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  #1  
Old 05-08-2019, 05:48 PM
anothermathteacher anothermathteacher is offline
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Default Best study material: ASM vs ACTEX vs ???

I plan to take SRM in September and am wondering what you all recommend for study material. I usually stick with ASM but it looks rather scant for this exam. I used ASM for the first sitting of IFM and felt that it was very light on the newer material. I fear that this may be the case for this exam as well.

ACTEX's manual looks more robust, but I dislike that there are only two practice exams. I prefer more.

Some folks say that CA wasn't very difficult or representative of the actual exam, so I'm not sure that I'll try them.

In short, all that I can think of have their deficiencies. I'm tempted to just stick with the textbooks, as I've read suggested a few places, but again, I do like some practice exams to hold myself to game-day conditions.
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2019, 07:23 PM
MathDoctorG MathDoctorG is offline
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The texts for SRM are pretty good. Frees isnít perfect, but itís okay, and ISLR is fantastic, in addition to, you know, free.

As a further data point, I posted a 4th sample exam in the TIA course today. Following the discussions from previous sittings, about half of the problems are conceptual. My plan is to get some feedback and recalibrate these 4 sample exams and add a 5th one in August.

There are about 400 problems in the course that are entirely separate from the sample exam problems, between the problems worked out in the lessons and the problem system. I do still have a few lessons left without practice problems, which is what Iíll be working on during the summer. The lessons do cover the entire syllabus, and I answer the forum questions every morning.

Iím also planning to roll out flashcards in time for the September sitting, and as many video solutions as I can.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2019, 11:42 AM
ambroselo ambroselo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermathteacher View Post
I plan to take SRM in September and am wondering what you all recommend for study material. I usually stick with ASM but it looks rather scant for this exam. I used ASM for the first sitting of IFM and felt that it was very light on the newer material. I fear that this may be the case for this exam as well.

ACTEX's manual looks more robust, but I dislike that there are only two practice exams. I prefer more.

Some folks say that CA wasn't very difficult or representative of the actual exam, so I'm not sure that I'll try them.

In short, all that I can think of have their deficiencies. I'm tempted to just stick with the textbooks, as I've read suggested a few places, but again, I do like some practice exams to hold myself to game-day conditions.
We will release a new edition (Fall 2019 edition) of our ACTEX SRM study manual on May 20. This new edition will feature relevant questions from the recent April 2019 MAS-I and MAS-II exams of the CAS and one more full-length practice exam for a total of 3 exams, all of which have a nice mix of computational and conceptual/qualitative questions. The main text of the manual is also interspersed with more than 180 in-text examples and 300 end-of-chapter problems, which should be more than enough to help you grasp the SRM material.

One of our authors, who is already an FSA, took the SRM exam recently (and, of course, got a 10 ). We can assure you that the manual is written and the examples/problems are designed in the way to best help you prepare for SRM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:21 PM
southerntech southerntech is offline
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If I were to do it over again, I would get ACTEX for the first 2 months, and then a 15-day subscription to ADAPT at the end (or 30-day, it's $20 more).

I would never take an actuary exam without some quality time on ADAPT. I've never seen the ACTEX manual, but I know it comes with follow-along labs in R, which would really help you conceptualize the material (and learning R makes you desirable as an actuary).

I used ASM; I didn't find it helpful and got most of my understanding from reading ISLR and the Penn State statistics website (brilliant website).

Edit: ASM's practice tests have a bunch of conceptual questions, which I think are vital and ADAPT doesn't have. But there are few of them in the end-of-chapter problems.
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Last edited by southerntech; 05-15-2019 at 10:37 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2019, 08:42 PM
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ActuarybyInduction ActuarybyInduction is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambroselo View Post
We will release a new edition (Fall 2019 edition) of our ACTEX SRM study manual on May 20. This new edition will feature relevant questions from the recent April 2019 MAS-I and MAS-II exams of the CAS and one more full-length practice exam for a total of 3 exams, all of which have a nice mix of computational and conceptual/qualitative questions. The main text of the manual is also interspersed with more than 180 in-text examples and 300 end-of-chapter problems, which should be more than enough to help you grasp the SRM material.

One of our authors, who is already an FSA, took the SRM exam recently (and, of course, got a 10 ). We can assure you that the manual is written and the examples/problems are designed in the way to best help you prepare for SRM.

Ambroselo, do you know what will be added to the new manual? It was scheduled to be released May 20, but then was pushed back to June 1. I'm getting nervous that it's going to be delayed again, cutting further into my study time. I'm debating whether to just purchase an older manual.

Thanks!

Last edited by ActuarybyInduction; 05-22-2019 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:30 AM
ambroselo ambroselo is offline
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Originally Posted by ActuarybyInduction View Post
Ambroselo, do you know what will be added to the new manual? It was scheduled to be released May 20, but then was pushed back to June 1. I'm getting nervous that it's going to be delayed again, cutting further into my study time. I'm debating whether to just purchase an older manual.

Thanks!
Thanks very much for your patience and for considering our product! I submitted the final manuscript yesterday and it will take at most only a few more days for the manual to be formally released in the market. In any case, the manual should be out well before May 31.

For the time being, please take a look at some sample pages for the new edition of the manual. The "What is New in this Fall 2019 Edition?" paragraph describes how the new edition compares to the May 2019 and Fall 2018 editions. Let me know if you have further questions.
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:07 PM
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ActuarybyInduction ActuarybyInduction is offline
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Just got my manual and I'm excited to dig in...

Quick question on page 29 of the Actex manual, which I'm unsure warrant its own thread. I'm having difficulty seeing how the book derived the Var(b0) and Var(b1). In particular how Var(b0) = sigma^2 (1/n + mean(x)^2 / S_xx).

I tried to look at it through a first principles approach b1 = Sxy/Sxx and b0 = mean(y) - b0*mean(x), but was unsuccessful.

Not the end of world, but I love to understand the mechanics of the proof as it gives me more confidence on the subject.

Thanks!
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Last edited by ActuarybyInduction; 06-06-2019 at 12:08 PM.. Reason: Making the question more understandable...
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:18 PM
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ActuarybyInduction ActuarybyInduction is offline
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Never mind, on the next page is says that the proofs are involved and that I should just memorize them.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:07 PM
ambroselo ambroselo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActuarybyInduction View Post
Just got my manual and I'm excited to dig in...

Quick question on page 29 of the Actex manual, which I'm unsure warrant its own thread. I'm having difficulty seeing how the book derived the Var(b0) and Var(b1). In particular how Var(b0) = sigma^2 (1/n + mean(x)^2 / S_xx).

I tried to look at it through a first principles approach b1 = Sxy/Sxx and b0 = mean(y) - b0*mean(x), but was unsuccessful.

Not the end of world, but I love to understand the mechanics of the proof as it gives me more confidence on the subject.

Thanks!
The proof of Var(beta0-hat) and Var(beta1-hat) is mainly algebra. Here is the proof if you are interested. (For completeness, I prove both the expected values and variances of beta0-hat and beta1-hat.)

The proof is not hard, but deriving these formulas in the exam wastes precious time. That is why the ACTEX manual suggests simply memorizing these formulas...in case they are tested.

Let me know if you have further questions about the manual.
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2019, 07:06 PM
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ActuarybyInduction ActuarybyInduction is offline
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Thanks. I'll skip over the proof.
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