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  #1  
Old 08-03-2017, 09:21 PM
ashleymarp ashleymarp is offline
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Default Can you share your study tactics?

I'd like to hear what other peoples study tactics are.

I'm taking adapt exams and have been studying / taking quizzes constantly, but am stuck with an EL of 4.

Suggestions? Anything in particular work for you? I hope I can just keep practicing so that I can get to the point where the solution is more intuitive. Or maybe I should do flash cards of the more "iffy" material, too. Or draw pictures. Idk.

What works for you?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2017, 08:35 AM
Brobot Brobot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleymarp View Post
I'd like to hear what other peoples study tactics are.

I'm taking adapt exams and have been studying / taking quizzes constantly, but am stuck with an EL of 4.

Suggestions? Anything in particular work for you? I hope I can just keep practicing so that I can get to the point where the solution is more intuitive. Or maybe I should do flash cards of the more "iffy" material, too. Or draw pictures. Idk.

What works for you?
I'd recommend exams over quizzes. Doing 2 hours of problems or about 20 problems is better than the quizzes. The problem with doing a problem and looking at the answer and then moving on to the next problem is it gives you a sense of confidence you don't get on the actual exam. I'd say at minimum do a number of problems where missing only 1 question is highly successful. For example, getting 4/5 right is only moderately successful whereas 19/20 is highly successful.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2017, 08:48 AM
Dgoods28 Dgoods28 is offline
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For me it depended on the exam. P, FM, and MFE I took the same approach. I read over the material to get a basic/good understanding. Then I signed up for 30-60 days of ADAPT (30 for P and FM, 60 for MFE).

For P and FM the first week of using ADAPT I only took level 2-3 exams. Then next week I took level 4 exams. The final two weeks I took level 5-6 exams. I didn't care what my earned level was at all. I manually made the exams harder to get more of an exam like experience. For MFE I just took each level exam for an extra week. Also, my goal was to complete a practice exam every day. I would review any answer I got wrong and any question I guessed on. Overall, this worked well for me for these three exams. Doing a practice exam everyday was super time confusing and sometimes I got too brunt out and took some days off.

For C I took a similar approach. I had a 60 day ADAPT subscription, which I used for the first 30 days or so. Then I switched to the Mahler exams, which were brutally hard, but so worth it. Then I went back to ADAPT for the remaining week prior to the exam only taking level 5-6 exams.

For MLC I also used ADAPT. It comes with the MC practice as well as 100 WA practice questions and 5 practice exams. I had a 60 day ADAPT subscription and during the first 25-30 days I only took the MC exams. Then I took one MC exam and 10 WA questions per day. Once the 100 WA practice questions were over I then took one MC exam and one WA exam a day until a week or so before the exam. Then I used the SOA past exams to study until the exam day.

Overall, the strategy I used heavily relied on doing as many practice problems as possible and not necessarily getting a deep and thorough understanding of the material.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2017, 08:54 AM
Jim Bob Cooter Jim Bob Cooter is offline
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Quizzes are good to get extra practice in the areas you need it, but I agree practice exams are critical. You should get plenty of practice doing a bunch of problems in a row, timed, without looking at any answers/notes/ etc.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2017, 11:17 AM
dudenarecht dudenarecht is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleymarp View Post
I'd like to hear what other peoples study tactics are.

I'm taking adapt exams and have been studying / taking quizzes constantly, but am stuck with an EL of 4.

Suggestions? Anything in particular work for you? I hope I can just keep practicing so that I can get to the point where the solution is more intuitive. Or maybe I should do flash cards of the more "iffy" material, too. Or draw pictures. Idk.

What works for you?
Study how you studied for your school courses. If you managed to have a decent GPA in school, you should already have your study habits down.

I don't know why you're hung up on an EL level that you can manipulate by just giving yourself easier questions.

If you can't figure out how to do the harder questions, go over the material more carefully. Go over the examples yourself instead of just skim reading it and convincing yourself that you get it. Do more questions of varying level of difficulty instead of jumping to the harder ones immediately.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2017, 09:05 PM
ashleymarp ashleymarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudenarecht View Post
I don't know why you're hung up on an EL level that you can manipulate by just giving yourself easier questions.
I tend to rely on the EL as a measurement of how "ready" I am to pass-- and I am very careful not to artificially inflate it (If I don't know the answer to an exam question, I simply don't answer it), and I quit and score my exam once my 3 hours is up. I think this is a very helpful gauge.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2017, 09:07 PM
ashleymarp ashleymarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob Cooter View Post
Quizzes are good to get extra practice in the areas you need it, but I agree practice exams are critical. You should get plenty of practice doing a bunch of problems in a row, timed, without looking at any answers/notes/ etc.
Thanks, I have found it helpful to take quizzes that are adjusted to a high difficulty (I think this is the key for me). Then once I feel like I've learned a few things I move on to a practice exam to see how I fare.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2017, 10:29 PM
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redearedslider redearedslider is offline
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Try to work old problems and see if you remember how to do them. Practice exams won't help much if you make the same mistakes every time
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2017, 08:32 AM
kadsura kadsura is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleymarp View Post
I tend to rely on the EL as a measurement of how "ready" I am to pass-- and I am very careful not to artificially inflate it (If I don't know the answer to an exam question, I simply don't answer it), and I quit and score my exam once my 3 hours is up. I think this is a very helpful gauge.
It's good you are trying to be strict with yourself on mock exams. I did more or less the same thing.

If this helps boost your confidence a bit - I was also stuck at an EL of 4 (this is exam C), and ended up passing the real thing with an 8/10.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2017, 11:11 AM
hawk7820 hawk7820 is offline
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Everyone's study tactics are different.

I'll give you two examples.

First, some people can sit and study for hours on hand and it all be effective. That's not how I work. I could only do a maximum of 2 hours of studying before I would become distracted and studying would be ineffective. For a 3 hour exam, studying in 2-hour blocks doesn't work for some people, but it was best for me. I'd study 2 hours every day; this would give me enough time to both study and learn new material, but studying every day would also help to keep the topics fresh in my mind. I would also constantly shift topics; studying the topics in a random order required more exam-type thinking, since the questions don't necessarily show up in any particular order.

Second, I didn't even use my CoachingActuaries subscription the most recent (3rd) time I sat for P. I exclusively did problems in the Actex Manual and from the SOA practice problems.

I did a lot of just constant repetition with the same problems so that I not only knew how to do them, but how to effectively do them quickly without making simple mistakes. I forced myself to memorize some formulas (E(X), V(X), integration by parts, etc.) so that it was automatic for me. Because of that, I ripped through the exam in an hour and a half and answered 19 of 30 questions without hesitation. This gave me an extensive amount of time to take my time on problems I knew would take a considerable amount of time.

It's unfortunate it took me that many tries to finally get it right, but everyone's study tactics are different. Once you find yours, you'll know, and you'll be able to tailor your studying to make it more effective for you. Good luck!
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