One of the main keys to success is early preparation. You will never go wrong when you start preparing for something early. For actuarial students, the main challenge that they face on their road in becoming an actuary is their actuarial exams. Many students face the disappointment of failing the exams on their first try while only a handful get the satisfaction of passing all of the exams on their first try. So, how do we ensure a 100% success on the exam on our first try?
Well, the answer is to start preparing for it early! Early preparation provides us with some flexibility in our study schedule and allows room for any distractions such as unpredictable events. As human beings, we are all subject to procrastination, laziness and distraction. Early preparation allows some room for these.
When I was studying for my Exam MFE, I started studying 5 months before the actual exam. Everyone thought that was way too early. However, I know that there was no harm in starting early and you could never go wrong by doing that. Being a typical student who is subject to distractions and procrastination, I allowed myself to take a one-day break from studying every week to catch up on all of my TV series and just be lazy. I would study from Monday to Saturday and then be lazy for one whole day on Sunday every week.
There was also the holiday season during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year and I did not want to miss out on all of the fun! It was so hard to get into the studying mood during the festive season. But it was alright taking a break from studying to enjoy the holidays as I was assured that I have covered my bases through my early preparation. I finished studying two months before the exam in March and started doing the SOA questions on the SOA website.
A month before the exam called for a review of all the important formulas. Doing the Adapt practice exams gave me that much needed review. I was feeling good about the exam when March finally came as I had covered every single topic on the exam thoroughly. I was prepared for whatever outcome may come on the exam day as I had tried my best and had no regrets. As a result, I passed the exam on my first try.
This has showed me that the key to success is definitely early preparation. It gives you enough time to cover your bases for the exam properly and boosts your confidence before the exam. Don’t rush to sit for the SOA exams. I believe that it is much better to take a longer time preparing for the exams and passing it on your first try instead of rushing through your exam preparation. We can never go wrong when we start preparations early.