Exam-Taking Strategy for Exam IFM

The key to passing IFM is to answer all the questions you know how to do correctly. There are 30 questions in the IFM exam. On the SOA website, you can see that the recent historical pass marks for MFE (the previous version of IFM) were around 72%. So, you know you need to answer at least 30(0.72) = 21.6 questions correctly in order to pass the exam. The key is to identify these 22 questions in your exam and solve them correctly.

When you are going through the exam, you must be willing to skip a problem. There is no point in spending too much time on a single problem, then ending up with insufficient time, leading to careless mistakes on easier problems you do know how to solve. Keep in mind that all questions in the multiple-choice exams count the same. Solving a very easy problem correctly and solving a very difficult problem correctly result in the same amount of points. Remember that your goal in the exam is to answer enough questions correctly to pass. Why bother spending 15 minutes solving a difficult question (which you may end up not being able to solve) when you can use those 15 minutes to solve 2 or more easier questions?

So, what does this mean? You should spend the first 30 seconds of every question making an assessment:

  • If you read a problem and don’t understand the problem during the first read, skip it.
  • If you read a problem and think that you may be able to do the problem but may take some time to come up with the solution, mark it and skip it.
  • If you understand the question and think you can solve it quickly, solve it.

Apply this strategy to all the questions during the first round through. After that, come back to the questions that you’ve marked and attempt those questions in your second round through. If you’re comfortable with at least 22 questions out of the 30 problems, you should be able to pass the exam!

Note: When practicing in Adapt, your goal should be to get at least 22 questions correct; the more questions you are able to get correct above that amount, the more confident you can be that you have eliminated the risk of failing due to making a small mistake. Aim for a score of at least a 24 while practicing, and raise your odds of passing!

Thanks for reading, and we wish you all the best in your studies!