Opinions on exam timeframes

Posted on reddit, figured I might get some reasonable thoughts here.

Looking for opinions on viability of taking 2 exams this year; LTAM and STAM.

Environment: I’ve got the 3 vee’s and first 2 exams from a long time ago/other stuff. I have completed university level courses on most of the material in those two exams more recently (in the last 2 years say). Can’t start studying until about August 1. Also working full time. And finally, middle of the road student.

If I start studying in August, around work/life, is it reasonable that I’d be able to pass those two exams later in the year (October and November I think). Or is the workload not viable.

Most people would find starting to get exam-ready for just LTAM on August first and passing it in Oct/Nov would be extremely tough. The university courses would be a big head start, but enough for 2 exams in the same time frame? Conceivable, but darned unlikely. Old truism: one 6 is much better than two 5’s.

Well, it’s not exactly like I’m Mr. 10’s here so maybe I better pull my horns in.
I’m trying to decide what I want to do for ongoing education post July this year. Maybe get a masters in something. I had a thought that I could wrap up an ASA in 12-15 months, but maybe that’s not possible. And I’m undecided if I want to put 2+ years into finishing requirements for an ASA.

Good luck, whatever you decide. You don’t win if you don’t play. Others may have different opinions, but I’m afraid 2 exams in that timeframe would be too much.

Study for the October exam first, then if you still feel up to it cram for the November exam after you sit for the October exam. That’s not at all doable, but this way you’ll feel like you have a plan and you can abort the plan in October without setting yourself up to fail both exams.

It may not be a win-win situation, but it’ll avoid a fail-fail situation too!

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Why the rush? The exams aren’t going anywhere.

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No rush, other than to get it done. I was leaning towards a masters, but that’ll take me 2 years probably. I thought hey, if I need 4 exams, and 2 I can get in 2020, then I’ll have the education/exam part of the credentials for ASA done by eoy 2021 and that’ll be quicker than a masters. Really not any more deeper thought than that.
It’s still unproven that I can pass exams at all anymore, anyway.

I’ll have to think on ursohn’s point. Maybe study for LTAM because I like the material anyway, then if I do well, continue on, if not, fall back on a masters.

What is the purpose of getting a masters or taking exams?

Personal. I like learning, I like the challenge. It’s a hobby really. No particular career necessity, other than an ASA wouldn’t hurt as I’m in the insurance industry but certainly isn’t required.

Hey, lets run a poll. Which of these credentials do you think I should strive towards?

  • ASA
  • Masters of Math in Teaching
  • Masters of Distance Education

0 voters

Based on the personal learning motivation, will you have the time or interest to do the practical work (i.e. classroom teaching) needed for the Masters in Math Ed?

And…what does a Masters of Distance Education involve?



Both of the masters are online, neither meet the requirements to actually teach in our public school system, and neither have a practical component. I used to do some tutoring in the school system, and I though maybe when I’m older I’d do some tutoring again. That’s why I was originally leaning towards those two options. Both are, imo, ‘easier’ than an ASA.

I don’t think you actually answered the question. You can learn and challenge yourself without paying for the masters or exams so it seems like there is something other than that driving the desire to get a piece of paper at the end. I’m not judging (I have more letters after my name than in it without considering my degrees) but maybe getting a better sense of what it is about the “accomplishment” of obtaining the designation is the real driver will help direct you one way v the other.

So the masters program deferred me because they didn’t have my transcript in time. I’ve decided to get back to soa exams.

Was thinking about doing stam and ifm early next year but looks like stam alone may be enough on my plate. Crazy busy at work, then the forum got dropped on my lap, which is more work than one might think.

Depends. Do you like to teach? Or do you like money?

Lol. Neither one gets me money. There is 0 chance I’m going back to working in a technical actuarial role. I love the material and the challenge but not as work.

Lol, i like both. And now that I’ve earned enough money as an actuary, i can afford to do some teaching.

You can teach exam materials!