View Full Version : Let's go

November 7th 2006, 12:52 AM
Here we go, IB, and others if y'all are out there!

Irish Blues
November 7th 2006, 09:23 AM
Oh, I'm definitely* in this time. Got study materials printed, making the first pass through it all right now. I figure I'll be through in a month and can then start taking careful notes on it all.

And ... there's the NEAS seminar! If they have one in Boston (it's still undetermined at the moment), I'll obviously be at that one - otherwise, I'll be at the seminar in Chicago.

* unless I get a better offer from someone else in a completely different field ... which has a currently low but very real possibility of happening.

November 12th 2006, 08:38 PM
And ... there's the NEAS seminar! . . . otherwise, I'll be at the seminar in Chicago.
I guess that makes two of us.

* unless I get a better offer from someone else in a completely different field ... which has a currently low but very real possibility of happening.

Someone else? Non-P/C? :Shocked:

Irish Blues
November 16th 2006, 03:12 PM
Um ... definitely non P/C. I won't go into details, but we'll just say that this whole "taking exams" thing would be irrelevant. :cool:

In the meantime though, ... all study materials present, starting to mark up papers and take notes, and 12 self-study hours down with an expected 360 more to go. (There's an internal transfer going on in all of this so I'll have to take a week and go find a place to live, but I've accounted for that.)

Irish Blues
November 25th 2006, 01:11 PM
Early thoughts on the papers:

McClenahan - from past exams, the most important paper. A lot of stuff, but relatively easy to understand ... I'll just need to make up problems and work through them to get it down.
Schofield - a little more difficult, but again ... I think I just need to work problems on this.
Finger - The first half (which isn't tested much) wasn't bad ... the back half (which is what will get tested) hasn't sunk in yet. This will take some work.
Boor (all ex "Compliment of Credibility") - very clear, very easy to understand. I'll have it down by the test.
Boor, "Compliment of Credibility" - ... trying to keep this a family-friendly place, I'll just say it '''''.
ASOP 13, CAS Principles - largely straightforward, similar to the other Boor papers.
Bouska - doesn't seem too bad, I think I'll be OK here after some studying.

I've largely highlighted the Web Notes (Graves-Castillo ''''', Marker-Mohl '''''; still working through the Tiller papers; everything else looks at least bearable), have read Burger's paper once through but haven't marked it up yet, and will start through the CPCU books before too long.

December 2nd 2006, 12:23 AM
That looks about right, although I would be hesitant to suggest "making up problems" for McClenahan as it has been on the syllabus since 1989, providing a wealth of actual exam questions.

I feel the exact same way about the Boors -- were three papers necessary?

The back half of Bouska seemed pretty rough, if I remember correctly. Reading her paper was very tough with no experience in the subject matter.

More to come; good job on your progress!

December 28th 2006, 01:00 PM
What's up?

Irish Blues
December 29th 2006, 09:22 AM
I love my job .... I love my job ... I love my job ...
I've at least read through everything except Feldblum's tomes (which I'll read shortly before the NEAS seminar in Chicago and then let him explain) and the CPCU books (which I expect to start after the 1st).

Boor's "Compliment of Credibility" still '''''. I at least understand Finger's paper now and have made progress on Burger, the note on deductibles and premium trends, and Marker-Mohl. I haven't deciphered the Tiller paper yet, I've read it and it's not clicking (yet). I do have Mahler's notes for this and that's helped in places.

If work would quit expecting me to do stuff, ... we have a major project which was promised to the customer on 1/15 before anyone asked Actuarial, "can you guys deliver this to us by 1/15?" because we would have said "Of course not." Instead, we have a hard deadline with penalties on us if we don't deliver on time.

And this doesn't consider another project I was hoping to have largely finished by now that's still in the early stages that I must have done by May 5 (when I rotate out), and planning for a move, and planning a trip to look for houses and coordinating it with everyone I have to at work, and looking online for houses, and trying to pitch stuff we're not moving, and ...... :Angry:

Ask me again in a month. Hopefully better on your side?

January 1st 2007, 01:51 PM
I wish you the best with all of your demands; I cannot empathize, but it sounds trying.

Papers left: Anderson; Bourdon
CPCU readings left: 1/2 of Wiening; 1/3 of Flitner & Trupin; all of Myhr & Markham

Will probably start working through the All10 for the non-CPCU readings after finishing up the remaining non-CPCU readings and while finishing up the CPCU texts.

And Happy New Year!

January 13th 2007, 11:59 PM
Have run through all of the papers at least once and still have all of Myhr & Markham left to read. Working through All10 for ratemaking portions (currently on Feldblum, WC Ratemaking). Hope it's going well for you (and others).

Irish Blues
January 15th 2007, 03:02 PM
I've pretty much read through everything except Feldblum's papers and the CPCU books (I've got 1 of 4 done, will turn my attention to the others before too long). We've had a *major* project at work, it's killed study time for the time being but I'll get back on top of it next week (boss's orders, she knows how demanding this has been so the fact that I'm behind on study time isn't a problem given the reasons why).

On the other hand ... 7 more weeks to the seminar, 5 more weeks until I go look for a house.

January 24th 2007, 12:02 AM
Made it through Volume 2a of the All10 and working on Volume 2b now, making notes throughout the process. (Volume 1a, which covers the CPCU readings, is still not in.) I've also been using Mahler's material for the papers he actually covers. Still have about a little more than half of the Myhr and Markham left, I think.

And, I see this is the week that you'll be "back on top of it," so hope it's going well. :Waldo:

February 6th 2007, 10:31 PM
Finished Volume 2b of the All-10 and the rest of the CPCU reading, and started Volume 1 tonight. By finishing a volume, I mean that for a given paper, I read the All-10 summary in tandem with another scan of the paper, took notes, and worked all applicable problems (excluding 2006 exam questions).

Hope the house-searching and studying's going well.

Irish Blues
February 12th 2007, 05:04 PM
I think I've changed approaches on how I'm tackling this about 3 times now ...

I've loosely covered the stuff Feldblum will teach on at the seminar, I honestly think I'm going to wait on much of it until after hearing him talk. It won't be totally foreign when he starts lecturing, but it won't be completely sunk in either - so I figure I'll be able to just absorb what I need to for the exam (which seems to be is M.O.)

I've just about covered everything Mahler will teach at least once, I'm working through his practice problems but not the exam problems (yet). I can at least recognize stuff and say, "I think it's something like ..." and if it were exam day, I could probably string partial credit out of it - so I think I'm making progress there. I think what I'll do between now and the exam is start back from scratch on Mahler's stuff, going with McClenahan and making sure I have it down ... then going through his study aids in numerical order and see how far I get by the exam.

And the house-hunting ... I'll be dragging notes with me this weekend when we go; I don't think it will take very long - we've narrowed the search down to 4 houses, I think we'll know early on Monday.

February 25th 2007, 06:38 PM
Know by Monday, eh? That Monday has passed, so (hopefully) you know by now. And nice job on the progress -- partial credit at this point in time is a good thing!

Finished Volume 2a and am reviewing notes from all syllabus sections now, in hopes of taking a few practice tests this week before the seminar. A few of us took "practice tests" the week prior to the seminar for Exam 6 last fall, and it seemed to work out for the best.

I'm sure you're quite busy with all that is related to the house-buying, but keep up the good work!

Irish Blues
February 25th 2007, 09:42 PM
The house-buying? ;) That took about 2 houses. Literally - the 2nd one we saw was the one we chose, and both of us knew it. We had spent about 3 months looking ahead of time, so we were ready and figured it wouldn't take long. We made an offer, got a counteroffer that night, and signed the following morning. Then there was the paperwork, getting school stuff done for the kids, getting stuff from the bank to the realtor, insurance, the inspection (which went *extremely* well), ... but it's all just a matter of closing now.

The studying, on the other hand .... I've hit a wall, where I've seen stuff and I'm familiar with it but I don't want to study it any more. I think the seminar will help with this, though. I'll spend this week going over the stuff Feldblum will cover, since that's the section I've largely ignored. I figure I'll get enough out of this like I did with Mahler on Exam 4 that it'll kick me over the hump.

And McClenahan ... :mad: I tried working problems last week - I swear I know the methods, but I flat out cannot get them to click when I work a problem. It's like I completely forget something early on, and it blows the final answer to pieces. Everything on the back end? Fine - but I'll ''''' up something early (putting all the premiums on-level with the base class, adjusting for relativities, how to weigh 2 or 3 years of data, etc.) almost every time.

I'll be in on Saturday afternoon ... debating whether I want to catch a hockey game or not. The Wolves play about 2 miles away or so, and they have a game Saturday night and two more during the week of the seminar.

Irish Blues
March 14th 2007, 01:42 PM
So ... it's a week after the seminar - thoughts?

I slept like '''' the whole week (I slept in 23-minute spurts, or 19-minute spurts, or 31 minutes, or 26 minutes - depending on the night and time of night), so I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted to out of the seminar - by Day 4, I was struggling to stay awake so I ended up in my room the rest of the time ... but somehow, things have started to click now. I'm reading questions and it's not, "WTF?" - it's "Oh, this isn't too bad, I can do this."

The CPCU stuff is still a weakness, but not too bad. I need to commit to memory ASOP 13 and the CAS Standards, and then go over Moncher and Prevosto. Boor's papers on economic effects are sort of there, I need to make sure I have them down pat as well. Otherwise, I'm more comfortable with many of the papers now, and will spend the last 4-5 weeks in lockdown getting ready.

March 17th 2007, 12:34 AM
I thought it was very helpful. Though Feldblum seemed to spend a lot of time on material that doesn't seem as testable (namely, the minutia of "WC Ratemaking"), he still had some insightful comments. Mahler, I thought, was excellent: he gave illustrative examples/solutions and was quite clear. I had questions related to specific past exam questions, and if he didn't cover them during the actual lessons, he answered them during the breaks. That was much appreciated.

Got to finish strong these last six weeks. Keep it up.

Irish Blues
March 19th 2007, 04:04 PM
I covered some numerical problems this weekend - I largely have the hang of them ... so I'm moving to the CPCU stuff and everything that's going to be "Explain how ..." and "Give two (three, four, however many) ways/reasons ... " - so it's notecard time. I've also made the conscious decision to largely gloss over Graves/Castillo and Marker/Mohl - I'll try to pick off a few easy points on these and focus more on other papers where I think time is better spent. (My manager agrees whole-heartedly with this approach.)

I'll be doing notecards for about 2 weeks (maybe less, I'll have time on my hands after next week) and then it's a healthy dose of repeating problems, going through notecards, and pounding in anything I don't have down ad nauseum. I feel somewhat comfortable at the moment, I'm pretty confident I'll be ready in ... (gasp!) 39 days.

April 11th 2007, 10:17 PM
What's good?!

Irish Blues
April 12th 2007, 01:28 PM
Most of the stuff. I took the 2006 exam (I'm working backwards now) and ... it was close. I think I could have passed it, but it would have been close - close enough that I wasn't comfortable. Trying to get '''' like Moncher/Prevosto down (these two still ''''), and still fighting the CPCU stuff a bit but the computational stuff I've largely got. I also need to work on stuff like the parallelogram method if writings aren't uniform across the period (that problem killed me) and Marker/Mohl and determining exposures written in a period (that one killed me as well). I'll be nearly full-time on this starting Wednesday b/c everything that I have to have done has to be done by Tuesday.

If you recall me mentioning that there was another potential offer out there back when this thread started, .... it's still there. I've had brief discussions about it in the last week, but they're as busy as I am so it won't move forward until after the exam. That gives them time to look at some stuff I put together and ask questions, and probably ask for more stuff before they make any kind of a decision.

How about your side of things?

April 12th 2007, 11:27 PM
Good that you feel you could have passed, but during these last two weeks you gotta make things less close. And the offer is still out? '''. Good that it doesn't seem like it will affect you much before the exam, but let us know how that works out.

On this end, just trying to memorize some lists, rehearse, work problems, and repeat, basically. Really trying to focus on the soft stuff, though, trying to pick up some extra points, as opposed to focusing on the computational these last couple of weeks. That's how I attacked 6, so hopefully this will, too, work for 5.

And I saved the 2006 exam for next week, so we'll see how that goes. All the best!

Irish Blues
April 13th 2007, 10:42 AM
Believe me ... I know I need to make things less close. I passed 2 back in November 2004 but agonized over whether or not I had passed daily for the 8 weeks between when I took the exam and when grades were released, and that was critical b/c passing meant I got VEE credit for Economics and Finance - both of which I didn't have college credit for. I never want to have that experience again.

April 21st 2007, 11:21 PM
What's going on now?

Irish Blues
April 23rd 2007, 08:40 AM
I think I'm ready. I'm touching up on stuff here and there, but the computational stuff I'm pretty sure I'm good on, and some of the "explain how ..." things I think I can get without much of a problem. The CPCU stuff is still bothering me to a point, but I finally decided to ignore much of what was previously tested since it's not in the textbooks and focus on the books themselves and hit explanations, a few definitions, and stuff like that.

I also spent the weekend looking at things that hadn't been hit in the past (example: "explain the purpose of trending procedures", "define what a trending procedure is") and picking them up. So I still have Moncher/Prevosto which is weak (but I'm getting there) and Jones (I may have to wing this one, I've got it halfway down). Feldblum put his study guide on Palmer out on the NEAS website, I'm looking through a couple things there but should have it ready to go.

April 26th 2007, 04:28 PM
That's good to hear. Hope things go well tomorrow for you! Let us know how you think it went (if you want. . . ).

By this time tomorrow, we will be done! Have a good night!

Irish Blues
April 27th 2007, 06:41 AM
Yep ... 2 hours from now I'll be in the middle of the reading period, 6 hours from now I'll be nearly done. I'll post my thoughts tomorrow, good or bad.

April 27th 2007, 10:07 PM
Sigh of relief! :Crunk:

Irish Blues
April 27th 2007, 10:43 PM
The exam is sitting in my inbox as I type ... but I'm not touching it this weekend. No commentary this weekend, either - check back on Monday.

April 27th 2007, 10:55 PM
Heh, sounds good.

Irish Blues
April 30th 2007, 10:26 AM
OK ... I finally sat and reviewed the test this morning. My initial guess is that I have 65 points. I think that's the low end; it's possible I might have as much as 76.25 points if I get as much credit on a few problems as I think I might, but obviously both numbers assume that I get full credit for problems I think I did right to start off with.

I understand what one guy last year meant when he said "I just ran out of time" - we had a clock in the back of the room and it was really inconvenient to keep looking back at it ... so I struggled to pace myself and when the proctor called 15 minutes, I still hadn't touched the 6-point McClenahan question. (I did finish this before time was called, and I think I got it right - whether or not everything can be easily followed or not is another question.) Had I been able to see how time was progressing, I probably could have been more efficient at picking off questions - but it's done, I did the best I could under the circumstances.

The questions themselves ...

I answered 8 of the 13 multiple-choice questions; I almost answered 2 others but intended to come back to those later (and didn't). I made sure to study up on a few things (contract of adhesion, principle loss exposures covered by CGL, professional liability policies) and nailed those ... however, I didn't hit the auto insurance stuff as much (so the PAP/HO-3 problem is probably halfway correct, and the residual market question I left blank.)

Harwayne's method? Yeah ... I couldn't recreate that one. I also left the Tiller question (#52) blank and maybe got half of the credibility criteria question. I think I nailed the asset share pricing question (I'm giving myself 3.5 points here), the Prevosto question ... yeah, skipped that one as well and I had been trying to commit that part to memory for a week. I think I got both questions on Jones - that would be a good thing if I did.

Summary: it wasn't a difficult exam, I'm just hoping others had similar problems and that I picked up a couple of extra points along the way. I feel like I did after Exam 3, where I should have known a few questions I didn't get and just flat didn't know other stuff - but I passed 3, and I never really thought, "I don't think I'll pass" on it. We'll see.

So ...... on to 6 (again)!

April 30th 2007, 05:49 PM
Hey, that's really good to hear. If 65 is a conservative estimate, then you should be in good shape.

I thought the exam was a little long but very fair. I believe that I'm at a comfortable projected score, but one has to stay cautious.

Have fun with 6!

Irish Blues
May 2nd 2007, 01:45 PM
Multiple choice questions are out: I gave myself 8 ... I ended up with 5.5 - plus had 2 questions that I was going to mark the (correct) answer for and didn't. If discussions on the 6-point McClenahan question are right, I didn't get it exactly correct - but I was giving myself 4 points for it anyway so I may be on base there.


May 3rd 2007, 10:33 PM
Shame about the MC, IB. Hopefully indications are positive for most of the rest of the test (no pun intended :rolleyes:).

May 3rd 2007, 11:14 PM
I ended up missing one of the multiple choice. 11.75 I guess.

Irish Blues
May 4th 2007, 08:49 AM
I ended up missing one of the multiple choice. 11.75 I guess.
Hey ... no late stragglers into the thread. ;)

The thing that still pisses me off the most about the exam isn't what I could have gotten right but didn't (because I haven't - and won't - check that stuff out after the MC), it's not having a clock readily available in the room to gauge time. I know had I been able to look up and see "2 hours left", "90 minutes left", ... I would have done a better job of pacing myself b/c I would have prioritized answering questions better. So ... if for some reason I don't end up passing, that will piss me off even more. (Well, that and it'll be the first fail after going 4-for-4 to start.)

We'll see. There's nothing I can do about it now, we'll see where the cards fall in about 5 or 6 weeks. Either way, I at least know how taking an upper-level exam works and have a better idea of what to expect in October.

May 4th 2007, 11:45 PM
Hey ... no late stragglers into the thread. ;)

You guys are too "into" the studying thing for me. I took a very slow pace only reading the books and articles until April Fools. That's where I picked up my manuals for the first time and ripped through them. I did 3 practice tests the day before the exam. To each their own.

Irish Blues
May 5th 2007, 12:38 AM
I knew what was standing in the way at work (two *huge* projects that had to be finished by April 10), plus I was trying to coordinate a move across the country ... so studying early was better (much more necessary) than waiting until the final 4-5 weeks to cram. Of course, by April 1 I was sick of seeing the material, so there's a trade off and a balance to strike in there somewhere.

Irish Blues
June 13th 2007, 02:29 PM
No dice ... the streak of passing exams without a miss ends at 4. No idea how far off I was, that should show up in the next week or so - but I have all of the study materials for next time.

And there won't be a 3rd attempt on this - I think I know what I need to polish up on, it's a matter of nailing that stuff down and staying fresh on everything else.

June 14th 2007, 04:36 PM
Sorry to hear that, IB. Yes, next time, identify and concentrate on weaknesses, but don't neglect the stuff with which you feel "comfortable". And, regardless, you have now sat for an upper-level exam, which I hope will help you with 6 in the fall.

Godspeed on 6!

June 15th 2007, 07:39 AM
I passed as well.

Irish Blues
June 15th 2007, 09:42 AM
I made the conscious choice to skip a couple of things that I knew would be 1-2 points on the exam, but figured I'd hit other topics and nail down all of those points instead, so I don't have anyone to blame but myself. Yeah, we didn't have a clock visible and that '''''ed with things, but in the end cutting out a couple of things probably bit me in the end. I can't blame anyone else - however, I did learn how to attack these exams, so that should help me out this fall. I didn't toss the study materials away, so I'll have them to look over this winter once I'm done with Exam 6.

I just don't want to be in the situation one of the other guys at work was in during the Spring '05 sitting, where he missed passing by 0.25 points. What made that one worse for him was that right before time was called, he changed a MC answer from the correct answer to an incorrect answer - thus turning a PASS into a '5'.

June 26th 2007, 09:01 AM
i just read the thread- thats so sad , i can just imagine how he must be kicking himself for changing that answer!

Irish Blues
June 26th 2007, 12:58 PM
'Twas a 5. I expect that had I been able to do the last Tiller question or the Harwayne's method question, it would have been enough.