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Old 06-08-2019, 10:26 PM
Yossarian Yossarian is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SoCal
Posts: 100

Originally Posted by NchooseK View Post
Not a pristine 200-page pdf. Not a second job. Not a coming-out party.

A legit PA Manual could make a mint.

It would have be online, able to react to SOA's 11th hour gamechanging and other shenanigans in real time, and run very SMOOTHLY. Perhaps a small amount of R code could be run inside the interface--but absolutely nothing clunky.

Would SOA have any aversions if it still collected its $1125/attempt? Perhaps you download a few files and sign up for the exam--and the Modules are history! A do-it-all platform and R-Studio, nothing else.

This is a project for the big names and big companies. And your interns, junior staff or whomever will hate you for all the gibberish they have to translate.

I get the feeling most of us are not struggling with content; it is the constant parsing of nonsense, seeking other sources, endless mistakes and errors. Mathematical definitions are our building blocks, and SOA screws every third of those up. Content is flat-out missing. Again, it isn't difficulty--we all appreciate the struggles, triumphs, failures and rewards that come with intellectual challenge. But Piecing together one assignment from a syllabus, an update, 3 modules and a Google Search--only to realize we didn't paste the latest update because it wasn't AT THE END OF YOUR MODULE is no self-respecting individual or scholar's idea of the Glory of Struggle.

If the PA Manual comes to fruition, you don't have to spoon feed content--though practice problems are wonderful! Just be thorough, 98% correct, organized, reasonable and have some damn pride in your work. Make it professional, not perfect. Stay apprised of sneaky updates--you probably have to do SOA's job for them. Make SOA step up its game! They pull the same thing with FAP--so "new" content is not the matter. Hell, SOA struggles to copy from Wikipedia.

I'm a reasonable person who gives the benefit of the doubt. And I'm not whining, I just want better--for you, me, the future, SOA, the entire field. I'll be happy regardless of SOA's path. I'll continue acing exams, I'll make my money, I'll make SOA better, I'll even volunteer.

I'll conclude by saying SOA does an excellent job writing preliminary exams and even solutions. SOA responds to emails promptly. SOA has an outstanding reputation AFAIK. But you have a problem publishing--and exorbitantly charging for--material that belongs in the toilet.

1) Someone capitalize on this opportunity and enable future FSAs to better spend their time.
2) SOA, fewer speeches, galas, inductions, etc. Clean up your foundation. Start from a blank page with those modules.
In my opinion, the exam, as currently constituted, is the most practical of all the preliminary exams.

Again, in my opinion, the SOA wants us to have the machine learning skills of a data scientist. Unfortunately, there is no "manual" for that. A lot of the skills are hard-earned through direct applied experience. Which is why I wish the SOA provided a LOT more sample projects and solutions, instead of me trying to search for or even create my own.

Obviously, you need a lot of the underlying theory to even start, but this exam is akin to giving an Excel exam. You just have to do a lot of work projects to know what kind of obstacles might come up, what errors to look for, and the best ways to solve the problems.
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