Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ooooooooo That Stings!

So I took the actuarial exam that I have been prepping for this whole time. If you haven't heard, (or can't figure it out from the title above), I did not pass. It's okay, passing was actually not the main goal this time around. I'm not saying I wasn't hoping too. I gave myself a 20-25% chance of actually passing. Failing hurt but I was really taking the exam to learn what it was like and what to expect.

I now feel like when I go to take my exam in May I will be better prepared for having seen what it is like. As far as how I actually did goes, I don't get a grade back for 8 weeks or so. I do have a GREAT noterized (is that a word?) sheet of paper telling me that I failed. Maybe I'll get it framed. I'm betting that when I do get my grade it's going to be a 5, maybe a 4. A 5 would mean I got 90-99% of what was required for passing, a 4 80-89%. Either one of those grades would make me feel like once I have learnt the material I didn't know anything about that I should pass relatively easily. If I get a 3 or lower it means I just have to put in that much more time and effort studying to kick this exams butt.

My school (the University of Connecticut) has been named by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence. I believe they have named 10 of them. So another school, Drake I believe, has created a program called ADAPT for preparing for these exams. You'll never guess what ADAPT does. ADAPT adapts! So you take practice tests and it figures out what you are having problems with, what you are strong at, etc and compensates to help you practice. They usually charge $69.00 for this (which is well worth it in my opinion in theory) but they have offered it to us at UCONN for testing for free this semester! So I've signed up but haven't started practice with it yet. More on that later.

The other big development for me lately has been a new method of organizing my to-dos, which does involve crossing things off of lists!!! But that's a post for another day

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Apologies

It's been far too long since I updated this. My FM exam is this friday! It came up extremely quickly. My plan for the week is reviewing all my formulas and doing practice problems again and again. Any other non-essential school work is getting bumped until next week.

It seems like the trick to getting all of these problems done is figuring out what trick is being used it each problem. This sounds simple but you have an average of 5 minutes per question. In practice I have come across problems where if you have forgotten one relationship between equations you can spend an hour on the question and not be able to figure it out! That can be really frustrating.

Whoever writes these exams is really sneaky too! They figure out a solution and thats one of the multiple choice solutions. Then, I think, they figure out the four most common ways to screw it up and put those down as the other solutions. Just because your math came out to one of the answers doesn't mean it's correct. Not at all.

Unfortunately Megan has to travel this week. Tomorrow morning she leaves for Vegas. While this means I'll have the apartment to myself, I will miss her support while I'm trying to get all of this done. Also, I have to try and not degenerate into a disgusting mess of what used to be a man in the four days she is gone. Oh, she'd probably appreciate not coming back to an apartment covered in filth from me studying too much to clean. I think that's asking a lot, don't you?

Friday will be great though because after my exam I'll relax a bit and then drive down to JFK to pick Megan up from her trip. Saturday I think we are heading up to our wedding venue to meet with a florist and Sunday we are going to a Crate and Barrel registry event to register for our wedding. I love that store. I'd like to spend every Valentine's Day picking out stuff at Crate and Barrel for people to consider purchasing for me.