For those of you currently preparing to take exams this month, our Senior Consultant Carolina Emmanuel (who completed all of the actuarial exams in July) has put together some tips based on her experiences of taking (and passing) written exams. She just posted these on our LinkedIngroup and we thought it would be useful to share them here as well:
With the actuarial exams, knowing the material inside out isn't enough - execution is equally as important!
I'd like to share with you my own set of rules which I used to follow myself:
- 1.Glance over all questions at the start- you'll be surprised how your sub-conscience can start to come up with ideas for answering later questions. Also gives you an idea of the different topics in the paper.
- 2.Answer questions you find easy first- I rarely answered questions in order. Being able to nail some questions early on boosts confidence and gives you time to mull over the harder ones for a bit longer later on.
- 3.Re-reading questions- I always re-read questions about 3-4 times to make sure I understood the question correctly and also because it can spark ideas. Some of the questions are really long and you might not have digested all the information on the first read.
- 4.Time awareness- I used to allocate myself 75% of the time to answer questions and 25% to read over my answers to make sure I picked up on any silly mistakes (that could be costly if left as errors – the difference between a P and FA). If you're stuck on a question, park it, move on and come back to it later. I usually went through all my answers at least once again.
- 5.Good layout- make it easy for examiners to give you the marks! Spread out your work, write as neatly/legibly as you can and "if you think it - write it down", there may be marks for explanations.
These were just my set of rules. Different methods work for different people. Discover what works for you and master that technique. (Just don't wait until exam day to figure it out - practice before!)
Happy studying :-)