Exam Tips for P

Written by Neal Armstrong: photo (2)

I started out studying for exam P on 11/25/2013. I do not have a strong background in math or statistics. I have taken some online courses because I decided that once I completed my MBA in Finance I would go head first into the first exam. With this in mind, I have planned to start studying and give myself a large chunk of time in order to master the critical components of the exam before having to take them on a test. (I plan on taking the exam in March.)

One of the best pieces of advice that I got when studying for the CPCU was that the timed part of the exam was the issue that really got to many people. This was something that I was determined to make sure was a nonissue for me. I took as many practice exams as possible. This is before even really looking at some of the material. Many times, I already understood concepts that I hadn’t studied yet which meant that I didn’t have to spend as much time on those items.

I have approached exam P in much the same manner. I loved that coaching actuaries provided a suggested study schedule where you could plug in your own start date and end date. I did this and have really planned well. At the end of a week say Saturday or Sunday or really whenever I had felt that I had mastered the material that I was aiming to for that timeframe, I took a practice test on all of the material. This would let me know how I was doing on the material that I already knew and how I would perform even on items that I might not have even touched yet. Getting my mental clock and understanding of where I was at when it comes to exams is important to me because I do not want to panic under the pressure of a timed exam. ‘Hey, why not have them every week?’ is my mindset.

Even in doing this, I wanted to set a goal for myself every week. I have started off not doing so hot on the exams. That’s okay. My test isn’t until March. I have time to improve and better myself. Today is now 12/23/13. My goal for this week was to get 9-11 questions right on the exam. I took two exams and have gotten 12 and 13 right. This is above my goal for the week. Next week, I plan to try and get either 14 or 15 right on the exams. Hopefully before the March test, I will be almost perfect on the assignments. I have also learned that if I get something wrong that I should have known, I can always go back and learn from my mistakes. Sometimes the best study sessions are the sessions where I am sitting looking at wrong answers trying to figure out why I missed them, so that I can correct them in the future.

Here’s to us all passing along tips to help us pass the exam. I aim for perfection, but the goal is passing. 🙂