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  • Did Not Pass on 2nd Attempt

    Hello All,

    Unfortunately, I was unable to achieve a passing grade today. This was my second attempt at Exam P. Although I felt a million times more prepared than I did the first time around, I still didn't recognize some of the questions that were being asked. On top of that, there were some questions that were extremely long, taking me several valuable minutes just to read and break down what they were looking for. Anyway, I'm just looking for some advice or guidance. Being an actuary is my career goal. I'm curious as to how other members went about passing Exam P. I utilized Actex's manual, the SOA 153, and 3 out of the 4 TIA exams. Any suggestions or recommendations would be truly appreciated!

  • #2
    Took me a few tries. Where are you in terms of your education / career?

    For P the problem is they can ask you a question a million different ways. Tthe first step is to really know the material AND understand the logic behind everything. After that.... drills drills drills. Dr. O has a lot of problems up on this forum. Find as many problems as you can and work them all out.

    Whenever I get down I just remind myself that nothing worth having comes easily! Keep at it and do problems constantly after you've understood the underlying math and logic. Hang out here too and read up on everyone's questions. Try to organize a study group. Do everything in your power! Best of luck!

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    • #3
      also take practice exams under real test conditions.

      Not only that but try to employ different strategies to see what works best for you!
      try to read each problem twice before attempting was one of mine, or give yourself a limit on how many tries at a problem before moving on to next, or how many minutes you'd spend on a problem. I would also try to solve all the problems I enjoy doing first. Guessing strategies are something to consider too!

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      • #4
        Thanks Spidey. I will keep at it. It's just a little discouraging when you feel like you've put in the time and effort and come up short. I'll bounce back. As for my education/background, I majored in Business, mainly because I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do with my life. I decided about a year ago that being an actuary is what I really wanted to do. Math was always my strong point, and I actually like doing it! What materials did you use to help you eventually pass?

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        • #5
          RossMoney34, what grade did you get on your 1st attempt?

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          • #6
            Honestly, I never checked because I knew I did really bad. I did not respect the exam and went into it by cramming the last 5 chapters of the Actex manual in a few days. I thought I could "wing it" because I considered myself pretty good at math. What a rude awakening! Also, only having Calculus in high school and college, it was very hard and time consuming for to me to teach myself everything in the Actex manual, not to mention I was working full time. It was a very valuable experience, however. Since the first go-around, I've made significant progress. I felt very confident in a lot of the problems I answered, but I guess I could still use more practice. I won't let this exam get the best of me!!!

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            • #7
              my 2nd try is saturday and i'm pooped out. so many problems i haven't attempted yet to practice and it's overwhelming..and there's a few things i know i don't have memorized..i think if 25 of them on the test are bayes, discrete/continuous and conditional /mariginal multivariate i can get 20 of those and maybe eek out a 6...if not i think another 2 months will be very helpful.

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              • #8
                Hey Al,

                How did you do the first time? I totally understand that you'd feel overwhelmed. There are so many practice questions out there. But think about it... If you're able to understand every distribution (make sure you understand normal distributions!) and you constantly drill yourself, you'll be well prepared for the exam. Then you'll pass and never have to worry about it again! The key is to not wear yourself out. I do a few problems every day. It helps me retain the information better. I know what it's like to be mentally drained from these problems. Have you tried to actually smimulate an exam? I think it would help you a great deal. I know your test is this Saturday... Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

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                • #9
                  I registered for the first one in March and the TIA in late December. I fell behind on the study schedule and never made it to Multivariate. I didn't remember much from the 2 probability courses I took a long time ago.
                  As I was taking the March exam I knew I got 10 or 11 right and spent the rest of the time guessing on the higher level topic questions. I got a 3. I understand alot more since then. But I have yet to do a 30 question practice exam. I will give it a shot tomorrow. I guess I have never felt solid on every topic to attempt it because I didn't want to waste a practice exam.
                  I made a mistake not going back and doing older problems as I went along so when i was done with all the topics I forgot alot..and it was wasted time. If I fail at least I know what approach to take from now on.

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                  • #10
                    i wasn't close this time again. ive never seen some of that wording! i still haven't touched the asm 9th edition..maybe all those practice exams and the tia ones will help. but the asm problems..many of them are from the 80s. it's not studying if you're still learning right? so i guess i haven't really studied and practiced enough..i tried one tia practice exam and couldn't answer alot of them. but after looking at the answers...it didn't seem so impossible. i feel i am at a severe disadvantage..i went through college with formula and 8x10 note sheets and wasn't a math or stat major. i wasn't trained to memorize statistics! perhaps i also need more textbook theory instead of the tia lessons.im supposed to be able to look at this recent exam and know just what it means, what it is asking, what is given, and what is needed.....i only knew some of that today

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                    • #11
                      Al,

                      Let this be a learning experience. I struggled mightily on the first exam, because I didn't prepare at all, and I didn't know what to expect. The second time around, I felt really good. Although I didn't pass, I knew I answered a lot more questions with confidence than I did the first time. And next time, I'll do better and hopefully pass. I wasn't a math major either. I liked doing math and wanted to make a career of it, so I decided I wanted to be an actuary. I started by ordering Actex 2009, which in my opinion is the best study guide out there. I'd suggest using Actex to familiarize yourself with everything. Then I'd utilize the 4 free TIA exams and the SOA 153. Keep your head up!

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for those helpful words...when you say 2009 actex..what about the 2010? is it always better to buy the most recent manual?

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                        • #13
                          Edit - 10char
                          Metallideth
                          Actuary.com - Level I Poster
                          Last edited by Metallideth; August 3 2011, 04:22 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I purchased Actex 2009. I found it very useful. I assume there's not much of a difference in what material is covered. Practice exams at the end of each chapter including 8 practice exams at the end of the manual encompassing all of the material.

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