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  #201  
Old 04-16-2018, 07:44 PM
ActuaryFromMTL ActuaryFromMTL is offline
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This exam used to be the easiest of the prelims before the WA sections. I did the 2013 one and scored 21/25 easily about 2 weeks ago (now I'd have scored more). Now I feel like the MC questions got somewhat easier but WA brings this exam to a whole new level.

My strategy will be to pick 5 out of 6 WA questions and try to do every part of them as completely as possible and then write something for the other question to get 1 or 2 free points.

I feel like the SOA will prefer someone who gave a decent answer to 4 or 5 questions than someone who answered everything badly.

For those who are sitting again for this exam, do you think it's a good idea?
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  #202  
Old 04-16-2018, 08:25 PM
ThereIsNoSpoon ThereIsNoSpoon is offline
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Originally Posted by Adapt and Chill View Post
Donít forget about PA!
Eh I mean if it's R I'm okay, but at least it won't be as tiresome as this one
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  #203  
Old 04-16-2018, 08:27 PM
ThereIsNoSpoon ThereIsNoSpoon is offline
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Originally Posted by ActuaryFromMTL View Post
This exam used to be the easiest of the prelims before the WA sections. I did the 2013 one and scored 21/25 easily about 2 weeks ago (now I'd have scored more). Now I feel like the MC questions got somewhat easier but WA brings this exam to a whole new level.

My strategy will be to pick 5 out of 6 WA questions and try to do every part of them as completely as possible and then write something for the other question to get 1 or 2 free points.

I feel like the SOA will prefer someone who gave a decent answer to 4 or 5 questions than someone who answered everything badly.

For those who are sitting again for this exam, do you think it's a good idea?
It's what I'm doing! Also I'm separately doing the WA parts just for practice now. I get that it's not best practice because in the real exam I'll need to budget time for MC as well, but I figured I'd improve my speed on these ones at least, maybe figure out better which battles to pick, before falling on my face
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  #204  
Old 04-16-2018, 09:11 PM
Squeenasaurus Squeenasaurus is offline
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Who's done the coaching actuaries written exams? How are they compared to the real deal? I just took one and got (tentatively) 42/56. Too many petty mistakes. I need coffee during this exam.
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  #205  
Old 04-16-2018, 11:58 PM
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pippi-longstocking pippi-longstocking is offline
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Originally Posted by sooneroo View Post
What are your strategies for the fifteen minute read-through period? I am gravitating towards spending all of it in making a general plan for each of the MC questions. That way, I can get them done ASAP, and focus a majority of my time on WA.

I found that spending time reading through the WA questions don't really help because I will need to read it much more thoroughly when I get to it anyway.
I read the first WA question and started to solve it in my mind. Not the calculations of course, but like recalled the formula, went through the steps I wanted to do. When the clock started, I started writing my planned answer right away and it took me a lot less to complete one WA question than what it takes.

I think going over all the questions doesn't help much since you need to read them in detail again. For me this exam was a race against time. I took it in Fall 2016.
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  #206  
Old 04-17-2018, 04:18 PM
NchooseK NchooseK is offline
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Who's done the coaching actuaries written exams? How are they compared to the real deal? I just took one and got (tentatively) 42/56. Too many petty mistakes. I need coffee during this exam.
My observations:

CA calculations are more cumbersome -- some too long for a test

CA doesn't ask enough conceptual questions. SOA usually has one per WA problem.

SOA often starts a problem off with "Show that..." Those problems are relatively easy. The last SOA problem is usually difficult. CA doesn't do much "show that" and also asks much more difficult questions early on in the problem.

Analytical problems, CA is harder. They like to throw a wrinkle in things.

CA doesn't flow as well, if you understand what I mean. For example, for SOA WA, part (a) may be used in the answer to (or used as a huge shortcut to) part (b). Not much connectivity within CA WA problems.

Yes, CA is harder. And it usually is. CA also doesn't have NEARLY as good of a solution guide/key as SOA. Can learn a lot from solutions.
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  #207  
Old 04-17-2018, 04:40 PM
magicjello magicjello is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActuaryFromMTL View Post
This exam used to be the easiest of the prelims before the WA sections. I did the 2013 one and scored 21/25 easily about 2 weeks ago (now I'd have scored more). Now I feel like the MC questions got somewhat easier but WA brings this exam to a whole new level.

My strategy will be to pick 5 out of 6 WA questions and try to do every part of them as completely as possible and then write something for the other question to get 1 or 2 free points.

I feel like the SOA will prefer someone who gave a decent answer to 4 or 5 questions than someone who answered everything badly.

For those who are sitting again for this exam, do you think it's a good idea?
I am unconvinced on this strategy. A co-worker of mine did this and passed the exam, and likely I will end up with something like this even if I go in intending to answer them all. In my previous two sittings I basically skipped two entire questions each time and did not even come close to passing. (This was not intentional strategy) Granted, two is a lot different than one, and it's not like I did awesome at everything else, but it still leaves me feeling unsure about planning on not answering one.
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  #208  
Old 04-17-2018, 05:13 PM
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SethS18 SethS18 is offline
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Originally Posted by magicjello View Post
I am unconvinced on this strategy. A co-worker of mine did this and passed the exam, and likely I will end up with something like this even if I go in intending to answer them all. In my previous two sittings I basically skipped two entire questions each time and did not even come close to passing. (This was not intentional strategy) Granted, two is a lot different than one, and it's not like I did awesome at everything else, but it still leaves me feeling unsure about planning on not answering one.
Its not a bad strategy, but its worth really assessing what problems to focus on. So, last sitting I went through MC in under 140 minutes, which set me up for ample WA time. I was feeling confident that I could handle anything the WA threw my way at that point, so I got stubborn and ended up spending WAAAY too much time on WA #3 I believe, which drained my momentum and energy. I got a 5.

Being stubborn can kill your momentum, and put you in a bad spot... so keep that in mind if this is your strategy.

If something goes wrong, maybe move on and come back later with a fresh set of eyes... you likely just misread something.
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  #209  
Old 04-17-2018, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NchooseK View Post
My observations:

CA calculations are more cumbersome -- some too long for a test

CA doesn't ask enough conceptual questions. SOA usually has one per WA problem.

SOA often starts a problem off with "Show that..." Those problems are relatively easy. The last SOA problem is usually difficult. CA doesn't do much "show that" and also asks much more difficult questions early on in the problem.

Analytical problems, CA is harder. They like to throw a wrinkle in things.

CA doesn't flow as well, if you understand what I mean. For example, for SOA WA, part (a) may be used in the answer to (or used as a huge shortcut to) part (b). Not much connectivity within CA WA problems.

Yes, CA is harder. And it usually is. CA also doesn't have NEARLY as good of a solution guide/key as SOA. Can learn a lot from solutions.
This is spot on. There is definitely a pattern with the SOA WA problems that is worth noting. Any "show that..." type of problem will VERY likely be followed up with a problem that wants you to use what you had previously just shown. They do this to try and not penalize you on part b) for not knowing part a). Its actually pretty generous of them.

Most CA WA problems don't give you this type of guidance, and can be all over the place.
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  #210  
Old 04-17-2018, 08:11 PM
ActuaryFromMTL ActuaryFromMTL is offline
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What are you guys strategies for the last weekend before THE day?

For me, I will do the last 2 exams of 2017 and review their solutions, then do a couple of WA questions from ADAPT.
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