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Old 05-10-2019, 11:14 AM
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Default Source material or manuals?

Just found out I passed IFM. I am planning to sit for STAM and MAS-I in october. So far, I have only used source materials for the exams. While browsing the exam threads, I see a lot of responses suggesting one manual versus the other, mostly Mahler for MAS-I and CA for STAM. In the past, I had a lot of financial stress and thought I could get away without any manuals/paid help. If anyone has any solid opinions regarding materials for these exams, which I have come to realize to be much harder than the first three exams, I would very much appreciate it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:24 AM
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Any reason you're sitting for both STAM & MAS-I?
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Vorian Atreides View Post
Any reason you're sitting for both STAM & MAS-I?
If I had a choice, I prefer to go along CAS path. However, I am not sure I want to tie myself down one path before I have any actuarial experience. I am, hence, taking one more exam from both societies. This recent reduction of shared preliminary exams hasn't been very helpful.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:55 PM
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I loved the ASM manuals for prelims. Cheap, thorough, and much clearer and quicker than reading the source.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:40 PM
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I loved the ASM manuals for prelims. Cheap, thorough, and much clearer and quicker than reading the source.
Thanks! During the exam, did you generally get the feeling that the manuals properly covered all the test materials? I am concerned manuals might not cover some conceptual type of questions that were rife in the recent IFM exam I took. However, it also feels like a baseless assumption from my part as I haven't used one yet.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:23 AM
itGetsBetter itGetsBetter is offline
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For exams that had been around awhile, ASM was sufficient. However, I took one exam on its second sitting and the manual was not quite enough. I read excerpts of the sources for that one. Someone that has taken IFM recently should be able to answer your question more specifically if you post in the IFM section.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itGetsBetter View Post
For exams that had been around awhile, ASM was sufficient. However, I took one exam on its second sitting and the manual was not quite enough. I read excerpts of the sources for that one. Someone that has taken IFM recently should be able to answer your question more specifically if you post in the IFM section.
Yeah, that was the general vibe I got when I was reading about the manuals for SRM, a while ago. I think I am going to use the source materials for both the exams in the beginning. Near the exam, I might get Adapt for the final stretch.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:40 PM
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Good manuals comprehensively cover all exam content as well pesky "prerequisite" topics you naturally may have forgotten. A basic example is of the latter is a worked-out example on matrix multiplication. Or did you need a sufficiently eloquent "pocket version" of the Weak Law of Large Numbers?

Manuals not only cover exam content, they speak to you the studier and you the exam-taker. And absolutely no fluff--no one has time for that anymore!

My favorite quality of a good manual is ORGANIZATION! Everything is conveniently in one place. No juggling e-books, windows, textbooks, downloads, fluff, etc. A good manual will also incorporate the germane information from any study notes or addendums SOA issues.

If you want a manual that has stood the test of time, is supremely organized and goes above and beyond the price you pay with forum support and grading services, I recommend Coaching Actuaries and, of course, ADAPT.

I also do not have confidence in content/literature/texts SOA either writes or recommends. The LTAM text is a cruel joke that uses WAY different notation than the exam. And how many times will a published professor write you back if you have a question? I mean it could happen--but seldom in my experience.

Get a manual--but make sure it is a damn good one!

Best of luck!
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