Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Exams - Please Limit Discussion to Exam-Related Topics > SoA/CAS Preliminary Exams > Financial Mathematics
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

Browse Open Actuarial Jobs

Life  Health  Casualty  Pension  Entry Level  All Jobs  Salaries


Financial Mathematics Old FM Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-23-2013, 09:48 PM
B.P.L. B.P.L. is offline
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 11
Default Should all formulas be memorized? How much time will this save?

I come from a mathematics background where it's generally unwise to rely on memorization of formulas. It's actually rather frowned upon in comparison to understanding how to derive the formulas as needed. So while studying for the FM exam, i spend most of my time learning the concepts thoroughly and doing practice problems, but I'm starting to think it's probably wise to memorize as many formulas as possible. Obviously it's better to both memorize and develop a thorough understanding than to simply memorize, but how much time do you think is actually saved by knowing all the formulas going into the exam? Could one still reasonably expect to ace this exam without memorizing any formulas?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-23-2013, 10:40 PM
MathandBikes MathandBikes is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Favorite beer: ESB
Posts: 810
Default

With FM, I would often derive many of the formulas while doing practice exams initially but over time I naturally just had them memorized.

I don't ever remember just sitting down and saying, 'Okay, it's time to memorize formulas.' I would suggest using derivation initially as well because many of the formulas a are very 'close' and going through the derivation a couple times will make sure you don't mess small similarities up.
__________________
Cycling Cat 5 4 3 2 1

Exams: P FM MFE C MLC?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-23-2013, 10:42 PM
MathandBikes MathandBikes is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Favorite beer: ESB
Posts: 810
Default

But sadly, the most important thing with FM is that BA II plus calculator. I haven't touched mine since the exam but that thing turned multiple problems into 30 seconds of just making a few keystrokes.

Learn how to use it!
__________________
Cycling Cat 5 4 3 2 1

Exams: P FM MFE C MLC?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-23-2013, 10:44 PM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 48,805
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by B.P.L. View Post
I come from a mathematics background where it's generally unwise to rely on memorization of formulas. It's actually rather frowned upon in comparison to understanding how to derive the formulas as needed. So while studying for the FM exam, i spend most of my time learning the concepts thoroughly and doing practice problems, but I'm starting to think it's probably wise to memorize as many formulas as possible. Obviously it's better to both memorize and develop a thorough understanding than to simply memorize, but how much time do you think is actually saved by knowing all the formulas going into the exam? Could one still reasonably expect to ace this exam without memorizing any formulas?
You can pass without memorizing formulas. However, memorizing formulas does save time and doing so is not particularly hard or time consuming. Better safe than sorry, and in this case the benefits outweigh the costs.

I would do lots of problems and make note of any formulas that you find are frequently used. Make sure you memorize these.
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-23-2013, 10:46 PM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 48,805
Default

For me the bond formulas saved me the most time. Maybe up to 5 minutes per problem in this case.
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-01-2013, 11:27 AM
2piix 2piix is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
College: Reed College
Posts: 39
Default

You're not really learning anything if you don't memorize. You either have to memorize the "tricks" to derive a formula, or the formula, or preferably both; or you will forget. But in order for memorization to be effective, you need to do problems too. Using memories in different ways makes them stronger.

Right now, the software I use to schedule my memorization says I'm at 89% on facts older than one year old. That is to say, I remember 89% of the facts I haven't seen in over a year perfectly. I'm not showing off. I failed exam p the first time because I didn't remember my calculus, just a few years out of school. Now I know more calculus than I ever did, because I memorized about 1500 calculus formulas. And I know that in a year, I'll remember 89% of that and have my software reschedule the rest.

I passed exam p yesterday, and about a third of the problems amounted to me recognizing a distribution from its pdf/cdf/other properties and then remembering some formula about the distribution. That turned 4 minute problems into 1 minute problems. I ended up needing the time for the hard ones!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-04-2013, 12:26 AM
Statatak's Avatar
Statatak Statatak is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pacific Ocean
Studying for GI Intro to Ratemaking
Favorite beer: Game Day
Posts: 10,914
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by B.P.L. View Post
I come from a mathematics background where it's generally unwise to rely on memorization of formulas. It's actually rather frowned upon in comparison to understanding how to derive the formulas as needed. So while studying for the FM exam, i spend most of my time learning the concepts thoroughly and doing practice problems, but I'm starting to think it's probably wise to memorize as many formulas as possible. Obviously it's better to both memorize and develop a thorough understanding than to simply memorize, but how much time do you think is actually saved by knowing all the formulas going into the exam? Could one still reasonably expect to ace this exam without memorizing any formulas?
It would be highly unlikely for someone to pass this exam without memorizing ANY formulas.

Yes, it's possible to rederive the formula for the expected value an increasing annuity on the fly. But why would you? It's much easier to just memorize, and know where it comes from.

Is put/call parity derivable?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-04-2013, 09:05 AM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Studying for Rcpp, Git
Posts: 6,885
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Statatak View Post
Is put/call parity derivable?
You could use the Law of One Price or Black-Scholes (from MFE) to derive it.
__________________
If you want to add me on LinkedIn, PM me.

Why I hate Microsoft Access.

Studying/Reading: C
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-04-2013, 09:14 AM
Klaymen's Avatar
Klaymen Klaymen is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Studying for this space for rent
Posts: 19,661
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2piix View Post
Now I know more calculus than I ever did, because I memorized about 1500 calculus formulas.
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-04-2013, 09:54 AM
AB89 AB89 is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 736
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaymen View Post
I bet it's the derivative of x^n for 1500 values of n.
__________________
P FM MFE
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.20295 seconds with 9 queries