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  #51  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:50 AM
bkanerva bkanerva is offline
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Passed! And with that, I am done with actuarial exams
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  #52  
Old 07-13-2018, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bkanerva View Post
Passed! And with that, I am done with actuarial exams
Congratulations!!!! Being done is such a nice feeling. These exams are tough, and feel like a marathon with no end, but they are worth it. You just need to keep working hard and eventually you come out the other side, free and clear.
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  #53  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:19 PM
maitieng maitieng is offline
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Passed, used PAK manual and XP online seminar. The manual was a no brainer if you don’t have time to make self study note (you still need to go through most of the original readings IMO at least because others will do).

XP seminar was the new one I tried after previous fail attempt. Steve focused a lot on how to write exam. Did he realize that most should have passed two papers at this points? was my original thought, turned out I was exactly a fool in his example. SDM is the most different beast among fellow exams. Knowing the trick to answer properly is as important as knowing the answer itself. I also appreciated the mock exams and various feedback videos. It worked at the end.

And with that I am going to get my life back cause I’m “DONE WITH EXAM, b&%ch”
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  #54  
Old 07-16-2018, 10:07 AM
I_Got_It I_Got_It is offline
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Got my grade today: 8 on my first SDM attempt. Was challenging with the quick turnaround. Fall 2017 results were released January 12th, and SDM exam day was April 26. After taking a couple days to decompress and order study materials, it left you with barely 3 months to fully prepare for an exam that you're recommended to study for 500+ hours. This was my process:

- Read (or skim if it is a very large reading) source material (textbooks, articles, etc.)
- Read in depth the PAK section corresponding to that section
- Listen to the PAK MP3 audio files. I put these on my cell phone, and listened whenever I drove to work, walked around town, went to gym, made dinner, did laundry. Even if I wasn't actively listening to the MP3, I was still hearing the key words and phrases. This easily added ~120 hours of "passive" studying with minimal effort. 1-2 hours per day really adds up.
- Try to finish the first pass of the material with ~6 weeks left (halfway point).
- In the final 6 weeks, quickly skim all the material again, over 1-2 weeks. Quick read a chapter or section, then do the PAK practice questions for that section.
- While doing this, keep a small notepad and write key lists, formulae, whatever you don't 100% know from the practice questions, into the notepad and organize it by syllabus section.
- Review the growing notepad every day (before sleep, first thing in the morning, during lunch, etc.) for the final 6 weeks.
In the final 3-4 weeks, do every single practice exam back to 2012. PAK lists relevant past questions. Keep track of the questions you don't know. Narrow down the questions you get wrong in the final 1-2 weeks.
- Keep reviewing your list/formula notepad, and listening to the MP3 files.
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  #55  
Old 07-17-2018, 02:05 PM
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XP-SteveScoles XP-SteveScoles is offline
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I Got It,
Thanks for sharing. One thing that I want to pull out of what you wrote that I think is something really crucial that you did and can be really helpful for students

"While doing this, keep a small notepad and write key lists, formulae, whatever you don't 100% know from the practice questions, into the notepad and organize it by syllabus section."

"Keep track of the questions you don't know. Narrow down the questions you get wrong in the final 1-2 weeks."


What I see is a strength here, is you were trying to keep a measure of what you knew and what you didn't. In this case it was likely a mix of subjective (I can't quite recall that or I can't quite understand that) and objective (doing past SOA questions).

This might sound "small", but think about all the times actuaries talk about "you can't manage what we can't measure". But it is HUUUUUUUGE!

In this case, I think you were very well calibrated in the subjective aspects (not making a joke from the syllabus, again I am quite serious).

Again, this maybe sounds abstract and seems small, but applying some aspect of measuring what truly matters is how someone can win big in so many domains.

There are multiple ways to measure your progress; somewhat fewer to measure what matters, but I think I_Got_it is showing us one way to do it.

Steve
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  #56  
Old 07-17-2018, 02:26 PM
I_Got_It I_Got_It is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XP-SteveScoles View Post
I Got It,
Thanks for sharing. One thing that I want to pull out of what you wrote that I think is something really crucial that you did and can be really helpful for students

"While doing this, keep a small notepad and write key lists, formulae, whatever you don't 100% know from the practice questions, into the notepad and organize it by syllabus section."

"Keep track of the questions you don't know. Narrow down the questions you get wrong in the final 1-2 weeks."


What I see is a strength here, is you were trying to keep a measure of what you knew and what you didn't. In this case it was likely a mix of subjective (I can't quite recall that or I can't quite understand that) and objective (doing past SOA questions).

This might sound "small", but think about all the times actuaries talk about "you can't manage what we can't measure". But it is HUUUUUUUGE!

In this case, I think you were very well calibrated in the subjective aspects (not making a joke from the syllabus, again I am quite serious).

Again, this maybe sounds abstract and seems small, but applying some aspect of measuring what truly matters is how someone can win big in so many domains.

There are multiple ways to measure your progress; somewhat fewer to measure what matters, but I think I_Got_it is showing us one way to do it.

Steve
That's a great way to look at it, and maybe I didn't even think about it that way. Post-study and post-exam, it makes a lot of sense. To make another actuarial joke/serious comment, I was credibility weighting actual exam content from the historical "experience" vs. the "manual" population of the entire syllabus. Any past exam question, or syllabus question that I got wrong, I would make a note (ex: Spring 2017 #6a, or The Undoing Project Ch. 7), and revisit those questions until I was much more confident.
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  #57  
Old 07-17-2018, 04:09 PM
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XP-SteveScoles XP-SteveScoles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Got_It View Post
That's a great way to look at it, and maybe I didn't even think about it that way. Post-study and post-exam, it makes a lot of sense. To make another actuarial joke/serious comment, I was credibility weighting actual exam content from the historical "experience" vs. the "manual" population of the entire syllabus. Any past exam question, or syllabus question that I got wrong, I would make a note (ex: Spring 2017 #6a, or The Undoing Project Ch. 7), and revisit those questions until I was much more confident.
That's fascinating. This sort of tracking/analysis is really impressive. Again, thanks for sharing - gives me a couple of ideas to work on!

Steve
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