Adapt: a 4 wheel-drive monster truck

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As the majority of actuarial candidates like myself will tell you, the road to completion of even the preliminary exams is not friendly in the slightest.  You’ll face defeat, disappointment, and a sense of hopelessness.  It happens to us all at one point or another, all for the one hope that a computer screen will reward us with a simple “Congratulations…”

I’ve been traveling this road for about 6 months now.  As do many others, I began by researching which study materials would be the most beneficial.  I quickly discovered the massive market that is actuarial test prep.  So in June 2013, I began my preparation for the November sitting of Exam P/1.  I purchased the quite expensive ACTEX study manual, read from cover to cover, worked out countless practice problems, and memorized even more shortcuts and formulas.  I quickly realized that problem solutions in print were not as helpful as desired.

Seeking a more resourceful means of preparation, I stumbled upon The Infinite Actuary (TIA), a resource, which at face value is comparable to Adapt, a computer based practice examination service, and after extensive use, my confidence level was quite high as November rolled around.  Was I ready to witness the coveted “Congratulations” screen?

No.  I was unsuccessful with a score of 3.

After feeling so confident, only to be let down, my spirits were at an all time low.  I didn’t know where to turn, or what to do.  Should I attempt P/1 again?  Should I attempt FM/2 instead?  Should I all together change my career aspirations?  All of these questions pulling down on me like a pair of cement shoes.  After extensive debate with a friend of mine, I decided to sign up for the January sitting of P/1. 

After my failure in November, it took some time for me to want to look at another probability distribution or Venn Diagram, therefore, my preparation for the January sitting began, well, in January.  I needed a new resource, something that I could be confident in.  This led me to discovering Adapt, the 4-wheel drive monster truck for the muddy, dilapidated road that is the path to becoming an actuary. 

Right away I loved the format and user interface of Adapt, I began taking practice exams with only 2 and a half weeks until my exam sitting.  After my first practice exam, seeing my earned level rise to 4, then to 5, the competitive and determined spirit in me had me taking at least one or two practice exams per day, with the goal of reaching the 7+ earned level range.  The day before sitting, after reaching an earned level close to 8, I felt extremely confident in my preparation, however, I had felt confident before, only to be no where near prepared.

As I progressed through the exam, question after question, marking a few, reaching the end with 25 minutes to spare, I realized that I had only marked 4 questions with which I had partial uncertainty.  “I KNEW THE SOLUTIONS TO 26?!?” I thought.  After using those last 25 minutes working, there was only 1 question I was unsure of, narrowed down to 50/50 on two of the answer selections.  As I hit END, nervously shaking, still fearing the dreaded “unsuccessful” screen, I pass quickly through the prometric “rate this center” screens, and the final screen appeared…

“Congratulations…”

I had passed.  I was one step closer.  I read the screen over about a dozen times before my disbelief faded.

I couldn’t believe that all my hard work finally paid off, I am sure with probability equal to 1 that I couldn’t have done it without Adapt and I would so highly recommend it to anyone taking these exams.  First time or fifth time, use Adapt.  I will be taking exam FM/2 in April, using Adapt all the way up to my exam sitting.