Clearing ACET Examination is the first step towards becoming an Actuary.
It gives you the license to become a Student Member of the prestigious Institute of Actuaries of India.
Today, I’ll discuss with you how I cracked my ACET Entrance and how you can do it too. 🙂
1. B.Tech Student, IIT Kharagpur
2. 90.2% in Class 12 (with 95/100 in Maths)
3. Quant Analyst & Researcher (part-time)
4. Digital Marketing Consultant
5. Founder, DibakarBala.com
As you can see, my background in Mathematics was pretty strong.
It surely had helped me during my preparation.
I had a lot of things going in my life. Specifically, doing engineering at IIT isn’t so easy.
On top of that, the professors of IIT don’t teach that good.
Every since my childhood, I never took any guidance of a tuition teacher or a coaching centre for any School Examination.
The only time I took coaching was when I joined FIITJEE with the dream like lakhs of other students to crack the prestigious JEE Advanced.
Thankfully, I did crack it.
But, after coming to IIT I realised that it was just a beginning.
Students @ IIT are always trying to score better than you.
After all, you’re among the best of the best.
Slowly, I started gaining momentum and got involved with a company as a Quant Researcher (without having any prior knowledge of Finance, whatsoever).
How I came across Actuary ?
The people from IAI conducted a Seminar at IIT Kharagpur.
If you don’t know it yet, we always have some seminar going on here at IIT KHARAGPUR.
I was an overenthusiastic First Year kid who used to attend any and every Seminar he came across.
So I went to attend their Seminar and came to know about this noble profession.
My mathematics was good and the presenters of the Seminar encouraged all of us to take up the challenge as in India there are only a handful of fully qualified Actuaries.
Later, with Research, I got to know that there’s only 100+ qualified Actuaries in India.
During those days, I was studying Economics in my Engineering Syllabus.
The Demand and Supply curve rang a bell and forced me to think how becoming an Actuary would increase my value as the demand is high and Supply is low.
I did some more research and came to the conclusion that with the ever growing economy and population of India, Actuaries are going to become a Hot Commodity.
After 50 Hours of Research I was finally convinced to pay the fat Examination fee for the Entrance Exam ACET.
But, I Failed at ACET
My ACET exam was scheduled in June.
The summer holidays were about to start in May.
I had 1 month to study for it.
Considering my background in Mathematics, I knew that it would be a piece of cake.
Suddenly, I got to know that my girlfriend (now my Ex) who was also my only friend (yeah, I’m a loner) cheated on me with a guy she met on Facebook.
I was shattered as I knew her for 7 Long Years.
When I asked her about it she dumped me saying that she now loves him over me.
I suffered from severe stess and anxiety during the whole month of May ( she broke up on 26th April) resulting in failure of my ACET Entrance Examinations.
I gave up
I gave up as the pass percentage was extremely high and yet i couldn’t pass the exam.
I was broke.
Not to forget the ₹3000 which I spent for no reason at all for appearing in the examination.
3 Years Later
One of my closest Friend who stays in Delhi knew about this story already.
I told her how a really good friend of mine from the school have recently cracked the same exam with flying colors.
I couldn’t believe it how even after being more mathematically knowledgeable I failed and yet she managed to crack it.
My friend from Delhi started saying me that I should appear for the Exam once again.
It was merely an ill-fated incident and not a reflection of my inability.
I continuously disapproved her statements saying that i don’t want to waste more money without any reason.
Maybe I’m not eligible enough to get through this Examination.
But, she was so adamant that she was ready to pay the examination fees on my behalf as she believed that i can do it this time.
After multiple attempts, i agreed to her and registered for the exam once again after 3 Years.
How I prepared this time?
I was done being a Failure. If I can crack IIT, i can crack any examination.
With this attitude I started looking for resources.
I collected every book I could find on the internet.
My school friend who cracked the exam few months ago also helped me a lot.
She suggested me to do the practice papers rather than doing the syllabus chapter wise.
I must say, her advice was on-point. Preparing for ACET chapter wise is only good for those people who plan to get All India Rank #1.
For everyone else, all you need is 50+ out of 100 to pass the exam.
Even if you get 99/100 ans secure All India Rank #2.
You would be an equal to the student who scored 51.
On the Day of Exam
On the day of Exam, I met this lovely girl from Benaras University.
She was pursuing masters in Economics.
Actuary seems to be a logical step for her being someone from Economics background.
Upon reaching the Entrance Gate of the Exam Hall we both saw hundreds of students mugging through their notes which they had in their tuition centre copies.
Truthfully speaking, I got nervous.
We both took no coaching or tuitions for this exam and here we saw hundreds of students browsing through their coaching notes and copies.
The girl with me was joking that she is already prepared to face a loss of those ₹3000 for the exam appearance.
She was nice.
Waited for me even though her admit card was verified at the entrance.
In the end, January 2019, the Results were out.
Oh, let me tell you that these people at IAI would normally upload the results in the evening at around 5 PM on the day.
So don’t panic.
Keep Calm and Actuary 😉
Finally, I saw my name on the list.
Sadly, I couldn’t find the name of the girl who gave the exam with me.
I wish, she would read this article someday and gain the courage to reappear for the exam once again.
How should You Prepare for ACET?
If you need any guidance to clear ACET Examination, send me an Email :-
1. My friend was right when she said…. you should do the question paper first.
Provided, you have some working knowledge of Maths and Stats. (Class 12)
2. Capitalize on your Strengths.
Work on your Weaknesses.
I was strong with the General awareness section…
I can solve logical reasoning, Quantitive Reasoning, Grammar, etc. because I’ve been a long witness of my elder sister’s preparation for Bank Examination ever since I was in Class 5.
That’s why, I turned my focus towards that section and scores maximum marks in it.
3. Learn to avoid attempting every question.
If you know about Engineering exams, they do have negative marking.
And after cracking the toughest Engineering Entrance Exam in the world, a.k.a. JEE Advanced I was well prepared to deal with MCQs with negative Marking.
I used my previous training and left every question where I was unsure about the final answer.
4. You don’t need TOMATO and all the other recommend books.
They would only increase your burden.
It would feel like you’d never be able to complete the syllabus ever.
Infact, you can’t complete the syllabus if you plan to do every logical reasoning and quantitative and grammar available on the planet.
Create a habit of doing 30 sums from this section everyday and you’re good to go.
Buying those fat books makes no sense. (Except if you too much money to throw in the gutter)
5. Start Studying the Statistics Book from Random Variables chapter.
I did this mistake but came to realize it after I gave the exam.
The question of probability are easy to complete as you’ve already done most of them in your 11-12.
Do the random variables chapter first and go on to finish till the last chapter of the statistics book.
This section has many new type of notation for Moments, Means, Variance and even double integrals.
6. Currently I am preparing for CS1 which starts from random variables.
If you prepare well in your ACET, you would find the initial chapters really easy.
Not to forget how you’d need R programming also to crack the CS1 paper.
Thus, better to have some concepts already cleared in your head.
7. Always believe that you’ve cracked the exam and the papers you’re going to give next.
This mindset was the primary reason why i was able to crack IIT JEE or JEE ADVANCED examinations.
I always saw myself walking on the roads of IIT Kharagpur even before cracking JEE Mains.
I downloaded images of IIT Kharagpur from Google and used to imagine myself walking on the roads of IIT Kharagpur.
Back then it was even my Phone’s Wallpaper.
8. The fees for the Actuarial Exams are High.
Not just ACET but even for the future papers that you’d give.
Make sure you know how much money is required before jumping into something.
9. Take tuitions if you really need it.
Tuitions are a habit and you’ve always cracked exams ever since childhood with tuitions….you should take tuitions even now.
10. The ACET Examination is not so difficult believe it or not.
It is easy.
Compare it with any other examinations in India, you’d know the difference.
But, just because it is easy, don’t take it lightly or else you’d end up failing just like I did.
All The Best and Keep Hustling 🙂
I will write about how I cracked my CS1 once I crack it 🙂Dibakar Bala, Student Actuary