Spring 2021 CAS Exam 9 Thread

For me - this description sounds like a pretty big reason to go against TIA haha. When you’re paying $1195 (even though it is often times your company’s money), you should be getting a product that is significantly better than the competitors.

So for Exam 6 - I can echo that I fell asleep during the videos a few times and found them useless. The practice problems were all just previous exam problems, and those are accessible anywhere. So the benefits I am paying $1195 for, are essentially a study manual, flashcards, and practice exams. Many other competitors can offer that exact same package for a cheaper rate.

I would argue RF offers a product that clearly differentiates itself in the Cookbook that is worth purchasing. The CC package offers, in my opinion, a more easily understandable manual with more challenging practice exams - for like 25% of the cost if my memory serves me right (so my employer would have no problem purchasing CC + RF), and very useful unique examples/practice problems that help in understanding the material.

CF/RF as an alternative option, is a similar price to TIA (factoring in the Cookbook as an add-on you’d probably get with TIA anyways), and you get the benefit of useful video lessons to help you along the way with unique examples, flashcards, a more easily understandable manual, and practice exams.

So to me it was a matter of choosing a tangibly better product, and in some cases cheaper product, vs sticking with the “TIA Routine.”


That makes a lot of sense. I wasn’t thinking about the cost at all.

My mindset has been more along the lines of “TIA works for me very well, so I don’t want to explore anything else”. I have heard good things about CC + RF, but at the same time I want to at least voice my opinion that TIA has worked very well for me so that if someone likes the TIA format then they shouldn’t feel like they have to get CC + RF because people say “TIA is bad”.

TIA is okay. It doesn’t add much value beyond the basic understanding of each text. RF presents clear pictures how to approach some of the more challenging sections of the syllabus. While CC has extremely challenging questions and makes you rethink aspects of the syllabus.

I honestly think there is no good manual though. The way the questions are so bloomsy now, it’s very hard to prepare for that. How the CAS finds angles where no one has really thought of before is very annoying.

The goddamn mortgage question from 2019 still gives me nightmares.

Which question was the mortgage question? I want to take a look so as not to be shocked when I eventually attempt the 2019 exam.

Yeah 2019 those three qs weren’t really on the syllabus. The CAS continues to make exam 9 very challenging.

I studied for 2.5 years over 1500 hours and its like I can’t study any more. Maybe I am just not smart enough to pass exam 9… very frustrating. Feel like they are testing IQ and not the material.

Number 9. Shuddered just looking at it again.

Honestly if you’re going to do 2019 as a PE I would save it so you can practice adapting on the fly, since these crazy questions seem to be the norm.

For completeness, I’d credit the TIA forums and instructor responses as a feature in this list (though it doesn’t tip the scale for me and I doubt it would for you either).

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I might be in the minority here, but I think the mortgage question was fair. You should be familiar with tranches and how they interact, and I believe the wording in the problem provided enough information to tackle it. The CAS really likes to ask questions that are new and haven’t been asked before but for the most part these questions aren’t too bad if you really understand all the underlying material and haven’t just memorized all the past problems.

I disagree with you here. Because 90% of the people would not be able to do that problem unless they practiced a few types of that problem beforehand.

CMOs are only discussed briefly in BKM and Coval, and never with an example.

Sure the syllabus objectives say you need to know about CMOs. But how are you supposed to know how to calculate it in detail when it is not explained in any source reading.

The short, mid, and long terms are not explained. The prepayment isn’t explained.

Based on the tranches in Coval and how the senior/junior interact I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to realize first the prinicpal payments will exhaust the short term tranche, then intermediate, then long term. Also the question explicitly says how to treat the prepayment.

I completely agree, prepayment and short, mid, long are not clear. How do you know that each gets interest and short, mid, long refers to principal only.

And how are you supposed to know how the interest interacts with the principle.

I bet you your tune would be different if you took the exam with me and Skol back then. Seeing the problem now and saying oh that’s not so bad… is not fair.

The interest works like any other loan. Since you have monthly payments, you can assume interest accrues monthly. First the payment will exhaust any interest accumulated in the month, then the rest of the payment will go to the principal.

You may be correct that the fact I didn’t take it in an actual exam is influencing my perspective though.

Can you tell me what type of loan is like that on the syllabus? I don’t believe mortgages are tested.

If you have a house with a mortgage you probably had at least a shot of understanding how the principle and interest works.