View Full Version : Which course 8 should I take?
01-16-2003, 10:36 AM
I am planning to take course 8 next fall, but don't know which one to take? I've worked in the life insurance for couple years already, but I would like to know more about finance subject (since I found that there are too many life actuaries in the market). Also, I am taking an MBA program with a concentration in finance, will the SOA count my finance courses in MBA program as PD credits? Which course 8 is easier to pass? Are there any study manual for course 8F (something similar to JAM or 8I Made Easy)? Too many questions for now already.
Well you seem to have answered your own question! I took 8F this sitting and passed (barely but still). I really enjoyed the readings (at least most of them). Yes there is a similar study guide called Begin Work, which I found really helpful. There is a lot more material in this outline than either JAM 5 or 6. One problem too is that they tried to make a JAM-like condensed outline, which honestly didn't work really well with that type of exam. They ended up skipping a lot of material and really, this exam is more about understanding, "knowing" the material rather than memorizing lists.
01-17-2003, 06:54 AM
Thank you JO. But it seems that more people take 8I, is it an easier exam to take provided I have the life experience? Will it be too difficult for a person without finance working experience to take the 8F? I really just want to finish all the SOA exams asap.
Course 8F is an excellent exam to take if you're into finance and also liked Course 6. About 40% of the material from 8F is also found on Course 6, and the rest is an extension of the same.
The exam is good if you like big picture exams. Perhaps 1/2 of the exam points were found in the syllabus, and the other points were judgement or thinking questions that didn't really have any covered sections from the syllabus. I took 8F and passed on the first try with about 400 study hours.
question, I work in life insurance as well and didn't have prior finance experience before taking the exam. I put in 315 hours. But I will admit some of the stuff in there was harder for me to grasp since I was totally not familiar with. There is a lot material (like any Course 8 exam) so it's hard to focus on individual parts. As mentionned above, it's really a big picture, what is your recommendation type of exam so I enjoyed that rather than spitting out lists. I would have been bummed to take it again yes, but it's not the type of exam where one would be "I have to study that crap AGAIN?! :(" At least not for me.
01-17-2003, 02:14 PM
It is not necessary to have finance experience to do well at 8F. I think the reason so many more people take 8I is that there are a lot of actuaries in individual insurance and I think most of them take 8I without giving it second thought. 8F does give you a better big-picture view of business, and I think will give you an edge as you move into management roles. 8I seems kind of boring (just an extension of course 5) and contains many things that you would learn on the job anyway as you work on things. On the other hand, even if you have experience working on one of the subjects of 8I, it won't help you very much, because you have to answer the questions based on what you read on the syllabus, not based on your own experience. Also, I have the impression 8I has a lot of lists and is mostly memorization, while 8F requires some independent thought (though it is still important to memorize a lot of the material).
Lastly, I would like to warn you not to rely too much on the BeginWork manual. Though the Actex isn't any better, the BW manual has a lot of errors and summarizes some things incorrectly. Yes, they could have decided to work on the manual and improve it now that they've had more time, but based on how the "authors" conducted themselves over the past several months, I'd be willing to bet they'll just do a quick outline of the new material on the syllabus (and probably won't mail it out until September) and then be done with it.
01-17-2003, 04:16 PM
Let's view it this way: all the "#8" exams, whether it is I, V, F, P, G/M are 6 hours exam that require 300+ hours of study time and with a passing % of 40-50%. Contrary to what people seem to think, no 8i is not easier, or 8F better, or that 8V has more brilliant candidates. It is BS. They are EQUIVALENT. Good for you if you seem to think that 8F will help you get a promotion or an edge, but I doubt it will. To me, the only important thing on your resume is FSA. The track in which you succeded exam 8 does not matter, same as the fact that nobody gives a damn whether you had a 6 or a 9.
You choose whatever you think will be easier for you. No exam will be fun to study once or twice or three times.
I'm just sick of people that seem to think they're superior because they did for example 8F instead of 8I. Same exam, same result, same FSA at the end.
That's my take on it.
01-17-2003, 04:23 PM
Wow! Now, tell us how you really feel. :wink:
I happen to agree.....
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