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Old 07-07-2019, 07:23 PM
thatactuarialguy thatactuarialguy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 9
Default First FSA Exam

If everything goes well, I'll be sitting for the Life Product Management exam (LPM) (or the revamped Life Pricing exam) in the fall. Since this will be my first FSA exam, I'd like to get some tips on how I should approach this exam, especially after hearing about what monsters these exams are.

1. Should I read the source materials? If so, how should I approach them? I have started reading the Reinsurance book by Tiller and the progress has been disappointingly slow. I have spent 2 hours just on 12 pages taking detailed notes. Should I skip them and just get the condensed information from the study manuals and/or video lessons (I plan to use TIA or PAK)? I have heard colleagues who have passed exams by relying solely on TIA study manuals/videos, how common/feasible is that?

2. How should I pace myself? For prelims, I usually start 6-8 weeks before the exam, but the bulk of studying would take place 2 weeks prior to the exam date. I have heard that FSA exams aren't something that you would want to nor can cram for, so I want to make sure that I leave enough room for studying.

3. What are some of the common pitfalls and mistakes people fall into/make when studying for their first FSA exam?

4. General tips?
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:07 AM
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Eddie Smith
Join Date: May 2003
College: UGA
Posts: 9,476

We just released some survey results that addresses a lot of your questions, and I would be happy to discuss further if you want to reach out.

In January 2019, we surveyed our FSA exam customers to identify patterns in study habits. The survey was sent after candidates received their fall 2018 results. We were able to discern some interesting patterns in study habits.

In blog post below, show both quantitative results (e.g. time spent studying) and behavioral patterns (e.g. strategies employed while studying) suggested by the survey. Of the two, we believe that understanding the behavioral patterns of successful candidates has the most value. In other words, we believe quality of study time is a bigger driver of success than quantity. However, quantity still matters, especially for the 5-hour exams.

Check it out:

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