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  #21  
Old 08-11-2017, 01:57 PM
act_123 act_123 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
thanks!


It's obviously not adequately explained in the note -- Josh asked me about it, too. I'm glad he was able to give a better explanation.

Hi Gina - Thanks so much for being responsive and writing the text. It is a vast improvement over the ten or so papers previously on the syllabus.

I am a little jaded with the exams. I hope you don't mind my complaining.

It bothers me when exam writers make questions on one or two sentences in a fairly big text and test a deep level of understanding.

The single reinstatement reinsurance question from last year really bothered me. I read the paper and the paper only has one line about having one reinstatement. There is no example and it is not described well in my opinion. Yet there was a very thorough question that many candidates got wrong last sitting regarding single reinstatements.

I know a candidate who passed because he works in reinsurance. He said he knew had to do the problem because he does the work daily and has seen that language in contracts numerous times.

Granted this could happen in any test, under any scenario.

I don't think its fair when ancillary information briefly noted in the syllabus is tested that thoroughly.

Honestly, the question was pretty easy now that I know what single reinstatments are. I don't think that the syllabus did a good enough job explaining it for it to be a test question that caused many candidates too fail. In my opinion, questions like that are not good at differentiating qualified candidates.
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  #22  
Old 08-11-2017, 05:07 PM
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...
It bothers me when exam writers make questions on one or two sentences in a fairly big text and test a deep level of understanding.
...
Another good example is 2016 Q18 that asks for examples of Aleatory and Epistemic risks. Where according to TIA: "The text says it is not necessarily important to distinguish between the 2 types of uncertainty...". Good job question writer, you took something the text explicitly says is not important and picked that as a question. Wow you really tricked us there didn't you!

With exam 8 the CAS has really gotten away from checking understanding of core material and more towards random unimportant minutia. It's frustrating.

On that note...
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Originally Posted by act_123 View Post
Thanks so much for being responsive and writing the text. It is a vast improvement over the ten or so papers previously on the syllabus.
as well. Reading the paper helped a lot with this section of the material. I hope you enjoyed your vacation!
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  #23  
Old 08-11-2017, 05:38 PM
CuriousGeorge CuriousGeorge is offline
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Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
Not actually an error, but something that might be confusing if you are reading the new study note and also old exam questions. Josh Taub, of the Infinite Actuary, points out that:

Pages 10-14: What is described here as the Quintiles Test has historically been referred to as the Dorweiler Test, and what is referred to here as the Efficiency Test has been historically referred to as the Quintiles Test. (Per the original Gillam “Workers’ Compensation Experience Rating” paper, the Efficiency Test is when you don't group risks, but basically otherwise perform the same calculations as the Quintiles Test).
Just curious on the reasoning for the different names on these tests. Do other papers the subject use your terminology, and Gillam was an outlier?

Also, I don't know if it was just me, but in my first reading, I came out thinking that the efficiency test wasn't testable because you didn't really cover how to perform it. It took two more readings of that section to tease out the steps.
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  #24  
Old 08-11-2017, 05:47 PM
dudenarecht dudenarecht is offline
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Originally Posted by Polak View Post
Another good example is 2016 Q18 that asks for examples of Aleatory and Epistemic risks. Where according to TIA: "The text says it is not necessarily important to distinguish between the 2 types of uncertainty...". Good job question writer, you took something the text explicitly says is not important and picked that as a question. Wow you really tricked us there didn't you!

With exam 8 the CAS has really gotten away from checking understanding of core material and more towards random unimportant minutia. It's frustrating.

On that note...

as well. Reading the paper helped a lot with this section of the material. I hope you enjoyed your vacation!
I'm not going to defend that particular question type. But I do think that it's weak to bring about TIA study notes as justification for not studying something.

Did you read the source material or are you solely relying on the TIA manual as gospel for what the original text says?

Given the prevalence of people using study manuals, and that some/most(?) people don't even read the original material any more, those types of questions shouldn't surprise anyone.

CAS/SOA don't endorse any study manual provider for very good reasons. If you don't want to take the time to read source material (like they advise you to), you take a chance on getting burned.
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  #25  
Old 08-13-2017, 10:43 AM
act_123 act_123 is offline
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My point was not about TIA. I was saying detailed in depth questions on a single line or two of a paper not explained at all is not fair.
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  #26  
Old 08-13-2017, 12:23 PM
dudenarecht dudenarecht is offline
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My point was not about TIA. I was saying detailed in depth questions on a single line or two of a paper not explained at all is not fair.
You used TIA's claims as justification, instead of the original textbook. That automatically undermines your point.

There is no rule that exam questions have to be "fair". Given the (relatively) low pass rate of prelims and some upper exams, it could be argued that plenty of people don't think of the exams as "fair".

And lest you think I'm saying this because I'm on the SOA/CAS board, I assure you I'm not. I've been a student for long enough to know that teachers can lie/misrepresent what they tell you about testable material (intentionally or not is besides the point).

It's still your responsibility to master all the concepts, and complaining about something not being "fair" doesn't mean you get a do-over.
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  #27  
Old 08-13-2017, 04:40 PM
act_123 act_123 is offline
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Originally Posted by dudenarecht View Post
You used TIA's claims as justification, instead of the original textbook. That automatically undermines your point.

There is no rule that exam questions have to be "fair". Given the (relatively) low pass rate of prelims and some upper exams, it could be argued that plenty of people don't think of the exams as "fair".

And lest you think I'm saying this because I'm on the SOA/CAS board, I assure you I'm not. I've been a student for long enough to know that teachers can lie/misrepresent what they tell you about testable material (intentionally or not is besides the point).

It's still your responsibility to master all the concepts, and complaining about something not being "fair" doesn't mean you get a do-over.
I have read the paper and it is literally one poorly written line in it. If you still don't believe me I will copy it in for you.

The question was unfair.
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  #28  
Old 08-13-2017, 04:49 PM
act_123 act_123 is offline
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Here is the one line in Clark (doesn't even use the phrase single reinstatment):

"For a cover with one reinstatement, the
same results will be produced for four losses halfway through the layer as for two full
limit losses. "

I have no idea how anyone is supposed to understand how to actually answer the single reinstatement question based on that. If you look at outpost last exam 8 sitting everyone was complaining regarding the question. The people who knew it were reinsurance actuaries.

So basically a reinsurance actuary had a better chance to pass because of his job not because of the actual material being tested. How is that a good differentiator of a qualified candidate??
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  #29  
Old 08-16-2017, 04:24 PM
Ginda Fisher Ginda Fisher is offline
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Minor correction:

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Originally Posted by act_123 View Post
...So basically a reinsurance actuary had a better chance to pass because of his knowledge of the material obtained from his job not because of the actual material being tested provided syllabus material. How is that a good differentiator of a qualified candidate fair to candidates in other fields trying to learn the material??
Based on my sense of what a FCAS ought to know about reinsurance, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable question, except that the syllabus material was inadequate to answer it. They shouldn't have tested it, of course, but that looks like a giant red flag that they ought to seek supplemental material for the syllabus.
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  #30  
Old 08-16-2017, 05:09 PM
act_123 act_123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
Minor correction:



Based on my sense of what a FCAS ought to know about reinsurance, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable question, except that the syllabus material was inadequate to answer it. They shouldn't have tested it, of course, but that looks like a giant red flag that they ought to seek supplemental material for the syllabus.
Thanks for the response. My question was more geared to the differentiation of candidates, than how actuaries in different fields are supposed to prepare.

I guess it goes to the general question defining the point of the actuarial exams.

If the point is to test who has mastered the material in the syllabus readings, then its not a good differentiator. If the point is to test who has the level of knowledge that is on the FCAS level, then I don't think that is fair.

Thanks again for your response.
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