Actuarial Science Program



Math 370 X

Actuarial Problem Solving



Fall, 2011

245 Altgeld Hall

7:00-8:30 pm Monday

Starting Sep. 12

12 Lectures in Total


Feng Zhu

Office Hours:

By appointment




Course web page:




Course Overview


This course serves as a preparation/review for the actuarial exam P/1. You can take it for credit (one hour), or just sit in without registering (no prior approval needed). With or without registration, you can get (if you want) your quizzes scored.

Exam P materials would be covered in the following order:

These topics correspond to the exam P/1 syllabus and to the first five chapters in the MATH 408 text (Hogg/Tanis, Probability and Statistical Inference). I will briefly review the relevant concepts and formulas, but the majority of the time will be devoted to working actuarial exam problems.


Required Text


There is no required text, though you should have a basic probability text available for reference; commercial test preparation manuals are advised, but not necessary for this class. Handouts, notes, quizzes and solutions will be posted on course web page.




Grading for this course is on an S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) basis.

There will be no homework or final exam for this class, but we would have a quiz at the end of each lecture. These quizzes will be similar in format and difficulty to the actuarial exams.

To get "S" credit, you need to

a) Attend at least 9 of the 12 lectures, OR

b) Score 75% or above on at least 6 of the 12 in-class quizzes.

There will be no makeup quiz.




Lecture 1


General Probabilities

Course Syllabus

Exam P/1 Syllabus

Exam Tips from Towers Watson

SOA Exam Official Statistics


In-Class Exercise 1

Quiz 1

Solution 1

Additional Question Set 1

Lecture 2


Conditional Probabilities and Independent

In-Class Exercise 2

Quiz 2

Solution 2

Additional Question Set 2

Lecture 3


Random Variables and Probability Distributions

In-Class Exercise 3

Quiz 3

Solution 3

Additional Question Set 3

Lecture 4

Oct. 3

Expectations, Variance and Moment Generating Function

(Discrete R.V.s)

In-Class Exercise 4

Quiz 4

Solution 4

Additional Question Set 4

Lecture 5

Oct. 17

Expectations, Variance and Moment Generating Function

(Continuous R.V.s)

In-Class Exercise 5

Quiz 5

Solution 5

Additional Question Set 5

Lecture 6

Oct. 24

Discrete Distributions

(Part I)

In-Class Exercise 6

Quit 6

Solution 6

Additional Question Set 6

Lecture 7

Oct. 31

Discrete Distributions

(Part II)

In-Class Exercise 7

Additional remarks on 7.2

Quiz 7

Solution 7

Additional Question Set 7

Lecture 8

Nov. 7

Continuous Distributions

(Part I)

In-Class Exercise 8

Quiz 8

Solution 8

Additional Question Set 8

Lecture 9

Nov. 15

Continuous Distributions

(Part II)

In-Class Exercise 9

Quiz 9

Solution 9

Additional Question Set 9

Lecture 10

Nov. 28

Joint & Marginal Distributions

(Part I)

In-Class Exercise 10

Quiz 10

Solution 10

Additional Question Set 10

Lecture 11

Joint & Marginal Distributions

(Part II)

In-Class Exercise 11