Archive for July, 2010

CBT sample exams

July 10th, 2010

We have added a CBT format to the sample exams. This means that you now have the choice of printing out the practice exams and taking them as a traditional paper and pencil exam, or you can take it on your computer in a format that is very similar to what you will see on the exam day. There are a few differences between our CBT version and the SOA’s version, but we think it is close enough that it will be good practice. In particular, you can get used to using the online exam tables.

For a demo of how to use the sample exams, we have a sample videos that you can watch in either QuickTime or WMP format. When you take a CBT sample exam, the exam will end whenever time runs out or if you click the “End” button on the review screen. At that point, your exam will be automatically scored. Note that closing the exam window will exit the exam without saving your progress or grading anything.

One feature that you should experiment with is the ability to mark questions for review. At any point during the exam, you can click the “Review” button on the bottom of the screen and that will give you the option to review either all of the exam problems, only those problems that you have marked for review, or only those problems that you haven’t answered. For example, one possible exam strategy is to make a first pass through the exam working all of the problems that you can do quickly, marking problems that you think you can do but will take a long time, and skipping problems that you don’t know how to do. Then when you are done with your first pass, you can select “Review Marked” and do the longer problems that you know how to do. After finishing that, you can review the unanswered problems that you didn’t initially know how to do and either guess or take a second stab at them.

As the CBT format is a new feature, we welcome any comments and suggestions that you may have for it. In particular, if you have taken the official exam and can let us know about some format changes that we need to make we would really appreciate it. There will always be some differences since we have to deal with different browsers and screen sizes, but we would like to minimize them. Known differences are:

  • On the official CBT exam, if the problem is long enough that you need to scroll down to see all of the answer choices, you must scroll down before selecting your answer. We do not force you to do so.
  • The sample CBT exam on has the exam tables in a different order than the table on the SOA webpage. We are currently using the SOA webpage’s order, but are not sure which way you will see it.