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  #1571  
Old 12-14-2019, 10:47 PM
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booger booger is offline
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Now this exam is just the most fresh item that the CAS has done to piss me off, but there are many more over the 13 years I’ve taken these exams.
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  #1572  
Old 12-14-2019, 10:52 PM
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amp019372 amp019372 is offline
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Length was 100% an issue and then the ways they thought they were being clever. For example, using the lower case Greek letter for the charge with the only objective for you to confuse it with the savings symbols. This is not an exam on the Greek alphabet. Not only that, but you don’t change upper and lower in math. Capital sigma doesn’t mean standard deviation and the lower case doesn’t mean summation, so why, when all the material uses a certain upper case symbol, would you then change it to the lower case for the exam?
I didn't even notice they did these things, but I probably understand the Greek alphabet a lot more than most since I have a physics background
I will say that math does also swap notation a lot in certain cases, and again, maybe the notation didn't confuse me as much since I didn't read the source material.
This may be a fair critique of this sitting, but I don't think it's material compared to the types of questions being asked.
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  #1573  
Old 12-14-2019, 11:47 PM
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:eyeroll: «*i didn’t even look at the source material*» gtfo here.
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  #1574  
Old 12-14-2019, 11:54 PM
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Length was 100% an issue and then the ways they thought they were being clever. For example, using the lower case Greek letter for the charge with the only objective for you to confuse it with the savings symbols. This is not an exam on the Greek alphabet. Not only that, but you don’t change upper and lower in math. Capital sigma doesn’t mean standard deviation and the lower case doesn’t mean summation, so why, when all the material uses a certain upper case symbol, would you then change it to the lower case for the exam?
I agree testing on specific notation is poor question writing and debately defective, but I doubt it is intentionally meant to deceive people- it's most likely an issue with editing.
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  #1575  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:06 AM
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I agree testing on specific notation is poor question writing and debately defective, but I doubt it is intentionally meant to deceive people- it's most likely an issue with editing.
I truly believe that it was intentional and not editing.
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  #1576  
Old 12-15-2019, 09:02 AM
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I truly believe that it was intentional and not editing.
Flipping through the source, the lower case letters are used for both the insurance charge and savings. In fact, copying and pasting directly from the source into a Word document gives me the exact same symbol as what appears in the exam. It really just seems like an unfortunate choice of font.
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  #1577  
Old 12-15-2019, 09:21 AM
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:eyeroll: «*i didn’t even look at the source material*» gtfo here.
I mean, I didn't.. I think reading the source is a waste of valuable study hours when things like TIA exist.
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  #1578  
Old 12-15-2019, 04:13 PM
Oriax Oriax is offline
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I took this exam and read the conversation with interest and felt like adding my opinion.

Knowing many of the volunteers (even for this exam) and hearing anecdotally what very little they are allowed to share about the process, I believe they are mostly really good people who care and aren't going out of their way to harm candidates - a lot of their work is time consuming, and I commend their dedication. But the volunteers tend to be very driven, on the bookish end of things, and fascinated by the little twists that are encouraged in modern problems. I think the volunteers can get a bit intense, and with an exam like 8 which is a fellowship threshold, they have an excuse to give rein to their impulse.

Some of the changes to exam 8 have been positive. The questions are more conceptual and demand deeper understanding. They've attempted that and I think largely headed in a good direction. Just thinking of a few examples, the storm credibility, the auto credibility, and the reinsurance options were all nice conceptual problems.

I believe the two most unfair aspects of the exam were:

1. length (it was heartbreaking not to have another 30 minutes)
2. runaway difficulty

Regarding the second point, I think the CAS has checks in place to safeguard against exams getting drastically and unfairly harder. But whatever these are simply don't work. There is no question the difficulty has significantly increased in the last 6 years. Any attempt to claim otherwise is just stubbornness and not helpful to deciding on a solution. Maybe the CAS supports the increased difficulty - maybe it's undesired. But it needs to be acknowledged. Maybe 2015 wasn't harder than 2014, maybe 2017 wasn't harder than 2016. How we rank these is subjective and debatable. But the trend line is obviously sharply upward.

On a separate note, I agree with the posters saying the CAS exam process are often a profound personal sacrifice. This is not always a 5 year detour that ends in stress free paradise. Many professionals get permanently stuck, and it permanently changes the course of their family life and health. Aspiring students should be warned that unless they have a high degree of talent, they could be in for an unpleasant shock.

And as much as I used to believe otherwise a few years ago, it's becoming clear that the shift toward data science and machine learning is not a passing fad. The students coming out of school with these skills do pose a threat to our profession. It's not easy for the CAS to address this, but they will need to in order to protect our profession. Yes, traditional actuaries are much better at current leveling, loss developing, etc. But this advantage won't last forever.

Anyway, best wishes to everyone in this thread.
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  #1579  
Old 12-15-2019, 04:52 PM
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failed with a 5. maybe the 3 points I accidentally left blank on the IQ question after "This page was intentionally left blank" would have been the difference maker. Other than that.... I guess I could have studied another 100 hours and it may have increased my score by half a point at most.
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  #1580  
Old 12-15-2019, 05:00 PM
StrongIsland20 StrongIsland20 is online now
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failed with a 5. maybe the 3 points I accidentally left blank on the IQ question after "This page was intentionally left blank" would have been the difference maker. Other than that.... I guess I could have studied another 100 hours and it may have increased my score by half a point at most.
Haha, I agree wholeheartedly. Failed with a 5 and I think I made one “dumb” mistake for maybe like .5-1pts. Who knows if that was the difference but agree that even if I put in 100 more hours it wouldn’t have really moved the needle. Problem is that I think that’s almost what the exam writers want - they keep trying to write “gotcha” or “I bet you they didn’t study that” type of questions. Quite frankly, I think it’s total bs to put a question on an exam when a candidate has not had the opportunity to do any similar practice problems of the sort, but that’s the path the CAS is clearly headed on. I gave it my best can at least take some solace that I didn’t fail cause I didn’t put the effort in.
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Last edited by StrongIsland20; 12-15-2019 at 05:01 PM.. Reason: Typo
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