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Chat with the Candidates & Exam Committee First Ballot Candidates are posted - Post questions to candidates here!

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  #51  
Old 07-24-2018, 12:20 PM
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Sredni Vashtar Sredni Vashtar is offline
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Originally Posted by JMO View Post
Only a spreadsheet monkey needs to know INDEX(MATCH()). And the smart actuaries (with FSAs) are going to quit being spreadsheet monkeys soon enough.
It was an example. Where I've worked, it's not unusual for a manager or even a director to look at a spreadsheet.
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  #52  
Old 07-24-2018, 12:20 PM
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It was an example. Where I've worked, it's not unusual for a manager or even a director to look at a spreadsheet.
look at <> create
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  #53  
Old 07-24-2018, 12:26 PM
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look at <> create
Anyone looking at a spreadsheet should be able to read the formulas.
They should also be able to teach best practices while they are at it.

Again, it's not the most useful thing in the world, but it's certainly more useful than memorizing obscure tax laws on a product you'll never sell in a country you'll never work.
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Last edited by Sredni Vashtar; 07-24-2018 at 12:29 PM..
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  #54  
Old 10-18-2018, 09:39 PM
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Hello,

In my opinion, smaller exams and modules would be better than current FSA exams. I think the education part is good if you read the material but the current exams are bad. There's too much material, it doesn't test much any deep understanding and reading the material twice is probably as effective for long-term memorization. However, I do understand that the SOA could have other goals that my good education and mental well-being.
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  #55  
Old 10-20-2018, 04:18 PM
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Hello,

In my opinion, smaller exams and modules would be better than current FSA exams. I think the education part is good if you read the material but the current exams are bad. There's too much material, it doesn't test any deep understanding and reading the material twice is probably as effective for long-term memorization. However, I do understand that the SOA could have other goals that my good education and mental well-being.
Yes-- it seems Rule #1 of studying is breadth over depth.

The flash cards are the length of an average novel, so of course there's no point in trying to dig deeper.

I agree that smaller exams would work better for this-- but then you'd need to actually add depth, and not just expand the list of stuff to memorize for each little exam until you create failure.
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Last edited by Sredni Vashtar; 10-20-2018 at 04:31 PM..
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  #56  
Old 10-20-2018, 05:25 PM
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Another skill to add to this list is "communication".
Brings fond memories of a piece of trite in the UK version of The Actuary magazine patting FIAs on the back, arguing that they have superior communication skills compared to members of other actuarial orgs because only FIAs go through a communications exams, concluding that FIAs merit higher salaries than the other Fellows.

Granted, that article was written by a recruiter but it has always mystified me how it made its way through the editorial process.
The old CA3 comms exam was a hazing exam. Really high fail rates for that exam.
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  #57  
Old Yesterday, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
Yes-- it seems Rule #1 of studying is breadth over depth.

The flash cards are the length of an average novel, so of course there's no point in trying to dig deeper.

I agree that smaller exams would work better for this-- but then you'd need to actually add depth, and not just expand the list of stuff to memorize for each little exam until you create failure.
I lived through an SOA attempt at doing this, back in the day. The large exams were broken into a series of 1 hour exams that covered a single topic. You could take several at one sitting if you wished. It died a quick death. Because employers hated it. You would have to take 4 exams to be equivalent to the 4 hour exams, and most candidates took 1 - 3. Travel time slowed. Employers howled. And administration of so many tests was a bear.

As a student, I really liked the structure, but only students liked it.
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