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taking exams P and FM together?

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  • taking exams P and FM together?

    how difficult would it be to take these two exams together? i am looking at the august testing date so i would have plenty of time to prepare. as of now i am thinking of buying the study manuals offered by Krzys' Ostaszewski for the two exams and also getting Kellison's book on interest theory. would the materials that i listed prepare me adequately?

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    Taking exams P and FM together?

    Originally posted by Rahman
    how difficult would it be to take these two exams together? i am looking at the august testing date so i would have plenty of time to prepare. as of now i am thinking of buying the study manuals offered by Krzys' Ostaszewski for the two exams and also getting Kellison's book on interest theory. would the materials that i listed prepare me adequately?
    Since P will be offered four times in 2006, and not in the same exam seasons as FM, it is a reasonable idea to prepare for one and then study for the other one, and have them relatively close to each other.

    The success of your strategy is, however, very dependent on how strong your background in calculus and probability, as well as in general financial terminology, is. If you have to relearn calculus, you might need extra couple of months for P and your strategy becomes debatable. If you do not know anything at all about how interest is calculated, what bonds are, how mortgages work, then again you need extra time, but this stuff is easier, so probably extra month or so. There is more material on P than on FM, but if you had a probability class of high standards, you should already know all or most of it, and you may be able to prepare for P within a month or so by doing practice problems like a maniac.

    Neither of these exams is that difficult in terms of material covered (I would say P is a Preliminary exam, while FM is just Funny Money, as opposed to C, which is Challenging, and M, which is the Mother of All Exams). But the test itself will be hard, because of time pressure, intensity, and the fact that pretty smart people write the problems and they try to find a way to trick you (although, to be fair, they use a standardized bag of tricks). FM seems easy to many candidates strong in mathematics, do not allow yourself to be mislead this way, as within the context of that easy material, extremely tricky questions can be written. Actuaries are Persnickety, they really pay attention to detail, and expect you to do the same. The level of precision expected by most actuaries is beyong what you see even with engineers. So watch out. And never, ever, allow yourself to go easy on memorization. Yes, you are expected to memorize all the formulas, all the insurance regulations (on the later exams), all those things that seem so unreasonable to you. If you do not, someone else will (my students better be in that group, I am on their case all the time), they will get a 6 and you will get a 5. I know, I got all my fives just for that: laziness in memorization. Not worth it.

    Good luck.
    Yours,
    Krzys' Ostaszewski
    Want to know how to pass actuarial exams? Go to: smartURL.it/pass

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