Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Attempt at The SOA Exam P

** If you came here in search of SOA exam books or similar PDF files, you'll be sorely disappointed... This is just an account of how I prepared for my exam and how it went.**

After a couple of months of poring over that behemoth of a book, I sat for the exam this past Thursday.

My Weapons in My Battle Against Probability © Osama Sidat

The SOA/CAS Exam P/1, best known as the "Probability" exam in ActSci circles... was the first of the preliminary papers towards me becoming an ASA (Associate of the SOA)...

Exam P is definitely a tough cookie to crack. The practice problems themselves were quite troublesome, and even then, I would highly disagree with the sentence that was place at the beginning of the "Practice Exams Section" of the book... "Note that some of the questions on these practice exams are somewhat more challenging than the typical exam questions."

Exam was scheduled to be after midday... For some unknown reason, my nerves are never too good when it comes to afternoon exams... I'm fine with morning exams, but afternoon ones make me a lot more nervous than usual... Add to that the fact that the exam center security is as if I am going to meet a VIP or something!

Anyways, best thing was I didn't have to wait for too long for the exam to start (very unlike CIE exams)... I was led to a computer, given scrap paper and told that the exam would end when the timer hit zero (duh!).

Probably one of the most nerve-wracking exams I've had so far. For those who don't know, the exam contains 30 MCQs. One would think that three hours would be more than enough... But Nooo! Each question seemed crazier than the last! There were questions for which I had absolutely no clue where to start off! And then there were questions for which the answers came way too easily... makes you suspect foul play!

One minute remaining, I had 5 unanswered questions to go... Questions I had skipped past by, since I had no clue how to make head or tail of them. I had forced my way through the rest of the 25, and could only be really sure about 50% of my answers. In any case, in the last minute, I chose the 5 answers (for the incomplete ones) that "looked" best!

The exam time ended... In great trepidation, I expected the next screen to pop up with the bad news... something like those annoying scratch cards, "Sorry, Try Again"... only to face a stupid survey about how I liked the exam and how nice I found the exam center... Another 14 (stupid) questions that I rushed through, anxious to get to the end...

And finally, there it came! Screen popped up, "Congratulations! A preliminary analysis of your test results shows that you were successful in achieving the passing score..." blah, blah, blah! Alhamdolillah, I had cleared it!

So ends the story of the Probability Exam, at least at my end. Official results will come out in 8 weeks, dunno if they include scores of some sort... hope they do... I want to know how close I was to the brink...

Now... I've got little/nothing to do! Have to begin a search for residence... but I'm feeling lazy and not doing much except playing Call of Duty!

I saw my blog today after a long time of absence, haven't written anything since my last post about the lunar eclipse. I know I won't be a regular poster (unlike the early days of the blog)... but I'll try and drop in now and again!

Until next time...


  1. That seemed like one painful exam to go through! I must admit, 30 MCQ's seem so easy at first, but somehow they always turn out to be harder than questions which you have to do some writing about! Anyways, Best of Luck for your Final Results! All the Best!

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