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  #1  
Old 02-08-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default Should I take P/1 first and FM/2?

Right now I'm a freshmen, majoring in math, and going to a somewhat below average university.

Since I will have only taken Calc 1 and 2 by the end of this year, I was planning on studying the relevant material from Calc 3 in the first couple weeks of summer so I could start studying for P/1 over the summer and take the sitting in September or the month or two after that.

The problem with this is that I haven't taken a calculus based probability course, since the one my university offers requires for me to have taken Calc 3 (which I will be taking next semester).

I asked this on /r/actuary and someone suggested I take FM/2 instead.

Extras: The reason I said I go to a below average university is because I am planning on transferring to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my Junior and Senior years. I know I'll be minoring in Computer Science, but I'm still not sure whether I will be switching majors to Actuarial Science or just stick to Mathematics.

I want to take at least one exam before my spring semester next year because I want to at least try to apply for an internship the following summer, and the earlier I pass an exam the better my chances.

So which exam should I take first, P or FM?
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:01 PM
mattb mattb is offline
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm new myself, and I'm sure that many people here have differences of opinion on which exam to take. I did FM first and then P, and I found the FM material to be more interesting and easier to learn. P was harder for me to pass.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:25 PM
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That's what the guy said on /r/actuary, and since I'll be working full time over the summer (labor) it seems like FM is the way to go.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:27 PM
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It really depends on your preference. I also found FM to be easier, still working on P.

If you don't have any statistics background at all and have some mathematics knowledge, I would start with FM. The material in FM might be new to you but it usually makes a little more sense right away than the P material would to someone without a background in statistics.

If you do have a background in statistics, I would do P. I feel like the P is looked at more favorably by employers (but that might be because everyone at my school has an FM credential...). Passing P demonstrates you understand the basics of the business and you possess the mathematical knowledge required to be successful during the rest of the exam process.

If you're still not sure, download the syllabi for the exams and look at the sample questions/tests that are available for free in tons of places online, and decide from there which is the best starting place for you.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:38 PM
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I'm surprised I haven't done that before, to be honest.

Now the P exam is looking like a better choice since I'm taking an intro stats class this semester and I really like it so far.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:15 PM
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You don't really need Calc 3 for P. Most of the integrals are pretty basic.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:42 AM
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What are the topics I should have covered in Calc 3 before I start studying for P/1?
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decimus View Post
What are the topics I should have covered in Calc 3 before I start studying for P/1?
Partial derivatives, integrals, and maybe change-of-variables using the Jacobian, if you really want to understand what's going on with multivariate transformations in P.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:20 PM
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Whatever you do, don't get a degree in actuarial science - that's a complete waste of money. Double major in math and comp sci - you be glad you did later on down the road. Plus, college is way too easy to only do a single major.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:11 PM
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Thanks for the help everyone. I guess I'll just stick to a Math major, and I'll see if I can get the Computer Science double major as well.

The only think I'm worried about is that I'm honestly more interested in business classes than theoretical math. It's not that it's hard (in my eyes) it's just that it seems too boring to even bother haha.
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