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  #51  
Old 07-24-2018, 01:20 PM
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Sredni Vashtar Sredni Vashtar is offline
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Originally Posted by JMO View Post
Only a spreadsheet monkey needs to know INDEX(MATCH()). And the smart actuaries (with FSAs) are going to quit being spreadsheet monkeys soon enough.
It was an example. Where I've worked, it's not unusual for a manager or even a director to look at a spreadsheet.
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  #52  
Old 07-24-2018, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
It was an example. Where I've worked, it's not unusual for a manager or even a director to look at a spreadsheet.
look at <> create
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  #53  
Old 07-24-2018, 01:26 PM
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look at <> create
Anyone looking at a spreadsheet should be able to read the formulas.
They should also be able to teach best practices while they are at it.

Again, it's not the most useful thing in the world, but it's certainly more useful than memorizing obscure tax laws on a product you'll never sell in a country you'll never work.
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Last edited by Sredni Vashtar; 07-24-2018 at 01:29 PM..
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  #54  
Old 10-18-2018, 10:39 PM
Mathdube2 Mathdube2 is offline
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Hello,

In my opinion, smaller exams and modules would be better than current FSA exams. I think the education part is good if you read the material but the current exams are bad. There's too much material, it doesn't test much any deep understanding and reading the material twice is probably as effective for long-term memorization. However, I do understand that the SOA could have other goals that my good education and mental well-being.
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  #55  
Old 10-20-2018, 05:18 PM
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Hello,

In my opinion, smaller exams and modules would be better than current FSA exams. I think the education part is good if you read the material but the current exams are bad. There's too much material, it doesn't test any deep understanding and reading the material twice is probably as effective for long-term memorization. However, I do understand that the SOA could have other goals that my good education and mental well-being.
Yes-- it seems Rule #1 of studying is breadth over depth.

The flash cards are the length of an average novel, so of course there's no point in trying to dig deeper.

I agree that smaller exams would work better for this-- but then you'd need to actually add depth, and not just expand the list of stuff to memorize for each little exam until you create failure.
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Last edited by Sredni Vashtar; 10-20-2018 at 05:31 PM..
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  #56  
Old 10-20-2018, 06:25 PM
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Another skill to add to this list is "communication".
Brings fond memories of a piece of trite in the UK version of The Actuary magazine patting FIAs on the back, arguing that they have superior communication skills compared to members of other actuarial orgs because only FIAs go through a communications exams, concluding that FIAs merit higher salaries than the other Fellows.

Granted, that article was written by a recruiter but it has always mystified me how it made its way through the editorial process.
The old CA3 comms exam was a hazing exam. Really high fail rates for that exam.
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  #57  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
Yes-- it seems Rule #1 of studying is breadth over depth.

The flash cards are the length of an average novel, so of course there's no point in trying to dig deeper.

I agree that smaller exams would work better for this-- but then you'd need to actually add depth, and not just expand the list of stuff to memorize for each little exam until you create failure.
I lived through an SOA attempt at doing this, back in the day. The large exams were broken into a series of 1 hour exams that covered a single topic. You could take several at one sitting if you wished. It died a quick death. Because employers hated it. You would have to take 4 exams to be equivalent to the 4 hour exams, and most candidates took 1 - 3. Travel time slowed. Employers howled. And administration of so many tests was a bear.

As a student, I really liked the structure, but only students liked it.
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  #58  
Old 11-14-2018, 02:54 PM
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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?
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  #59  
Old 11-14-2018, 03:00 PM
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Additionally, the whole 2-hour FSA exam thing needs to die a quick death. I passed my first 7 exams with only one fail; my first attempt at GHADV I probably didn't put in as much effort as I needed to.

This is my third time taking GHSPC and I've put more effort into this exam than any of my previous attempts at any exam. Effort towards prior exams was strongly correlated with my result. That doesn't seem to be the case here. Maybe the SOA and exam writers don't give a shit about that, in which case that would be nice to know.
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  #60  
Old 11-16-2018, 02:05 PM
MathAlwaysWins MathAlwaysWins is offline
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Are the exams vetted by anyone other than the question writers before going to students? It seems every sitting there’s (at least) one question where the question was written with an obvious error/assuming an assumption that’s 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 doesn’t seem to be too much to ask that the questions are pretty much beyond reproach in their clarity. Talking FSA exams specifically. I don’t remember having this problem with prelims, but literally every FSA exam I’ve sat for there’s been a similar issue. Some of them are entire questions, like 9-10 points, that are not immaterial to overall success on the exam.
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