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  • BPP or Actex

    hi,

    I am preparing for fall 2005 exam 1. I have read about ACTEX and BPP. Can somebody tell me which one is better.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Raj
    hi,

    I am preparing for fall 2005 exam 1. I have read about ACTEX and BPP. Can somebody tell me which one is better.
    It depends. Have you seen the material for Exam P/1 before? If so, ACTEX might be enough for the practice problems. If not, then BPP might be a good way to learn the material for the first time.

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    • #3
      I've worked with the Actex manual before. I felt that it explained material well but I would have been more comfortable had there been more practice problems in the book.
      Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ken
        I've worked with the Actex manual before. I felt that it explained material well but I would have been more comfortable had there been more practice problems in the book.
        More problems? As far as I could tell, ACTEX had a pretty wide assortment of practice problems. You could always go back to the past exams for Course 1 (the SOA website has a good assortment of them) and pick out the ones that apply only to probability (not calculus) if you want more practice.

        I think, though, that between the two, your choice should be dependent on how familiar you are with the material. (That, and I believe in getting more than one manual.)

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        • #5
          Personally, I think BPP's guides are laid-out MUCH better. They are meant to completely take the place of the basic textbooks, which is why it costs more, but it's still a better value.

          ACTEX has a lot of good problems, but frankly, the guide looks like a draft copy, and not a final and finished product, and I think you'd still need to buy the textbooks with ACTEX. I wouldn't recommend them.
          ``Give me but one solid place to stand, and I will move the Earth.'' ~ Archimedes

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Monty Carlow
            Personally, I think BPP's guides are laid-out MUCH better. They are meant to completely take the place of the basic textbooks, which is why it costs more, but it's still a better value.

            ACTEX has a lot of good problems, but frankly, the guide looks like a draft copy, and not a final and finished product, and I think you'd still need to buy the textbooks with ACTEX. I wouldn't recommend them.
            Good point, but what if you've taken a few calculus-based probability classes, and just need the refresher? You'll be paying extra money to re-learn material that you'll already know, and BPP only has a fraction of the problems that ACTEX has.

            Keep in mind that this is not me defending ACTEX - rather, consider other manuals if you've already seen the material before (CSM, Ramanathan, etc.). It's worth it for the practice. You can find a wider assortment on www.actuarialbookstore.com or actexmadriver.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wat
              Good point, but what if you've taken a few calculus-based probability classes, and just need the refresher? You'll be paying extra money to re-learn material that you'll already know, and BPP only has a fraction of the problems that ACTEX has.

              Keep in mind that this is not me defending ACTEX - rather, consider other manuals if you've already seen the material before (CSM, Ramanathan, etc.). It's worth it for the practice. You can find a wider assortment on www.actuarialbookstore.com or actexmadriver.com
              I haven't taken probability, but I have purchased a textbook to learn from. I had planned on getting the Actex course to study - but I would also consider BPP even though it is more expensive.

              If I am new to probability, would BPP be a better bet? I am very much a classroom learner, so I don't anticipate that learning from a textbook will be easy for me. Any suggestions?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by crayolaab
                I haven't taken probability, but I have purchased a textbook to learn from. I had planned on getting the Actex course to study - but I would also consider BPP even though it is more expensive.

                If I am new to probability, would BPP be a better bet? I am very much a classroom learner, so I don't anticipate that learning from a textbook will be easy for me. Any suggestions?
                If you're learning probability from scratch, then I'd probably recommend BPP. They make the subjects very easy to comprehend. However, there's a caveat for using BPP - they tend to make the practice problems too easy in comparison to the actual SOA exam-type questions. So, if you have the money available, invest in a BPP and try to get another manual for more practice questions.

                PM me for a little more detail.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wat
                  If you're learning probability from scratch, then I'd probably recommend BPP. They make the subjects very easy to comprehend. However, there's a caveat for using BPP - they tend to make the practice problems too easy in comparison to the actual SOA exam-type questions. So, if you have the money available, invest in a BPP and try to get another manual for more practice questions.

                  PM me for a little more detail.
                  would Actex be good for pratice questions? I could get both..

                  Are the questions online at soa.org not sufficient?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by crayolaab
                    would Actex be good for pratice questions? I could get both..

                    Are the questions online at soa.org not sufficient?
                    From personal experience, I'd say they're sufficient. I practiced on 2-3 past exams, with a couple Schaum's Notes on the side (Probability notes) to review the things I forgot. But, if you are learning the material for the first time, maybe for you, the questions aren't enough.

                    If you're not comfortable with paying a significant amount of money for practice problems, you could try this method:

                    Do the practice problems the SOA released on their website, and look back at the past exams (Course 1) in the Exam Archive (also on the SOA website) and do those as well (only the probability questions). This should be completed about 2 weeks prior to the actual exam. For the final two weeks, you should be reviewing your notes, but most importantly, keep looking over the practice problems you've done. Don't memorize the answers; rather, you should familiar with the questions to the point that upon looking at the problem, you can immediately set up the problem. I know the questions will not be the same on the actual test, but the methodology of them will be very similar. Get familiar with the practice questions, so that you won't be stuck on many problems on the actual test.

                    That's how I studied, anyway. Different strokes for different folks.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wat
                      From personal experience, I'd say they're sufficient. I practiced on 2-3 past exams, with a couple Schaum's Notes on the side (Probability notes) to review the things I forgot. But, if you are learning the material for the first time, maybe for you, the questions aren't enough.

                      If you're not comfortable with paying a significant amount of money for practice problems, you could try this method:

                      Do the practice problems the SOA released on their website, and look back at the past exams (Course 1) in the Exam Archive (also on the SOA website) and do those as well (only the probability questions). This should be completed about 2 weeks prior to the actual exam. For the final two weeks, you should be reviewing your notes, but most importantly, keep looking over the practice problems you've done. Don't memorize the answers; rather, you should familiar with the questions to the point that upon looking at the problem, you can immediately set up the problem. I know the questions will not be the same on the actual test, but the methodology of them will be very similar. Get familiar with the practice questions, so that you won't be stuck on many problems on the actual test.

                      That's how I studied, anyway. Different strokes for different folks.
                      Thanks! I was planning on picking up the Schaum's Outlines for Probability and probably Calculus as well, but again have to wait until I'm back in America for that - it's just too expensive here!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by crayolaab
                        Thanks! I was planning on picking up the Schaum's Outlines for Probability and probably Calculus as well, but again have to wait until I'm back in America for that - it's just too expensive here!
                        Awesome. Well, good luck with it. You might not need the calculus one as much ... just enough to do single/double integrals.

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                        • #13
                          ASM, of course

                          You should get my ASM manual, of course.
                          http://www.studymanuals.com/exam1.htm
                          You can get a free practice exam at the web site.

                          Yours,
                          Krzys' Ostaszewski
                          http://www.math.ilstu.edu/krzysio/
                          Want to know how to pass actuarial exams? Go to: smartURL.it/pass

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            BTDT rule

                            I second wat's opinion: I call this the BTDT = "Been There Done That" rule: when you are taking an actuarial exam, your reaction to every problem on it should be: Been There Done That. If it is not, you are not completely prepared, and you apparently want to study longer, at least half a year longer.
                            Yours,
                            Krzys'
                            Want to know how to pass actuarial exams? Go to: smartURL.it/pass

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by krzysio
                              I second wat's opinion: I call this the BTDT = "Been There Done That" rule: when you are taking an actuarial exam, your reaction to every problem on it should be: Been There Done That. If it is not, you are not completely prepared, and you apparently want to study longer, at least half a year longer.
                              Yours,
                              Krzys'
                              I like that. BTDT. Did you come up with that? It's catchy.

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