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Phil
01-11-2003, 11:16 PM
This is a fine how-do-you-do... Since November, I have been rewriting and reorganizing my 8M notes in order to sell them on the Actuarial Bookstore. They said they would buy the product, and I'm over halfway done with the product now. It's called "8M SyllaBUSTER". If I don't say so myself, this is one of the most beautiful study guides I've ever seen. My goal is to explain every concept in plain English and make the study guide readable on its own without the need for the textbooks. The only problem is... I failed!
Maybe that's an advantage, as a failing candidate could have better ability to explain the material than a student who is such a genius that he gets a 10 without seeing what's so hard about the material. What do you think?

Thanks,
-Phil

urysohn
01-11-2003, 11:51 PM
No offense, but you forgot the poll choice "Not a chance; nuh-uh; not gonna happen; no way".

I think your best bet would be to give them away this year. It'll be painful for you, but if they're as good as you say they are then: (a) you'll pass next time and (b) you'll get a lot of good publicity for the following year.

homersimpson
01-12-2003, 03:58 AM
Are you crazy? I was even skeptical when the author of "The Edge" manual (8R) claimed he passed with "high marks". What the heck does that mean? You know it doesn't mean a 9 or a 10, otherwise he would say so like Carmody. Your notes could be a blue print for failure.

semper augustus
01-12-2003, 09:32 AM
I think either you should give it away for a year, or just lay low for awhile. Right now this manual has a user pass rate of 0%. I agree with the above, there just is no way to justify pinning my hopes on a manual that has NEVER produced a passing candidate. Your frustration is understandable, but the idea that an author failing is a "advantage" is totally ridiculous.

Why don't you consider giving the material away to a couple of dozen people for free in exchange for using those people as reviewers/editors/fact checkers?

urysohn
01-12-2003, 10:50 PM
the idea that an author failing is a "advantage" is totally ridiculous.
Not completely true. I think this could be an advantage, but not until he passes. And there should be changes after he does pass - after all, there's something missing from the manual right now to produce a passing student. (if there's no changes, that's fine, but I think it would be false advertising to say "I didn't pass the first time, so I learned what it takes to get it done.")

C5Funus
01-13-2003, 04:12 AM
If I don't say so myself, this is one of the most beautiful study guides I've ever seen. My goal is to explain every concept in plain English and make the study guide readable on its own without the need for the textbooks. The only problem is... I failed!

Nope, a GOOD study guide will help you memorize the material that will likely be tested on the exam. Understanding the material is a bonus. That's why Carmody's stuff for 5 and 6 is so popular.

Maybe that's an advantage, as a failing candidate could have better ability to explain the material than a student who is such a genius that he gets a 10 without seeing what's so hard about the material. What do you think?l

I tried the approach of trying to "understand" the material. And I kept getting grades of 4 and 5. I gave up and memorized list after list instead. I haven't failed an exam since.

It's a poor indictment of the SOA education system, but these exams aren't about who "understands" the material the best.

They're about identifying candidates who can spit out lists that appear on the grading outlines that come directly from the texts.

More often than not, the 2 graders want to get through their question as quickly as possible so they can hit the golf course.

A good study guide focuses on what is "testable"; namely what might be likely questions from the syllabus material.

Me
01-13-2003, 09:56 AM
It depends if there are other study guides available for that track. 8V only had Actex written by Bensics (of whom I am not a fan!). When I found that out, I started considering changing to 8F, but I had already been studying for more than a month. Since my company pays for all my study materials, if you had been in an equivalent position for an 8V study guide this last fall, I would've bought it and Actex.

Robin8G
01-13-2003, 11:23 AM
I am a perfect example of someone taking an exam
without a full understanding of what it all means.
I work in Life ins. and passed 8G on 1st time (or so says the list of #'s)

Sometimes being a little removed from the material goes a long way,
ironic, I know. You need to get good at the exam, then learn the stuff if you are still interested.
( I was also the person who memorized 2500 SAT words and got near perfect verbal...again going with the "do what it takes" to ace the test)

I'm sure your notes are precious and far better than mine, but they probably won't sell, if they didn't work for the person who they should
have worked for the best....

Phil
01-13-2003, 11:56 AM
Thank you all for your advice and opinions.
Personally, I would buy a failing candidate's notes, but only if I looked at a sample and could tell that he knew what he was talking about. I failed because I knew so much about the list questions that I couldn't stop writing about them! I didn't budget my time properly and I ended up leaving a few high-point math questions almost blank.

I have decided to post the notes that I have so far on this forum for free. They cover about half of the 8M syllabus.

If feedback on them is good, I may still continue to write notes on the rest of the syllabus.

Thank you again for your help. It was instructive to hear how other candidates feel about this strange issue.

Sincerely,
Phil

Abducens
01-13-2003, 03:17 PM
Thank you all for your advice and opinions.
Personally, I would buy a failing candidate's notes, but only if I looked at a sample and could tell that he knew what he was talking about. I failed because I knew so much about the list questions that I couldn't stop writing about them! I didn't budget my time properly and I ended up leaving a few high-point math questions almost blank.

I have decided to post the notes that I have so far on this forum for free. They cover about half of the 8M syllabus.

If feedback on them is good, I may still continue to write notes on the rest of the syllabus.

Thank you again for your help. It was instructive to hear how other candidates feel about this strange issue.

Sincerely,
Phil

actuarybert-wannabe

Phil
01-13-2003, 03:38 PM
Actuarybert is an admirable person, but she and I developed our writing styles independently.

Abducens
01-13-2003, 03:45 PM
Actuarybert is an admirable person, but she and I developed our writing styles independently.

Understatement of the year.

Phil
01-13-2003, 04:40 PM
Abby, I'm really going to miss you. You were ... you were loved. :oops:

Abducens
01-13-2003, 04:42 PM
Be thinking of me when you're taking 8M again, bud. Hey, maybe if you bring in your own handwritten outline that you wrote up yourself, you'll pass this time. I won't hold my breath though.

ykw
01-13-2003, 10:12 PM
Phil & Abducens,

You two should just trade emails so I don't have to wade through this crap.

On another note, I am in full agreement with Abducens (different thread). Now that exams are over, I am starting change my perspective. When I look back, I can't help but to think they are getting easier since I took my last exam in Nov 2002. :viola:

Dr T Non-Fan
01-13-2003, 11:00 PM
Since Phil (or anyone) didn't name the price, I'll bid:

$0.

Note how Bensics manual for Course 6 (from CSM) is selling at $99. Vs $150 for new Actex and $168 for JAM. This is what happens to poorly written manuals in the marketplace.

Secondly, after 5 and 6, the fields of candidates splits so much that it's hardly worth the effort of making a study manual and updating it yearly in the three months (?) that the SOA gives you.

I'm with the rest: Either give it away to a test audience (if you are unsure of your own abilities as an exam taker), or pass the damn thing.