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  #1  
Old 10-21-2019, 08:16 PM
Not Paul Not Paul is offline
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Unhappy Failure Report - Didn't even get close

The best way I can summarize my experience is that I was asked unfamiliar questions about familiar material. Unknowns were put in hard to get places and in hard to get phrasings. Concepts were presented together in ways I hadn't previously seen. I only answered 10 or so questions with confidence and of those I may have fallen into carefully laid traps as I didn't have time to check my work.

The test was clearly designed to be BA-II resistant. The TVM functions helped get one small piece of information that was needed to answer some other often more difficult or less obvious question. On some questions I had a pretty good idea how to approach, but after completing all my work the answer I got wasn't present in the choices.

I am going to take a week or two off and then get back to studying so I can try again in December. If I can't pass on my second attempt I may need to consider other career options. From what I hear the actuarial job market is rather saturated, and former teachers in their mid thirties aren't likely at the top of anyone's list of potential candidates, especially if they struggle to pass the introductory exams.

At this point its about pride though. I don't like being beaten. Even if I am not really cut out to be an actuary, I'll be damned if I am not competent enough to pass this exam. I have 8 practice tests left and a boat load of subject specific problems in the ASM manual. Those along side the released SOA questions should be enough fodder to help me progress to a much more robust understanding of the material.

The sign up deadline for the December window is November 5th. Thanks all for your support!

P.S.

I was seated at Cubicle #13 and later that day my order number in the SpaceX cafeteria (a friend from college - and former actuary - gave me a tour) was also #13. I'm not a superstitious man, but it felt like I was begin sent a message of some kind. I related this to a friend who promptly told me that Taylor Swift says #13 is a lucky number. See you guys in a week or two.
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Last edited by Not Paul; 10-21-2019 at 08:29 PM.. Reason: I felt like it.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2019, 09:03 PM
rebel_ao rebel_ao is offline
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The best way I can summarize my experience is that I was asked unfamiliar questions about familiar material. Unknowns were put in hard to get places and in hard to get phrasings. Concepts were presented together in ways I hadn't previously seen. I only answered 10 or so questions with confidence and of those I may have fallen into carefully laid traps as I didn't have time to check my work.

The test was clearly designed to be BA-II resistant. The TVM functions helped get one small piece of information that was needed to answer some other often more difficult or less obvious question. On some questions I had a pretty good idea how to approach, but after completing all my work the answer I got wasn't present in the choices.

I am going to take a week or two off and then get back to studying so I can try again in December. If I can't pass on my second attempt I may need to consider other career options. From what I hear the actuarial job market is rather saturated, and former teachers in their mid thirties aren't likely at the top of anyone's list of potential candidates, especially if they struggle to pass the introductory exams.

At this point its about pride though. I don't like being beaten. Even if I am not really cut out to be an actuary, I'll be damned if I am not competent enough to pass this exam. I have 8 practice tests left and a boat load of subject specific problems in the ASM manual. Those along side the released SOA questions should be enough fodder to help me progress to a much more robust understanding of the material.

The sign up deadline for the December window is November 5th. Thanks all for your support!

P.S.

I was seated at Cubicle #13 and later that day my order number in the SpaceX cafeteria (a friend from college - and former actuary - gave me a tour) was also #13. I'm not a superstitious man, but it felt like I was begin sent a message of some kind. I related this to a friend who promptly told me that Taylor Swift says #13 is a lucky number. See you guys in a week or two.
I think it might be worthwhile to grab an Adapt subscription. Also, Learn provides much better coverage of the Determinants of Interest as opposed to Actex or ASM.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2019, 09:58 PM
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The best way I can summarize my experience is that I was asked unfamiliar questions about familiar material. Unknowns were put in hard to get places and in hard to get phrasings. Concepts were presented together in ways I hadn't previously seen. I only answered 10 or so questions with confidence and of those I may have fallen into carefully laid traps as I didn't have time to check my work.

The test was clearly designed to be BA-II resistant.
Sorry to hear the result.

One observation, though. The CBT questions are random draws from the question bank, all (except for pilots, which donīt affect your score) of which have been used before. You might, by random bad luck, have gotten questions that were more BA-II resistant than the average questions in the bank, but you didnít get a combination designed to BA-II resistant. Maybe the bank contains a fairly high number of questions designed to be BA-II resistant, but that isnít a complaint Iíve noticed often. So I think more bad luck than design.

Better luck next time.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2019, 10:57 PM
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I think it might be worthwhile to grab an Adapt subscription.


Adapt is fantastic for the prelims.
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ASM does not have a discussion of stimulation, but considering how boring the manual is, maybe it would be a good idea.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2019, 11:03 PM
Sullinator Sullinator is online now
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Originally Posted by Not Paul View Post
The best way I can summarize my experience is that I was asked unfamiliar questions about familiar material. Unknowns were put in hard to get places and in hard to get phrasings. Concepts were presented together in ways I hadn't previously seen. I only answered 10 or so questions with confidence and of those I may have fallen into carefully laid traps as I didn't have time to check my work.

The test was clearly designed to be BA-II resistant. The TVM functions helped get one small piece of information that was needed to answer some other often more difficult or less obvious question. On some questions I had a pretty good idea how to approach, but after completing all my work the answer I got wasn't present in the choices.

I am going to take a week or two off and then get back to studying so I can try again in December. If I can't pass on my second attempt I may need to consider other career options. From what I hear the actuarial job market is rather saturated, and former teachers in their mid thirties aren't likely at the top of anyone's list of potential candidates, especially if they struggle to pass the introductory exams.

At this point its about pride though. I don't like being beaten. Even if I am not really cut out to be an actuary, I'll be damned if I am not competent enough to pass this exam. I have 8 practice tests left and a boat load of subject specific problems in the ASM manual. Those along side the released SOA questions should be enough fodder to help me progress to a much more robust understanding of the material.

The sign up deadline for the December window is November 5th. Thanks all for your support!

P.S.

I was seated at Cubicle #13 and later that day my order number in the SpaceX cafeteria (a friend from college - and former actuary - gave me a tour) was also #13. I'm not a superstitious man, but it felt like I was begin sent a message of some kind. I related this to a friend who promptly told me that Taylor Swift says #13 is a lucky number. See you guys in a week or two.
Iím retaking mine in December too I know how you feel. The wording of questions was confusing.
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2019, 06:52 AM
jubair07 jubair07 is offline
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Originally Posted by Not Paul View Post
The best way I can summarize my experience is that I was asked unfamiliar questions about familiar material. Unknowns were put in hard to get places and in hard to get phrasings. Concepts were presented together in ways I hadn't previously seen. I only answered 10 or so questions with confidence and of those I may have fallen into carefully laid traps as I didn't have time to check my work.

The test was clearly designed to be BA-II resistant. The TVM functions helped get one small piece of information that was needed to answer some other often more difficult or less obvious question. On some questions I had a pretty good idea how to approach, but after completing all my work the answer I got wasn't present in the choices.

From my experience the exam that I took in June and from the Finan's book/sample questions that I did, I think 90-95% of the questions are meant to be BA-II resistant so one just doesn't use the calculator and solve it in a minute. In fact when I practiced, I barely used BA-II Plus calculator at all and unless it is to find Interest rate which can't be manually calculated without using long numerical methods, the use of BA-II is very minimal. I mainly used BA-II to check my answer rather than using it to solve. I think on my exam, there were maybe just 1 question that I could solve using calculator only.

The best way to approach FM is to always know the Time diagram. My advise will be to have a look at the Finan's book and try solve as much question if all possible and see if you find them challenging.

https://faculty.atu.edu/mfinan/nnotes.html

The book uses old syllabus so just ignore the whole derivatives part except interest rate swaps and ignore Serial Bonds and Short Sales.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2019, 08:21 AM
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I was asked unfamiliar questions about familiar material. Unknowns were put in hard to get places and in hard to get phrasings. Concepts were presented together in ways I hadn't previously seen.
welcome to actuarial exams imo
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2019, 11:16 PM
Not Paul Not Paul is offline
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Originally Posted by jubair07 View Post
From my experience the exam that I took in June and from the Finan's book/sample questions that I did, I think 90-95% of the questions are meant to be BA-II resistant so one just doesn't use the calculator and solve it in a minute. In fact when I practiced, I barely used BA-II Plus calculator at all and unless it is to find Interest rate which can't be manually calculated without using long numerical methods, the use of BA-II is very minimal. I mainly used BA-II to check my answer rather than using it to solve. I think on my exam, there were maybe just 1 question that I could solve using calculator only.

The best way to approach FM is to always know the Time diagram. My advise will be to have a look at the Finan's book and try solve as much question if all possible and see if you find them challenging.

https://faculty.atu.edu/mfinan/nnotes.html

The book uses old syllabus so just ignore the whole derivatives part except interest rate swaps and ignore Serial Bonds and Short Sales.
Thank you! I've put the pdf with my other FM materials. I take your point about the Time diagram. Drawing one out was not my first instinct on the difficult annuity problems.
__________________
Please forgive my ignorance as it far exceeds my knowledge.

SOA FM questions and answers.

P FM IFM
VEE: Economics VEE: Accounting VEE: Statistics
Job

Last edited by Not Paul; 10-26-2019 at 11:28 PM..
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2019, 04:20 AM
jubair07 jubair07 is offline
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Thank you! I've put the pdf with my other FM materials. I take your point about the Time diagram. Drawing one out was not my first instinct on the difficult annuity problems.
Well formulas and calculators won't help as I believe the exam is designed to test theory and its application and not just the use of formula/calculator.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2019, 10:25 AM
Not Paul Not Paul is offline
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Well formulas and calculators won't help
I am not sure this sentiment is correct.

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Originally Posted by jubair07 View Post
the exam is designed to test theory and its application
But this one is.
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SOA FM questions and answers.

P FM IFM
VEE: Economics VEE: Accounting VEE: Statistics
Job
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