Spring 2021 Exam 7 Advice

Many candidates would like some advice on the following topics while they await their current Exam results.

Please feel free to ask additional questions, but let’s avoid bringing up specific syllabus topics for the time being.

  • Suggestions/insights on various Study Guides
  • Recommended paper to read first (sequence can be done later). (For the moment, please avoid specifying any particular chapter/section for texts that have multiple chapters/sections.)

Thanks VA!

For the prior 7 takers, IF I were considering starting up study for this in the Spring, where’s a good place to start? Source vs Guide, and if Source, which paper?

-Your friendly neighborhood Sedative

I used the Casual Fellow/Rising Fellow material for 7 and really liked it. Personally I’d recommend starting with the CF study guides and videos as they’re a good overview of the material (but I also typically don’t read source material until the end).

Follow-up and probably more important question:
7 or 8 first given that 8 is making a one-time appearance in the Spring??

Assuming you haven’t taken either yet, I’d recommend 7 over 8 just because of timing (i.e. if you pass 8 in the spring you’d have to wait a year before you could sit for 7).

I agree with taking 7 first simply on the basis of exam timing strategy.

In terms of content, I liked 8 a lot relative to 7. It is arguably the hardest upper to pass on a pass rate basis alone, but I found it easier to study for than 7 due to my anti-reserving bias. That said maybe save your dessert for last? :slight_smile:

Hmmm. That is where I initially was. However, the prospect of immediately being done with fall exams FOREVER is super tempting, even if it necessarily extends the potential date of being done with everything.

Tell me about it. I passed 8 last Fall and still had 7/9 to go, thus I lightly celebrated being done with Fall exams and here we are me taking an exam in the Fall! In fact this is great ammunition for the make up a conspiracy thread…

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Oof! That sucks. I physically cringed at how disappointing I imagine that was. So, basically, take 7 cuz shit happens and you might as well plan for the long haul anyway.

Yeah uppers are a bit of a journey. I know a few people who had great success pre uppers and have since had a spot of bother

I will add to this that whichever exam you think you will like the most, save for last. I struggled mightily out of the gates (each time I started studying again) due to my disdain for this material and it may be the difference between a pass and a fail as I’m cruising now. In comparison, I loved 8’s material and cruised through it, studying wise, from start to finish. 9 was also fairly enjoyable for me with the exception of some of Section D.

Just know that it sucks when you’re close but you hate what you have to study :slight_smile:

I used solely TIA and past exams/examiner’s reports and I thought they did a great job of preparing me. If you want to get a head start with the source, look at Brosius.

Order for 7-9 really just depends on what you want to take. In my opinion, 9 is quite a bit easier than either 7 or 8. I found 8 the most interesting, followed by 7, then 9.

I think I’m leaning towards ‘7 sounds the grossest, so that one first’.

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Oh dear god it’s an actual like photocopy PDF?! I think my eyes immediately started bleeding.

Lol, wow. I never read the actual source since I just used TIA. If you want a different source paper to start on that might not look totally terrible, Hurlimann is probably good.

I would say the best written papers are probably Shapland and Taylor, but you need to know something about basic chain ladder and other reserving techniques before you can fully grasp them.

As much as it sucks, reading Mack 2000, Hurlimann, and Brosius are the best way to get a head start on the exam.

I took both 7 and 8 this sitting, and coming out feeling a little worse about the 8. I liked the 7 material a little better than 8 but it could simply be my “anti-pricing” bias. :rofl:

Reading 8 material and doing the practice questions gave me the illusion that it’s easy while the actual exam never failed to surprise me (twice in a row now).

When I was studying for 8 I did all the past exams 2011-2018 and sat for the 2019 one. It’s ridiculous how much harder 2018/2019 were than 2011-2017.

Yeah I stopped doing roughly pre-2015 problems because it’s just not the same.