Lessons from Boxing: Studying for Actuarial Exams Requires Feedback

Few activities give immediate feedback like boxing. If your hands drop while you are throwing punches, you will catch a fist in the head. Your long term health depends on taking corrective action.

For example, here is a gif from a fight between Mike Tyson and Jose Ribalta.

tyson_uppercut

It’s safe to say that Mr. Ribalta’s hands were not protecting his chin.  Tyson slips an uppercut through and delivers that feedback.

When you are studying for actuarial exams, direct feedback is a key method for improving your skills. The questions you get wrong teach you the most. They identify a weakness that you can address in later study.  The questions you get right identify nothing. You might have made a lucky guess, or you’ve seen the problem before and memorized the answer.  You don’t know any more about your abilities than before you did the problem.  The incorrect answer gives an opportunity to learn.

Get feedback.  Learn from it.  Keep your hands up.

 

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