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 Probability Old Exam P Forum

#1
03-22-2014, 02:28 PM
 theslug Non-Actuary Join Date: Nov 2012 Posts: 16
Guessing

Hi,

I'm planning to take the exam in May and have been doing pretty well on the practice tests for P. However, I'm afraid that much of my success is due to guessing-- often when I don't know how to do a problem I can estimate the answer down to two (or even one) answer; sometimes the answer choices just make it blatantly obvious what the correct one is. I've read that the exam questions take a different "form" than the practice ones, so my question is whether these "different" questions might make it harder for me to "guess" the correct answer? Basically, are the real test questions formulated so that if you can't figure out the "correct" method for a problem you will get it wrong?

Sorry for that convoluted paragraph. Any help is much appreciated
#2
03-22-2014, 10:36 PM
 tom193 Member SOA Join Date: Mar 2014 Posts: 134

As I just took the real exam yesterday, even though I didn't guess on any of the problems, I can say that most problems were quantitative and the choices were just numbers being close to each other. E.g. The problem asked for the expected value of something, and the choices were like 18.3, 18.5, 18.7, 19.5, 19.7, where 1 was the correct answer; 2 were, I guess, the answers you might get if you made a common mistake; and the other 2 were just to create confusion. I don't think there is a way to guess on such problems. If I couldn't get those and couldn't make an educated guess either, I would just quickly choose one random letter and spend time on other problems which I might be able to figure out or make an educated guess.
#3
03-23-2014, 12:29 AM
 Noleguy654 CAS SOA Join Date: Oct 2013 College: Florida State University - Senior Posts: 14

I would be a little afraid of getting a job not completing knowing what was going on. I kind of feel that if you don't fully know the information, it's going to manifest when you begin working. Furthermore, in this kind of career it seems that it would be much easier to build with a solid foundation which will cause less stress in the future. I feel like the test should prove that you know the information, not something just to be passed. I mean, on the job you can't really guess.
#4
03-23-2014, 03:01 AM
 YetAnotherCareerChanger Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2014 Posts: 3,429

I think you have time to learn the material better but it is a good skill to have to be able to estimate and reduce the possibilities. It may not be something to bank on for the exams but it is handy when reviewing others work and catching numbers that don't make sense in reports or presentations.
#5
03-24-2014, 12:08 AM
 theslug Non-Actuary Join Date: Nov 2012 Posts: 16

I do think I understand the material, but sometimes the questions are just difficult and I don't intuitively "know" how to solve them. That kind of 18.3, 18.5, 18.7 thing is what I was worried about though so I will definitely make sure I can pass by knowing how to answer twenty one questions and not guessing them right. Thank you very much!
#6
03-26-2014, 12:17 PM
 eringobragh Member CAS Join Date: Jun 2013 Favorite beer: Guinness Posts: 100

Stop guessing. If you don't get a matching answer to the ones provided, don't answer anything and treat it as you left it blank, thus you eliminate the "false right answers". You'll get a score that is more accurate to your confidence in solving problems.

Not to say don't make educated guesses in the heat of the exam.
#7
03-26-2014, 02:40 PM
 mpbaker22 Member Non-Actuary Join Date: Nov 2013 College: University of Illinois alumnus Posts: 78

Quote:
 Originally Posted by eringobragh Stop guessing. If you don't get a matching answer to the ones provided, don't answer anything and treat it as you left it blank, thus you eliminate the "false right answers". You'll get a score that is more accurate to your confidence in solving problems. Not to say don't make educated guesses in the heat of the exam.
Exactly. I routinely get 100% of the questions I answer right on practice exams. Then, I know I don't have to study those. If I'm not 100% (or at least 90%) certain of the answer, I leave it blank and count it as a miss. I then know I need to study those as if it's a miss.

This strategy doesn't work as well on ADAPT since you always have to answer 75% of the questions to have it graded.

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