Exam day tips

Congratulations. You’ve made it to the final week of your exam prep. It’ll be over soon. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you approach the big day.

Get a good night’s sleep before the exam. Six hours of writing requires energy and focus.

Use your 15-minute read-through time wisely. Look at every question. Make a mental note of questions that you know you know. You’ll want to be sure you get to all of those, especially toward the end.

Know the time. It is very easy to lose track of time on exam day. Time management is critical to passing, however. Routinely look at the clock, or make a note of the time at which you need to move on for each question. For example, for a 5-point question, add 15 minutes to the current time, and write that at the top of the exam question page.

Relax. There will be parts of questions that you don’t know or seem difficult. You do not need to answer every question perfectly. Do your best, then move on. Don’t waste too much time on questions that seem hard. You’ll want to spend that time on questions you know.

Answer every question. Even if you are totally clueless, write down something. No one ever got any points for white space.

Be easy on the grader. Clearly write the number of each question (or sub-question) at the top of the page. Write in lists. Write legibly. Write out formulas. Write out acronyms that the grader may not know.

Be positive throughout the exam. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Don’t get discouraged if you encounter several difficult questions in a row. Remember that everyone is taking the same exam.

Focus on each question. Block out thoughts about past questions while you’re working on a question. However, if an answer pops into your head about a previous question, it’s ok to jump back and write a little more. Just keep up with the time!

Good luck. It’ll be over soon!

Solution to SOA exams

As you may have seen, I have been posting video solutions to the past SOA exams. I have now posted video solutions for the 2007=2010 exams.

For each exam, there is an overall summary which shows how many points are assigned to each problem and what part of the syllabus is used to answer each question. I have also included a video solution for each problem which includes a description of how to perform any calculations.

I hope these are helpful as you finish the last few weeks leading up to the exam.

Good luck!