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  #11  
Old 03-04-2020, 10:06 AM
Life Life is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambroselo View Post
I heard that there might be close to 2,000 candidates taking the exam in December
I guess the exam is becoming more finalized/predictable, so more people are taking it.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2020, 09:53 AM
ActuaryStudent22 ActuaryStudent22 is offline
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In the solution for the December 2018 exam we use a decision tree to predict the number of injuries using the offset "EMP_HRS_TOTAL/2000". We accomplished this with the following code:

tree.reduced <- rpart(cbind(EMP_HRS_TOTAL/2000, NUM_INJURIES) ~ . - EMP_HRS_TOTAL,
data = train,
method = "poisson",
control = rpart.control(minbucket = 25,
cp = 0,
maxdepth = 10))

We see that we can incorporate offsets for decision trees with the code:

cbind(EMP_HRS_TOTAL/2000, NUM_INJURIES).

How can we incorporate offsets using random forest or xgbTree with caret?
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2020, 02:00 PM
ambroselo ambroselo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Life View Post
I guess the exam is becoming more finalized/predictable, so more people are taking it.
The SOA has released the exam statistics. There were 2048 candidates and the pass % was 53.6%.

Last edited by ambroselo; 03-23-2020 at 12:05 AM.. Reason: link fixed
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2020, 05:55 PM
windows7forever windows7forever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambroselo View Post
Every purchase of the ACTEX PA manual already comes with Pass Guarantee. The product you mentioned is separate from the ACTEX manual, but there is a bundle available for sale.
Your manual is great. I often typed faster than what the keyboard displayed on my exam computer.

My issue was that I did not finish the whole exam, especially the business decision making problems 10 and 11 (worth 22 points). If I had something reasonably done on those two questions, then that would help me write a complete Executive Summary (>=6 instead of 4). I passed all other questions regardless of R output I got on the exam (right or wrong). Also I got 10 on five questions.

Do you think your manual is sufficient to prepare students for the exam without purchasing the bundle of expensive video lessons and online webinars?

Thanks again.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:14 PM
ambroselo ambroselo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windows7forever View Post
Your manual is great. I often typed faster than what the keyboard displayed on my exam computer.

My issue was that I did not finish the whole exam, especially the business decision making problems 10 and 11 (worth 22 points). If I had something reasonably done on those two questions, then that would help me write a complete Executive Summary (>=6 instead of 4). I passed all other questions regardless of R output I got on the exam (right or wrong). Also I got 10 on five questions.
It seems that the thing that got in your way is not the understanding of the predictive analytics concepts tested on the exam (which the manual has adequately covered), but time management or execution. You may want to use the Dec 2019 exam and the two sample exams (to be released) that come with the ACTEX manual for practice.
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  #16  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:29 PM
AlexH AlexH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windows7forever View Post
Your manual is great. I often typed faster than what the keyboard displayed on my exam computer.

My issue was that I did not finish the whole exam, especially the business decision making problems 10 and 11 (worth 22 points). If I had something reasonably done on those two questions, then that would help me write a complete Executive Summary (>=6 instead of 4). I passed all other questions regardless of R output I got on the exam (right or wrong). Also I got 10 on five questions.

Do you think your manual is sufficient to prepare students for the exam without purchasing the bundle of expensive video lessons and online webinars?

Thanks again.
Hey there, I'd also add to Ambrose's reply:

Everybody learns in a different way, and that's why we've pushed to partner with ACTEX - we don't want students to have to choose between a traditional text or a more visual learning experience. Since you already have the manual, if you call the bookstore, you can get upgraded to the PP/ACTEX bundle and receive a discount.

2 important things I'd call out:

1. If you're struggling with the business context (interpretation, implications, and communication), then you've certainly come to the right place! Richard and I are both at the Wharton Business School, and this is precisely the lens we view everything from - the videos will prove quite helpful!

2. The cost of having to take the exam again, as well as lost productivity at work from taking study hours and/or implications of not passing far outweigh the price of these materials

Hope that helps!

Regards,
Alex from Predictive Partners
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  #17  
Old 03-07-2020, 09:12 PM
windows7forever windows7forever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexH View Post
Hey there, I'd also add to Ambrose's reply:

Everybody learns in a different way, and that's why we've pushed to partner with ACTEX - we don't want students to have to choose between a traditional text or a more visual learning experience. Since you already have the manual, if you call the bookstore, you can get upgraded to the PP/ACTEX bundle and receive a discount.

2 important things I'd call out:

1. If you're struggling with the business context (interpretation, implications, and communication), then you've certainly come to the right place! Richard and I are both at the Wharton Business School, and this is precisely the lens we view everything from - the videos will prove quite helpful!

2. The cost of having to take the exam again, as well as lost productivity at work from taking study hours and/or implications of not passing far outweigh the price of these materials

Hope that helps!

Regards,
Alex from Predictive Partners
What kind of discount can we get if we already have bought ACTEX manual last year?

Also, I have not used any online seminar due to its high expense on other preliminary exams in the past. I certainly want to pass the exam in June so I can move on to FSA exam study this fall.

My struggle on problems 10 and 11, especially the marketing issue was the lack of time. I only spent about 20 minutes on those two questions close to the end of the exam include the discussion of them in executive summary.

Thanks.
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2020, 09:35 PM
AlexH AlexH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windows7forever View Post
What kind of discount can we get if we already have bought ACTEX manual last year?

Also, I have not used any online seminar due to its high expense on other preliminary exams in the past. I certainly want to pass the exam in June so I can move on to FSA exam study this fall.

My struggle on problems 10 and 11, especially the marketing issue was the lack of time. I only spent about 20 minutes on those two questions close to the end of the exam include the discussion of them in executive summary.

Thanks.
There is an explicit $50 discount, on top of the already included discount from purchasing the bundle.

This exam is quite different from all the other prelims. The video series is designed with this increased ambiguity and emphasis on communication in mind.

If you have more questions, feel free to message me directly so we don't take over the ACTEX thread.

Alex
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Predictive Partners
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2020, 10:27 PM
ambroselo ambroselo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windows7forever View Post
My struggle on problems 10 and 11, especially the marketing issue was the lack of time. I only spent about 20 minutes on those two questions close to the end of the exam include the discussion of them in executive summary.

Thanks.
Instead of getting the earlier tasks "perfectly" done, it is wiser to keep the time limit firmly in mind and have something "reasonably" done for each task. In Task 1 of the Dec 2019 exam, for example, instead of making all the possible data adjustments and exploring the distribution of each variable/pair of variables, it makes more sense to perform the most salient data cleaning steps and describe the characteristics of the key variables. At 12 points it should translate to about 36 min of work, so if you have spent 45 min, you know you have to move on. Provided that you explain your thoughts clearly, you may be able to get most of the points in later tasks even if the output you get sounds weird.

Both tasks 10 and 11 of the Dec 2019 exam are very similar to the probability-based interpretation and the selection of cutoff tested/illustrated in the Hospital Readmissions sample project, so the importance of studying past exam projects carefully cannot be overstated.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2020, 08:42 AM
AlBuloushi AlBuloushi is offline
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Hello Ambrose,

Thanks for spending the time to answer questions.
You mention in the study manual that without prior SRM knowledge, at least 3 months are required to study for this exam.

Typically, in the previous exams I would leave about a month prior to the exam for practicing questions and exams. Do you recommend the same method for this exam? This exam is a little different from the typical exam where there is a vast number of questions and practice exams, while in PA there are only limited a number of case studies available to practice from.

I'm planning to take the exam in June, so I need to plan my study time efficiently, so I would appreciate your 2 cents on this.

Thanks!
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