Exam SDM Spring 2021

Exam SDM, let’s do this thing! This exam is MUCH different than any of the other exams you’re likely to face. More qualitative, more explanations, more recommendations. My biggest tip: write your recommendations and explanations like you are writing to an email to your bosses boss. Not generic lists, not recited lines from the text, but real answer to specific problems laid out by the exam question.

So, with that said, let’s get studying! Let me know if you have any questions. You can do this!

Paul from PAK

This exam is so qualitative and broad. Do we really be expected to memorize most of the material? I miss ERM and CFE now. :frowning:

Yes, SDM is by far the most qualitative exam you’ll probably face in your actuarial exam career. You do need to approach it a bit differently, because there will be a lot of the exam that has zero numbers associated with them.

Luckily, the SOA has sort of tried to get away from the “Memorize a list and recite it” types of questions. Now, I saw that with a caveat - the SOA can ask up literally anything, so in a perfect world, we would have everything memorized. But it is more important to understand the concepts and know how to apply them in “real-world situations.” The Recommend and Justify type questions are going to be very important on this exam, and for those, it is better to have a good grasp of the concepts and ideas than it is to just do rote memorization of lists.

All that said, it is hard AND important to keep all this stuff in your mind, so you should be refreshing your memory quite a bit more than you did with ERM and CFE. In those exams, practice problems helped, but with SDM, each week you should review prior materials, even if just briefly. Qualitative information seems to fade from our brains quicker than quantitative information, so circle back to old stuff frequently.

1 Like