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  #1  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:08 PM
NchooseK NchooseK is online now
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Philly area
Studying for PA, LTAM, FA (FAP)
College: Swarthmore College (BA Mathematics), Villanova University (MS Applied Stat)
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Default Goldmine: The Exam PA Manual

Not a pristine 200-page pdf. Not a second job. Not a coming-out party.

A legit PA Manual could make a mint.

It would have be online, able to react to SOA's 11th hour gamechanging and other shenanigans in real time, and run very SMOOTHLY. Perhaps a small amount of R code could be run inside the interface--but absolutely nothing clunky.

Would SOA have any aversions if it still collected its $1125/attempt? Perhaps you download a few files and sign up for the exam--and the Modules are history! A do-it-all platform and R-Studio, nothing else.

This is a project for the big names and big companies. And your interns, junior staff or whomever will hate you for all the gibberish they have to translate.

I get the feeling most of us are not struggling with content; it is the constant parsing of nonsense, seeking other sources, endless mistakes and errors. Mathematical definitions are our building blocks, and SOA screws every third of those up. Content is flat-out missing. Again, it isn't difficulty--we all appreciate the struggles, triumphs, failures and rewards that come with intellectual challenge. But Piecing together one assignment from a syllabus, an update, 3 modules and a Google Search--only to realize we didn't paste the latest update because it wasn't AT THE END OF YOUR MODULE is no self-respecting individual or scholar's idea of the Glory of Struggle.

If the PA Manual comes to fruition, you don't have to spoon feed content--though practice problems are wonderful! Just be thorough, 98% correct, organized, reasonable and have some damn pride in your work. Make it professional, not perfect. Stay apprised of sneaky updates--you probably have to do SOA's job for them. Make SOA step up its game! They pull the same thing with FAP--so "new" content is not the matter. Hell, SOA struggles to copy from Wikipedia.

I'm a reasonable person who gives the benefit of the doubt. And I'm not whining, I just want better--for you, me, the future, SOA, the entire field. I'll be happy regardless of SOA's path. I'll continue acing exams, I'll make my money, I'll make SOA better, I'll even volunteer.

I'll conclude by saying SOA does an excellent job writing preliminary exams and even solutions. SOA responds to emails promptly. SOA has an outstanding reputation AFAIK. But you have a problem publishing--and exorbitantly charging for--material that belongs in the toilet.

TDLR:
1) Someone capitalize on this opportunity and enable future FSAs to better spend their time.
2) SOA, fewer speeches, galas, inductions, etc. Clean up your foundation. Start from a blank page with those modules.
__________________
Exams: P | FM | C | MFE | LTAM | SRM Credit | PA

VEE: Statistics | Finance | Economics

FAP: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | IA | 6 | 7 | FA

Conferences: APC
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2019, 10:26 PM
Yossarian Yossarian is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NchooseK View Post
Not a pristine 200-page pdf. Not a second job. Not a coming-out party.

A legit PA Manual could make a mint.

It would have be online, able to react to SOA's 11th hour gamechanging and other shenanigans in real time, and run very SMOOTHLY. Perhaps a small amount of R code could be run inside the interface--but absolutely nothing clunky.

Would SOA have any aversions if it still collected its $1125/attempt? Perhaps you download a few files and sign up for the exam--and the Modules are history! A do-it-all platform and R-Studio, nothing else.

This is a project for the big names and big companies. And your interns, junior staff or whomever will hate you for all the gibberish they have to translate.

I get the feeling most of us are not struggling with content; it is the constant parsing of nonsense, seeking other sources, endless mistakes and errors. Mathematical definitions are our building blocks, and SOA screws every third of those up. Content is flat-out missing. Again, it isn't difficulty--we all appreciate the struggles, triumphs, failures and rewards that come with intellectual challenge. But Piecing together one assignment from a syllabus, an update, 3 modules and a Google Search--only to realize we didn't paste the latest update because it wasn't AT THE END OF YOUR MODULE is no self-respecting individual or scholar's idea of the Glory of Struggle.

If the PA Manual comes to fruition, you don't have to spoon feed content--though practice problems are wonderful! Just be thorough, 98% correct, organized, reasonable and have some damn pride in your work. Make it professional, not perfect. Stay apprised of sneaky updates--you probably have to do SOA's job for them. Make SOA step up its game! They pull the same thing with FAP--so "new" content is not the matter. Hell, SOA struggles to copy from Wikipedia.

I'm a reasonable person who gives the benefit of the doubt. And I'm not whining, I just want better--for you, me, the future, SOA, the entire field. I'll be happy regardless of SOA's path. I'll continue acing exams, I'll make my money, I'll make SOA better, I'll even volunteer.

I'll conclude by saying SOA does an excellent job writing preliminary exams and even solutions. SOA responds to emails promptly. SOA has an outstanding reputation AFAIK. But you have a problem publishing--and exorbitantly charging for--material that belongs in the toilet.

TDLR:
1) Someone capitalize on this opportunity and enable future FSAs to better spend their time.
2) SOA, fewer speeches, galas, inductions, etc. Clean up your foundation. Start from a blank page with those modules.
In my opinion, the exam, as currently constituted, is the most practical of all the preliminary exams.

Again, in my opinion, the SOA wants us to have the machine learning skills of a data scientist. Unfortunately, there is no "manual" for that. A lot of the skills are hard-earned through direct applied experience. Which is why I wish the SOA provided a LOT more sample projects and solutions, instead of me trying to search for or even create my own.

Obviously, you need a lot of the underlying theory to even start, but this exam is akin to giving an Excel exam. You just have to do a lot of work projects to know what kind of obstacles might come up, what errors to look for, and the best ways to solve the problems.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2019, 01:50 AM
NchooseK NchooseK is online now
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SOA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Philly area
Studying for PA, LTAM, FA (FAP)
College: Swarthmore College (BA Mathematics), Villanova University (MS Applied Stat)
Favorite beer: I don't drink beer, but I love the Dos Equis commercials.
Posts: 353
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
In my opinion, the exam, as currently constituted, is the most practical of all the preliminary exams.

Again, in my opinion, the SOA wants us to have the machine learning skills of a data scientist. Unfortunately, there is no "manual" for that. A lot of the skills are hard-earned through direct applied experience. Which is why I wish the SOA provided a LOT more sample projects and solutions, instead of me trying to search for or even create my own.

Obviously, you need a lot of the underlying theory to even start, but this exam is akin to giving an Excel exam. You just have to do a lot of work projects to know what kind of obstacles might come up, what errors to look for, and the best ways to solve the problems.
You make fantastic observations.

I like the manual idea here b/c SOA is picky, changes its mind, directs us all over creation without a clue what it wants from us, etc.

The modules are disorganized, different versions of everything are plastered on its site, syllabus, modules, updates, etc. Prior to both exams, it switched everything up on us and we spent the past month trying to follow SOA instead of learning some fantastic and powerful content.

I want everything in one spot. That includes problems, summaries or excerpts/readings worth my time, quick references and not to spend my time--if I have the luxury of such an option--sifting through the fluff, inane quizzes, load times, gibberish, etc. Of course, that is why you pay for a manual--it is a service.

A manual and its staff could compile all printed exams, questions, useful problems, delete code from assignments that should have given us a chance to solve alone first. The authors would know people at SOA and have discussions, hopefully offering us some insight.

Put everything--including expectations--in one place. Put the code on the some page or platform as the as reading material.
__________________
Exams: P | FM | C | MFE | LTAM | SRM Credit | PA

VEE: Statistics | Finance | Economics

FAP: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | IA | 6 | 7 | FA

Conferences: APC
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2019, 01:54 AM
windows7forever windows7forever is offline
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There are about 50k-60k words if you type everything from all slides in 9 PA modules. Many slides are picture only, I do not see an easy way to convert them all into PDF directly.
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:00 AM
NchooseK NchooseK is online now
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Philly area
Studying for PA, LTAM, FA (FAP)
College: Swarthmore College (BA Mathematics), Villanova University (MS Applied Stat)
Favorite beer: I don't drink beer, but I love the Dos Equis commercials.
Posts: 353
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by windows7forever View Post
There are about 50k-60k words if you type everything from all slides in 9 PA modules. Many slides are picture only, I do not see an easy way to convert them all into PDF directly.
That certainly isn't what I want

But thank you for the remark.
__________________
Exams: P | FM | C | MFE | LTAM | SRM Credit | PA

VEE: Statistics | Finance | Economics

FAP: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | IA | 6 | 7 | FA

Conferences: APC
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:56 PM
Modigliani-Miller Modigliani-Miller is offline
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I agree that a third party coming up with a good study manual would be a game changer for this exam! In that case, SOA's modules may become obsolete.
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:26 PM
windows7forever windows7forever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modigliani-Miller View Post
I agree that a third party coming up with a good study manual would be a game changer for this exam! In that case, SOA's modules may become obsolete.
There's someone posted a manual here a couple months ago. It's in actuarial bookstore last month. The manual is like a sample project style but without interpretation of results in detail but cost 50 US dollars. If you live in Canada, it's 50 Canadian dollars.

Other than that, I have not seen a formal manual like ASM came out. I do not know why TIA does not make one manual specifically for this exam's code practice, result interpretation in business sense, and report writing. This exam is about as expensive as FAP final assessment. Even FAP has a manual cost $800, why this exam cannot have one like that?
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:31 PM
Modigliani-Miller Modigliani-Miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windows7forever View Post
There's someone posted a manual here a couple months ago. It's in actuarial bookstore last month. The manual is like a sample project style but without interpretation of results in detail but cost 50 US dollars. If you live in Canada, it's 50 Canadian dollars.

Other than that, I have not seen a formal manual like ASM came out. I do not know why TIA does not make one manual specifically for this exam's code practice, result interpretation in business sense, and report writing. This exam is about as expensive as FAP final assessment. Even FAP has a manual cost $800, why this exam cannot have one like that?
I bought that one. Basically, you spent 50 bucks to purchase a case study. I wouldn't call that a study manual.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:32 PM
Squeenasaurus Squeenasaurus is offline
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I took screenshots of all the slides I thought were important and put them in a binder. Does that count as a manual?
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:00 AM
noone noone is offline
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Can someone explain offsets better than the slides? An the difference between offsets and weights. The slides just say that an offset is a coefficient that we already know the value of. The example in 6.4 chunk 5 (page 60 or so) uses weights but sounds more like the slide description of weights.

Last edited by noone; 06-10-2019 at 01:06 AM..
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