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Exam FM formula tips

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Advice will vary, but assuming you are using Coaching Actuaries, what worked for me was:

Going through the material, doing example problems.

Making a "handmade note packet" of formulas after going through the material.

I do this after for two reasons. One, some formulas become pointless to write down because you've used them so much. Two, the CA formula sheet misses some of the "intermediary formulas" I find helpful when solving problems.

Drill quizzes with formula packet. I'm not afraid to use it because it's better than being stuck and just looking at the answer.

I did this for both P and FM. Over time, I'd use the note packet less and less as I  became more comfortable solving problems. It also still serves as a reference for memorizing closer to the test.
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Honestly, just do enough problems and you'll memorize most of the formulas you'll need for the exam. If you're not using CA's Adapt, I suggest you at least get that because it gives you a good idea of the distribution of the questions on the actual exam. I personally skipped some formulas if the problem only shows up a few times over several entire practice exams. That's been my strategy for all the prelim exams and was lucky enough to pass all of them on the 1st attempt. A bit risky but I personally couldn't memorize all the formulas, especially for the later exams.

For the calculator, I suggest using it as you feel comfortable. I think I was more comfortable using the formulas half the time, so that's what I did. Definitely try to use it for amortization stuff if that's still on the exam since it will save you time.
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The section that I was weakest in was def determinant of interest rates. As others have said, do lots of practice problems and you’ll eventually know the formulas well enough.  I did 800 ish for FM and the exam felt super easy. If you do 600+ questions I assure you that you will pass. Don’t focus on memorizing formulas right now, it’s a waste of time. Get through the material asap and just grind problems.
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As other people have said, don’t worry about memorizing formulas yet. I recommend trying to make a good Summary sheet for each section (or subsection or whatever you prefer) and letting yourself use that during Quizzes / Exams as you start practicing. After time, you will naturally memorize formulas and not need to refer to your Summary sheets as much. So, I wouldn’t worry about trying to brute memorize formulas until maybe a week before the exam if you still don’t have some key ones down.

When it comes to the financial calculator, I suggest you get familiar with the process for Present Value and Accumulated Value of annuities. For a while in practice problems I used the formulas and trust me it’s quicker to type a few numbers in the calculator. I also liked using the calculator for those Cash Flow problems where you have varying cash flows at different times and you had to find the IRR or whatever it’s called.

Keep trying lots of practice problems, you got this!!
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I didn’t spend any time memorizing formulas for FM. I just did assloads of practice problems. You will internalize the knowledge so much better that way.

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