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Group & Health Core Exam Old Group & Health Design & Pricing Forum

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  #11  
Old 05-19-2018, 07:53 AM
Derek @ TIA's Avatar
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Originally Posted by arc20 View Post
Thanks again Derek!

I have 4+ years of healthy industry experience, in addition to being a committed student (not tooting my own horn just being honest about my approach).

Last inquiry I wanted to run by you that I failed to mention prior is (which has me in favor of Specialty first) - the fact that this exam isn't going through changes like the other two. In other words, this exam has been given the same way in the same format with similar material for awhile, which gives me confidence study resources (like TIA) have the ideas/processes/teaching methods for success fairly figured out (think prelim P vs MLC right after the format change).

Any truth in this thought?
It's certainly true that Specialty has been in place for a while, and the resources are all laid out. However, unlike preliminary exams, it's so hard to predict even the types of questions that you'll see on the exam. So it's not as though you can learn a certain number of formulas, types of questions, etc. and guarantee that you're going to see those on the exam. Yes, we present the material, sample problems to show how to attack them and discuss exam strategies, but there's no XYZ approach that will work every time for every student.

On one hand, what you said is true - Specialty has been established, and the same format will continue to be used. For Core and Advanced, those will turn into DP and FV, and no one knows right now how those exact exams will look. I can assure you that as soon as I have the new information and syllabi for those exams, we'll be working as hard as possible to get the new seminars set up and ready to go. Surely, there will be some prior exam questions to point to that will cover the topics (and hopefully some of the readings), but it will probably be a mix of old exam questions in order to come up with full prior exams for practice (and we'll provide information on which prior questions are still applicable).

On the other hand, there are times with new exams that some of the questions are more straight-forward as they begin testing new material, instead of testing smaller pieces of the established material as they look for new questions. If it makes you feel more comfortable to go with the established process, you could be right. However, look at the other end of the spectrum. If you pass Specialty in Fall 2018 or Spring 2019, you're still going to be hitting DP and/or FV in the first couple of sittings. Conversely, if you start with Core now, you could potentially be done with that before it changes. (And if you do really well and pass both on the first try, you could get through both before any changes.)

Hopefully that's helpful, and it does need to come down to what's best for each individual student, but I'm happy to help provide advice.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2018, 04:34 PM
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Quick update for students - the entire Detailed Study Manual and Videos are complete for Fall 2018!!!* I have been working hard and made it through the number of syllabus updates ahead of schedule, so it's all there, ready to go.

The remaining pieces (Flashcards, Problem Listings, Condensed Outline, etc) will be updated soon, but first it's time to jump back to the Specialty materials to finish their syllabus updates as well.

* Caveat - GHC 823 from Objective 6 is an officially published SOA reading that has not yet been released, so it is obviously not done yet. This is likely to be released in the first week or two of June (when the SOA puts the Fall 2018 Study Notes up for sale), and I will have the Video and Outlines very quickly for you after that date.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2018, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Derek @ TIA View Post
It's certainly true that Specialty has been in place for a while, and the resources are all laid out. However, unlike preliminary exams, it's so hard to predict even the types of questions that you'll see on the exam. So it's not as though you can learn a certain number of formulas, types of questions, etc. and guarantee that you're going to see those on the exam. Yes, we present the material, sample problems to show how to attack them and discuss exam strategies, but there's no XYZ approach that will work every time for every student.

On one hand, what you said is true - Specialty has been established, and the same format will continue to be used. For Core and Advanced, those will turn into DP and FV, and no one knows right now how those exact exams will look. I can assure you that as soon as I have the new information and syllabi for those exams, we'll be working as hard as possible to get the new seminars set up and ready to go. Surely, there will be some prior exam questions to point to that will cover the topics (and hopefully some of the readings), but it will probably be a mix of old exam questions in order to come up with full prior exams for practice (and we'll provide information on which prior questions are still applicable).

On the other hand, there are times with new exams that some of the questions are more straight-forward as they begin testing new material, instead of testing smaller pieces of the established material as they look for new questions. If it makes you feel more comfortable to go with the established process, you could be right. However, look at the other end of the spectrum. If you pass Specialty in Fall 2018 or Spring 2019, you're still going to be hitting DP and/or FV in the first couple of sittings. Conversely, if you start with Core now, you could potentially be done with that before it changes. (And if you do really well and pass both on the first try, you could get through both before any changes.)

Hopefully that's helpful, and it does need to come down to what's best for each individual student, but I'm happy to help provide advice.
Thanks Derek, I've successfully beat this to death and have 1 final question - if you were in my/similar student situation, which would you take first, Core or Specialty?

If I'm being completely honest, I guess I'm leaning towards Core. Passing Core before Fall 2019, then knocking out the 2 "smaller" exams (DP A and FV A) within the time frame seems manageable. My argument in favor of Specialty first kind of assumed I couldn't get through Core in the next 2 sittings, which I CAN do .

If I've glossed over any fine but important points, please point me straight.

THANK YOU so much.
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  #14  
Old 05-23-2018, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arc20 View Post
Thanks Derek, I've successfully beat this to death and have 1 final question - if you were in my/similar student situation, which would you take first, Core or Specialty?
I'm happy to help.

If it were me, I think I would go for the Core exam. Given that you're asking me this in late May, you still have PLENTY of time to study before the exam at the end of October. The FSA exams are a different beast, so you'll have to adapt your study style and figure out what works for you, but I think you can do it.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2018, 12:50 PM
arc20 arc20 is offline
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Originally Posted by Derek @ TIA View Post
I'm happy to help.

If it were me, I think I would go for the Core exam. Given that you're asking me this in late May, you still have PLENTY of time to study before the exam at the end of October. The FSA exams are a different beast, so you'll have to adapt your study style and figure out what works for you, but I think you can do it.
Thank you sir.
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  #16  
Old 05-31-2018, 09:12 AM
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Just FYI for students getting an early start:

Fall 2018 Study Notes from the SOA are available now:
https://www.soa.org/education/exam-req/syllabus-study-materials/edu-study-notes.aspx

Note that these are the SOA Study Notes that are part of the source material.
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