Study Methods

For mathematical examinations, candidates should acquire proficiency with techniques and formulas by working on a large number of problems similar to those expected on the examinations.

For any examination, schedule study time so that each subject is covered adequately. Try to approach each subject from more than one perspective. Do not limit yourself to the approach taken in daily work. Maintain an interest in current developments. Knowledge of actuarial practice is helpful. The discussions of papers, unless excluded, are an essential part of the reading and should be studied as carefully as the papers themselves. Integrate the material studied. Compare programs, methods and so on. The more connections developed in the studied material, the deeper the understanding and the better the use made of the acquired information.

Maintain contact with other candidates and take advantage of the opportunities to discuss difficult topics.  Do not hesitate to consult established members of the profession in your own organization or elsewhere.

Do not rely solely on commercial outlines of study material. Rather, strive to summarize knowledge of the material by adequate review prior to the examination. For written–answer examinations, try constructing “trial” examinations. These trial examinations will not only test knowledge and understanding of the reading materials, but they may also improve speed and confidence.

Expect integrated questions. Integrated questions encompass different sections of the material, and require the candidate to pull together various concepts into a cohesive response. This method mirrors a real–life situation, and provides a better discriminator with regard to who demonstrates understanding of the material.