2 The exam

The main challenge of this exam is in communication: both understanding what they want you to do as well as telling the grader what it is that you did.

You will have 5 hours and 15 minutes to use RStudio and Excel to fill out a report in Word on a Prometric toaster-oven computer. The syllabus uses fancy language to describe the topics covered on the exam, making it sound more difficult than it should be. A good analogy is a job description that has many complex-sounding tasks, when in reality the day-to-day operations of the employee are far simpler.

A non-technical translation is as follows:

Writing in Microsoft Word (30-40%)

  • Write in professional language
  • Type more than 50 words-per-minute

Manipulating Data in R (15-25%)

  • Quickly clean data sets
  • Find data errors planted by the SOA
  • Perform queries (aggregations, summaries, transformations)

Machine learning and statistics (40-50%)

  • Interpret results within a business context
  • Change model parameters