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Preparing for DB exam this fall


Guest LWilson
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Guest LWilson

I am preparing to take the DB exam this fall.

I am waiting until the last minute to prepare, and will probably be overwhelmed because I am not giving myself enough time to really absorb the information. Is this column still being moderated? I would like to dig up as many cramming resources as I can.

Thanks.

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Hmmm. Your facts do not bode well, as you have admitted that you are ignoring the most basic of all "help": time. Other resources may not be able to make up for that.

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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Guest LWilson

Sigh, I know.

I have been dreading this exam, although I have known since April that I was going to pursue it this fall. I bought all the study materials, the guides, etc., and every time I sat down I just couldn't focus, and yet I know everyone who has taken it said it was the one (among the multiple choice exams) that really threw them for a loop!

Well, I'll just have to plug away the best I can.

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Next best resource is other people with which to study.

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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Guest 401kWorker

Try to get as many old exams as possible, if all you have is the study guide then don't take the practice exam until you have been through the guide a few times. I focused on reading the study guide over and over, then I did the questions over and over. If you take the practice exam and score 80% plus you should pass the exam. You can pass the exams without looking at the Answer Books or additional readings, they do however provide an alternative explanations for difficult topics.

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Guest LWilson

Thanks all! I contacted ASPA and asked if anyone in my area was preparing for DB. No such luck, but they were kind enough to look into it for me. In the meantime, I buckled down this weekend and it wasn't so bad . . .

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Do the reading but don't focus on the minutia (FAS publications). Just grasp the big picture of that stuff. If you are taking it in December, you have plenty of time! Make sure you focus on everything in the study guide. 95% of the test comes from that stuff.

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If you have old exams, it also helps to take a practice exam, under timed conditions.

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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If you can get old exams, they are worth looking at but won't be particularly helpful as a practice test because there aren't that many questions and they are all essay or short answer. The relevance of the the time factor is basically a function of how well you know the material, and how well you can organize your thoughts. Essay writing for 2 hours straight does little for practice except give you a real sore hand!

Some day you'll be allowed to use a computer but for now its paper, pencil, and writer's cramp.

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Take the weekend course in November. I didn't take it for this test, but did for C-3 and was really impressed. You do need to get through all the material beforehand, but it helped me focus on what to expect from the test & also helped me find my weak spots.

Good luck!

Sue

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  • 2 weeks later...

LWilson are you taking the C2-DB exam this fall?

If you are you will find that it is all on the computer thus no writers cramp.

The exam window is the month of November. Thus by preregistering early you can pick the day in November you would like to take the exam.

You will also know if you passed or failed when you complete the exam.

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OOPS.

My apologies to LWilson et al. My comments about writers cramp and the short answer test were about C-3, not C-2(DB). C-2(DB) and C-2 (DC) have been multiple choice and available on computer for some time. C-3 and C-4 are essay/short answer and paper and pencil only. Sorry for any confusion. But my comments about skimming the FAS#87/FAS#88/FAS#132 minutia were relevant to C-2(DB). That stuff you just need to know the cost elements and the big picture on.

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