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  #781  
Old 10-16-2017, 10:30 AM
luvactry luvactry is offline
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Mahler's exams aren't "hard" per se. It's just that it tests your in-depth understanding of the material and so if you have just been "practicing to write exams" rather than "studying", you will find it hard. I find that it was similar to the real exam in that they make you think. The questions are not actually the same as the real exam like Adapt questions for MFE, but the way it makes you think and solve are the same. The SOA 300+ is too easy compared to the real exam because it does not make you think much. I studied with CA videos/review videos and then I miserably failed when I took mahler's practice exams. But after 2-3 exams, I could get a clear understanding of the material and I was finishing them in time with 80%+ afterwards. Then I used adapt quizzes and did each section for all levels but mostly between 5-9. This really helps since you already have an idea of how much time you should take per question and you have already probably sat in many other prelims before so you don't need a practice in a real exam setting of 3.5hrs. Practice exams vary the questions too much in levels and it's really the luck of the draw so you don't get enough exposure in some materials that you should. I would really recommend going over each section and doing at least 3 questions for level 5-9.
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  #782  
Old 10-18-2017, 03:52 PM
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Tetsuo Tetsuo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvactry View Post
The SOA 300+ is too easy compared to the real exam because it does not make you think much.
Is this how most people feel about the exam? I've always heard the SOA questions are comparable to the real exam. Thought the SOA problems were extremely helpful for a few other exams, so I'm surprised to hear this.
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  #783  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:03 AM
bravesandfalcons bravesandfalcons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetsuo View Post
Is this how most people feel about the exam? I've always heard the SOA questions are comparable to the real exam. Thought the SOA problems were extremely helpful for a few other exams, so I'm surprised to hear this.
I think it is very common to get questions that are just like SOA 307, but with enough of a twist that it's still somewhat new. There's one question from my exam that I remember quite vividly that resembled one of those questions. Obviously, I can't post it, but is a good idea to be familiar with them as several people in the October thread reported seeing 3-5 questions that were similar to SOA 307 questions.
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  #784  
Old Yesterday, 09:34 AM
edcars edcars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravesandfalcons View Post
I think it is very common to get questions that are just like SOA 307, but with enough of a twist that it's still somewhat new.
I completely agree, and I don't understand why people say the exam questions are more difficult than the SOA 307. I thought that the SOA 307/Adapt EL 5-7 were very comparable to the difficulty of the exam I took earlier this month. Here is my opinion on the study materials I used:
  • As bravesandfalcons pointed out, there will be twists on the exam. Mahler practice exams offer several conceptually challenging/'twist' problems (I took all of them, and felt frustrated on ~50% of the problems. I often needed the solutions to guide me through the problems)
  • SOA 307/Adapt EL 5-7 mimicked the exam in terms of difficulty (scored no less than 85% on Adapt EL 6 practice exams during the week leading up to my exam)
  • ASM Practice Exams/Adapt EL 7+ were computationally difficult with coverage on all topics, including the topics that the ASM manual advises 'this will probably not be tested on, so you may skip' (Did one ASM practice manual and said 'screw this', but did a few practice exams with EL 7+ and scored ~60%-70% on both. Be prepared to solve very MLEs with no shortcuts, various types of mortality tables, etc.)
  • Adapt EL 1-5 for confidence booster after you take a few of the Mahler exams (Aimed for 90%+ and hit this mark more times than not)

All of these materials, with the exception of ASM practice exams (I did use the ASM manual to learn the material), contributed significantly. I may have gone overkill on practice exams, I took 30+ of them. I had the mindset that spending 100 hours doing practice exams is better than studying another 300 hours for the next sitting if I did fail (the immediate salary increase is great motivation too).

In hindsight, the best advice I saw was to get a wide variety of practice problems. You will be frustrated at times, but it is well worth it once you get the pass.
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  #785  
Old Yesterday, 10:21 PM
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Tetsuo Tetsuo is offline
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ok cool thanks for the responses. that's more of what i was expecting. i don't get people who say the exams are way harder than the SOA problems or even ADAPT
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  #786  
Old Yesterday, 10:21 PM
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Tetsuo Tetsuo is offline
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also are there really people who think this exam is harder than MLC? i'm almost half way through the material and i don't think any of it is super hard. it's going to be a hard exam to pass but so far none of the stuff is really tough to learn IMO
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