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About the Authors
Jeffrey Pai, Ph.D., ASA, ACIA
Dr. Pai is a Full Professor of Actuarial Mathematics at the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba. He has an M.S. degree in Actuarial Science and a Ph.D. degree in Statistics from the University of Connecticut, USA. Dr. Pai has taught courses at the Undergraduate, Master, and Ph.D. levels, including most of the actuarial courses offered at the University of Manitoba. He has also taught courses in many countries including the USA (UConn and UC Santa Barbara), Switzerland (University of Basel), Taiwan, Thailand, and China. Dr. Pai has given seminars and published many study manuals in helping students prepare and pass actuarial examinations. He has been serving as an independent reviewer for SOA Exam P since 2013. Dr. Pai has received many congratulation letters from the Dean Office based on his teaching performances. He has also received two outstanding teaching awards in his teaching career. In research, Dr. Pai has published over 40 referred journal papers and received two best paper awards, including the CAS Best Paper Award in 2016.
Hong Li, Ph.D., FSA, ACIA
Dr. Li is an Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, University of Guelph. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and an associate fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Dr. Li has taught various actuarial science and statistics courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has been serving as a grading volunteer and question writer for the SOA QFIPM exam since 2021. Dr. Li has published over 20 refereed journal papers since he obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2015, and has participated in various research projects sponsored by CAS, SOA, and CIA in recent years. He received the 2018 Bob Alting von Geusau Prize for the best paper published in ASTIN Bulletin with a Financial Risk or Enterprise Risk Management focus.
Alisa Walch, M.A., FCAS
Professor Walch is an Associate Professor of Instruction & Actuarial Program Assistant Director at University of Texas at Austin. Professor Walch teaches actuarial science classes, is responsible for semesterly case competitions and serves as faculty advisor for their Actuarial Science Club and Gamma Iota Sigma chapter. Professor Walch also volunteers with the Casualty Actuarial Society and won the New Member Award in 2020. Professor Walch graduated from TCU in 2005 with a Bachelors in Mathematics, then graduated from the UT at Austin in 2008 with a Masters in Actuarial Science. Subsequently, she worked as a Property & Casualty actuary for three years at The Hartford before deciding to switch to academia.
Ambrose Lo Ph.D., FSA, CERA
Professor Lo is currently Associate Professor of Actuarial Science with tenure at the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, The University of Iowa. He earned his B.S. in Actuarial Science (first class honors) and Ph.D. in Actuarial Science from The University of Hong Kong in 2010 and 2014, respectively. He joined The University of Iowa as Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science in August 2014 and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in July 2019. His research interests lie in dependence structures, quantitative risk management as well as optimal (re)insurance. His research papers have been published in top-tier actuarial journals, such as ASTIN Bulletin: The Journal of the International Actuarial Association, Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, and Scandinavian Actuarial Journal. In addition to coauthoring the ACTEX Study Manual for SOA Exam SRM, he is also the sole author of the ACTEX Study Manual for CAS Exam MAS-I, ACTEX Study Manual for SOA Exam PA, and the textbook Derivative Pricing: A Problem-Based Primer (2018) published by Chapman & Hall/CRC Press.
I prefer printed manuals and so I've used Actex before. This manual is maybe not their best, but I was prepared and passed with a 6.
I bought this manual and the case studies. I feel like you need all of it. I learned that Goal only handles part of the exam, which makes sense - again, why I recommend the case studies too.
I look and asked around and most people recommended this manual or ASM. I picked this because of the option to buy the case studies. I've found the case studies to be a good way to more fully prepare. Still working through it all, and got a lot of time ahead of me, but basically, I agree that this manual will help others too.
I think this manual is the best for MAS-II. Case studies too.
looking for mas2, this is the most complete manual/set of materials. Includes Case Studies and Goal.
A professor provides great support through Goal "ask a professor" function and responds with complete answers.
the manual, case study/ies and the Goal questions were the best resources I could find for mas-ii. And they are the comprehsive, so don't hesitate to purhase this if you need help like I did for this exam.
good manual, the case studies were very helpful; liked Goal quesitons.
The manual is 4 star, but the support is 5 star with Goal and the support provided by the instructor.
Was very happy with the case studies, and overall with the study package. The case studies could used more explanation in places, but the study manual was very complete and the case studies help prepare me better than just a study manual. Goal questions were well organized with easy to follow solutions. Again, sometimes, I wanted more detailed solutions. At times, i used the ask the professor too a lot - too much, maybe. Responses were fast, within a day and on point.
I have a strong background in stats and this manual was all that I needed. I used actex for other exams too, including mas-i. I like their manuals, and found this very good; helpful text on even the more challenging concepts. Recommended.
This is a good study manual, but Goal has fewer questions than for MAS-I. I do like Goal, but for this exam you can blow through some of the topics, answering all the questions in that Goal topic. The study manual is loaded with sample exam questions, so overall, you are totally set, but as someone who's used Goal beforek I thought more questions could be added.
I'm an Actex learner; started at university. Honestly, was super happy they had a MAS-II manual. Definitely a different exam and I felt the manual was good. Did use the goal program that comes with the study manual for some extra practice on some exam topics. It's a pretty cool program, but mostly for practice. The study manual is the step-by-step learning source, in my view.
Overall good. Lots of sample questions, though some of the explanations could be improved. That would speed up the whole process for me.
Definitely helpful; found some minor issues, but overall just glad to have a study manual that covers the entire syllabus with plenty of practice questions.