I have never been much of a studier. Ever since grade school, I have never needed to study hard and have never been overly stressed about any upcoming exams. Whether it be history or calculus, all I needed to do was pay attention in class. There are times when I have to check over some notes for a half hour or so, but I have always managed to score strongly on assessments. The first actuary exam was a huge wake up call.
In the spring, I had taken a probability class that ran along the syllabus for the P exam, however it was shaped to be a simplified version of the difficult materials that are needed to be mastered for the exam. While, I was studying for the P exam while taking the class, I relied just a little too much on the class for mastering the concepts. While the class was easy because I was studying it more in depth for the exam, the exam did not get any easier. I also struggled with balancing studying for the actuary exam with my schoolwork. I had exams into the middle of May, and planned on studying hard after them because I was scheduled to take the P exam in the end of May.
The amount in which I underestimated the first actuary exam cannot be measured. While for the first time in my life, I was able to really study hard and long, I procrastinated far too much and crammed as much as I could in the time I had, but did not have quite enough time. Being from New Hampshire, the closest test center was two hours away from me, and boy was that a long drive home. I ended up getting a five and just barely not passing it. After that I hit a slump and could not get myself to study again for a couple weeks, but I picked it up and studied hard in order to pass it in July.
Now it is time for me to start with the FM exam. It will not go like last time this exam. I used the study guide provided on Coaching Actuaries to make a schedule for when to complete which sections and it is extremely helpful. I am fully organized and I know I will be prepared when I go in to take the FM exam. Hopefully this time I will be able to pass on my first try, because nothing is worse than learning that you failed then having to drive two hours home, however, the drive home I took after I passed was one of the best rides of my life.