Over preparation vs. under preparation

Written by Timothy Goenadibrata:IMG-20140706-00257

Good luck on your preparation! Never give up, with good preparation, I believe the effort will pay off. I came across the phrase “over preparation” when I was still preparing for my MFE exam this past February. I happened to see it posted by someone on the Actuarial Outpost. Having previously passed P and FM in 2013, I adapted this kind of habit since I was not working.

After thinking about it, I agreed with the one who posted this saying that to over prepare was far better than doing otherwise. Even if our so-called over preparation earned us a score of 6 (a mere pass for SOA/CAS/CIA) exams, it would prove less troublesome than having failed. Especially for an exam that appears once in every 4 months, it would be painful to fail. Better safe than sorry.

Due to my so-called insecurity, I subscribed to Adapt about 30 days before my MFE exam in order to prepare myself much better. Furthermore, my recent pass for FM last December earned me a 7, which was somewhat alarming, as I feared failing like I had failed C last October.

Adapt proved to be useful, I never stopped using it even though I had an Earned Level of 10. I made sure I went through every concept that I was weak at. In addition, I made every effort to understand every question. It would be useless if I had obtained a high Earned Level without proper understanding. The real exam always tests our understanding of the topics of the exam syllabus. Therefore, if we had solid foundation of the concepts, even if SOA twists the questions, we do not have to be alarmed. Always make sure you have a strong foundation so that loopholes don’t inhibit your understanding.

To pass an actuarial exam is not easy after all. That was why I have been emphasizing this. In the end, I passed MFE in March 2014. The paper was easier than I thought. I guess, having done many high level Adapt questions proved useful to me as I was able to tackle some difficult questions on the real exam itself.

Speaking of preparation, some of us may ask when will be the best time to prepare? It depends on each and every individual. We must have a good time management system. I believe none of us wish to fail an exam. Who would want to pay twice for the lack of preparation? I believe everyone has his / her own study method to use. Everyone has his / her own pace, too. So if you are a quick learner, maybe you start later than the rest. If you are afraid to fail, it will be best to prepare as early as you can. It will be a great relief to yourself if you pass a difficult exam, just like I passed MFE last March and C this past June.