“I just found out that I passed SDM on my first try. I used XP Actuarial with Steve for this exam, but used PAK on my other FSA level exams.
I can very confidently say that Steve is the #1 best instructor for any actuarial exam I have taken and his study materials are second to none. Though I still recommend actually reading the source materials (no study guide will include all of the details, and we all have seen the SOA test small details that would never make it into a study guide!), the study guide itself is so well written and smartly compiled that it makes you feel very confident that you’re learning the right things and understanding them thoroughly.
One thing I have always struggled with in the PAK study guides is that they feel like I’m reading bullet point notes that someone else took for themselves, like notes that are just taken so that the note-taker can remember the material better, simply from the act of writing it down (not a nice summary compiled for someone else). They aren’t notes written in a way that would convey the crux of the information in an intelligible way to someone else reading it for the first time. Steve’s materials are the opposite – they’re written fluidly (like someone having a conversation with you), yet concisely. They make perfect sense as you read them, despite their inherent density (being condensed versions of the raw source material). Steve’s guides also draw connections between all of the source materials and this is vital for the SDM exam. I LOVE the XP study materials.
I also felt that the PAK materials were lacking on case study preparation. The case study is KEY to SDM and Steve made me feel super prepared on the case study. On my earlier exams when I used PAK, I kept wondering to myself, “Why isn’t there a clear summary for each piece of the case study that I can review?” “Why aren’t these case study materials better?” PAK does have case study “materials” but they pale in comparison to the case study materials that Steve has prepared for XP SDM students. The XP case study materials were absolutely invaluable to my success on this exam.
I also cannot understate how helpful it is to have an instructor like Steve who clearly cares about his students and their success. He responds quickly to any emails or questions and is even available for calls to walk through anything that is confusing. He offers additional helpful tips and last minute explanations all the way up until exam time. He encourages his students week by week and understands what we are going through. He also offers personalized video feedback for practice written answer questions, which is so helpful. I have never before gotten personal feedback on answers I came up with under timed practice conditions! There were several point-losers that I was doing in my timed practice that Steve pointed out for me, and because of his help, I know I was able to avoid these on the exam.
If anyone wants to know any other details or has any questions about XP, please don’t hesitate to reach out because I will talk all day about how great the experience was! Thank you again Steve, wouldn’t have wanted to try this without you!”
– Inveniamviam from old Actuarial Outpost