Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > General Actuarial
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions



General Actuarial Non-Specific Actuarial Topics - Before posting a thread, please browse over our other sections to see if there is a better fit, such as Careers - Employment, Actuarial Science Universities Forum or any of our other 100+ forums.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #21  
Old 12-05-2017, 07:11 PM
JMO's Avatar
JMO JMO is offline
Carol Marler
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Back home again in Indiana
Studying for Nothing actuarial.
Posts: 37,655
Default

People who don't know history are doomed , , ,
And some people here appear to be color-blind as well.
__________________
Carol Marler, "Just My Opinion"

Pluto is no longer a planet and I am no longer an actuary. Please take my opinions as non-actuarial.


My latest favorite quotes, updated Nov. 20, 2018.

Spoiler:
I should keep these four permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrap View Post
JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MG View Post
This. And everything else JMO wrote.
And this all purpose permanent quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Yup, it is always someone else's fault.
MORE:
All purpose response for careers forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorNo View Post
Depends upon the employer and the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Actuario View Post
Therapists should ask the right questions, not give the right answers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-05-2017, 07:14 PM
MathStatFin MathStatFin is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,703
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
Ideal travel time should be 2 years. Otherwise, you'll be bogged down with exams while the data scientists who are fresh out of masters programs are outcompeting you because they're devoting more time to actual work.
It's about employers not employees. If you're bogged down with the exams and learning actuarial stuff, then you have less time to make yourself more attractive to employers outside of insurance. This helps retain your best employees.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-05-2017, 08:00 PM
Ito's Phlegm's Avatar
Ito's Phlegm Ito's Phlegm is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 15,825
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoanonstop View Post
You're making an assumption that the incremental exam takers are all smarter than the baseline.
Perhaps, but the claim that exams discourage hypothetical talent from pursuing actuarial science is tired and overused, and not unique to our profession.
__________________
Spoiler:
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves"


AO 2018 Political Bingo
Spoiler:
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-05-2017, 08:27 PM
Z3ta Z3ta is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 361
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ito's Phlegm View Post
Perhaps, but the claim that exams discourage hypothetical talent from pursuing actuarial science is tired and overused, and not unique to our profession.
The fact that a lot of people recognize this does not make it inaccurate. It's not particularly appealing to a creative problem solver to spend years with most of their studying learning tricks to solve unrealistic toy problems in under 5 minutes. Whether or not you know conventions adopted by the SOA for problems or make a calculation error when trying to execute a computational algorithm in 5 minutes is completely irrelevant to actual work.

The exams mostly encourage the development of skills that both don't translate into being an effective problem solver as an actuary and are mostly lost soon after passing. The skills to abstract and understand underlying concepts would be practical and exams with this focus would produce actuaries that can adapt what they've learned to real world problems. Many talented people would be attracted to this type of focus and would not feel the burden of a huge opportunity cost to waste time on acquiring largely useless skills.

Does my take on it sound more reasonable with elaboration? I'm not saying exams in general deter talent.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-05-2017, 08:55 PM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is online now
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 48,109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3ta View Post
The fact that a lot of people recognize this does not make it inaccurate. It's not particularly appealing to a creative problem solver to spend years with most of their studying learning tricks to solve unrealistic toy problems in under 5 minutes. Whether or not you know conventions adopted by the SOA for problems or make a calculation error when trying to execute a computational algorithm in 5 minutes is completely irrelevant to actual work.

The exams mostly encourage the development of skills that both don't translate into being an effective problem solver as an actuary and are mostly lost soon after passing. The skills to abstract and understand underlying concepts would be practical and exams with this focus would produce actuaries that can adapt what they've learned to real world problems. Many talented people would be attracted to this type of focus and would not feel the burden of a huge opportunity cost to waste time on acquiring largely useless skills.

Does my take on it sound more reasonable with elaboration? I'm not saying exams in general deter talent.
I agree, it's wasteful to test people on material that isn't going to be used on the job or that they'll forget shortly after taking the exam.

If you want smart people, you might as well use a standard IQ test and hire the highest scoring people you can within your budget.
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-05-2017, 09:06 PM
Z3ta Z3ta is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 361
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
I agree, it's wasteful to test people on material that isn't going to be used on the job or that they'll forget shortly after taking the exam.
I just want to be clear that it is not my view that the material currently tested on the prelims is itself not applicable to actuarial work. The topics covered are often extremely relevant. The problem is that the tests donít actually test you on your understanding of those concepts, but rather your ability to recognize the type of toy problem youíre doing and the corresponding algorithm to solve it. Acquiring this calculation muscle memory and the ability to carry out error-free calculations in under 5 minutes is a large portion of the study time and itís not generally that useful in real life. Those skills also quickly deteriorate since they arenít practiced after the exam (exactly because they arenít useful).
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 12-05-2017, 09:36 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
Member
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Just outside of Nowhere
Posts: 93,450
Default

No matter what your opinion is on the number of exams there are, the current system won't change because of it. And it won't matter how many posters agree with you.
__________________
"Facebook is a toilet." -- LWTwJO
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12-05-2017, 09:47 PM
MathStatFin MathStatFin is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,703
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3ta View Post
I just want to be clear that it is not my view that the material currently tested on the prelims is itself not applicable to actuarial work. The topics covered are often extremely relevant. The problem is that the tests donít actually test you on your understanding of those concepts, but rather your ability to recognize the type of toy problem youíre doing and the corresponding algorithm to solve it. Acquiring this calculation muscle memory and the ability to carry out error-free calculations in under 5 minutes is a large portion of the study time and itís not generally that useful in real life. Those skills also quickly deteriorate since they arenít practiced after the exam (exactly because they arenít useful).
Yeah like this hasn't been discussed before. It's not going to change due to various reasons like the fact that CBT is cost effective and it's hard to test "creativity" with CBT.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12-05-2017, 10:09 PM
Z3ta Z3ta is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 361
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathStatFin View Post
Yeah like this hasn't been discussed before. It's not going to change due to various reasons like the fact that CBT is cost effective and it's hard to test "creativity" with CBT.
I think itís possible to shift the focus of questions while still using a CBT format. It requires more thoughtful questions which requires more expertise, but Iím sure changes could be made in this direction.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:11 AM
Arlie_Proctor Arlie_Proctor is offline
Member
CAS AAA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: N.J.
College: Indiana University
Favorite beer: Becks
Posts: 1,197
Default

You have chosen a profession where the daily job of qualified members is to rapidly assimilate information and use that information in combination with previously acquired knowledge for the benefit of employers. Actuarial Societies admit members based on examinations that require candidates to demonstrate an ability to do just that. The requirements have two prongs: 1) ability and 2) knowledge. One can argue that the current system requires more demonstration of ability than necessary, no argument there. On the other hand, the generally accepted body of knowledge with which every actuary is expected to at least be familiar, if not an expert, constitutes thousands of pages of reading. I can't see where it would be any less painful to test that knowledge in two 8 hour sessions, each requiring 1800 hours of study versus 9 four hour sessions, each requiring 400 hours of study. It's 3600 hours of study either way. The first approach is 20 fewer hours in the exam room, but those hours pale in comparison to the study hours. You're pounding the books for 3600 hours either way. Personally, I'd rather fail a 4 hour exam requiring 400 hours than an 8 hour exam requiring 1800 hours of study. It's much easier to pick yourself up and restart preparations in the former case than in the later case.
Reply With Quote
Reply

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 08:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, 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 0.32489 seconds with 9 queries