Written by Ahelan Sathiyaraj:
The first time I wrote exam FM, I reached the very end of the exam and clicked on end exam… only to witness the shocking revelation that I had failed. I vaguely reminisce exiting the testing center in utter disbelief. It was a long subway ride back home, and I only had one notion lingering in my mind…failure.
I had to go back to the drawing board and ask myself why I failed. I initially took the exam right after taking the course and I felt the course was sufficient for an easy pass. When I was preparing for the exam, I merely looked at questions from the Broverman textbook, and then the solution if I didn’t get the correct answer. Essentially, I inspected the solution without trying it myself, and that was the eminent downfall to failure. It is crucial for any actuarial student to complete the question and not just browse through the solutions and say, “that looks easy, I get it.” There is no other shortcut to pass. Hard work + dedication is the only formula for an elevated level of success.
It is conventional wisdom to realize that the more you invest in study materials, the more likely it is that you will pass. I chose Adapt as my next alternative study program and I made sure I did every question whether it was level 1 or level 10. For my second sitting, I was supremely confident and I passed without facing any severe adversity on the exam.
I chose the same study approach for exam P, and I maintained the same positive result, although I have to admit I felt it was a lot harder than FM. I find lashing away on hundreds of problems for P shouldn’t be the tactical approach; understanding the material thoroughly should be the standard method for studying. There are a lot more tricks involved for P, so doing every ‘nook and cranny’ problem you see isn’t the ideal routine. You will see many questions that you thought never existed, so make sure you have a concrete understanding of the material. In conclusion, I feel that you should use both Adapt and the eCourse Manual for P.
It’s important to remain resolute and poised prior to and during the exam. You must innervate your mind with positive thoughts of passing and contentment. I feel that passing your first exam provides a ‘residue of success’, meaning it will enhance your confidence and it creates momentum to pass the other exams. If you can pass one, you can pass them all! You also have to recognize that this is only an exam; you won’t die if you fail.
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