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  #31  
Old 02-19-2011, 01:21 AM
ap07 ap07 is offline
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone I really appreciate it. I got both the ACTEX and ASM study guides (I got a really good deal on both) so I am going to rely on those for the time being. If I feel I am not grasping/understanding the material well enough I will definitely consider a seminar as well to get some visual help. Now time to start looking for a summer internship. This'll be interesting
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  #32  
Old 02-20-2011, 09:56 AM
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Don't rush yourself I say, considering P is no longer seasonal. Buy the review materials and study first, and then sign up after you've seen what you are up against. The preliminary exams are as much about testmanship (time management, strategy, etc.) as it is about mathematics. You also have to become best friends with your SOA-approved calculator.

It is inevitable in your actuarial career that you will have to learn to study things on your own off a book and not from a professor. For some it starts at the first exam.
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  #33  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathmajor View Post
Just to be clear...

Taking through calc 3 and a harder stats course isn't a math degree, hehe. (Okay, maybe at a lib arts school.) More like a math minor. Every school is different but I also had to take things like real analysis ("Calc 4 and 5" I called it), proof construction and evaluation, partial differential equations, number theory, set theory... lol

I don't mean to say you can't learn the necessary math skills from the book. Of course you can. I'm just saying that coursework gives a solid foundation of analysis and problem solving. There's a certain element of "seeing things" that is very helpful on this journey. Sometimes I can feel when an answer is or isn't right. That skill comes from practice, exposure, interest, and a bit of natural talent. That's why I advocated coursework, is all. Yes, this all is doable without, however.

I am very happy that you enjoy stats so much. When I was younger I used to love figuring out the actual expected payout in casino games or on game shows. Being able to predict seemed like black magic, sort of. It's a skill that really sets you apart from the populace... you start thinking in terms of expectations and rates in everyday life.

If you ever need math help feel free to PM me. I have half a teaching master's too. (Long story, lol)

1) Do you recommend self-teaching real analysis, set theory (as in, non-basics), stats (I know its VEE required anyhow, but...), p.d.e.'s or (basic) linear algebra for professional purposes, or should one just focus on the act. exams? (and if so, any recommended guide/textbooks? )
2) yes, I started out in education as well, but decided to go back to undergrad >_<
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  #34  
Old 02-21-2011, 12:26 PM
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@pquach: That's a good question. If you're interested in those topics, go for it. I wouldn't worry too much about it in the midst of studying for exams. They will cover the directly applicable material. The things I named are healthy for a high-level understanding of math and logic in a general sense.

There are plenty of non-textbook books that are rather cheap and are good reads. I'd look into one that does a deep dive into calculus. Elementary (non-partial) Diff.Eqs. is nice background into how functions change and behave. (Partial deals with multivariate and gets nasty.) Basic Linear Alg can be helpful in programming/math modeling. Axiomatic (rule-based) set theory is good for logic. Proofmaking is too.
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  #35  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:32 PM
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thanks for the feedback!
since I have limited experience with PDEs, some of them seem rather horrifying!
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  #36  
Old 02-22-2011, 04:17 PM
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thanks for the feedback!
since I have limited experience with PDEs, some of them seem rather horrifying ><
Agreed. They are used a lot in physics. Weather is governed by a set of pde's called the heat transfer equations. It happens that we cannot analytically solve these for any particular time; we can only estimate changes. Hence why we can't predict weather perfectly or very far in the future.

(Disclaimer: This is how I understand it. Google chaos theory.)
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  #37  
Old 03-29-2011, 02:56 AM
mjanjua mjanjua is offline
 
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Could you tell me where I can find Guo's manual for free? I searched Google and was unable to find it. Thanks.
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  #38  
Old 03-29-2011, 04:00 PM
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Could you tell me where I can find Guo's manual for free? I searched Google and was unable to find it. Thanks.
AFAIK, his manual is copyrighted. Although he may have a sample chapter for free, if you find an entire manual for free, it is illegal. May not be the best way to start your career. I'm just sayin'...

I thought it was worth the money, but definitely a complement to another source like ASM. I wouldn't rely solely on Guo.
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  #39  
Old 04-18-2011, 06:16 PM
Franky Franky is offline
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Hi guys, I just joined the forum today. I am really happy to see that you guys post your comments to help exam takers. I am also planning to sit for exam P on the july windows. I am currently using the Actex 2006 study manual and the Marcel Finan pdf book for exam P. I never took a strong mathematical based statistic class but I have a descent Math background ( Calculus 2). I was wondering whether I have the good study manual or you guys think I should add something else like the ASM or sign in for TIA ( which is so expensive)? Do is matter if I use the Actex 2006 edition ie, do I need a recent edition like 2010? thanks guys for your inputs.
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  #40  
Old 09-28-2012, 06:04 PM
MGomez23 MGomez23 is offline
 
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I just passed Exam P! I took Probability and Stats a few semesters ago. Then, I did every question in the Actex manual and SOA 153. I made a list of questions that were interesting and then reviewed them before taking practice exams. I also took a few practice exams from the Actex and TIA and scored above a 20 on each one.

Three points of advice I found most important: use shortcuts to save time, remember everything you know about each distribution, and skip questions that you don't know after one minute so you can utilize that time for all the questions you do know and you need time for!

Good luck studying and preparing!!
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