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Separate message boards for each of the ASPA certification courses, so

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Ray -- what do you (or others) think of this idea? This was suggested to me by a very bright lady via email.

We could make "Continuing Professional Association" be a "category" of message boards; turn this one into "General" and then create others for each ASPA certification course, and maybe other courses from other programs.


"Exams are structured as a self-study program. Every exam has

a study-guide that states the required reading (usually Pension

Answer Book and the ERISA Outline Book). Outlines the topic,

reviews key concepts, and has review questions / examples.

However, the answers provided are not always that easy to understand.

Also, there are old exams available with answer key and the study

guide chapter that it pertains to, but again the answers are not

explained and may not be easy to understand if a calculation is required.

So maybe what would be a good approach is a message board by

exam name (ie, ASPA C4, ASPA C1, etc.) Then the posted topic could be

each study guide chapter (ie, Chap 1, IRC 414). This way you would not have

to read all the questions for each exam.

ASPA C1 - Administrative & Qualification Issues

ASPA C2 (DB) - Administrative Issues of Defined Benefit Plans

ASPA C2 (DC) - Administrative Issues of Defined Contribution Plans

ASPA C3 - Financial and Fiduciary Aspects of Qualified Plans

ASPA C4 - Advanced Retirement Plan Consulting"

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Guest Ray Williams

Dave- sounds like a good idea. ASPA is doing something similar, although it is charging for the service( Lorraine I believe will comment on ASPA's program).I would be happy to moderate, however it would not necessarily be for content since I am not qualified in several of the areas.

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ASPA will be offering 2 test "Virtual Study Groups" this semester with the idea of offering more in future semesters.

A "Virtual Study Group" is a group of 25 or so students plus a facilitator. The faciliator will send the students a schedule of topics to be discussed each week (generally by chapters of the ASPA course material). The students will "meet" online and discuss the topics, asking questions and answering questions of other students. The faciliator will monitor the discussions and jump in occasionally with comments or help as needed. Since this is a somewhat formal and organized study group (schedules, lesson plans) with a facilitator, study group registration will be limited and ASPA will charge students a fee. (I will be the faciliator of the the C-2DC study group.)

Your proposed message boards would be a lot more informal than ASPA's virtual study groups. I think there is room for both formal and informal study groups since students have different study patterns and different ability to work online.

ASPA is giving its organized approach a try this semester. I think it would great to try an informal approach like the one you suggest.

I'd be glad to be on call as an "ASPA person" for questions regarding which exam to take first, what each exam covers, who to contact at ASPA and so on for the study groups. (I'd also like to take a look at the activity on your informal online study group and compare it to the formal ASPA virtual study group I will be facilitating.)

Go for it!

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Where can I get more information about the Virtual Study Groups? I have four administrators in my company studying for the C-1 exam in June and I am running the study group since I already have my QPA designation. A virtual study group may make my life a little easier since I'm also studying for the HW-1 exam.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest David Dye

Any plans for an informal discussion group based on NIPA's 6 exams for the APA designation?

[This message has been edited by David Dye (edited 04-07-99).]

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