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  #1  
Old 01-31-2005, 06:46 PM
song song is offline
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Default Successful at work & at exams

I know that work-exam balance is always a constant struggle, but how do you guys out there do it? I took 3 tries to pass 3, and now missed Course 4 for the 2nd time with a 5 and have to face VEE and another sitting of 4 in May. With work not easing up (and wanting to be a successful consultant I can't let good opportunites at work pass me by) I can't see how I'm ever going to get through all the tests, if I'm having such a problem getting through the prelimary exams. What frustrates me is I feel with the right frame of mind and enough study time, I can pass but with a stressful work environment and constantly having to work late or unplanned weekend work, how can I make it work?

Advice? Thoughts?
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:25 PM
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From my own limited experience, it helps when your family is understanding and allows you the time you need.

The most important thing, IMO, is discipline. The discipline to give up 85% of fun things to do with your time and devote it to study, study, study.

You have 20 minutes free at work? Study.

You are driving to work? Mentally review random sections of the syllabus.

Sunday? If you spend less than 6 hours, you are behind the curve.

Weeknights? No TV, no movies, no DVD'sóStudy.

It sounds draconian, and it sounds horrociousóbut it is the only way that seems to work.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:47 PM
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And no actuarial outpost!

Stick to a schedule. Study during the time of the day when you are at your best. For me it's the morning. I wake up really early and study a few hours before going to work. And I stay in most weekends to study. It's not easy to miss out all the fun, but it helps to think that you are going to have all the fun you want once you're finished.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:30 PM
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either you have to study harder (i'm sure you are working your butt off, but there's always room for more studying), quit taking exams and focus on your consulting career (which i don't think would be an option for pension actuaries), or get out of consulting. i did the consulting thing for a few years, and found that i could not keep pace w/my colleagues who were passing exams while succeeding at work. and it got worse after i got married. so, i switched to a line of work where i wouldn't have to work evenings/weekends, and i wouldn't have to cancel studytime because of client deadlines. the obvious downside is that the pay is lower in this type of job. but i am passing exams at a decent pace now, and my quality of life, even during study season, has dramatically improved.
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:52 PM
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Yes discipline & family understanding are the two biggies. Actuarial Outpost, if used properly, I think is also an excellent study tool. In part, that is how I passed my last exam.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:24 AM
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Being hit by actuarial gamma rays helps a great deal...though hard on the wardrobe.
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Old 09-20-2005, 12:34 PM
DeaconMet DeaconMet is offline
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Default another exam taker looking for help.

I too am a working actuary and studying for exam 3, but I ma having the same problem as song. When I come home from work everyday, the last thing I want to do is pick up a book and spend the rest of my day studying. How do you achieve balance so you don't go insane?
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Old 09-20-2005, 12:41 PM
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Balance? Balance is acheived after exams are completed, tadpole. [insert wise-looking emoticon here]

j/k

On a serious note, your life needs to be a bit out-of-balance to pass the exams. Give yourself a little time to relax, but focus on the freedom you will have when you are done. It's not easy, which explains a frightening statistic I heard when studying for part 1 (may or may not be true). That out of every 20 people who sit for part 1, 16 do not become associates and 19 do not become fellows.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-20-2005, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconMet
I too am a working actuary and studying for exam 3, but I ma having the same problem as song. When I come home from work everyday, the last thing I want to do is pick up a book and spend the rest of my day studying. How do you achieve balance so you don't go insane?
Study first, then work. I try to get to work and study for 1 - 1 1/2 hours of personal study time, then take work study time, then work.

The best time to study is when you are at your best, for some people it is first thing in the morning. For others it is late at night. Determine when is best for you and make that your study time, fix your work and other activities schedule around that.
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:32 AM
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trying to balance it all is a struggle. really, i think most actuarial candidates face this to some degree. some more than others. it has been especially hard on me since i have been back to work after having my first (been back 2 months and studying), and i am also pregnant with my second. balancing family life and working enough to make a contribution and also feel as though you are learning and also study to be successful on your exams...the best thing you can have is a supportive family and a supportive boss (not all actuarial bosses are).
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