TIA Practice App (iOS / Android)

June 28th, 2019

I am very excited to announce that the Practice app is now available on both iOS and Android.

Now you can practice problems wherever you are without any need for a live internet connection, and your problem history will stay synced across all of your devices.

Here are some of the features in v1:

  • Work problems in order or randomly in continuous mode
  • Create custom length quizzes to emulate timed practice exams
  • Get instant feedback on problem attempts, with both written and video solutions
  • Filter problem sets by flagged, missed, or SOA
  • Review problem history and re-work problems directly from history
  • Quick access to the discussion forum for each problem

What I am most excited about is the future of this new app.  This is a platform that we can use to add more and more features over time.

Let me know what you think of the app, and what features you would most like to see added!

Don’t forget that you can also download lessons using our Learn app (iOSAndroid), and review formulas and concepts using the flashcards in our Review app (iOSAndroid).

Dave Uncategorized

2018 Syllabus Changes

June 28th, 2018

The SOA has made changes to all of their preliminary effective for the later sittings in 2018. The Exam P syllabus has changed the least, with one new topic being added starting with the September 2018 sitting. This new topic is probability generating functions, and is now covered in a new lesson B.2.6. If you are taking the exam in July of 2018, you can skip this (and likewise skip the problems in the problem system labeled as not being on the July 2018 syllabus). If you are taking the exam in September, 2018 or later and have completed Chapter B.2., you should go back and watch this lesson at some point. It is not urgent to do so, as it is independent of all of the later material and will not be a heavily tested topic.

Dave Uncategorized

Learn: A major update to our iOS video app

December 22nd, 2017

I’m happy to announce that we recently released a significant update to our iOS video app, which we are now calling TIA – Learn. You can download it from the App Store, or simply update your existing TIA app through the App Store.

Updates to the new Learn app include:

- Download unlimited videos to your device for offline viewing
- Fully optimized for all iPhone and iPad models
- Stream videos over WiFi or cellular data with option to download videos over WiFi only
- Track your progress as you watch lesson videos
- See all downloaded (offline) videos in one place (like making a “playlist”)
- Update user interface, including more intuitive video controls for skipping forward/back
- Adjust video playback speed on a video-by-video basis and also set a default preference
- Quick access to the discussion forum for each lesson
- Your lesson progress is synced across your devices and the TIA website. If you stop watching a video on the website or app, you can simply resume in that same spot using the website or the app.
- Free samples included without a TIA registration

We also recently updated the Android version of the app to do the same syncing described above. This was a big feature request, and we are happy to deliver it to all platforms. We have more Android updates planned in the future.

Keep in mind the new Learn app is in addition to the newly created Flashcards app that we released in 2017 for iPhone and Android. We plan to continue enhancing both apps and appreciate all of the positive feedback we’ve gotten so far.

admin Uncategorized

Flashcards Web App

September 1st, 2017

I believe that you should all now be able to see the Flashcard Web app on the lessons page. It appears as a new tab on the right side, next to the “Work Problems” tab. Just click on the tab to launch the app.

The functionality of the App is the same as the iOS version, which you can review in this short video of the app’s features.

Keep an eye out for another flash card related announcement next week!

admin Uncategorized

Flashcards app for iPhone is here

July 31st, 2017

We are excited to announce our new Flashcards app is now available on the iOS App Store! We also put together a short video of the app’s features.

Some of the cards for exam P are already in the app, so you can start using them as soon as you like.   We hope to have the rest of the cards for exam P posted later this week.

This version is only the beginning, and we have more features planned. The Android version is also extremely close and should be ready soon.

admin Uncategorized

October Syllabus Changes

June 4th, 2016

Oops, wrong exam blog. Should have been for Exam C. Sorry.

Dave Uncategorized

Practice Exam Strategy

March 1st, 2016

If you are taking the exam later this month, it is time to start taking practice exams. When you do that, you want to be sure that you are reviewing them carefully and learning from your mistakes. The reviewing process is both the most important part of a practice exam, and the one that people are most likely to overlook.

I’ve posted a video that talks about this, but the TLDW version is that the way that I would approach a practice exam is to spend 2, 3, or maybe even 4 days on it. I would take it one day, under strict exam conditions with no formula sheets, and find out what my raw score is. On day 2, I would redo the problems I missed with my formula sheet to see if I had any new ideas or if any formulas would help (if they would, then that is a formula I need to memorize!) Then I would review the solutions to all the questions I missed, as well as any questions that I got right but found hard.

Now comes the part that people skip: On day 3, I would redo all of the questions that I missed to help solidify the ideas I learned from the solutions. Passively watching a solution won’t help you remember something as well as redoing it, and this will give you your biggest improvement. If you can score 85% on the easiest 80% of the material, and guess on the rest, then you should pass, so you really need to learn from your mistakes and solidify that easy 80%.

Ok, but I said 4 days isn’t unreasonable. How does this stretch out that long? Maybe in doing these practice exams you find yourself missing multiple questions on core topics, such as normal approximations or computing moments or things about Poisson distributions. If so, then redoing a bunch of practice problems on those specific topics can really help. Only do this with the most commonly tested topics — if you miss a question on Chebyshev’s inequality or some other really obscure thing, then this close to the actual exam the best strategy is to not care very much. That will be part of the 20% that you can guess on, and you certainly don’t want to waste a lot of precious, last minute time cramming in material that probably won’t be on the exam.

Dave Uncategorized

Exam Aftermath

January 28th, 2016
Now that the January sitting has ended, I want to think about what to do next. If you passed, then congratulations! But now that means moving on to the next exam. P and FM should be your first two preliminary exams as they are easiest, then MFE is next easiest. So if you haven’t yet taken FM, you should tackle that next, while if you have, you should move on to MFE.
But what if you got bad news? The first thing to do is to think about why you failed. I often ask people whether or not they ran out of time — those who did often need improvements in many areas and need to work lots of practice problems. Those who didn’t are more likely to have specific areas of weakness that need practice and improvement. So if you are in that situation, you want to figure out what those weak areas are.
You now get a partial score breakdown of how you did on the different areas of the syllabus, which they label as General Probability, Univariate Probability, and Multivariate. In terms of the seminar material, general probability corresponds roughly to A.1, A.2, and lesson A.4.1, while univariate is A.3, the rest of A.4-A.6, and all of Section B, and multivariate is section C. Unfortunately, even If you score ‘low’ on one area but not the other two, then you only have a vague description of your troubles and need to refine it a bit. To do this, you can work some sample exams or look at your old practice problem scores and see if there are lessons that leap out as needing improvement. The best situation is to be able to narrow it down to a few very specific topics, such as struggling with combinatorics, or conditional moments, or normal approximations. Then between now and your next exam, you want to work a lot of problems on those areas and try to improve on them the most. Just don’t forget to also occasionally work other review problems on general topics as well, and also make sure to redo the practice exams at some point.
One final thing you should do now while the exam is still relatively fresh is to write down what you remember of the questions you struggled with on the exam. You can come back to those notes closer to the exam date to remind you of some things to focus on, plus writing those down may help you figure out what some of your problem areas are.
Whatever your result was, good luck on your next exam.

Now that the January sitting has ended, I want to think about what to do next. If you passed, then congratulations! But now that means moving on to the next exam. P and FM should be your first two preliminary exams as they are easiest, then MFE is next easiest. So if you haven’t yet taken FM, you should tackle that next, while if you have, you should move on to MFE.

But what if you got bad news? The first thing to do is to think about why you failed. I often ask people whether or not they ran out of time — those who did often need improvements in many areas and need to work lots of practice problems. Those who didn’t are more likely to have specific areas of weakness that need practice and improvement. So if you are in that situation, you want to figure out what those weak areas are.

You now get a partial score breakdown of how you did on the different areas of the syllabus, which they label as General Probability, Univariate Probability, and Multivariate. In terms of the seminar material, general probability corresponds roughly to A.1, A.2, and lesson A.4.1, while univariate is A.3, the rest of A.4-A.6, and all of Section B, and multivariate is section C. Unfortunately, even If you score ‘low’ on one area but not the other two, then you only have a vague description of your troubles and need to refine it a bit. To do this, you can work some sample exams or look at your old practice problem scores and see if there are lessons that leap out as needing improvement. The best situation is to be able to narrow it down to a few very specific topics, such as struggling with combinatorics, or conditional moments, or normal approximations. Then between now and your next exam, you want to work a lot of problems on those areas and try to improve on them the most. Just don’t forget to also occasionally work other review problems on general topics as well, and also make sure to redo the practice exams at some point.

One final thing you should do now while the exam is still relatively fresh is to write down what you remember of the questions you struggled with on the exam. You can come back to those notes closer to the exam date to remind you of some things to focus on, plus writing those down may help you figure out what some of your problem areas are.

Whatever your result was, good luck on your next exam.

Dave Uncategorized

Updating handouts — what’s new?

December 7th, 2015

I am in the process of uploading new versions of all of the chapter handouts, but for the most part, you don’t need to redownload much if you don’t want to. What is truly new is the following:

  • More problems have been added to A.7, B.6, and C.6. The SOA has recently expanded their published sample problems, and I’ve added the new ones to these 3 chapters.
  • For all chapters, the handouts .zip file now contains a new file called whatever_solutions_combined.pdf, which is a file that contains both the problems and solutions side by side to make it easier to read on-screen. This file is probably too prohibitively long to print.

I haven’t yet recorded new video solutions for the new SOA problems. Those will be coming later on.

Dave Uncategorized

Sunsetting old seminar

August 23rd, 2012

As everyone should now be using the new (2012) version of the 1/P seminar, I will be removing the previous version from the lessons tab on  Sept. 3rd. If you are still using the original version of the seminar, look at the videos on how to change over to the new version.

Edit: The conversion is done, and only the new version of the seminar is available.

Dave Uncategorized