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  • Is he ready?

    Need some advice. My son thinks he can pass the Probably exam without studying. I think he needs to put in a lot of work. He is scheduled to take the test in mid January.
    Background:
    He is currently a junior at a large midwest university majoring in Math and Economics with a 3.85 gpa. He has completed the following math courses. Calc II honors, Applied Math Stats, Linear Algebra, Vector calc honors, Apl Diff Equations, Intermediate Analysis, and Probability Theory. Along with honors Micro and Macro econ.
    He looked at the sample questions on SOA and said "No Problem. We did that stuff early on in my Probability class".
    He's a smart kid but kind of lazy. Scored a 36 on his ACT without any preparation.
    Is he kidding himself? With his background can he walk in and pass the test without studying?
    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    He looked at the sample questions on SOA and said "No Problem. We did that stuff early on in my Probability class".

    Honestly, I don't know the answer. The following is simply my opinion.

    If he really said that, just let him go to write this.

    In this world, I have seen so many people who spent hundreds of hour on studying cannot pass this exam. However, at the same time, there are many brilliant people out there who scored a 10 on actuarial exams without any extra preparation since they are familiar with the exam materials when they are in school.

    By the way, exam P and FM (the first two actuarial exams) are the easiest among all preliminary exams. You don't need to worry too much. Even if he fails in the first attempt, he can rewrite it in next sitting.

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    • #3
      Have him skip P. Heck, have him skip FM. Go straight to 4/C or one of the upper-level CAS or SOA exams and tackle one of those; if he can pass them without studying, then (A) he'll be fine on the exams in general, and (B) he probably shouldn't waste his time in the actuarial field to begin with.
      "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

      http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sprint View Post
        Need some advice. My son thinks he can pass the Probably exam without studying. I think he needs to put in a lot of work. He is scheduled to take the test in mid January.
        Background:
        He is currently a junior at a large midwest university majoring in Math and Economics with a 3.85 gpa. He has completed the following math courses. Calc II honors, Applied Math Stats, Linear Algebra, Vector calc honors, Apl Diff Equations, Intermediate Analysis, and Probability Theory. Along with honors Micro and Macro econ.
        He looked at the sample questions on SOA and said "No Problem. We did that stuff early on in my Probability class".
        He's a smart kid but kind of lazy. Scored a 36 on his ACT without any preparation.
        Is he kidding himself? With his background can he walk in and pass the test without studying?
        Thanks for your help!
        There's no "probably" exam, there is a probability exam. I'm not sure if you're a native speaker or not and this is not an official means of correspondence but it would be great to get in the habit of being accurate.

        That aside, why is his mom coming on the board asking if her son can do pass an exam? Are you going to ground him? The whole things seems a bit... off. If your son thinks he can do it, tell him to try. There are some sample exams he can take to practice and if he can do those (for example ASM), then he is probably in good shape for the real thing. If he is not, it will be a rude awakening but probably a much needed one.

        Comment


        • #5
          I just passed Exam P in November so it is still fresh in my mind. I wish your son the best, but judging solely from your description I am inclined to believe he is in for a rude surprise. If it's the Sample P questions he is talking about when he says "No Problem. We did that stuff early on in my Probability class" then he had better have done more than a cursory glance over them. The first time I looked at Sample P I almost fell into the same trap, the early problems on it are flat out easy but after some of those early ones that can lull you into a false sense of security but some of the later problems are more subtle than they may first appear. The truth is that the potential scope of what can appear on Exam P is massive. He had better have a good working knowledge of most of the distributions that can appear on it to have a chance, some of which I didn't see early on in my probability class. But I'm just going off of what you said so I can't be sure. If he can make more than 20 out of 30 correct on a previously released exam in a 3 hour time trial then he might be able to pass it. He can always take it again if he fails.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Thegoat for your thoughtful reply. No condesension or sarcasm, just good advice. Great idea on the practice test. I think we'll start with 30 questions from the sample questions on the beanactuary web site - or maybe even 10 in one hour. After that we'll know exactly where he is.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Thegoat View Post
              I just passed Exam P in November so it is still fresh in my mind. I wish your son the best, but judging solely from your description I am inclined to believe he is in for a rude surprise. If it's the Sample P questions he is talking about when he says "No Problem. We did that stuff early on in my Probability class" then he had better have done more than a cursory glance over them. The first time I looked at Sample P I almost fell into the same trap, the early problems on it are flat out easy but after some of those early ones that can lull you into a false sense of security but some of the later problems are more subtle than they may first appear. The truth is that the potential scope of what can appear on Exam P is massive. He had better have a good working knowledge of most of the distributions that can appear on it to have a chance, some of which I didn't see early on in my probability class. But I'm just going off of what you said so I can't be sure. If he can make more than 20 out of 30 correct on a previously released exam in a 3 hour time trial then he might be able to pass it. He can always take it again if he fails.
              The only released exams are the old course 1 which tested Calculus explicitly. All the relevant questions have been moved to the sample questions (I believe) so I'm not sure which released exams you had in mind.

              Comment


              • #8
                That is true NoMoreExams. I assume you mean the ones you can find here: http://www.soa.org/education/exam-re...oice-exam.aspx

                There are other places to get exams, some you have to pay for or something like this http://www.saab.org/actuarial.cgi. (Personally I never used any of that)

                I found Sample P to be much more relevant to the test, personally.
                Originally posted by Sprint View Post
                Thanks Thegoat for your thoughtful reply. No condesension or sarcasm, just good advice. Great idea on the practice test. I think we'll start with 30 questions from the sample questions on the beanactuary web site - or maybe even 10 in one hour. After that we'll know exactly where he is.
                That is a good idea but I do have a word of caution. If you're going time trial 10 or 30 questions from Sample P DO NOT just pick the first 10 or 30 questions. Those questions are the easiest ones and Sample P clusters the same concepts together. Randomize the question numbers and pick from all over the test if you want a better idea of where he is.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thegoat View Post
                  That is true NoMoreExams. I assume you mean the ones you can find here: http://www.soa.org/education/exam-re...oice-exam.aspx

                  There are other places to get exams, some you have to pay for or something like this http://www.saab.org/actuarial.cgi. (Personally I never used any of that)

                  I found Sample P to be much more relevant to the test, personally.


                  That is a good idea but I do have a word of caution. If you're going time trial 10 or 30 questions from Sample P DO NOT just pick the first 10 or 30 questions. Those questions are the easiest ones and Sample P clusters the same concepts together. Randomize the question numbers and pick from all over the test if you want a better idea of where he is.
                  Yes, there are sample exams created by other companies but when you said "If he can make more than 20 out of 30 correct on a previously released exam in a 3 hour time trial then he might be able to pass it." I took that to mean on an officially released exam. SAAB has no affiliation with SOA.

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