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  #1  
Old 08-05-2018, 03:29 PM
autobot autobot is offline
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Default FA attempt #4

Hi,

I'm retaking the CDEF FA for the 4th attempt next weekend. Comments from the graders were:
1st attempt: Fix all tasks
2nd attempt: Fix #2 and 3
3rd attempt: Fix #5 and 6

I had slightly tweaked #5 and 6 for my most recent submission, but I obviously tweaked them in the wrong direction. I'm looking for suggestions on how to improve both.

Task 5 - For my most recent attempt, I had used a lot of bullets points, just like I did for #1-4. I think the main thing I need to do here is convert it to a paragraph format to make it look more formal. With the bullet format, I had 1 page executive summary, 3.5 pages of intro, data/assumptions/model, and analysis and 1/2 page of a conclusion. I also had 3 pages of appendices.

Task 6 - I'm struggling to know what to fix on this one. I had an intro, table to compare actual vs expected (5 items analyzed), assumption changes, effects, recommended reports, and a brief conclusion. I touched on 3 assumption changes and 4 reports. I also had 2 pages of appendix showing analysis.

Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do to MMR this time around?

Also, do you think since #5 and 6 were mentioned on my most recent attempt that perhaps I have pleased the graders on the first 4 tasks?

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by autobot; 08-05-2018 at 03:35 PM..
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2018, 04:23 PM
recyclops recyclops is offline
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Quoting myself quoting CrispyCobb in a thread earlier this year:


I failed task 5 twice before passing. The best advice I saw on the AO was right here:

There is a pdf in module 4 that has very specific, excellent guidance on memos. People MMR with all sorts of suggestions/risk metrics/asset class recommendations/etc. I think the writing style, including format, is the single most important thing.

Thank you to CrispyCobb!

It's in this thread:

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=329734
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:19 PM
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hard to say based on that short summary, but have you considered paying the soa for the feedback?

I have a feeling that my task 5 wasn't good even though I passed since everything people said was important, I did the opposite, so I hesitate to give advice on that one. I think that task 5 is basically a writing exercise though more than anything, so CrispyCobb's advice is probably good. There was a lot in that module talking specifically about writing style.

my task 6 was pretty short at less than 3 pages total. I didn't have an appendix. what assumptions did you discuss showing actual vs expected? maybe you missed one. I don't think there is a big secret to passing task 6 though. you are probably missing something simple. it was the easiest task imo. thus maybe paying for feedback would help.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:37 PM
ashley7491 ashley7491 is offline
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Definitely hard to say what needs to be fixed without reading your FA. I would definitely read the pdf that recyclops is referring to. That should really help with task 5. For task 6 maybe you have too much? I only had 1 page (maybe I didn't pass task 6, but I passed the other tasks). I don't remember the question now, but I remember it seemed easy and straight forward. I second ao fan on paying for the feedback. I've heard the feedback is actually beneficial from those who have done it. I would also caution you on thinking that your other 4 tasks are good. You will likely have a different grader that may think otherwise. If you do the feedback, they might say what (if anything) needs to be improved upon in those 4 tasks as well.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:02 PM
fastcount fastcount is offline
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I passed my FA on 4th attempt. After the 2nd attempt, I paid for the feedback. And then I failed on my 3rd try. Then I got into a lengthy email argument about why I failed, so they got some comments for me from the graders that graded my 3rd attempt, and all I can say is f--- them! Their comments, lot of them were in direct contradiction to the feedback I got after my 2nd attempt. It just goes to say that it really depends on who your marker is.

To make matters even worse, on my 1st attempt, I worked with a buddy, the contents of our FAs was identical, we just put it into our own words, he passed on his first try, whereas mine wasn't good enough until my 4th attempt. All the ways that I had to correct my FA would've applied to my friend's 1st attempt submission.

Honestly, the SOA is an utter joke! Do they really think writing reports about bogus problems is going to make us better actuaries? Not a chance! I've forgotten what it is I did for FA, or what I read in the FAP. In fact, I didn't even read it, I just clicked through the slides, same with the FSA modules.

There's someone in my department who just got his ASA, he's like 45 years old, but while he didn't have his ASA, the guy was running our pricing team, and our pricing portfolio would fall apart without him. Did the SOA have anything to do with his development? Of course not!

The SOA is clueless!
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastcount View Post
I passed my FA on 4th attempt. After the 2nd attempt, I paid for the feedback. And then I failed on my 3rd try. Then I got into a lengthy email argument about why I failed, so they got some comments for me from the graders that graded my 3rd attempt, and all I can say is f--- them! Their comments, lot of them were in direct contradiction to the feedback I got after my 2nd attempt. It just goes to say that it really depends on who your marker is.

To make matters even worse, on my 1st attempt, I worked with a buddy, the contents of our FAs was identical, we just put it into our own words, he passed on his first try, whereas mine wasn't good enough until my 4th attempt. All the ways that I had to correct my FA would've applied to my friend's 1st attempt submission.

Honestly, the SOA is an utter joke! Do they really think writing reports about bogus problems is going to make us better actuaries? Not a chance! I've forgotten what it is I did for FA, or what I read in the FAP. In fact, I didn't even read it, I just clicked through the slides, same with the FSA modules.

There's someone in my department who just got his ASA, he's like 45 years old, but while he didn't have his ASA, the guy was running our pricing team, and our pricing portfolio would fall apart without him. Did the SOA have anything to do with his development? Of course not!

The SOA is clueless!
i have opinions on this, but you should start a thread about this rather than put it in here where the o.p. is asking for help, not a rant.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:24 PM
autobot autobot is offline
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Thanks for the responses guys.

I did pay for the feedback but am at 6 of 8 weeks of waiting. Due to some personal time restrictions, I needed to get it done this weekend and wasn't able to wait any longer.

For task 6 I discussed changing the tuition inflation, workforce growth rate, and reducing the attrition rate.

It was about 1.5 pages with 2 pages of appendix, which showed expected vs. actual and the % change between various other assumptions not mentioned in the Memo itself.
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