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  #1  
Old 09-13-2018, 04:41 PM
psynergist psynergist is offline
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Default Exam SRM - Sept 2018 offering

Let's consolidate discussion about the Sept 2018 Exam SRM offering to this thread. Since the exam window's over, we can now discuss it more freely.

I thought the exam was relatively easy. I think the exam syllabus was a poor representation of what was actually on the exam. The actual exam covered maybe half of the topics IMO. The biggest challenge going into the exam for me was deciding which formulas to memorize. The actual exam used maybe 1/4 of the formulas I thought I'd need to memorize. About half the exam was conceptual conceptions for me.

One thing that upset me was that I did not receive a printout at the end that certified I took the exam. I realize it'll take 8+ weeks for grades to be released; however, the SOA should at least provide exam takers a letter of confirmation that they completed the exam. The July 2018 IFM exam didn't provide an immediate grade either, but at least it gave me a confirmation letter proving I took the exam at my specified exam date/time. I just get unreasonably paranoid that somehow my exam record will get lost and I'll have no proof that I actually took the exam. The exam software / UI was different for this exam than for my P, FM, and IFM attempts. I wonder if that's the reason for why a printout at the end wasn't available.
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:57 PM
mattm18 mattm18 is offline
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Default I guess you could call it easy

I finished the test with the first hour and a half. I couldn't help but think I made a ton of mistakes, though. I thought I'd gotten most if not all of the "conceptual" questions correct, and so really what it came down to was my failure to memorize the required formulas. I feel like the ones that I did memorize went unused and the ones that I didn't were on there. I was pretty bummed walking out.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:05 AM
psynergist psynergist is offline
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Originally Posted by mattm18 View Post
I finished the test with the first hour and a half.
I finished my first run through in about 2 hrs. But I'd skipped 1 question and marked a handful for review. I finished reviewing by the 3 hour mark.


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Originally Posted by mattm18 View Post
I thought I'd gotten most if not all of the "conceptual" questions correct, and so really what it came down to was my failure to memorize the required formulas.
Same here, but I guess I lucked out with memorizing the right formulas.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:36 PM
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dkamka dkamka is offline
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Was this comparable to the CA applied stats course for anyone who took it? Also, for all those who took this, HOW did you all prepare as ASM just came out and there's no seminar yet.

Also, TY so much everyone for your feedback on this new exam. It's very helpful hearing what exam takers thought
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:46 PM
psynergist psynergist is offline
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Also, for all those who took this, HOW did you all prepare as ASM just came out and there's no seminar yet.
I started studying mid-July. I bought the Regression Modeling with Actuarial and Financial Applications (RMAFA) textbook. I'd already owned and skimmed through An Introduction to Statistical Learning, with Applications in R (ISLR) for one of my graduate classes last year. RMAFA is definitely much more thorough, so I read through all the relevant chapters, and did around 2-3 practice exercises at the end of each chapter. I bought the ASM study manual once it came out in mid-August and skimmed through it. The ASM study manual was a good quick reference guide, especially bc of the summary of relevant formulas at the end of each section. Overall, I probably spent 75-100 hours learning the material (60% RMAFA, 30% ASM, 10% ISLR).

During the last few weeks before the exam, I did 4 out of the 6 practice exams from the ASM guide and reviewed them. During the last few days leading up to the exam, I quizzed myself on the formulas and re-reviewed the questions I'd marked on the practice exams.

Last edited by psynergist; 09-26-2018 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:12 PM
Wolowitz Wolowitz is offline
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I echo the previous comments about the content. I used ADAPT for 5 weeks and requested the formula sheet for the MAS-1 exam from Coaching Actuaries and they sent it to me in minutes. ADAPT only went up to a difficulty level of 5 which was disappointing but I finished the exam in 2 hours - feeling not as confident as I had hoped.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:55 PM
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Hey you two, I have follow up question for you on the textbooks.

ISLR is very good so far, since I just started and Dr. Weishaus did comment this was excellent and enthusiastic or some similar positive comments, but RMAFA was horrible.

Would either of you recommend still getting the RMAFA textbook too? the money is no real barrier for me, it's about getting a solid grounding in the subject matter
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:18 AM
psynergist psynergist is offline
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Originally Posted by dkamka View Post
Hey you two, I have follow up question for you on the textbooks.

ISLR is very good so far, since I just started and Dr. Weishaus did comment this was excellent and enthusiastic or some similar positive comments, but RMAFA was horrible.

Would either of you recommend still getting the RMAFA textbook too? the money is no real barrier for me, it's about getting a solid grounding in the subject matter
RMAFA is definitely more rigorous in its treatment of the statistical concepts. One big downside of RMAFA was that the Errata is incomplete and quite lengthy. Another downside is that the Index at the back of RMAFA is poorly organized. The author chose to organize by topic rather than alphabetical like a normal Index would be.

All that said, I still enjoyed reading RMAFA. Also, ISLR doesn't cover time series, which is important for this exam. I'd also recommend Elements of Statistical Learning (ESL) (also written by Hastie and Tibshirani) as a more thorough coverage of the topics than ISLR. ESL is much better than RMAFA on all the topics it covers, but it also doesn't cover time series.
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:23 PM
mattm18 mattm18 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psynergist View Post
I started studying mid-July. I bought the Regression Modeling with Actuarial and Financial Applications (RMAFA) textbook. I'd already owned and skimmed through An Introduction to Statistical Learning, with Applications in R (ISLR) for one of my graduate classes last year. RMAFA is definitely much more thorough, so I read through all the relevant chapters, and did around 2-3 practice exercises at the end of each chapter. I bought the ASM study manual once it came out in mid-August and skimmed through it. The ASM study manual was a good quick reference guide, especially bc of the summary of relevant formulas at the end of each section. Overall, I probably spent 75-100 hours learning the material (60% RMAFA, 30% ASM, 10% ISLR).

During the last few weeks before the exam, I did 4 out of the 6 practice exams from the ASM guide and reviewed them. During the last few days leading up to the exam, I quizzed myself on the formulas and re-reviewed the questions I'd marked on the practice exams.
Seems like you really put in the time for this one. I would have done more if not for the lack of resources. I bought the ACTEX manual, read most of it, and took the (one) practice test located in the back. I also (had previously) read most of ISLR. There was also the sample questions that the SOA put out, as well as a bunch of other practice problems apart of the ACTEX manual that I went through, but still it felt like there was an awfully sparse amount of study material.

That, combined with the fact that the syllabus was extraordinarily broad, made me feel when walking out of the exam that I had spread myself too thin, and perhaps not focused on any one topic as extensively as I should have.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2018, 05:00 PM
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Good news is Coaching Actuaries is launching video lessons for ASM in late Nov. Then TIA is launching theirs in Dec.
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