Prepare for an actuary exam by studying regularly at least eight weeks ahead of the examination. Use study manuals, flashcards and practice tests and thoroughly review a syllabus that is similar to the real test. Focus on studying for one exam at a time, and take the SOA/CAS Exam P/1 first. Then, study for the FM/2 and take that exam after mastering required concepts.
Purchase a study manual for both parts of the exam. Study manuals should include a complete syllabus along with sample test questions. Due to the difficulty of actuary exams, it's a good idea to obtain additional supplemental study materials. Flashcards are good for memorizing mathematical equations, and viewing live DVD seminars taught by actuarial science educators is also helpful. Review online samples of various study materials to find the best guides and study tools, making sure to purchase recent editions that contain updated information.
Actuarial study products that contain calculus equations are excellent for brushing up on calculus problem solving. Taking practice exams is highly recommended; however, they are most effective in settings that mimic real exam conditions. Find a quiet room with no distractions, and set a time limit for completing each section. Answer multiple choice questions at a reasonable pace, skipping difficult questions when necessary. Cut down on answer time by obtaining an approved calculator and mastering its shortcuts.