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  #21  
Old 06-26-2018, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalium View Post
Using that logic, studying and passing 0 exams a year would make you even more productive! It's not something I recommend.
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  #22  
Old 06-26-2018, 04:33 PM
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I agree with passing them as soon as possible. At my company, it's a flat $ raise structure based on exam/module/credential. I figure if I'm getting a % raise at the end of the year based on merit/col, I'd rather that % be on a higher $ amount than a lower one, kind of like how the earlier you save, the bigger effect your compounding interest will have.

Of course, that's oversimplifying the end-of-year raise decision. However, I don't think the hours I spend studying will / has affected my performance in such a way as to alter merit amounts. If anything, my boss sees it as admirable to pass exams back-to-back and still output the same quantity/quality of work.
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  #23  
Old 06-26-2018, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kingofants View Post
If you pass one exam a year, then you Will likely get a merit raise at the end of the year.

If you pass two exams a year, then you will likely NOT get a merit raise at the end of the year.

The above statements are true because spending time on 1 exam per year gives you more time to work, thus you are more productive. And at the end of the year, your skills and productivity would have outgrown your current pay, while if you passed 2 exams then you would probably be overpaid by the end of the year when you count the fact that you were less productive than if you had only spent time on 1 exam and also the fact that you had already gotten 2 raises due to the 2 exams?

Hence at the end of each year, in both situations the pay is similar, but the other guy only had to stress on 1 exam for that year?
Let me go ahead and stop you right there....
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  #24  
Old 06-26-2018, 05:04 PM
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Implicit in several of the recent statements is that the OP is worried about whether he'll make $70k or $75k next year; but not worried about the things that will decide whether he makes $100k or $200k five years from now.

Note: He's not thinking correctly about what will get him to $70k or $75k either.

Last edited by Westley; 06-26-2018 at 05:58 PM..
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  #25  
Old 06-26-2018, 05:07 PM
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There are two rules for passing exams:
  1. If you can pass an exam do it ASAP
  2. No touching of the hair or face

And THAT'S IT
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  #26  
Old 06-29-2018, 10:26 PM
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I agree with those who say to just get exams behind you as fast as you can.

At my company, we've actually seen a new pattern emerge of people falling off the exam wagon, not while taking exams, but while working on modules. It's like they say, "I can take a break for a while." But you know what happens? There is a sort of "momentum" to passing exams. And once you break that momentum, it's hard to get it back.

Why is that? Because you start allowing life to fill in the times that you used to study. That can be on the job, where you're putting in more work effort rather than taking study hours. It can be in your home life, where your spouse understandably wants you to pitch in more. But once you've set up those new patterns, and those new expectations, it's really difficult to tell everyone, "Hey, you know how I've been really helpful the last year and a half? Well, I'm not doing that anymore. I've got to take time to study."

This has stopped a LOT of actuarial careers. Many of these folks go on to get jobs that pay well, but perhaps not as well as if they'd attained their credentials.
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  #27  
Old 06-29-2018, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrytuttle View Post
My personal philosophy is to pass the exams as quickly as you can, when you have the fewest personal responsibilities and the fewest employment responsibilities.

In my case I think it was easier for me to pass an exam at age 25 when I was single with no kids and doing rather routine actuarial work, than it was to pass an exam at age 45 when I was married with three kids and was department head reporting directly to the president.

(Yes, I passed an exam at age 45.)
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Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
This. My examples aren't as extreme as Jerry's, but it was way less costly in time (as a fraction of time I had available) to study for exams before kids than after.

I was in an exam 7 review class many years ago, and a fellow student said to me, "I used to study so I could get a raise. Now I study so I don't have to take this exam again."

I agreed with her.
While this perspective totally makes sense, I wonder if it would have worked for me. I already had a kid when I started taking exams. And people often say, "I don't know how you did it." But my perspective is, I don't know how young people with no kids do it. Having kids finally gave me the motivation to get serious in life. I was suddenly a provider, and that responsibility grew me up quick. I had a dedication suddenly that I'd never known.

But, yeah, I think I may be atypical. I certainly see more people who stop passing exams once kids come along. And my situation would never have worked if my wife hadn't done far more than her share around the house while I studied.
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  #28  
Old 06-29-2018, 10:31 PM
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I actually had the same experience you had. I studied in a half-assed sort of way until I had kids. It often took me a couple of tries to pass an exam. But once I had kids, it was way too costly (in time) to mess around. I never failed an exam after my first child was born. I took a couple of sittings off, but if I took the time to study, I took the time to pass.
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  #29  
Old 06-29-2018, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofants View Post
If you pass one exam a year, then you Will likely get a merit raise at the end of the year.

If you pass two exams a year, then you will likely NOT get a merit raise at the end of the year.

The above statements are true because spending time on 1 exam per year gives you more time to work, thus you are more productive. And at the end of the year, your skills and productivity would have outgrown your current pay, while if you passed 2 exams then you would probably be overpaid by the end of the year when you count the fact that you were less productive than if you had only spent time on 1 exam and also the fact that you had already gotten 2 raises due to the 2 exams?

Hence at the end of each year, in both situations the pay is similar, but the other guy only had to stress on 1 exam for that year?
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Originally Posted by Colymbosathon ecplecticos View Post
At my old shop, if you passed an exam you'd get a 5% raise. If you passed two at once, you'd only get a 10% raise (not the 10.25% you should be entitled to.) I pointed that out, but got little sympathy.
So I just did the math with the numbers from the second post.

Let's say two associates start out at $50,000. Associate A passes two exams a year, while Associate B passes one. Let's say both need 8 exams to get their Fellowship. So A is done in 4 years. At the end of 4 years, Associate A is making a salary of $73,205, while B is making $60,775.

Let's say A doesn't get any increases for the next 4 years while B continues to get 5% raises every year. Only in the 8th year does B finally pass A in salary ($73,872 for B, while A is still making $73,205.)

So how much has each made in their first 9 years? A has made $598,075 while B has made $551,328.

And as others have pointed out, A was done with exams, and had 4 more years to pursue life, or to dedicate themselves to their job and improve their chances of promotion. In reality, A is unlikely to have no increases for those 4 years after getting Fellowship.
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  #30  
Old 06-29-2018, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
I actually had the same experience you had. I studied in a half-assed sort of way until I had kids. It often took me a couple of tries to pass an exam. But once I had kids, it was way too costly (in time) to mess around. I never failed an exam after my first child was born. I took a couple of sittings off, but if I took the time to study, I took the time to pass.
Yep. As I told people at the time, I wanted my life back. The sooner I finished exams, the sooner I (and my family) could get our lives back.
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