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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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New Year, new study plan

After a month of Christmas parties, stuffing our faces with mince pies and the obviously inadequate hour or two of studying we managed, students can be forgiven for finding the thought of getting back to some serious studying deflating. What better way, then, to make these cold months before April more tolerable than to make a few promises that you just won’t keep?

Here are a few of the resolutions I’m going to make this year, in the spirit of self-improvement.

1. Do some studying in the evenings after work, not just on study days
Expected to face serious pressure when Dancing on Ice – sorry, The Apprentice – returns to the telly.

2. Go to tutorials having done the reading
Likely to result in looking at the chapter summaries on the train beforehand and the judicious evasion of the tutor’s pointed questions.

3. Submit assignments to the recommended deadline, rather than the final deadline
Clearly ludicrous.

4. Discuss exam progress with colleagues in an open and transparent manner, and offer to meet with them to study and discuss ideas collaboratively
Avoid the water cooler at all cost, jealously guard any understanding of topics you’ve barely managed to read and deliberately say the mock exam was much easier than it actually was.

5. Submit exam entry form at least one month before the deadline
Submit exam entry form at least five minutes before the deadline.*

6. No cramming outside the exam hall this year
Realise that everyone else is doing it and panic that you better do it as well – for good luck if nothing else.

7. Be patient: CT exam results won’t be on the website till 10pm
Click ‘refresh’ 3 times a second × 60 seconds a minute × 60 minutes an hour × 3 hours = 32,400 times, while weeping uncontrollably.

8. Celebrate exam results with a refined, elegant dinner followed by an evening at the theatre
Go to the pub on the Friday at lunchtime, down 10 pints, dance with all the rhythm of Jedward and slur an insult at your firm’s Chief Exec.

9. Invest payrise prudently, for example increasing contributions to the company pension scheme, or buying equities to exploit the upswing in the markets as the recession turns to recovery
Invest payrise prudently, for example bankrolling company ‘curry night’. (Confer 8.)

10. Finally: submit student page in a timely fashion each month
You’ll just have to wait and see how that one pans out...

*Seriously though, this really does make life difficult for the Profession, so please submit as early as possible.

Happy new year!
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Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions for studying that you don’t stick to? Let us know by emailing studentpage@theactuary.org.uk

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