out what the durational factors would be. So when that question showed up on the exam, I knew exactly what to do with 100% confidence. There was also a question that talked about sub-groups (forget the exact question now), and we had also discussed that at some length...I'm sure I didn't nail that question, but I definitely knew some of the key points from it. At any rate, the point is to try to anticipate what types of questions they can ask...and it definitely helps if you have a study partner to discuss those issues.
As for the exam itself, I found C8 to be way more tiring than C5 and C6...surprising what an extra hour of exam time can do. Plus no multiple choice, so it's 6 grueling hours of fighting hand cramps. Just be sure to use the oft-repeated advice of writing something down on each question. Spend the allotted time (or very close to it) on each question and move on.
01-20-2003, 10:14 AM
Please read the private message I sent you.
01-20-2003, 02:06 PM
I passed 8M on try #2. My study techniques did not change much between attempt #1 and attempt #2 except I understood things faster the second time which gave me more time to work problems and memorize the material.
On the Material-
8M is split into 2 parts- Core and MC Extension. 60% of the test points come from the Core material which represented the entire morning portion and a couple of the afternoon test questions. I kept the 2 parts separate and tried to spend a proportionate amount of preparation time on each part. I think this is really important because it can be pretty easy to get hung up in becming an expert in the MC portion when that is only going to be good for 40% of the test.
It is also easy to get hung up in detail, especially in some of the MC readings. The Kongstvedt book is filled with chapters that dive into detail. Not only that, but it is a bear to outline since it seems to go off on tangents. I tried to keep the big picture in mind, especially when looking for things to memorize.
As for problems-
An obvious recommendation is to work all past test problems. A word of caution- not all of the "model" solutions are correct. In addition, there seem to be problems which must be important to the exam committe because some form of them come up every year. An example is prospective and retrospective rating. I made sure I had an idea what to do with them. Also, like Mc Bain said, it is good to try to anticipate future problems. His example of the anticipation of the durational factor problem is classic and paid off.
Also, the exam committee likes to test your confusion of terms. For example, Problem 17 of 2002 asked to compare and contrast disease mgt and demand mgt and also asked about clinical pathways. They could have easily also questioned medical mgt, quality mgt, utilizatin mgt, case mgt or practice mgt and still confused people. I put all of these on a list together so I could more easily keep them separate. I did a similar exercise with the ASOP's and also had a sheet on trend since it is mentioned in different readings and took on different meanings depending on the reading.
Nothing different than what has been mentioned by everybody else. Read, outline (especially make a condensed outline- good for memorizing), work problems and MEMORIZE (I gave myself about 6 weeks this last time for this part.) It helps to set goals in the process- not just hours put in, but (more importantly) what needs to be covered in each period of time.
Nothing here is any different than what Carmody tell you. Watching the time for each answer is important. It is a killer test compared to 5 and 6. I remember making the comment right after the test to a co worker who took the test with me about how I dreaded the possibility (if I failed) of having to go through the test process more than the 400 hours of preparation. I still stick to that statement and am thankful that I am out of it.
I hope this helps. Given the source (since it took me 2 trys) they may not be the best tips, but did eventually work out for me. Good luck!
01-20-2003, 09:55 PM
I know these do not seem like revelations, but I have passed all the upper levels with room to spare, and this is what I have done (at least for non-math questions).
1. Budget by the amount of points. There is absolutely no excuse for not giving the same effort on each question. It doesn't matter how much you know. The points dictate how long you are writing for. Even with math problems, do what you can, but when times up, move on.
2. When it comes to writing a list, after you have exhausted all the facts that you remembered, what do you do? That's right, just keep on putting down facts that relate to anything even remotely close.
As an example of what I am talking about, I memorized about four lists from various spots in the syllabus about issues effecting managed care, employers, underwriting, trends, etc... I just basically decided that if anything even close was asked, I was going to put down everything on every list. I probably used this bad boy 3-4 times on the exam. You might say I didn't know the material, but I did. It's just that when I still had extra time, I needed a plan so I wouldn't waste time for thinking of extraneous points. I just wanted to keep the pen moving.
Remember, they don't take points of for extra stuff, unless it's contradictory.
I know this doesn't help with studying, but I find the easiest way to score points on this test is to worry about getting everything in your head and just do a 6 hour brain dump.
vBulletin® v3.7.6, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.