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  #1  
Old 10-14-2013, 12:59 PM
ActuarialDad ActuarialDad is offline
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Default Exam Strategy

I have taken this exam multiple times and I think that this exam has to do a lot with the strategy. So if anyone would like to discuss his/her exam strategy feel free to do so in this post

•During the 15 minute reading period I scan thru all of the question

•Then I organize the questions in the order that I will be addressing them (with the big pointers first and then move in sequential order)

•With 5 minutes or so to the end of the 15 minutes reading period I mentally plan how to answer the 1st question (the largest point question and most challenging)

•Once I get thru the big pointers and move on to do questions in sequential order
•I answer question with perhaps too many details in hope of getting full credit (but that doesn’t really happen, otherwise I would be in a different exam’s forum)

•I always finish the exam, but I tend to rush (answer poorly) the last couple of question with the 15 minute time is called

One of my colleagues suggested answering the describe question as briefly describe. The thought here is that in this way I would get thru the entire exam quickly to have enough time to review all of the answers. My colleague argues that I am potentially loosing points with unnecessary details that might not be relevant to the question .
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:05 PM
Love Actuarially Love Actuarially is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActuarialDad View Post
One of my colleagues suggested answering the describe question as briefly describe. The thought here is that in this way I would get thru the entire exam quickly to have enough time to review all of the answers. My colleague argues that I am potentially loosing points with unnecessary details that might not be relevant to the question .
This is good advice. One of my problems last sitting was that I didn't know the material well enough, so I wrote down everything I knew about the particular topic, hoping that I would get some credit. I think if you can answer the question asked in one sentence, then you should. Don't worry about your answer seeming too short.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:07 PM
dmw dmw is offline
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I like your strategy. My test taking strategy was great one year ago for this exam. I did almost every question and had 1/2 hour left - plenty of time to go back to the ones I skipped and review some others. I got a 5.

Thus, my passing strategy depends more on my studying strategy: memorize as much of the relevant material as possible and don't forget it for the exam. So, I've been starting earlier in the morning and ending later in the evening every day and I'm really tired. I barely see my family and sunshine. That's what I need to do to pass, G-d willing.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:17 PM
ActuaryMAD ActuaryMAD is offline
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I have found that this exam has a lot of ways to confuse you on the big calculation questions and section D stuff. My strategy usually is to answer the wordy stuff first because I have trouble memorizing and don't want to forget.

I realize now that is not the approach to take. My new strategy is to start with the biggest, hardest questions, and take my time, making sure every little detail is correct. If this means taking 3 hours for the hardest 1/2 of the points and leaving 1 hour to blow through the memorization stuff, that's okay with me.

I think with sections A&B, I either know it off the top of my head or it's not worth the time. As much time as I spend practicing the section C,D, & E stuff, I will do better getting 90%+ on that 60% of the exam by taking my time, and maybe 50% on the other 40%.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:19 PM
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You might opt to do those 1-2 point "(Briefly) Describe . . ." type questions up front while you're fresh . . . going through them in rapid-fire process.

I like the suggestion to "briefly describe" first those questions that are "(Fully) Describe . . .", set it aside and finish it out as time allows toward the end.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:22 PM
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Note that I wasn't trying to go contrary to ActuaryMAD's suggestion . . . one should know how their own brain works in an Exam setting . . .
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:48 PM
Love Actuarially Love Actuarially is offline
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Note that I wasn't trying to go contrary to ActuaryMAD's suggestion . . . one should know how their own brain works in an Exam setting . . .
I think it depends how you've been studying the regulation half of the exam. Last year, I just did rote memorization of the regulation lists, without trying to understand them. I crammed those lists for the last few weeks. In that situation, I think doing the regulation questions first is the best strategy, since you don't have a real grasp of the material.

If you have a more solid understanding of the regulation material (my study strategy this time around), I think you can wait until the end, since being "fresh" isn't as important. In theory you should just know what the seven core principals of the NAIC are, without having to rattle off a recently memorized list (ROORRPE).

Last edited by Love Actuarially; 10-14-2013 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:45 PM
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...the seven core principals of the NAIC are, without having to rattle off a recently memorized list (ROORRPE).
...Damn

I find myself in the situation where I could write an essay on the history of rate regulation start to finish, but I can't answer the questions in the format I quoted.

That's not good, is it?

/two weeks left
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Actuarially View Post
I think it depends how you've been studying the regulation half of the exam. Last year, I just did rote memorization of the regulation lists, without trying to understand them. I crammed those lists for the last few weeks. In that situation, I think doing the regulation questions first is the best strategy, since you don't have a real grasp of the material.

If you have a more solid understanding of the regulation material (my study strategy this time around), I think you can wait until the end, since being "fresh" isn't as important. In theory you should just know what the seven core principals of the NAIC are, without having to rattle off a recently memorized list (ROORRPE).
ITA.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:57 PM
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Yeah, I'm just trying not to think about whether or not I'm prepared and continuing to work.
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