CAS Leadership and the Failure of 2020 Exams

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Viewing 16 posts - 65 through 80 (of 84 total)
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  • #1603
    resact26
    Participant

    I hate to say it but there are gonna be some angry people when results come out. I guarantee that whatever happens, the people who fail and happened to have technical issues are gonna blame it on that and since the CAS doesn’t reveal how they address that situation, no one will know if any adjustments were made. Pretty much, unless they release an official statement saying that they factored technical issues into the grading across the board, people are gonna feel cheated. Nothing’s going to change but they’ll get some complaints.

    #1612
    act_123
    Participant

    If I had to guess, the CAS won’t make an adjustment for one person.  I know I ran into some difficulties during my exam and I have heard others had some difficulties too.  I couldn’t copy and paste for about 5-10 minutes.  I am sure there are other complaints that will be similar.

    The only real adjustments I think the CAS could do is lower the the total MQC required to pass.  I have no idea how likely this is.  My bet is that they won’t do it, unless there is a clear trend in an exam.

    I think the CAS won’t release pass marks because they don’t want people complaining.  Whether they release how many people took the exam and passed is a different question.

    It is very likely you will get the following type of response to your grievance: “We have looked into your issue and decided not to revise anything.”  Something generic.

    #1613
    resact26
    Participant

    I think it could go one of two ways and that’s assuming that the candidate pool systematically underperformed (ex. a large number of candidates didn’t finish). Either they lower the MQC as they presumably did for Exam 8 in 2018 or they leave it as is and have a lower pass rate as they did for Exam 5 last year (29% I believe).

    There’s another key variable to consider as well which no one can really answer. That is, how did COVID impact preparations? Were most candidates unaffected and able to study twice as much, were twice and prepared and overperformed, were some candidates heavily impacted and as a result, underperformed or something in between?

    I’m inclined to believe most candidates were unaffected given how much younger the candidate pool is nowadays (less likely to be married, have kids and other forms of additional dependencies and stress etc.)

    Only time will tell.

     

    #1614
    act_123
    Participant

    Right.  That’s my point why having statistics showing the number of people who passed is important.  If CAS removes that layer of transparency they are basically saying.  We know the test was flawed and harder but we don’t care.

    My sentiment is that in 2018 the people running the exam committee were more agreeable and willing to lower the MQC.  I get the sense that current leadership for exams would be more inclined to what they did last year.

    To me it is really unacceptable to have lower than a 40% pass rate on these tests.

    #1615
    resact26
    Participant

    Someone was asking me if you think they care about the fact that this year was COVID and all that’s happened and might adjust for that. My answer was simple: Nope.

    #1617
    Dante
    Participant

    I completely agree: not being able to copy/paste or press F2/F4 or pressing the back button erases in the opposite direction, are all technical issues that just wastes time and nothing else. It can very easily throw you off your A-game during the exam. These are things that CAS needs to account for. But how is this fair that I can’t type properly (no spacebar working, no enter key working, some letters and some numbers not working)? How is this fair, that someone else had a technical issue but was given the lost time back by PEARSONVUE?

    Anyways, only time can tell. Let’s hope for the best for everyone. It has been a difficult year for everyone, more so for some people.

    #1622
    Olmstead
    Participant

    Why not let the candidate answer the last  few questions on paper and send that to CAS? Rather than just having no backup plan at all if technology fails

    #1625
    Dante
    Participant

    Oh wow..I didn’t think of that but THAT to me seems like a very doable thing. CAS should definitely consider this for future exams at least.

    #1630
    TryhardActuary
    Participant

    Although I didn’t have a big issue I did notice there was a lag whenever I clicked “next” to the next question. In the beginning the lag was like 2 seconds which feels like forever during an exam.

    I had to click “back” and “next” several times to see if the lag caused me to lose time but I believe the time also paused at the start of the lag and resumed when the lag went away thankfully.

    Sorry to hear you had to go through the technical issue, really sucks. I really have no idea how CAS will handle this window situation. It’s a difficult time for everyone and no one can win here.

    I wonder how many had technical difficulties. You can’t be the only one.

     

     

     

     

     

    #1631
    act_123
    Participant

    Most people I talked to experienced some technical difficulties.  I think all the ones I talked to would say those technical difficulties were by far minor compared to how much time they saved by doing the work in the spreadsheet environment.  If you lose ten minutes but gain 30 minutes…

    #1632
    Psych14
    Participant

    I ran into a few issues with technology issues also that cost me a little time but I figured it just came with the territory. At this point I would just be happy if they gave us a better window of when to expect results such as “February” instead of the “1st Quarter of 2021”. Any communication would be great.

    #1633
    resact26
    Participant

    I get the comment about saving time but I partially disagree in terms of the efficiency given the inconsistencies with Excel. One of the most basic ones was that the absolute reference shortcut in Excel doesn’t translate to the technology-based environment. At least for me, the gains were at least offset by the glitches and inconsistencies. And I’m super fast in Excel in general.

    #1830
    bjohnsonSC
    Participant

    I don’t think the peculiarities of the Pearson spreadsheet can be an argument for not doing well.  The CAS gave us access to the Pearson software at least two months ahead of time.  I spent the last two months doing practice problems in Excel but forcing myself to not use the shortcut F keys, especially F2 and F4, which I use all the time.  So much so that I stopped using them when I was at work on Excel.  I viewed the delay in testing from what was originally May to November/December as an opportunity to prepare myself for the testing environment because I had already been prepared with the material back in April.  The syllabus material piece of the exam just became a maintenance process and my focus was to make the spreadsheet piece become habit so I didn’t have to consciously think about it during the actual exam time.

    #1833
    resact26
    Participant

    Congrats. Sounds like you passed. I’m glad that you were as organized and diligent as you were in your preparations. If you represent the average candidate (evidently unimpacted by coronavirus, lockdowsn social unrest, race wars etc.) then I guess the pass mark will be pretty high.

    #1834
    bjohnsonSC
    Participant

    I would never ever project that I passed an exam.  I’ve done the best I can and that’s all I can do.  The rest is up to the CAS to decide how many people they are willing to let pass and how high they can set the pass mark to achieve the desired results without being obvious about it.  As I’ve said for years, getting 90% of the questions correct does NOT guarantee that you pass.  It just increases your chances.

    #1835
    resact26
    Participant

    All I’m saying is if that’s your perspective, then I like your odds alot better than mine or anyone else who started studying later. Admittedly, I didn’t start studying till August so I never started doing questions in Excel till maybe November. Also, when I reviewed the Pearson environment it was only one a few sample questions. I’m not sure how we were supposed to be able to do practice exams in that environment.

Viewing 16 posts - 65 through 80 (of 84 total)
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