Studying for Exam C was definitely a very challenging experience for me. The number one problem I faced when I first started studying – was time. I started studying for Exam C in June, almost 5 months before my actual exam in October. However, working 8 hours a day from Monday to Friday made it difficult for me to find time to study during the weekdays. I felt tired by the time I reached home at 5.30 and my progress was pretty slow during the first few weeks of June.
I quickly realized that it was not possible for me to finish studying and do practice exams before my actual exam on October 10th. I had to think of a solution! I sat down and started to create a new study schedule for myself. My plan was to have at least 3 weeks to do practice exams, and review all the materials that I have studied. Working backwards, I realized that it was possible for me to finish studying 3 weeks before the exam if I covered one chapter a day. At that point, I found my biggest problem to be finding time to study since I felt tired and unproductive in the evenings. When could I do it?
I decided to switch from studying in the evenings to studying in the mornings. I woke up at 6 am everyday and studied kept that routine going for 5 months. It was indeed difficult during the first few days as I was not a morning person. It took me awhile to get used to this change, but once I did – my productivity increased. My brain was fresher and quicker in the mornings and I was able to better absorb what I had studied.
When September came, I was on schedule with my studying but was faced with another problem. I could not remember the materials that I studied back in June! I forgot most of the formulas and was still struggling to improve my understanding on credibility and simulation. Needless to say, I was stressed out. I had to decide if I should start reviewing everything that I have studied, or spend a little more time on materials for credibility and simulation. I decided on the latter, as I knew that these were very important topics in Exam C.
I placed more importance on understanding and building the bases for each chapter, over trying to remember everything that I studied. Even though I forgot most of what I studied back in June, I was able to recall the material when I started doing practice problems and practice exams. Because I placed more importance on understanding the formulas than memorizing them, it definitely helped me in recalling the materials.
I started doing practice exams 2 weeks before my exam. I became faced with an even bigger problem at that time because I was getting only 13 out of 35 on a few of the practice exams that I was doing. Not being able to get half of a practice exam correct was definitely not a very good confidence booster. Plus, I did not finish these practice exams within the 3.5 hour time frame of the actual exam. I was stressed out because it looked like I was going to fail the actual exam. However, I decided not to spend too much time worrying about that and decided to move on and complete more problem sets.
I spent a lot of time going through all of the questions that I got wrong on my practice exams. I reviewed my notes if I did not understand the solution to a particular question. I wanted to ensure that I actually understood the solution instead of just glancing at it then moving on to more problem sets. Even though the scores on my first few practice exams were poor, I was able to slowly improve my scores each day for 2 weeks. It was not an easy task to slowly go through each and every one of the questions that I got wrong, but I decided that understanding the material was my highest priority for the exam. I decided that regardless of the number of questions or practice exams I did, nothing was as important as truly understanding the materials for Exam C. My goal was to understand everything that I studied for the exam and I refused to let the low scores of the practice exams pull me down.
Overall, I completed only 13 practice exams which was less than the amount of practice exams I completed for Exam P, FM or MFE. However, I felt pretty confident that I understood the materials in Exam C really well on my exam day. I went into the exam hall and went through each of the questions carefully and understood what the question wanted. Even though some of the questions in the actual exam were different from the practice exams, I was able to understand the question and think of a solution. I completed the actual exam 45 minutes prior to the 3.5 hours given which allowed me to spend more time on the longer questions that I skipped. I managed to pass the Exam C on my first attempt.
As compared to Exam MFE or MLC, Exam C had less formulas to memorize which is why it became my favorite exam. However, Exam C was definitely not easy. It definitely helped to have a good foundation from Exam P because Exam C was also very much related to statistics and probability. Do not underestimate the amount of materials covered in Exam C and remember try to stay motivated to self-study. Proper understanding of the materials becomes a definite must because the questions on the exam tended to focus more on testing students’ deeper understanding of the material. I suggest you practice as many problems as you can before the actual exam because it will definitely help in understanding the materials.