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 Short-Term Actuarial Math Old Exam C Forum

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#1
10-31-2016, 03:40 PM
 luvactry Member Join Date: Feb 2011 Posts: 167
CA videos

Hi,

Has anyone used CA videos to study and passed?
I've used TIA before for other exams but I am thinking to try CA videos this time. I will supplement it with ADAPT + old ASM (I think 14th ed) + CA review videos.

So far I have seen one review that said it is quiet detailed but that the layout can get boring since repetitive.
Has anyone only used CA videos to learn the concepts from 0 (well not necessarily zero, but like no stats background) and passed successfully?

#2
11-01-2016, 05:21 PM
 kushy04 SOA Join Date: Jan 2016 Location: Two blocks from where I am now. Studying for nothing, I can't read College: Dublin Scioto High School Favorite beer: Spiced Dark Rum Posts: 17

got my thumbs up for CA, helped me pass P, FM, and MFE first try, no manual, no other resources used, no prior background in stats.
#3
11-02-2016, 10:52 AM
 Z3ta Member SOA Join Date: Sep 2015 Posts: 361

I used the CA videos and most of the material was new to me. I passed on the first try.

I would recommend the Weishaus videos (full course)

Pros:
(1) He will teach you many algebraic techniques throughout that save time in problems. Often times my algebra work would not be as efficient as what he'd do so that was helpful.
(2) The problems are a/s/m problems and labeled the same way so if you have the manual you can watch the video solutions as well as trace the written solutions in the manual. Sometimes they aren't the same and supplement each other well.
(3) He wrote the a/s/m manual and really knows his stuff as well as the exam. He mentions trends he's noticed in how the exams are written and often caveats the lessons with the relative importance and his opinion of the likelihood of appearing on the exam.
(4) Mistakes are rare.
(5) You can buy the videos without purchasing the rest of the course (I don't think the other stuff is necessary).

Cons:
(1) He often glosses over details to make the solution fit nicely in the slides and you can get lost if you don't stop the video and make sure you're connecting each step. Make sure you also pay attention closely to verbal comments because sometimes there are useful deep insights that you might miss if you're preoccupied with only what's written on the slides.
(2) He doesn't use a pop filter, often there are distracting background noises and there seem to be older videos splashed in from before the videos were updated to a new format. This can be rather distracting because the sound quality on these videos is quite poor. Most are new and sound fine though.
(3) There is a lot of content and it can be overwhelming if you're short on time.
(4) The focus is not on spoon feeding the viewer. Aside from specific "visual topics" like kernel smoothing you won't see a ton of visual aids. TIA tends to be more focused on visual aids and making the material "easily digestible", but personally I think sometimes it is at the expense of accuracy. You will have to work harder using these videos, but probably to your benefit.

The Kester videos (review videos) supplement the above course well. Dave Kester could not be more corny, but he did an excellent job summarizing the content.

Pros:
(1) They lend well to making flashcards.
(2) These are not just summaries of the Weishaus videos. Sometimes the material is taught from a different perspective. It's nice to see a different take on it.
(3) Very concise and manages to show all the calculations to solve several example problems without wasting time. The calculations are shown in full but glossed over quickly focusing on the method rather than the numbers. This is ideal for review.
(4) It's cheap

Cons:
(1) Man Dave Kester is corny with those bad jokes and images that look like 90's Microsoft clip art.
(2) Sometimes it can be confusing to compare the formulas used in the review videos with those used in a/s/m or the Weishaus videos (because for instance Weishaus might use $\gamma$ while Dave uses $\theta$ where $\gamma=\frac{1}{\theta}$ and things like this). In the end I think Weishaus usually uses the approach that is well suited for problem solving and Kester is more focused on what is easier to remember and applies most generally.
(3) The videos are too colorful and animated. It's very polished and professional, but personally I find it distracting.

Last edited by Z3ta; 11-02-2016 at 11:05 AM..
#4
11-03-2016, 12:20 PM
 luvactry Member Join Date: Feb 2011 Posts: 167

Thank you so much for both your inputs!
I will be purchasing both the course videos and the review videos
I only have a really old ASM (probablly like 14th) but I hope it won't be necessary to refer back to it too much.

Thanks!
#5
11-03-2016, 03:43 PM
 Z3ta Member SOA Join Date: Sep 2015 Posts: 361

Quote:
 Originally Posted by luvactry Thank you so much for both your inputs! I will be purchasing both the course videos and the review videos I only have a really old ASM (probablly like 14th) but I hope it won't be necessary to refer back to it too much. Thanks!
You're welcome and good luck!

Many people suggest the Mahler practice exams. I think these are incredible for learning things deeply. His solutions often have multiple methods to solve the problems and they're usually nontrivial so you can spend 20 minutes on a problem and learn new things.

However, I do not recommend taking them timed. His problems are not representative of the difficulty you'll see on the exam. Use the SOA sample problems for this. There are 100s to go through and they're closer to what you'll see on the exam in my opinion.
#6
11-08-2016, 02:24 PM
 trevmac123 Member CAS Join Date: Oct 2014 Studying for FCAS Favorite beer: CBC Creeper Posts: 244

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Z3ta I used the CA videos and most of the material was new to me. I passed on the first try. I would recommend the Weishaus videos (full course) Pros: (1) He will teach you many algebraic techniques throughout that save time in problems. Often times my algebra work would not be as efficient as what he'd do so that was helpful. (2) The problems are a/s/m problems and labeled the same way so if you have the manual you can watch the video solutions as well as trace the written solutions in the manual. Sometimes they aren't the same and supplement each other well. (3) He wrote the a/s/m manual and really knows his stuff as well as the exam. He mentions trends he's noticed in how the exams are written and often caveats the lessons with the relative importance and his opinion of the likelihood of appearing on the exam. (4) Mistakes are rare. (5) You can buy the videos without purchasing the rest of the course (I don't think the other stuff is necessary). Cons: (1) He often glosses over details to make the solution fit nicely in the slides and you can get lost if you don't stop the video and make sure you're connecting each step. Make sure you also pay attention closely to verbal comments because sometimes there are useful deep insights that you might miss if you're preoccupied with only what's written on the slides. (2) He doesn't use a pop filter, often there are distracting background noises and there seem to be older videos splashed in from before the videos were updated to a new format. This can be rather distracting because the sound quality on these videos is quite poor. Most are new and sound fine though. (3) There is a lot of content and it can be overwhelming if you're short on time. (4) The focus is not on spoon feeding the viewer. Aside from specific "visual topics" like kernel smoothing you won't see a ton of visual aids. TIA tends to be more focused on visual aids and making the material "easily digestible", but personally I think sometimes it is at the expense of accuracy. You will have to work harder using these videos, but probably to your benefit. The Kester videos (review videos) supplement the above course well. Dave Kester could not be more corny, but he did an excellent job summarizing the content. Pros: (1) They lend well to making flashcards. (2) These are not just summaries of the Weishaus videos. Sometimes the material is taught from a different perspective. It's nice to see a different take on it. (3) Very concise and manages to show all the calculations to solve several example problems without wasting time. The calculations are shown in full but glossed over quickly focusing on the method rather than the numbers. This is ideal for review. (4) It's cheap Cons: (1) Man Dave Kester is corny with those bad jokes and images that look like 90's Microsoft clip art. (2) Sometimes it can be confusing to compare the formulas used in the review videos with those used in a/s/m or the Weishaus videos (because for instance Weishaus might use $\gamma$ while Dave uses $\theta$ where $\gamma=\frac{1}{\theta}$ and things like this). In the end I think Weishaus usually uses the approach that is well suited for problem solving and Kester is more focused on what is easier to remember and applies most generally. (3) The videos are too colorful and animated. It's very polished and professional, but personally I find it distracting.
I would basically agree with everything up here. They do take quite a while but go into great depth and have lots of good tips and tricks. Adapt is also very helpful for this exam as well.
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