Forums & Blooms

July 27th, 2014

To do well on Blooms questions, you need to UNDERSTAND the material. One of the ways to help build your understanding (IMO) is to participate in the forums (TIA and/ or others).

There are a lot of great questions/ comments on the forum, which should help you think about the material in new ways. Also, answering questions should help with your technique in answering questions in the exam (eg writing the correct amount, correct way, and most importantly correct answer)

Angelo Uncategorized

Material Status

July 13th, 2014

To check Status/ Post questions about Status, see the newly created Status Thread in the TIA forum:

http://www.theinfiniteactuary.com/mb/viewtopic.php?f=712&t=12086

Angelo Uncategorized

Fall 2014 Live Seminar

July 9th, 2014

For those of you who have signed up for/ are considering signing up for the Live Seminar, see the following thread:

http://www.theinfiniteactuary.com/mb/viewtopic.php?f=712&t=12037&p=37174#p37174

Angelo Uncategorized

Errata/ Section G Combined File

July 2nd, 2014

I uploaded an “Errata” spreadsheet to the Introduction section of the website. I will keep this updated throughout the year. I’d recommend checking this periodically and making the appropriate updates to your manuals. I will usually make the corrections to the individual manuals in the website as well (although the “Combined” manuals from each section will not be updated).

Also, for those of you who have downloaded the Combined Manual for Section G prior to 7/2, the NAIC Solvency manual was outdated. You will therefore need to replace this with the updated NAIC Solvency manual. (Note that this comment only applies to the Combined manual. The individual manual was correct the whole time). I apologize for any inconvenience.

Angelo Uncategorized

A few things

June 19th, 2014

As a reminder, PLEASE SEE THE FALL 2014 THREAD IN THE TIA FORUM FOR QUESTIONS/ COMMENTS ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE MATERIAL!!

Now, here’s a copy of an older blog, which is useful:

There will be NO manual covering Odomirok 26. I believe that most of the testable material from this chapter is covered in the Feldblum tax papers.

On an unrelated note, if you have any questions about any of the blogs, please post to the TIA forums. I don’t receive any notification when comments have been posted to the blog.

The following is from my 2011 blog on how to study the accounting.

As you may have heard, Exam 6 is a beast. It has by far the most material of any of the CAS upper level exams. For those of you who have taken upper level exams before, I would recommend spending at least 30% more time preparing for this as what you would spend normally.

Due to the vast amount of material, it is vital to have a good approach to prepare for the exam efficiently. I recommend the following steps for preparing for the Accounting papers:

For each paper, in the order from the recommended reading schedule:
1. Read study manual/ watch video (you will most probably need to pause the video several times to catch up on reading, think about concepts, etc). Highlight important points. You’ll also need to take notes while watching the videos since some of the points are not mentioned in the manual.
2. Read the source material relatively quickly. Highlight the important points. Some of the papers are extremely important and highly tested (Odomirok, all the Feldblum papers, COPLFR, IRIS, etc); while others are quite tough to get through, and have been only lightly tested historically (eg SSAPs, etc). I KNOW MANY PEOPLE DO NOT READ THE SOURCE MATERIAL, BUT THIS IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT: A. THE EXAM DOES OCCASIONALLY TEST SOME OBSCURE TOPICS WHICH MAY NOT BE COVERED IN THE MANUAL; B. THE PASS RATE HAS BEEN AS LOW AS 20%… WITH PASS RATES THIS LOW, YOU REALLY CAN’T AFFORD TO IGNORE THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
3. Based on your highlights from step 2, supplement the study manual with your own notes (remember the manual is only an OUTLINE of the material. I have focused on areas that we believe to be more important/ testable, but it is possible that other sections will be tested). I like to write in the margins of my manual, but you may prefer something else.
4. Watch the video discussing the selected exam questions. You don’t HAVE to attempt them at this stage. Don’t worry about the remainder of questions for the time being – in my videos, I selected questions to provide a broad coverage of the material that has been tested, and so the remainder of questions are often testing the very same concepts
After performing these 4 steps for each paper, move on to the next paper, and repeat. You should at the very least aim to keep up with the recommended study schedule timing (if you can do this quicker, even better). Remember, you want to keep AS MUCH time as possible (at least a month) prior to the exam for just memorizing, thinking and attempting questions.

After you’ve covered all the material, you’ve most probably forgotten everything. So, now it’s time for a refresher. Again, paper by paper:
5. Read through the entire manual, including your handwritten notes. This should be much quicker than the original read, since you know should have a decent knowledge of the material, and also you can focus on the highlighted material. Watch the videos again for the papers that you find difficult
6. Attempt ALL exam questions (don’t cheat and just read the solutions no matter how similar the question looks. Not only will this build speed, but will hopefully give you experience in looking for tricks, finding shortcuts, etc).

By this stage, you should have a good understanding of all of the material, and hopefully you remember a lot as well. Now it’s time to memorize and build speed & accuracy.
7. Different people have different strategies to memorize. I know a lot of people like notecards. I will be publishing some notecards for the material. My notecards are not comprehensive (they focus on lists), so if you decide to go this route, you’ll need to supplement with your own cards. Personally, I never used notecards… I preferred to speed read through my manual and notes a couple of times. Again, it comes down to personal preference.
Only when you feel very comfortable (ie almost ready to sit the exam) with all of the material (this should be at least a month before the exam date), do the following:
8. Attempt the TIA additional questions. Note that a lot of these are tough, and also they are specifically designed to test areas that have not been heavily tested by the CAS historically. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND LEAVING THE SAMPLE QUESTIONS TILL YOU FEEL “PREPARED” FOR THE EXAM. YOU WILL BENEFIT MUCH MORE FROM SEEING THESE “FRESH” QUESTIONS AT THIS STAGE. AGAIN, IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, AVOID LOOKING AT THESE QUESTIONS TOO EARLY
9. Do at least 2 exams (eg 2012 & 2013) under exam conditions (lock yourself away from books and distractions for 4hrs). You should be aiming to score at least 80% (and higher if you have seen the questions before)… pass marks could be in the mid 70s, and you need a margin of safety as well.

After reading this, you’ll probably realize that you’re going to have to invest a lot of time into this exam. It’s worth it… you don’t want to have to retake it.

Finally, a lot of people are worried that they don’t have any prior accounting knowledge…. don’t be. Most of this material is going to be foreign to most students, so it really is a level playing field. Also, the material requires only minimal prior accounting knowledge (eg definition of an asset, liability, revenue & expense).

As for the regulation/ government accounting material… not much to say. Its just a lot to memorize. I’d keep this closer to the end (but that’s personal preference). It’s really dry so it’s going to be hard to stick in your head unfortunately. I’d just recommend drinking lots of coffee

Angelo Uncategorized

Another status update

May 18th, 2014

Reminder to check the TIA forum for messages about status.

Here is a recent post:
I will begin to release some manuals for the new papers in the near future. Note that I will complete all of the new manuals before putting together sample questions for these papers, so the sample questions for these will not be out for at least a month.

I also need to create a manual to discuss the Spring 2014 Exam questions. This too will not be available until a later date.

Angelo Uncategorized

Status/ Live Seminar Plans

May 7th, 2014

For information/ question about the status of the material, please see the “Fall 2014″ thread in the Introduction section of the TIA forums.

Regarding the Live Seminar, this year I am planning on holding just a 3  day live seminar (most probably 8-5 each day, including the final day). We will NOT be covering all of the material. In fact, I am just going to cover the accounting material. I plan on providing a very high level overview of select accounting papers, and spending some time discussing the difficult concepts from these papers. At least 40% of the time will be spent on questions (past exam questions and the sample questions), so we can discuss exam technique as well.

The seminar will be targeted towards those who have read ALL of the accounting material (since I will be skipping over a lot). You don’t necessarily have to have done all of the questions though. You may have a tough time keeping up if you have not covered all of the accounting material.

Finally, for those attending, I’d STRONGLY recommend assigning star ratings to the videos. That way, I can see what areas people are struggling with, and I will know to spend more time on these in the seminar.

Angelo Uncategorized

Past Exam Question Distribution File Updated

March 19th, 2014

2013 Exam included. See Introduction section

Angelo Uncategorized

COPLFR: New Material

March 16th, 2014

I have added 2 new items to the COPLFR section:
-”Additional Material”, which mentions some points that were omitted from the manual
-2010 Q35 (question and solution), which was also omitted

Angelo Uncategorized

Star Ratings

March 11th, 2014

Note from the TIA forum:

The TIA website now allows you to enter star ratings for each video. I would appreciate if you could rate the videos. This way, I can tell which areas people are still struggling with, and create more resources if possible. Thanks!

Angelo Uncategorized