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Thread: Please Help Mortgage Man Pass P

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Please Help Mortgage Man Pass P

    Let me start by explaining my current situation. I am planning on taking P in January and I have been studying off and on for about 3 months now. I have both Actex and TIA. I have made it about half way through both of these before feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. I am a career changer and have been removed from my studies for over 3 years now. As a result, I am having a hard time remembering the calculus I learned and I've purchased a used textbook online to assist in the relearning. It should be delivered in the next couple of days. I've decided to focus on Actex and use TIA to fill in the gaps and help with my understanding if I'm having a hard time with a section.

    The reason I am starting this thread: I know that there are many others out there in similar situations and I am hoping that we can help each other out. In addition, the few times that I have posted a question, responses were very helpful and timely.

    So my plan is to update this thread on my progress and post any areas that I am having trouble with in hopes that someone out there can assist me in understanding the material. In addition, I hope that others may chime in with similar questions and as a group we can move forward.

    Today, I read section 0 of Actex and did all of the problems at the end of the section. Felt pretty good about this but need more practice on Differentiation and Integration. Hope the textbook comes soon.

    Thanks in advance to anyone that provides helpful information in the future and good luck to others who have found themselves "in the same boat".

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    I just finished my degree in math and while studying for P wanted to hang myself on a numerous number of occasions. It is stuff I had done in the past but the pressure of the exam and the tediousness of some of the math, especially some of the integrations, was definitely a hurdle.

    I pretty much gave up one night. I went to I think actuarialcbt.com and tried a test. It was like I hadnt even studied one hour yet, when in actuality I had been in quite a bit of time.

    I passed in September, I didnt score like I thought I would, but that leaves me room to improve in my exams. Whatever you do, If you are serious, dont quit. Keep practicing and keep moving forward. Identify your weaknesses, you said calculus, go and get comfortable with it and then come back.

    Dont base the amount of time you put in compared to others. I spent way more time then most people do for P, it takes me longer to learn new material. Understand how you operate and just dont give up, use multiple resources to get a difficult concept if need be.

    TIA is what I mainly used but there are also a number of other resources that offer tips and shortcuts and vice versa. Its definitely not easy but the exam is passable, one thing I can say about the exam is I didnt feel they were trying to trick me or anything. Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Thank you for your advice and words of encouragement. I do feel that I will need to study more than the average test taker as well but this does not discourage me. I did notice some of your posts while you were studying and that was an inspiration to start this thread. I have just finished the problems at the end of section 1 and I feel very comfortable with the subject matter. It's good review and each time I go over these earlier chapters, I'm feeling more confident. I think I'll be able to make it through section 4 before running into the areas that slow me down. I hope that when I get to that point, you, and others, will be able to help me through it. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    You can do it!

    Quote Originally Posted by mortgage man View Post
    Thank you for your advice and words of encouragement. I do feel that I will need to study more than the average test taker as well but this does not discourage me. I did notice some of your posts while you were studying and that was an inspiration to start this thread. I have just finished the problems at the end of section 1 and I feel very comfortable with the subject matter. It's good review and each time I go over these earlier chapters, I'm feeling more confident. I think I'll be able to make it through section 4 before running into the areas that slow me down. I hope that when I get to that point, you, and others, will be able to help me through it. Thanks again.
    Remember that you don't need to know everything, but you should be solid on what you do know. I found that as the time for the exam got closer, I focused on activities that would build my confidence. I was studying hard from the ASM manual (and supplementary exams), and 'round about practice exam 18 or so, I started encountering new terms (force of interest, I think). I was very frustrated by this, so I stopped those exams, and went to one of the supplementary exams instead. I felt that the questions in the supplementary pack weren't trying to continue to introduce new material.

    When I actually sat for the exam, I read through questions until I landed on one that I felt very confident with. I answered it first, and then my mind was flowing with what I did know, instead of berating myself for not quite remembering something. I think this helped me get through the exam and make full use of the three hours.

    Before starting studying for P/1, I hadn't taken any statistics, but my calculus was solid. I read one stats book (Barron's Statistics made easy, or something like that) in addition to the ASM manual. I studied hard for about 6 weeks (I'm currently unemployed, so this was my job).

    I got a 10.

    edited "force of mortality" because that's an Exam MLC/MFE concept
    Last edited by Irish Blues; January 9th 2010 at 12:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Thank you Kenneth for your advice. I just finished the problems on Conditional Probablility and Independence. This went pretty smoothly and I only had to refer to the solutions on two or three problems. I've begun making flashcards. Only made 2 for this section but I know they will be useful when I get to the distributions.

    Reviewing these early chapters is definately a confidence builder for me at this point. Several months ago, I began with Actex and this material took a while to grasp. Around Section 4, I became extremely frustrated and that's when I went to TIA. I've made it a little over half way through TIA and went back to Actex. Now this material seems fairly easy (so far). Repetition seems to be the key and having several different resources helps.

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    I've finished the problems at the end of section 3 and today I will be moving on to Random Variables and Probability Distributions.

    Fortunately, I received the used textbook that I ordered online. It came on Saturday and not a moment too soon. I believe I will need to start integrating in this section.

    That being said, the plan for this week is to complete section 4 and spend as much time doing problems on differentiation and integration as possible.

    I feel pretty confident that I will have questions when I get into this section.

  7. #7
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Integration

    I am having a hard time figuring out how to integrate this:

    4-2x/3

    I've tried a variety of ideas: 4x/3 - 2x^2/6 or 4x-2x^2/6

    Neither of these seem to work. Is this a substitution problem. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    1.5 hours later:

    Ok. I think I figured it out.

    (4/3)x - 2x^2/6

    It's taking a little time to grasp this whole concept but I think I am catching on.
    Last edited by mortgage man; November 17th 2009 at 02:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    As written, the integral of 4-2x/3 dx =
    int (4 - (2/3)*x dx) = 4x - (2/3)*(1/2)*x^2 = 4x - (1/3)*x^2.

    If you meant
    int((4-2x)/3 dx),
    we would have 1/3 int(4-2x dx) = (1/3)(4x-x^2) = (4/3)*x - (1/3)*x^2

  9. #9
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Thanks Joy. Looking at my question, I can see where there could be confusion. In the future, I will attempt to properly state the equation.

    I've just completed Section 4 of Actex. I've gone through the problems several times and I feel pretty comfortable with the majority of the questions.

    Now that I am beginning to understand the relationship between the density and the cumulative distribution function, problems are starting to make a little sense. Even more importantly, being able to integrate helps!

  10. #10
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Discrete Expectation

    Roll of a die:

    Let X be the number of tosses until the first 1 appears.

    p(x) = (5/6)^x-1 (1/6)

    I set up my geometric series in this way:

    1/6 [ 1 + (5/6) + (5/6)^2 +....]

    However, Actex states:

    1/6 [ 1 + 2(5/6) + 3(5/6)^2 + ....]

    I arrived at the same answer using the formula:

    (1/6) x 1/((1-(5/6))^2

    I just don't understand where the 2, 3, 4, etc. is coming from before the (5/6).

    Could anyone explain this to me?

    Thanks.

    I just read further in the section and see that the next example is very similar. However, the geometric series is:

    (1/12) [ 1 + (5/12) + (5/12)^2 + ....]

    The formula for this is:

    (1/12) x 1/((1-(5/12))

    Now I am really confused as to why the previous formula was squared in the denominator???
    Last edited by mortgage man; November 30th 2009 at 11:32 AM.

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