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How to pass the exams - an online workshop

This workshop is designed to help you appreciate what is required to pass an exam by looking at a completed exam script through the eyes of an examiner

This workshop is based on a number of similar sessions which have been delivered to actuarial students.

Start by doing the marking exercise. This includes:

  • a typical exam question
  • the marking schedule for this question
  • a sample student solution (typical of solutions seen during exam counselling)
  • a sheet to record your marking and observations

These examples are based on a CT2 exam question, but the subject used here is incidental to the key messages of this exercise.

Part 1: Study the exam question and the marking schedule and then mark the sample solution

This should take you about 30 minutes. You need to have a clear understanding on what has gone wrong with the sample student's approach. Fill in your marks and observations on the marking sheet.

You may prefer to do this exercise in discussion with fellow students.

Part 2: Download the sample solution with the examiner's marks and comments

Compare your marks and comments with the examiner's version

Key messages of this exercise

Knowing and understanding all the bookwork and finishing the course and assignments are crucially important in preparing for the exam. But the exercise you just finished proves that this is not enough to guarantee success.

The key characteristics of a successful candidate are the ability to:

  • apply knowledge to specific scenarios
  • plan and brainstorm ideas before writing answers
  • include the basic points appropriately.

In order to pass, you have to demonstrate that you are fit to proceed and assume professional responsibilities.

An exam technique which can work well is to treat each question as if it were raised in a meeting with a client (internal or external)

In this situation, it is important to:

  • address the question asked and frame the answer appropriately for the audience (including the basic points)
  • use what you know and respond with confidence

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Contact Details

Education Services Team

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 01865 268207

We aim to respond to all enquiries within two working days.