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  #31  
Old 05-04-2018, 08:14 AM
pragmatist pragmatist is offline
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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
all the modules (FAP/FSA/DMAC) actually were useful
That's a subjective opinion. My subjective opinion is that FAP is absolute crap to the extent that it discourages me from even looking at FSA syllabi. That's why I even suggest the SOA should replace FAP with CAS syllabi of exams 5 and 6.

FAP is replete with dull repetitions of the "actuarial modelling cycle", baseball talk, EOM exercise on futurism, spreadsheet assignments requiring too much second-guessing during EOMs, overly sketchy approach to ALM, bare mention of reserves, and so forth.

Let's not forget those expensive, "recommended" FAP books explaining present value and other basic concepts ... "Hello FAP, I already passed FM, you know?".
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  #32  
Old 05-04-2018, 10:50 AM
Pension.Mathematics Pension.Mathematics is offline
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Originally Posted by Elinor Dashwood View Post
So your chief complaint is that success on the preliminary exams does not guarantee success on the FSA exams?
no. see post below.

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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
people simply cannot afford to give up when they reach the FSA level exams, but those exams are different from what they were expecting when they entered the field.
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Originally Posted by Elinor Dashwood View Post
I think there's some similarity between Exam MLC and an FSA exam these days, although how much depends on the track as some tracks are more math intensive than others. But MLC does force someone to gain familiarity with written-answer exams.
i didn't know that. but knowing how qualitative the FSA level exams are, the similarity is likely minimal.


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Originally Posted by Elinor Dashwood View Post
As for other professions: I don't think any other profession has an examination system that's at all comparable to actuarial exams. But certainly for people on other paths, the rules are constantly changing.

Medical school: extremely competitive to get in, then they totally hold your hand once you're there (the saying is that it's harder to get out of medical school than it is to get in... meaning that the school REALLY does not want you to drop out / flunk out and stop paying tuition because they can't fill your slot with someone else. So they work really closely with you to make sure that you are successful once you're there.) Then it's very competitive to get into certain residency programs and grueling once you're in. And from what I understand the three different sections of the medical boards are quite different.
again, when people enter into other professions, they know what they are expecting. this is the opposite for us, do you remember how overwhelming your first ever FSA exam was? there is a disconnection somewhere when some folks pass their prelims relatively fast, but become career ASAs or get stuck on 1 fellowship exam for 3+ years.

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Originally Posted by Elinor Dashwood View Post
If anything, the difficulty of the exams gives an edge to non-native speakers in that at least on the preliminary exams they are on a level playing field.
this is true, and my poins is that they don't deserve that edge, and my educated guess/observation is that employers (at least those with low turn over rates) are figuring that out too.

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Originally Posted by Elinor Dashwood View Post
In other fields without exams, hiring is much more subjective and it's even harder on non-native speakers to demonstrate the value they add through the language barrier.
i don't really care too much about that. i am not after "fairness".

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Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
Now I see what you are saying. I think the true solution entails enhancing the reliability of FSA exams and study materials.
no, i think the true solution is to make the difficulty/format of the exams a (somewhat) continuous function.

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Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
Do you identify specific reasons behind that pattern? I can only hypothesize that this is traceable to matters of visa sponsorship (high correlation between being ESL and needing visa sponsorship?) rather than to communication issues.
could be. but think about this: you are an actuarial recruiter at a large company with low turn over, 5 years ago, you hired 3 ESL and 3 native English speakers who graduated at the same time, 5 years later, all 3 native English speakers have their FSA and all 3 ESL are still stuck on their fellowship exams. what do you do this year?

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Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
Much of OP's criticism (helpful authors, abundant study material, etc.) seems to be a suggestion that prelims should be more of a black box. An approach of that sort will only make the "qualification" process quite arbitrary and needlessly frustrating. And that won't improve the profession whatsoever.
I am glad the prelims aren't a black box. but they remind me of "bait and switch" practices. Like I said already, something isn't right when the same person can one shot all the prelims but repeatedly fail a fellowship level exam. smart cookies like @ao fan shouldn't be forced to be career ASAs.

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Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
Employers in the actuarial field surely know what the prelims entail.
but the fact that a person passed his first 3 prelims in 6 months does not eliminate the possibility that he might fail his first fellowship exam 4 times.

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Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
That's a subjective opinion. My subjective opinion is that FAP is absolute crap to the extent that it discourages me from even looking at FSA syllabi. That's why I even suggest the SOA should replace FAP with CAS syllabi of exams 5 and 6.
well, i think they are more helpful for the more quantitatively inclined folks who tend to be a little weaker in terms of "business communication". based on your posting history, I am not surprised that you found it absolutely useless. so maybe my view on prelims is similar to your view on FAP? but I think this is beside the point I am trying to get across here.

Last edited by Pension.Mathematics; 05-04-2018 at 11:46 AM..
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  #33  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:45 AM
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ao fan ao fan is offline
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Originally Posted by pragmatist View Post
That's a subjective opinion. My subjective opinion is that FAP is absolute crap to the extent that it discourages me from even looking at FSA syllabi. That's why I even suggest the SOA should replace FAP with CAS syllabi of exams 5 and 6.

FAP is replete with dull repetitions of the "actuarial modelling cycle", baseball talk, EOM exercise on futurism, spreadsheet assignments requiring too much second-guessing during EOMs, overly sketchy approach to ALM, bare mention of reserves, and so forth.

Let's not forget those expensive, "recommended" FAP books explaining present value and other basic concepts ... "Hello FAP, I already passed FM, you know?".
The SOA used to have exams 5 and 6 instead of FAP, so you're suggesting they go back to that?

I think that the old SOA exams 5 and 6 were more difficult than FAP.
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  #34  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:49 AM
Pension.Mathematics Pension.Mathematics is offline
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I think that the old SOA exams 5 and 6 were more difficult than FAP.
exams are almost always more difficult than take-home exams.
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  #35  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:49 AM
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PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
...again, when people enter into other professions, they know what they are expecting. this is the opposite for us, do you remember how overwhelming your first ever FSA exam was? there is a disconnection somewhere when some folks pass their prelims relatively fast, but become career ASAs or get stuck on 1 fellowship exam for 3+ years.
fwiw, I had the opposite experience. I struggled with the prelims, in large part because I'd never had to study for a math exam before, and didn't really know how to. I never failed an upper CAS exam.

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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
no, i think the true solution is to make the difficulty/format of the exams a (somewhat) continuous function.
There are "early" requirements that are more like the upper exams. The CAS has "on line courses" which are intentionally easy, but have material that is non-technical and related to the upper exams. My understanding is that FAP is similar on the FSA side.

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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
could be. but think about this: you are an actuarial recruiter at a large company with low turn over, 5 years ago, you hired 3 ESL and 3 native English speakers who graduated at the same time, 5 years later, all 3 native English speakers have their FSA and all 3 ESL are still stuck on their fellowship exams. what do you do this year?
that is not my employer's experience. We have many non-native speakers who are successful at upper-level exams.
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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
...but the fact that a person passed his first 3 prelims in 6 months does not eliminate the possibility that the same person might fail his first fellowship exam 4 times....
Honestly, I don't think that's all that common. It may be a more serious problem now that more candidates enter the field with most of their prelims already passed, but the upper exams are much more like the work environment than the prelims, and most candidates have a sense of what to expect from their job.
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  #36  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:59 AM
Pension.Mathematics Pension.Mathematics is offline
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Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
that is not my employer's experience. We have many non-native speakers who are successful at upper-level exams.
let me guess, what track did they do? investment?

just look at the most recent QFICORE passing list (link provided below, pay attention to the LAST NAME column) and you will likely intuitively realize that there is currently something seriously wrong with the qualification system.

https://www.soa.org/Files/Exam-Resul...mes-eqs654.pdf

here is a pension one (same sitting):

https://www.soa.org/Files/Exam-Resul...mes-aqe654.pdf
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  #37  
Old 05-04-2018, 02:15 PM
Billybobobob Billybobobob is offline
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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post

I am glad the prelims aren't a black box. but they remind me of "bait and switch" practices. Like I said already, something isn't right when the same person can one shot all the prelims but repeatedly fail a fellowship level exam. smart cookies like @ao fan shouldn't be forced to be career ASAs.
This is my biggest issue as well. Different people do better on different type of exams. I personally have an issue with memorizing 100's of lists and regurgitating them on an exam, but I didn't have a big issue with the prelims because I could derive everything that I needed on them with little memorization.

My bigger concern is how effective the prelim and upper level exams are at actually evaluating how good of any Actuary someone is. I did like the modules for that reason. There are a lot of issues with them, and there are many little changes that could easily be made to it to not make them as big of a joke, but I did like that when I turned in each EoM, IA, and FA, I felt like I actually created an actuarial report of some sort that I would do at a job. To me, it felt like it was a bit more representative of the job I could do at work vs regurgitating lists or knocking out problems in 3 minutes.
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  #38  
Old 05-04-2018, 02:24 PM
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PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
let me guess, what track did they do? investment?

just look at the most recent QFICORE passing list (link provided below, pay attention to the LAST NAME column) and you will likely intuitively realize that there is currently something seriously wrong with the qualification system.

https://www.soa.org/Files/Exam-Resul...mes-eqs654.pdf

here is a pension one (same sitting):

https://www.soa.org/Files/Exam-Resul...mes-aqe654.pdf
Nope, P&C.
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  #39  
Old 05-04-2018, 02:25 PM
Chopin-Lover Chopin-Lover is offline
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Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
let me guess, what track did they do? investment?
At least with my employer - various tracks.

Also, non-native speakers <> people who are bad in English. In fact I've seen a lot of native speakers who have terrible written English, and vice versa.
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  #40  
Old 05-04-2018, 02:29 PM
tommie frazier tommie frazier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pension.Mathematics View Post
let me guess, what track did they do? investment?

just look at the most recent QFICORE passing list (link provided below, pay attention to the LAST NAME column) and you will likely intuitively realize that there is currently something seriously wrong with the qualification system.

https://www.soa.org/Files/Exam-Resul...mes-eqs654.pdf

here is a pension one (same sitting):

https://www.soa.org/Files/Exam-Resul...mes-aqe654.pdf
PP has said she is an fcas and works in P&C.
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