Actuarial Outpost
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Exams - Please Limit Discussion to Exam-Related Topics > SoA/CAS Preliminary Exams > General
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-28-2017, 09:27 PM
IacceptTheTerms IacceptTheTerms is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 106

Originally Posted by Derek @ TIA View Post
I actually have heard of some of the larger/well respected companies that will hire as a sort of "Actuarial Analyst" role where you do the same work as the actuarial students, but you just don't have the study program support. You may be reimbursed for exam fees (if you pass), but you often have to pass an exam or two on your own before they let you into the program. If it's difficult to get in the door at a place you want to work as a part of the student program, I know people that have done this, and it has worked out very well.

About the studying, I think there are two key things here. 1. Knowing yourself and your study habits. 2. Making a schedule and sticking to it.

1. You have to know if you're better in the mornings, afternoons or nights and plan your schedule around it. If you're good in the mornings, wake up and allocate 1-2 hrs before work to study every day and make sure you stick to it. If you're better at night, put aside some time after work (before you go home, take a break, etc) and just treat it like work time. Put in that 1-2 hrs, and then be done with it and resume your life afterwards. As the exam gets closer, you need to be putting in more and more time, but the idea is the same.

Treat this studying like a job and truly put in the time. That's what will help you pass, and that's what will move you forward in the process. You're not getting the exam hours and raises in the student program, but this is still part of your job if you want to be a qualified actuary, so treat it that way.

2. Make a schedule that is realistic and stick to it. You need to make sure you get through the material (a few times) before the exam. Write out a calendar (or spreadsheet) and map out all of the readings and sample problems that you need to finish by a certain date. It doesn't have to be perfect, but this keeps you moving, and it ensures that you get through enough material before the exam date. Also, don't be afraid to re-do the schedule (many times), so it's always relevant. Otherwise, it's too easy to feel like you "studied" for two hours, but if you didn't get through certain materials, got distracted, etc, that doesn't really count, and you'll get behind. Write out what you need to get through (maybe a certain number of problems or certain chapters) and stick to that. If will happen that things get in the way, but you need to follow this schedule and adjust it as necessary.
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Some good advice already, and I'll add two more ideas:

Find any extra minutes you can: For example, if you take the train in, no more newspaper on the morning train, that's for solving problems. If there's something you're really struggling to memorize, put it on a notecard, and set that somewhere that you'll see it when you have a few extra minutes available to really really focus - obviously I mean put it next to the toilet. One or two simple tricks like that will let you squeeze in a couple extra hours a week - can add up to a lot.

Extreme sacrifice in the last few weeks before the exam: Know how long you can really focus without a break. For me, it was about 10 days. If I tried to go 2 weeks or more without hitting the gym or hanging with friends, I really started to lose focus and my productivity dropped. But I could do it for 10 days. So, 10 days before the exam, everything was canceled (may require buy-in from SO or others). Exam only for that ten days. Real trick is knowing how long you can maintain this for.

BTW, I passed my first 2 and last 2 exams without support. Sucks. Pass 1-2 more and then switch jobs; even better, see if there's internal transfers to positions that provide support - with two more exams and even average performance, you should qualify.
Thanks guys, will definitely have to make sacrifices.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 1.28847 seconds with 9 queries