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  #11  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:46 AM
bigb bigb is offline
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Thats why it pisses me off. This is designed as a "gimme". There is nothing to it. Its a straightforward application of the material. Why make it ambiguous with the rounding of the solution?

If I know enough to solve it correctly but didn't carry enough significant figures through my intermediate steps, why make rounding the issue?
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2010, 02:26 PM
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bigb,

This is in general an issue with actuarial exams. They test you heavily not only on the concepts but also on your calculation/calculator skills. I do not like it one bit because i find myself prone to silly calculation mistakes when otherwise i could easily solve the problem. But that is the nature of actuarial exams. There are a number of exams that test the concept solely and provide rounded numbers so that the calculations are easy or stuff cancels out. Not the actuarial exams. I guess we all have to live with this calculation intensive style of examination. Personally, i feel if a person is able to setup the equation required to solve the problem correctly, the calculations should be simple enough to arrive at the answer without any ambiguity. I guess the SOA/CAS do not agree with my philosophy.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2010, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigb View Post
Thats why it pisses me off. This is designed as a "gimme". There is nothing to it. Its a straightforward application of the material. Why make it ambiguous with the rounding of the solution?

If I know enough to solve it correctly but didn't carry enough significant figures through my intermediate steps, why make rounding the issue?
There aren't gimme questions, and that's a good thing. So, basically, you have 2 paths through getting through these exams. One is to understand the theory very well so that you can find enough elegant solutions in the exam time frame. The second is an ability to accurately calculate numbers very quickly based on standard formulas. Just like exams, you need at least one of these abilities to be useful in an actuarial department.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:31 PM
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That all makes sense to me. How do I know how many numbers I should consider as significant figures from problem to problem? I see I need to be accurate and able to punch numbers in correctly, but if I do do it correctly, but just not carry enough significant figures, my answer doesn't match.

To me, this isn't testing anything other than waste time and go back and do it again with more significant figures and make sure the answers match up. Where in a previous problem, you could round a few places further than the solutions show and there is no ambiguity or question in the solutions.

If I round off at 5 places instead of 9, I guess I just don't see how this shows I'm any more intelligent or capable of performing the work. If you want to test me on theory, test me on theory, if you want to test me on the mechanics of the syllabus and how to apply formulas, test me on that.

If your trying to see whether or not I round at 5 instead of 9 significant figures and there is no set standard, then I think its a little bit of bs.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:46 PM
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The exam committee needs to make a recommendation on how many significant digits after the decimal point should be counted for making calculations so that the rounding errors are not an issue. It is a straightforward problem since a majority of the actuarial exam problems do not require an eureka moment to be solved. Questions that test the concept deeply are few and far between. IMHO, passing an actuarial exam is only a function of diligence. The way the exams are structured, you need to have seen the type of problem or its variant during your preparation otherwise your chances of solving it are pretty minimal (in 6 minutes). Also, guessing is not discouraged. If they truly want to make it a test of concepts, they should have negative marking. But i digress.
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Last edited by cat060; 12-07-2010 at 03:50 PM..
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  #16  
Old 12-07-2010, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bigb View Post
That all makes sense to me. How do I know how many numbers I should consider as significant figures from problem to problem? I see I need to be accurate and able to punch numbers in correctly, but if I do do it correctly, but just not carry enough significant figures, my answer doesn't match.

To me, this isn't testing anything other than waste time and go back and do it again with more significant figures and make sure the answers match up. Where in a previous problem, you could round a few places further than the solutions show and there is no ambiguity or question in the solutions.

If I round off at 5 places instead of 9, I guess I just don't see how this shows I'm any more intelligent or capable of performing the work. If you want to test me on theory, test me on theory, if you want to test me on the mechanics of the syllabus and how to apply formulas, test me on that.

If your trying to see whether or not I round at 5 instead of 9 significant figures and there is no set standard, then I think its a little bit of bs.
Use your calculator correctly and don't round at all. Problem solved.
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  #17  
Old 12-07-2010, 04:16 PM
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Use your calculator correctly and don't round at all. Problem solved.
Oh wow, why didn't I think of that, your a genius. Are you saying you never round any of your intermediate answers? And its not using your calculator incorrectly if you round by the way, the calculator is rounding for every answer it gives you.

There are other instances where the SOA does round, and its irritating to have the inconsistency. If its not an issue to you god bless.

Last edited by bigb; 12-07-2010 at 04:26 PM..
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  #18  
Old 12-07-2010, 05:30 PM
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Oh wow, why didn't I think of that, your a genius. Are you saying you never round any of your intermediate answers? And its not using your calculator incorrectly if you round by the way, the calculator is rounding for every answer it gives you.
No, I keep them in the calculator and reference them directly, because I know how to effficiently use my time and my calculator. I'll keep the answer as accurate as possible.

The calculator has the answer to nine decimal places. Why would I waste time writing down an intermediate answer and typing it back into the calculator? Further, why would I round that answer and make my ultimate answer less accurate? "Hey calculator, it's great of you to give me the answer to 9 decimal places and all, but I'm just going to chop off the last 4 because I feel like it."

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To be honest, in this problem you are pricing an american put, and for me I cant remember every value and where it is stored in my calculator.

I would just like it if some of the little things like that weren't an issue, it is a waste to get stuck on a problem because of the rounding.
Learn how to use your calculator better and/or get a better calculator. Use the multiview, write down your intermediate answers to keep track of what's what, then scroll up while doing the next step, highlight the number, and hit enter to use the exact answer.

Your stance is ridiculous. You can study for actuarial exams and remember a ton of information but can't remember where a handful of values are on your calculator?
  • You know that rounding could potentially be an issue.
  • You insist on rounding anyway despite having a CALCULATOR in front of you.
  • You gripe and complain about not getting the answer because of rounding.

Last edited by Twitches; 12-07-2010 at 05:42 PM..
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  #19  
Old 12-07-2010, 06:08 PM
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You are right, I just didn't appreciate the kind of tone your comment implied. When people write short snubby answers, it leaves the impression my complaint or my concern isn't valid, or its ridiculous, which I don't agree with.

You can be right in your approach to the solution, but it doesn't take away their ambiguity. Another poster was correct, I just need to accept it as part of the exam process and how the SOA tests. All I'm saying is that it would be nice to have more consistency in the way they round answers.

My guess is part of it is they want to see if your confident in your approach to the solution, and if your answer doesn't match exactly what the solution has, rounding or no rounding, you have the confidence in choosing the "most correct" answer.

That adds an extra level of difficulty during an exam and is frustrating, sorry if it seems trivial to some.
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2010, 06:46 AM
chronoz5707 chronoz5707 is offline
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Its the thought that matters, never give up just because of just some number-jumbles.

Momentum and confidence in exams are important, sometimes thinking whether an answer is right or is my rounding steps are correct, takes plenty of time, (and I experienced this, failing horribly). Do that when you have additional time.
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