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  #1  
Old 04-06-2015, 06:29 PM
GuyWithHighIQ GuyWithHighIQ is offline
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Default Are all the exams just memorization-based?

I've heard that the actuarial exams are hard as hell, but it just seems to be testing memory instead of mathematical ability, at least for exam P.

I studied for exam P using Finan's free probability pdf. I haven't taken a probability course in college, but I breezed through Finan's pdf in 4 days.

I then slacked off until a day before the exam and did one practice test.

I passed with a 7 on the real test. I thought the test was pretty difficult, since all the questions I got were completely different to the questions on the 1 practice test I took. I said, "Gee, if I'm struggling now, I guess I might not make it to the end."

Then my friend, who also took exam P on January, told me how easy the exam was, which was surprising considering how I owned him in all the upper-level math classes we took together. I know he isn't as mathematically capable as I am, so I just assumed he overestimated how well he did.
But then he got his results. He got a 9. A freaking 9. I asked him how he did so well on the test, and he said he just solved a crapton of problems before the test and when the real test came, all the problems were the same.

He let me borrow a $200 manual that he bought and I took a look at the practice exams. I couldn't believe how similar they were to the questions on my real test. Aside from the wording and a few number changes, they were exactly the same.

I don't meant to sound like an arrogant know-it-all, but I think SOA and CAS should change their exams. They should be testing mathematical aptitude, not how well you can memorize and regurgitate the solutions to a specific type of problem.
Exam P should only have 10 problems with a 3-hour time limit. There should be no multiple choice and these 10 problems should be complex and completely different from any question on their practice tests and the previous tests. At the very least, they should make all actuarial practice books and manuals be illegal so people who are just memorizing and have no understanding of the concept don't pass. This test isn't a math test. It's a memorization test.

Last edited by GuyWithHighIQ; 04-06-2015 at 06:35 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2015, 07:54 AM
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SlowMotionWalter SlowMotionWalter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyWithHighIQ View Post
I've heard that the actuarial exams are hard as hell, but it just seems to be testing memory instead of mathematical ability, at least for exam P.

I studied for exam P using Finan's free probability pdf. I haven't taken a probability course in college, but I breezed through Finan's pdf in 4 days.

I then slacked off until a day before the exam and did one practice test.

I passed with a 7 on the real test. I thought the test was pretty difficult, since all the questions I got were completely different to the questions on the 1 practice test I took. I said, "Gee, if I'm struggling now, I guess I might not make it to the end."

Then my friend, who also took exam P on January, told me how easy the exam was, which was surprising considering how I owned him in all the upper-level math classes we took together. I know he isn't as mathematically capable as I am, so I just assumed he overestimated how well he did.
But then he got his results. He got a 9. A freaking 9. I asked him how he did so well on the test, and he said he just solved a crapton of problems before the test and when the real test came, all the problems were the same.

He let me borrow a $200 manual that he bought and I took a look at the practice exams. I couldn't believe how similar they were to the questions on my real test. Aside from the wording and a few number changes, they were exactly the same.

I don't meant to sound like an arrogant know-it-all, but I think SOA and CAS should change their exams. They should be testing mathematical aptitude, not how well you can memorize and regurgitate the solutions to a specific type of problem.
Exam P should only have 10 problems with a 3-hour time limit. There should be no multiple choice and these 10 problems should be complex and completely different from any question on their practice tests and the previous tests. At the very least, they should make all actuarial practice books and manuals be illegal so people who are just memorizing and have no understanding of the concept don't pass. This test isn't a math test. It's a memorization test.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:00 AM
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You've only taken P...
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what's your problem man?
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:03 AM
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If you want to be a mathematician... go be a mathematician. This kid is destined for a life time sentence in the donkey pen with an attitude like that.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:09 AM
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We should add measure theory to P actually
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GuyWithHighIQ View Post
They should be testing mathematical aptitude, not how well you can memorize and regurgitate the solutions to a specific type of problem.
Why should they be? This would be illogical and logistically burdensome. And I'm a guy who gets off to Putnam problems.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:22 AM
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I think the CAS and SOA should change their rules. If you once scored higher in a math class than someone who passed an exam, you should automatically get credit for that exam by the transitive property.
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:07 PM
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:poopcorn:
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:09 PM
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Yuck
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:19 PM
GuyWithHighIQ GuyWithHighIQ is offline
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If you want to be a mathematician... go be a mathematician. This kid is destined for a life time sentence in the donkey pen with an attitude like that.
I've tried. Got rejected to all grad programs because professor recommendations were poor. They probably wrote something along the lines of, "This kid is one lazy piece of shit... He never does his homework abd he rarely comes to class. He's capable, but he's an administrative nightmare. Avoid."
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