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First attempt at the p exam was a failure..... Any advice would help

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  • First attempt at the p exam was a failure..... Any advice would help

    Hey so a little about everything I'm a junior hoping to graduate next may wanting to take and pass the fm and p exams before I graduate. I go to a rather challenging university with a relatively high gpa as an actuarial major. Already passing a probability course and studying from the actex study manual I thought I was well prepared however I wasnt ( I probably studied a total of 120 hours). I failed and now am discouraged. I really want to take it again in march. Do you think this is too soon? Is there any study material that worked for you? Am I being realistic wanting to pass two exams before I get I graduate? Any advice is appreciated because I really feel lost at this point. Thanks for any help you can offer me!

  • #2
    I'm in pretty much the same boat. RPI Junior, Industrial Engineer, just failed Exam P last Thursday, would like to pass the first 2 by graduation. Honestly, the best strategy I've heard (from that expert man Sam Broverman) is to study so much that when you read each question, you think to yourself "been there done that." And it makes sense because you have to know this stuff really really well for the job. I wouldn't get discouraged, I expect to fail several times, these are hard exams. As a guide you could buy a book but I prefer this

    http://grove.ufl.edu/~fass/Exam%20P%20Study%20Guide.pdf

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    • #3
      Would taking the exam multiple times effect an employers opinion of me though? Also I want to get experience in the finance world is there any way I can find internships without passing an exam?

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      • #4
        1. 120 hours for P? Not sufficient, even if you've passed a course in probability and have a high GPA as an actuarial major.
        2. As a junior, passing 2 exams is quite feasible ..... provided you put in the hours necessary.
        3. If you take P 3-4 times and still don't pass, that may be a problem. Otherwise, employers won't know how many times you take an exam unless you tell them [but if you don't tell the truth and they later find out you were untruthful - typically because you tell others, who then tell others, who then feed it up the chain of command - it could be a serious problem for you].
        4. It's possible to get an internship without an exam ... but not with a major employer where competition will be more fierce.

        Re: study materials - everyone has their own preferences. What I used [a calculus book, a probability book and the last 4-5 exams the SOA released] may well not be suitable for you.
        "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.

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        • #5
          I'm using the Actex Manual and TIA. A lot of people praise TIA but I find that TIA by itself is insufficient because he don't go over a lot of the formulas but instead, just shows you how to do it...but TIA is great if its a supplement to another hard material like a textbook or one of the study manuals.

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          • #6
            Thanks Irish blues you make it seem like that anything is achievable if I just apply myself to my abosulte best. I'm going to take the exam in march again this time I'm studying every night during the week for 3 hours then 6 hours on the weekend. How many hours would you recommend studying? Do you feel it's necessary to study the 300 SOA recommends ? Latebloomer I also used the actex book. I did liked how t explained things in detail, but one thing i did notice was their questions were more basic compared to what I encountered on the actual exam. I am going to do the SOA questions online practice the actex book again and do the free Tia exams . Hopefully this time around itll go better!

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            • #7
              yeah i studied about 100 hours in the month before Exam P, and i only knew how to do like 10/30 questions

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              • #8
                I don't know what the "right" number is for you. For me, P was maybe 250 hours [when it was still a 4-hour exam]. Others might be able to get away with 200 hours now; others still might need 400+ hours. The "right" number of hours is the number at which you understand the principles being tested and can apply them to a variety of questions. Much like you may know how to calculate a derivative in calculus but not be able to apply it to "rate of change" problems, if you know how to do integrals but don't recognize the impact of a deductible in insurance and how that changes limits for integration, you're going to struggle to get problems right.

                It's not the number of hours you study. It's the quality of study time you put in. If you spend an hour studying and pick up a concept and how it applies to various problems, that's much more productive than 5-6 hours of just reading and working problems but failing to understand how the pieces fit together.
                "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.

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                • #9
                  You shouldn't give up. When you should take the exam? Only you know that.
                  If you can go through all the questions in the Actex manual and know how to do 100% of them then you will pass the exam.
                  After studying many many hours, one would know whether he studied enough or not.
                  If you think a little over a month is not enough then you shouldn't take any chance and just take it in May.
                  I know people want to take the exams and pass them as soon as possible considering how valuable time is, but remember, we value time
                  because time is money and money is important. It's not worth throwing $200 down the drain.
                  Just study HARD and pass the exam.

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                  • #10
                    I am new to this whole thing but very much interested could someone enlighten me as to how many exams we will be doing

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure whether you pass P or not. But what I did is add in some margins for the test.
                      + Time margin: when I get used to every concept of study manual, I set the time limit about 2:50 for every test I did. After a few weeks, I have increased the limit to 2:30. 2 days before the real exam, I can finish the TIA#4 in 2 hour with 26 right. However, when I was on the real test, I only finished it on time. It means in the heat of the real exam, we are always underperformed. So adding some margin for the test is to prepare for the unexpected errors in the real exam.
                      + Score Margin: passing grade for each test of P is about 20/30 . Always minus 2, it creates an incentive to work more for the test.
                      Good luck next time

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