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  #11  
Old 08-08-2017, 08:06 AM
mikej mikej is offline
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Students may have different tools they prefer (ADAPT, practice problems, flashcards, etc.), but there are a few underlying principles you should focus on for any of these review methods:

1. Self-testing - challenge yourself to recall the material without looking at any notes/formulas (e.g. practice problems, teaching the material to a friend, flashcards)

2. Spaced repetition - you'll remember the information better if you space out your study sessions over time. (e.g. instead of studying a topic for 2 hours today, break it up into 1 hour today and 1 hour next week)

As mentioned above, make note of the problems/topics you struggle with. Do focused review on these topics (e.g. an ADAPT quiz targeted for a single topic). If you have time, re-attempt the problems you initially got wrong to see if you really learned how to correct your mistakes.

This targeted practice helps you cover your weak points and learn one subject at a time, but closer to the exam you should do practice problems/quizzes that mix a variety of syllabus topics (similar to the exam). This interleaved practice will help you with quickly switching gears between the different exam topics and identifying/recalling the appropriate formulas within time constraints.

More study tips at the link below
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If you're looking for exam study tips: Actuarial Exam Tactics: Learn More, Study Less

Exam FM: free study schedule, recommended materials, and study tips
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2017, 08:13 AM
mikej mikej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk7820 View Post
First, some people can sit and study for hours on hand and it all be effective.
I'm pretty skeptical that anyone can study that long and have it all be effective. If you plan a long study session, it's probably best to schedule short breaks throughout to help maintain attention/focus. (similar to a Pomodoro style)
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If you're looking for exam study tips: Actuarial Exam Tactics: Learn More, Study Less

Exam FM: free study schedule, recommended materials, and study tips
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2017, 11:51 AM
ARodOmaha ARodOmaha is offline
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I think I have a very good system--I've passed 3 exams in a row, in the past 15 months.

First, I read the ASM manual and take notes and create flashcards along the way. I also complete problems every section, but only enough to understand roughly 70%-80% of the material. Subsequent sections almost always clear things up.

I then get at least a 45 day subscription to Adapt (60 days for MLC). I take 5-10 question quizzes throughout the week. Every Saturday morning I do a structured timed exam.

The biggest key is the go over every problem!! Here is what I do: I watch the videos, read the comments, and for every question I got wrong I make comments in colored gel pens of exactly what I got wrong, or what I need to remember. Even if it was a dumb calculator mistake, I write down "calculator typo ". If I understand almost nothing about the problem, I write down every step, plus comments if need be.

Another huge help: I keep a smaller journal of all of these comments. I think of these as "moral of the story" helpers. Sometimes these are equations that I haven't mastered, or just concepts that I don't quite get yet. I revisit this journal every day, and I really learn from my mistakes very fast.

A final thought is to skim through the textbook one more time halfway through your exam prep. Something might pop out that you didn't realize before.
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2017, 11:08 PM
ashleymarp ashleymarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARodOmaha View Post
I think I have a very good system--I've passed 3 exams in a row, in the past 15 months.

First, I read the ASM manual and take notes and create flashcards along the way. I also complete problems every section, but only enough to understand roughly 70%-80% of the material. Subsequent sections almost always clear things up.

I then get at least a 45 day subscription to Adapt (60 days for MLC). I take 5-10 question quizzes throughout the week. Every Saturday morning I do a structured timed exam.

The biggest key is the go over every problem!! Here is what I do: I watch the videos, read the comments, and for every question I got wrong I make comments in colored gel pens of exactly what I got wrong, or what I need to remember. Even if it was a dumb calculator mistake, I write down "calculator typo ". If I understand almost nothing about the problem, I write down every step, plus comments if need be.

Another huge help: I keep a smaller journal of all of these comments. I think of these as "moral of the story" helpers. Sometimes these are equations that I haven't mastered, or just concepts that I don't quite get yet. I revisit this journal every day, and I really learn from my mistakes very fast.

A final thought is to skim through the textbook one more time halfway through your exam prep. Something might pop out that you didn't realize before.
Holy smokes!! That's the kind of progress I'm looking to make.

I think that organized study tactic is great, and I try to apply that too (more or less) when I am first learning the material. The problem is, I get soo focused on learning one chapter and then moving on that I forget a lot from previous chapters.

So by the time i've finished the material and start working on comprehensive exams, i just "kinda" know how to do everything. Perhaps I should take a little more time to absorb the material as I go along
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2017, 11:15 PM
ashleymarp ashleymarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk7820 View Post
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!
You're totally right in that everyone's learning style is different. I failed P the first time because I thought my college course in probability + taking a few practice exams I found online over and over again would be good enough prep (lol oops)
but then got a CA subscription and passed with flying colors the 2nd time. I guess i like lectures.

It's interesting to me to see what other people do, since everyone is so different. I definitely think it's worth exploring new things early in my exam process. I just passed FM and my study style was a lot different, but not really much more effective
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