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Thread: Need More Exams - ActexOnline vs. ASM vs. Ramanathan vs. Adapt

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Need More Exams - ActexOnline vs. ASM vs. Ramanathan vs. Adapt


    I signed up for TIA and have so far done 6 or the 7 exams, I have a free sample example from ASM, and Guo's mock exam, but with 6 weeks to the test and getting around 17-18 on average on TIA exams, I am looking to get 10-15 more exams.

    I have tried to research ActexOnline, Ramanathan, and Adapt, but I seem to find little information. I understand that ASM exams are extremely difficult after the first six, so I don't believe I am interested in those. I emailed ActexOnline on Thursday and never heard back from them, so I am not too inclined to buy their product. The one review I found about them said that the exams were somewhat repetitive. The one review I found about adapt said that you see a lot of the same questions so the grade that give you is not accurate. I have found nothing on Ramanathan.

    Time has been extremely difficult for me when doing TIA exams (I usually don't have time for around 5 of them), so I am interested in:

    1) original exams (no SOA questions involved) so I have a continued challenge to finish all of them within 3 hours with questions I have never seen,
    2) updated questions that I will see on my May 2011 exam,
    3) a variety of questions,
    4) a tool that keeps track of my success and allows me to easily view the solutions of questions I missed, and
    5) a difficulty level that is just slightly above the difficulty of the actual exam (if 6 is a passing level, questions on levels 7-8).

    Does anyone here have experience with the above mentioned exams or know of other exams that may be better for me.

    Many thanks.


  2. #2
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Just a thought to everyone looking for more exams: why not write problems yourself?

    Let me explain - I'm not saying "write questions completely from scratch" because that requires you to (A) write the question, (B) get an answer, and (C) confirm that the answer was correct - and you probably won't know that if you're trying to learn the concept in the first place. However, you can take the problem, type it out in Excel, use Excel's formulas to solve the problem [using the stated solution as a guide], then use Excel's random function to jumble the numbers going into the problem. You get a "new" problem with new numbers, but you have to solve it the same way every time. This does a few things:
    -- forces you out of the "I've seen this problem, I know what the answer is" comfort zone,
    -- forces you to understand how to set up the problem in order to solve it, and
    -- for those of you looking for Excel experience, makes you get familiar with how Excel does some things - and that can only be a plus for you when you go look for a job down the road.

    I've used this approach on exams, and when I actually decide to take the exam seriously it works pretty well. I'll be using it on either 6 or 8 [or both] this fall - granted, this approach only works well for numerical problems and on upper-level exams there's more wrote memorization and list questions, but on the preliminary exams where it's plug-and-chug, it's an idea you might want to consider.
    "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.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Just to clarify, ASM & ADAPT jointly offer an eCourse for P/1 that includes the ASM manual & practice exams and ADAPT.

    @ From-Pianist-To-This
    It looks like you have done a lot of research on coachingactuaries.com already, but I'll try to reply to the 5 needs you outlined anyway (although I may be a trifle biased )

    I think ADAPT would be a tremendous fit for what you are looking for:
    1) ADAPT has about 670 questions for P/1, and roughly 1/2 of these are original questions. In addition, there is a custom exam feature, and one of its options allows students to create exams that don't include SOA questions. (in addition some of our SOA P/1 questions date back to the late 80s and early 90s, so you may have not seen all of these either)
    2) We are committed to keeping our question bank current, updating it daily. Last month, we added a new feature that allows students to provide instant feedback on individual questions, so we can keep our question bank at a very high quality.
    3) Again, about half of our questions are originals written by a variety of authors (4 different authors for P/1)
    4) Our earned level system allows to keep track of your overall progress, and other reports break down your cumulative scores by question topics.
    5) We rate our question bank from 0-10, and student scores allow us to keep updating the rating of each question. We rate 6 as roughly equal to exam difficulty, and you can build your way up to the more difficult questions through the earned level system, or select harder questions through the custom exam tool.

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