The Last Month


It’s no secret that studying for actuarial exams is quite laborious. Those of us studying (and those who have passed) understand the enormous amount of work that is needed to pass. Regardless of which exam it is and how many hundreds of recommended study hours there are – each one brings similar challenges. One of the biggest is getting through the last month.

The last month of studying for an actuarial exam brings students to the proverbial point of “hitting the wall” that marathon runners and triathletes often experience. During the last month of studying when it is so critical to put in all of your efforts, you may find that your energy and concentration is depleted. Nevertheless, the successful actuarial student pushes through the exhaustion and earns a passing score.

It is essential that actuarial students push through the last few weeks of studying to finish strong because the flexibility of time available in college is not something one can afford to waste. Passing exams while still attending college can be a great way of getting ahead because chances are that it will only get more difficult to find study time while in a career. To make it through the last month, I suggest reviewing the material from a host of sources and tackling the large amount of questions using ADAPT. The ADAPT program is a quizzing mechanism offered by Coaching Actuaries that provides questions on selected topics that are by the user.

To avoid “hitting the wall”, I suggest using other study methods to keep things interesting and new (not to mention that studying with different resources may help you understand the topic in a new way!).  In addition to the strong foundation that Coaching Actuaries provides, it is also wise to use other methods such as YouTube videos and in-person study groups. Furthermore, it is vital to do practice problems and quizzes on topics – regardless of how well you understand them.

As I’ve written in a past blog post – study gaps and breaks can be important for students studying. I recommend however that students do these between taking exams rather than in the middle of for studying one. This will prevent students from losing enthusiasm and getting into a studying slump.

Regardless of whether you are just starting to study for your first actuarial exam or you’re two weeks away from taking your last, continue to study with zeal and enthusiasm to avoid “hitting the wall”. Before you know it, it will be time to sit in the exam with confidence!