Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated 11/01/2023
What is The Actuarial Nexus?
The Actuarial Nexus is an exam prep platform that helps actuarial candidates prepare for the preliminary actuarial exams by removing much of the friction associated with studying. We incorporate engaging features, such as an intuitive design, analytic tools, gamification, social learning and artificial intelligence.
We currently offer study materials for Exam P and Exam FM. Our primary focus is on providing the best experience around practice questions. We also offer written courses for Exam P and Exam FM.
As of July 2023, The Actuarial Nexus is listed as a study resource on the official Society of Actuaries website.
How does pricing work for practice questions?
For Exam P, we follow a freemium model, so you can access up to 60 questions for free. We believe this is a generous amount of free questions, and should be enough for most students to decide whether or not they want to commit to a paid plan.
For Exam FM, Exam SRM, and Exam FAM-S, we imported all the publicly available SOA questions. Most of these questions and solutions are unaltered. Since we did not write these questions, we are hosting them for free. The benefit of using our platform is access to quality-of-life features around the SOA questions.
Between now and December 31, we will be working on building up Exam FM study materials. After December 31, Exam FM will follow the same freemium model as Exam P.
What is a problem set?
A problem set is a collection of practice questions that are grouped together by a commonality. It is a core feature of The Actuarial Nexus. There is no limit to the number of questions that can be added to a problem set. Problem sets can be created through the Linked Syllabus, Quick Start, or Search features.
What is the Linked Syllabus?
The Linked Syllabus is designed for students who prefer a guided approach to learning. The syllabus is organized by topic and follows the objectives outlined in the SOA syllabus verbatim. Each topic contains a list of interactive practice problems that the user can then selectively add to their problem set. For new students, we recommend starting with the Linked Syllabus.
What is Quick Start?
Quick Start gives the user a hands-off approach to creating problem sets, while still allowing for a high level of customization. Quick Start will randomly sample new problem sets from user pre-set configurations. Configurations could target specific difficulty ranges, specific topics, or only new questions.
What is Search?
Search is designed for students who prefer a more targeted approach to learning. Search allows the user to create problem sets by topic, difficulty, solve rate, average solve time, keywords, etc. Problem sets are then created from the search results. We recommend using Search if there are specific questions that you want to practice.
What are Mock Exams?
Mock Exams simulate the real exam experience. Unlike problem sets, solutions will not be revealed until the entire mock exam is finished. Mock exams are also timed and the user is not allowed to pause the exam. Mock exams are designed to be taken in one sitting, but the user can save the exam and come back to it later if absolutely necessary.
Where does the The Actuarial Nexus source questions?
We use a unique process to write questions. We first start with the SOA sample questions. For Exam P and Exam FM, these questions are widely accepted as being representative of the types of questions that will appear on the exam. We then combine multiple AI engines to generate new questions and solutions. All generated solutions are then individually reviewed for accuracy by humans.
What AI features are offered on platform?
- Discussion - The Discussion panel uses a traditional forum-esque comments system, with a slight twist. After posting a top level comment, you will be presented with an Ask AI option. If you select this option, the AI will respond to your comment within a few seconds. If you are not satisfied with the AI's response, you can always re-phrase the question to generate a better outcome.
- AI Tutor - Each problem has a built-in assistant that can answer questions or provide hints about the problem. These conversations are private and are not shared with the community.
- AI Assistant - AI Assistant taps into the power of generative AI to write new exam questions or solutions. This is the tool we used to write most of the solutions and new questions on the platform so far. Visit this page for instructions.
What can I expect with AI?
Students should not expect AI to be 100% accurate. It is well-understood that AI will hallucinate (i.e. respond with factually incorrect statements), and struggles with complex math calculations. While we have taken steps to mitigate the frequency of hallucinations, bringing the occurrence down to 0% is not an easy task.
AI is used as an interpreter rather than a solutions engine. Specifically, when you ask the AI about a question, the AI already knows the correct step-by-step solution. It is not solving the question - rather it is explaining the solution that it already has. This is an important distinction as it reduces the likelihood of hallucinations considerably.
AI is a powerful tool that can help students learn. Compared to traditional instructors, AI is available 24/7, responds immediately, and explains concepts very well. Despite its tendency to hallucinate, AI is still able to provide accurate feedback most of the time with proper prompting.
This is a new technology and is experimental. It is helpful to understand prompting techniques to get the most out of AI.
What analytics are available?
- Pass Prediction (experimental) - Assess your chance to pass based on your relative performance on six metrics.
- Progress Over Time - View your user level, solve rate, attempts, and average solve time over time.
- Questions History - Select from 18 different metrics for each question you have attempted.
- Performance By Topic - View your accuracy and average solve time by topic. Compare your performance against the performance of other users to identify areas of weakness.
- Leaderboard - Measure your performance against the performance of other users.
- Mock Exams - Review a history of your mock exams, including your score, difficulty, and question-by-question performance.
What is a user level?
The user level is a gauge of the user's exam readiness. The exact prediction accuracy of this system is still being calibrated. However, the higher the level, the more likely you are to pass the exam.
The platform implements a binary variation of an ELO rating system, with the binary conditions being correct answer or incorrect answer. Points are added or subtracted to your level, respectively. The amount of points that you gain or lose is determined by the relative difficulty of the problem. For example, a level 6 user who correctly answers a difficulty 10 problem will earn more points than a level 6 user who correctly answers a difficulty 1 problem.
ELO rating systems are commonly used in chess and other competitive games. The ELO rating system is a good fit for our platform because it is designed to measure relative ability. Exam P and FM both have fairly consistent pass rates, implying that to pass, you most perform well relative to your peers.
When does my access begin and end?
Your access becomes available immediately after purchase and lasts for the duration of the purchased cycle. You can view your access period, receipts, and other details in your account settings. You will need to press "activate" for your access to take effect.
How do I receive a refund?
Please e-mail email@example.com to request a refund. Please include your user name and the reason for your refund request. We have the right to refuse your refund if we find that the refund request is not justified.