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Thread: study material suggestions

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    study material suggestions

    So - I'm pretty sure I didn't pass, and will sit again in May.

    I used the Actex manual, and was not at all impressed. I also had both textbooks and found them really useful - but was hoping for my study manual to help consolidate/reinforce the concepts. I felt like the Actex manual was mostly a lot of formulas without much reinforcing and certainly not many hints/tips.

    Can anyone recommend a manual that is more along the lines of study tips/hints and reinforcing the material? I will also be getting more practice exams closer to the date - but don't mind if they are separate from a study manual.

    Kryzsio (apologies if I've spelled your name incorrectly), does your manual include a more thorough review of the material?

  2. #2
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    I used ASM for my exam preparation. It helped me get 20 or 21 out of 25. (I also read Kellison's book twice.) In my opinion, ASM is an excellent manual since it was written by people who really took the time working out all the shortcuts, memory alerts and tricks. The whole test preparation took me only 45 days (part-time study, altogether maybe 200 some hours, I'm also doing my Econ graduate program and working as an TA to earn $$$$).

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I've heard a lot about that one .. I wish I could *see* them first, but I'm in the UK and shipping is SO expensive and time consuming, it's not worth buying several & returning them

    It's things like shortcuts, tricks, memory jogs that I am looking for - I thought Kellison was a good text to LEARN the material, Broverman good for reinforcing it (lots of problems) but really need some 'here is how to apply it to THIS exam' type guidance.

  4. #4
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    I too used ASM, think i got 22 or 23 out of 25. I highly recommend it. I can sell you mine if you don't mind scribbles here and there. PM me if interested

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crayolaab
    So - I'm pretty sure I didn't pass, and will sit again in May.

    I used the Actex manual, and was not at all impressed. I also had both textbooks and found them really useful - but was hoping for my study manual to help consolidate/reinforce the concepts. I felt like the Actex manual was mostly a lot of formulas without much reinforcing and certainly not many hints/tips.

    Can anyone recommend a manual that is more along the lines of study tips/hints and reinforcing the material? I will also be getting more practice exams closer to the date - but don't mind if they are separate from a study manual.

    Kryzsio (apologies if I've spelled your name incorrectly), does your manual include a more thorough review of the material?
    I'd reccommend "Deeper Understanding, Faster Calculation" by Yufeng Guo for "exam hints" - it gives you exam strategies on basic problems (i think more than half of the exam questions are variations on these problems) in a step-by-step manner and even shows you how to dvelop your own "plan of attack". It's also pretty good at really spelling out and simplifying every concept. However, the relative lack of more complex practice problems as well as zero practice tests are drawbacks.

    Kryszio's manual is also solid in explaining the concepts, and it does so very succinctly- it gives more info in 60 pages of review than others do in 100. Plus unlike Guo's manual, it has several practice exams, and I think they were a bit more challenging than the actual exam was, which is a plus.

    Broverman's study guide is really good if you want to shore up with practice problems and want to get a good grasp on the basic subjects. However I think it left something to be desired on concepts like duration, convexity, and yield curve-seemed to go through them a bit quickly for my tastes. Again, a ton of solid practice problems, though, even for some of the later, less well covered subjects.

    I agree with you in that I found the actual study guide part of Actex to be pretty much useless, however I found it to be a valuable tool just for the sheer number of practice tests.

    So basically those four guides were my arsenal for this exam. I probably used Broverman's a bit more than the rest because of the practice problems but I think that if you use each of those guides to their strengths, you'll do pretty well next time.

  6. #6
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    Arnold, thanks for that! It's good to hear from someone who has used/seen more than one manual.

    I didn't realise Guo's manual covers FM, I was looking at it for Exam P (sitting in May I think...) and was intrigued. I might try to pick up a few manuals this go-round; I hate spending the money on them but if I never spend the money I will never MAKE the money so there you have it. I think I'll skip Broverman's just because I am not that keen on his style (judging from his text), but will look into Kryszio's, Guo's and maybe ASM or Cherry's (I liked the sample pages, but hated his sample practice test at www.studymanuals.com).

    I did like the practice exams from the Actex manual - they were a huge help - but that was not all I was looking for in a manual!

    Thanks again

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