Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Chat with the Candidates & Exam Committee
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


Chat with the Candidates & Exam Committee First Ballot Candidates are posted - Post questions to candidates here!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #61  
Old 11-16-2018, 02:10 PM
wat?'s Avatar
wat? wat? is offline
Member
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hi
Studying for beer
Favorite beer: Fresh Squeezed IPA
Posts: 33,338
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathAlwaysWins View Post
Are the exams vetted by anyone other than the question writers before going to students? It seems every sitting thereís (at least) one question where the question was written with an obvious error/assuming an assumption thatís not given/giving an incorrect assumption when compared to the solution/not on the syllabus, etc etc.. So much time and money goes into these it doesnít seem to be too much to ask that the questions are pretty much beyond reproach in their clarity. Talking FSA exams specifically. I donít remember having this problem with prelims, but literally every FSA exam Iíve sat for thereís been a similar issue. Some of them are entire questions, like 9-10 points, that are not immaterial to overall success on the exam.
Yes. Exams get vetted multiple times after the initial question is written.

Main difference between FSA exams & prelim exams is that FSA exam questions are released, so there's no repeating questions that have shown up in previous exams. As such, new content is generated every sitting.
__________________
"Mathematical Induction: How mathematicians manage to suck all the fun out of lining up a row of dominos, knocking the one on the end down, and watching the entire row fall." -BC
Skip it. - AG

AO Golfers Unite! Here and here.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 11-16-2018, 02:22 PM
MathAlwaysWins MathAlwaysWins is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Studying for GH Advanced
Favorite beer: Strongbow
Posts: 425
Default

I would not have expected that. If that’s the case, maybe it would be worth paying the volunteers some amount just to ensure that the exams are getting the attention they deserve? Just an idea, I don’t know the best way to fix the process. They might not be familiar enough with all of the material like some of the students are to maybe catch these errors, and maybe paying them some would allow them to devote the time needed. 6 months of studying for students, exam fees, possible raises, and even continued employment are on the line in some cases. As a profession I feel we value fairness and accuracy, and at least in this respect there could be some improvement.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 11-16-2018, 02:34 PM
The_Polymath The_Polymath is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,157
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomHaverford View Post
Bumping this thread to try to get some clarity. On the most recent GHSPC exam there was a 4 point question (10% of the total exam points) that read:

For each type of risk as defined in Financial Enterprise Risk Management; Sweeting Ch. 7:
(i) Explain which types of risks ABC Health faces based on information presented.
(ii) Recommend one change for each of the significant risks identified in (i) that will mitigate risk. Justify your answer.


Can someone from the exam committee explain to me how this isn't 100% pure bullshit? This list is categorized in the text as organizational risks, and if the question were phrased that way I would've known what list they were talking about because, surprise surprise, I actually memorized the lists of risks in a meaningful way. There are probably 10+ additional lists of risks spread throughout the rest of the syllabus. How can we be expected to memorize the exact chapter/text that certain topics come from. Additionally, WHY DOES IT MATTER? This is the type of shit that makes me lose faith in this entire exam process. If you're trying to test knowledge in a meaningful way then why the **** would you care about whether or not candidates memorized the chapter number of a certain topic? Where does it end, page number? Physical location of a word on a page?
I have read Sweeting for our CERA exam and that is a laughably bad question to ask.

Sounds like they are more interested in rote learning than applying concepts.

Case study on a health company would have been the ideal exam question.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 11-16-2018, 02:41 PM
JMO's Avatar
JMO JMO is offline
Carol Marler
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Back home again in Indiana
Studying for Nothing actuarial.
Posts: 37,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Polymath View Post
I have read Sweeting for our CERA exam and that is a laughably bad question to ask.

Sounds like they are more interested in rote learning than applying concepts.

Case study on a health company would have been the ideal exam question.
Agree it's a bad question. But critics need to remember that it is extremely difficult and time consuming to craft a good case study question. That's the ideal, but not achieved as often as exam writers would wish.
__________________
Carol Marler, "Just My Opinion"

Pluto is no longer a planet and I am no longer an actuary. Please take my opinions as non-actuarial.


My latest favorite quotes, updated Nov. 20, 2018.

Spoiler:
I should keep these four permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrap View Post
JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MG View Post
This. And everything else JMO wrote.
And this all purpose permanent quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Yup, it is always someone else's fault.
MORE:
All purpose response for careers forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorNo View Post
Depends upon the employer and the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Actuario View Post
Therapists should ask the right questions, not give the right answers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 11-17-2018, 12:40 AM
TomHaverford's Avatar
TomHaverford TomHaverford is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Favorite beer: PBR
Posts: 5,550
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMO View Post
Agree it's a bad question. But critics need to remember that it is extremely difficult and time consuming to craft a good case study question. That's the ideal, but not achieved as often as exam writers would wish.
What a horrible excuse. You know what else is time consuming? Studying for an FSA exam multiple times. If you can't take the time to craft fair questions then maybe reconsider what you're bringing to the table as a question writer.
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 11-18-2018, 11:03 PM
JollyRancher JollyRancher is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathAlwaysWins View Post
I would not have expected that. If that’s the case, maybe it would be worth paying the volunteers some amount just to ensure that the exams are getting the attention they deserve? Just an idea, I don’t know the best way to fix the process. They might not be familiar enough with all of the material like some of the students are to maybe catch these errors, and maybe paying them some would allow them to devote the time needed. 6 months of studying for students, exam fees, possible raises, and even continued employment are on the line in some cases. As a profession I feel we value fairness and accuracy, and at least in this respect there could be some improvement.
I don't see how you can come to any conclusion other than it is intentional. There are multiple questions on each exam, so strictly speaking if you perform well enough on the other questions it becomes a moot point. They need a way to weed out the passers from the non-passers. I was one who would frequently get hung up on a bogus question, whether it was the way they framed it or the amount of calculations required.

Last edited by JollyRancher; 11-18-2018 at 11:11 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:00 AM
MathAlwaysWins MathAlwaysWins is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Studying for GH Advanced
Favorite beer: Strongbow
Posts: 425
Default

If it was intentional then it seems like at least the solutions would be correct. The bogus questions don’t really help anyone (the SOA or the candidate) when they don’t actually test your knowledge. This last GH Advanced exam the question with the error affected the full 9 point question, making the follow-up questions irrelevant, so not immaterial. I don’t think the SOA would intentionally act in an underhanded way as suggested, just my opinion, but I do think that since they set the bar for passing so high, are actively acting as gatekeepers to the profession, and because consequences for candidates for not passing can range from monetary losses to job loss, that the exams should be beyond reproach.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:40 AM
JollyRancher JollyRancher is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathAlwaysWins View Post
If it was intentional then it seems like at least the solutions would be correct. The bogus questions don’t really help anyone (the SOA or the candidate) when they don’t actually test your knowledge. This last GH Advanced exam the question with the error affected the full 9 point question, making the follow-up questions irrelevant, so not immaterial. I don’t think the SOA would intentionally act in an underhanded way as suggested, just my opinion, but I do think that since they set the bar for passing so high, are actively acting as gatekeepers to the profession, and because consequences for candidates for not passing can range from monetary losses to job loss, that the exams should be beyond reproach.
This is taken into account during the grading process. If the problem was worded wrong you can make up your own "story" to some extent and proceed. You get partial credit (and potentially full credit) if your answer is at minimum coherent and consistent.

And I wouldn't consider it "underhanded" to write a vague question and then take only the best answers.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:54 AM
MathAlwaysWins MathAlwaysWins is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Studying for GH Advanced
Favorite beer: Strongbow
Posts: 425
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyRancher View Post
This is taken into account during the grading process. If the problem was worded wrong you can make up your own "story" to some extent and proceed. You get partial credit (and potentially full credit) if your answer is at minimum coherent and consistent.

And I wouldn't consider it "underhanded" to write a vague question and then take only the best answers.
I donít really agree that vague questions are fair since youíre not really testing knowledge in that respect, moreso the ability to make up assumptions which wouldnít be encouraged in the workplace without support, and in real life thereís always opportunity to clarify when in the exam there is not. In any case, Iím specifically referencing outright errors in the question, not vagueness, where the solutions that are released are not correct, itís not on the syllabus, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:57 AM
JollyRancher JollyRancher is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathAlwaysWins View Post
I donít really agree that vague questions are fair since youíre not really testing knowledge in that respect, moreso the ability to make up assumptions which wouldnít be encouraged in the workplace without support, and in real life thereís always opportunity to clarify when in the exam there is not. In any case, Iím specifically referencing outright errors in the question, not vagueness, where the solutions that are released are not correct, itís not on the syllabus, etc.
Fair enough. I agree the exams aren't perfect, and this is all the more highlighted when you've recently found yourself on the losing end of a sitting. I still think by and large, there are plenty of opportunities to get the pass in a given sitting, despite some of the challenges in specific questions.
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 12:00 AM.


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 0.23867 seconds with 9 queries