Time Spent Studying.   An Excerpt from Actuarial Exam Tactics.

More insights from Roy Ju and Mike Jennings, authors of Actuarial Exam Tactics. Learn More, Study Less. 

How do you define being "good" at passing actuarial exams?

The obvious answer is that your exam score indicates your ability, but there is another missing dimension: time spent studying. If you score an eight on your exam with 150 hours of studying, it’s fair to say that you’re a better exam taker than someone who took 500 hours to obtain the same score. Thus, our two main areas of focus to improve exam performance will be effectiveness (learning the material well enough to pass) and efficiency (equal learning with fewer study hours). Effectiveness is doing the right things; efficiency is doing things right.

The sequencing of these two objectives is important; there is no sense in becoming more efficient at ineffective learning techniques. If you are trying to learn by hand-copying the textbook, you shouldn’t work on more efficient handwriting; you should start with a more effective method. Although it’s tempting to jump to the Efficiency section to cut down on study time, the best way to save time is by starting with the most effective strategies to learn the material. The basic principles introduced in this book can also be applied to improve your learning of almost any subject.

After learning about effective study methods, the efficiency section will teach you how to implement those techniques in less time. This is how you go from passing with 100 study hours per exam hour to passing with 25-50 study hours per exam hour. These are the techniques that allowed Roy to take two FSA exams in one sitting while balancing a full 
work and school schedule with a rich personal life. 

By working diligently to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your study approach, you will find it much more manageable to maintain work/life balance throughout the exam process and enjoy yourself along the way. 

Of course, none of these study methods will work if you can’t implement them. The Adherence section will give examples of how to work these strategies into your study schedule along with advice on how to stick to that schedule. 

At the end of each chapter, we include a “Cheat Sheet” to summarize key information. You may choose only a few strategies from this book to implement at a time, so these Cheat Sheets can serve as a quick reference guide when you are looking back for additional techniques to try in the future.

Stay tuned for information on exam strategies and how you can change the way you study. 

For a free digital copy of Actuarial Exam Tactics visit ACTEX Learning https://www.actexlearning.com/career-and-study-guides