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ASM Study Manual for Exam P, 2nd Edition - SECOND PRINTING with StudyPlus+ & PASS GUARANTEE (online study tools)
Author/Publisher: Weishaus / ASM
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ISBN: 978-1-63588-457-9

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ISBN: 978-1-62542-903-2

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ISBN: 978-1-63588-459-3

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Printed manual
is three-hole punched, shrink-wrapped, and notebook-ready for convenient transporting. 

This edition can be used for any P/1 exam sitting in 2018.



The ASM for P manual offers comprehensive coverage of the syllabus for Exam P in its 30 lessons. Examples of the topics discussed are:

  • Basic properties of probability
  • Combinatorics
  • Conditional probability and Bayes’ Theorem
  • Probability Generating Functions
  • Random variables
  • Moments, percentiles, and modes
  • Joint distributions
  • Binomial, negative binomial, Poisson, exponential, and normal distributions
  • Central limit theorem
  • Order statistics
  • Moment generating functions
  • Transformations of random variables

The manual has over 500 pages with about 83 examples and 597 exercises. Of these exercises, 151 are original; the others are taken from old exams or are SOA sample questions. All exercises have complete solutions. In addition, the manual has 6 practice exams consisting of 30 original questions. 

NEW FOR FALL 2018:  Changed a few practice questions and included corrections to all known errata. 


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3-month ($55) and 6-month ($69) license extensions are available to customers with confirmed access to this 2nd edition - SECOND PRINTING of the manual. Extensions are only available through your 'My Learning Tools' platform & must be purchased prior to the expiration of a current license (of the same content,) and are exclusively for the original user. Extensions do not include printing rights and may not be shared, sold or manipulated in any way. Customers in violation of these terms forfeit their licenses and are not eligible for reimbursement. Copyright infringement is in violation of the CAS & SOA Code of Professional Conduct and can result in discipline procedures. 


Manual includes StudyPlusdigital access to:

  • Virtual eFlashcards
  • G.O.A.L. for Exam P  (Guided Online Actuarial Learning practice problem tool)
  • Digital formula sheet
  • Actuarial exam and career strategy guides
  • Technical skill eLearning tools
  • Samples of Supplemental Texts & Study Tools
  • And more!

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ASM authors/instructors are well-known as creators of the most comprehensive study manuals available for the SOA and CAS exams. ASM consistently offers students more practice problems with detailed solutions and more sample practice exams with original questions. 
We are very confident that using ASM study manuals will help you receive a passing score. In fact, we offer you this guarantee to help ensure your success using ASM study manuals:

  • Original purchase of a 6 Month Digital License – One (1) six-month renewal [NO PRINTING]
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To renew your non-transferable license, please email this retailer with proof of your original purchase & failing grade from the most recent exam sitting relative to the end of your most recent license (no later than 60-days following the expiration of that license.) Additional 6-month renewals (when applicable) are subject to the same terms. Please note, customers who purchase a printed manual from this retailer are considered to have an initial ‘license period’ of 12 Months from the date their manual is first shipped.

Please note: Exams and syllabi sometimes undergo significant changes. Renewals of materials for discontinued exams may be substituted with material for an exam that offers equivalent credit by the SOA or CAS, ONE TIME ONLY


Author biography:

Abraham Weishaus Ph.D., FSA, CFA, MAAA
Abraham was formerly a financial reporting actuary for Guardian Life Insurance Company. He served on the SOA's Education and Examination Committee for 11 years. He also taught exam preparation courses for the Actuarial Society of Greater New York (ASNY) for 15 years and for CAMAR for 6 years. Abe is currently a professor at Columbia University and teaches exam preparation courses at St. Johns University. He has been an ASM author for over 16 years and publishes material for exams P, CAS S, MFE, MLC and C.


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Average Rating: 4.5 stars
36 review(s)

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I was primarily using the Broverman study manual. The forums stated that that was the study guide to use. I found it helpful, and it provided a lot of insight. However, I am preferring this new ASM manual. The material is still provided in a rigorous manner. However, the problems seem to be more at the level of the test. Also, I think he walks you through the more difficult questions and the different types. Ideally, you should use both the Actex Study Manual and the ASM one. However, I would give a small edge to this one.
Excellently written guide, helpful sample exams.
Solutions to some of the problems required additional explanation beyond what is given. As far as I can tell there is no other support for additional explanation? I doubt I would make this my first / only course in preparation for Exam P.
The material is extremely condensed, which makes it sometimes difficult to follow, but I found the example problems and solutions to be very helpful.
I found this manual very difficult to use because I had no experience with probability going into this exam. I actuarially (bad pun) had to buy the TIA online seminar just to get through and understand the material. On the plus side, the first 5 sample exams were on par with the difficulty of the actual exam.
I passed the P exam after purchasing this manual. The manual was a great resource for practice test problems. There are 20 sample tests. The 1st five tests are meant to have easier questions, with the last fifteen tests having more difficult problems. I found the instructional portion of the manual difficult to read, and had to break up the reading in to small pieces. Some of the practice questions were much more difficult than the actual test questions.
This manual was a good price and was very elaborate in explaining the material presented on the test. It was a bit difficult to understand since I hadn't taken the courses necessary for the exam but I give it 5 stars because the author replied to an email I sent him, within minutes. There are way too many practice exams, the first 5 are about the same difficulty as the exam and 6-20 are significantly harder (so don't worry if your scores are lower on those ones). Overall a great manual.
This book was helpful a couple weeks before the exam but had I not already reviewed the material using another source I would have struggled with some concepts. Having so many practice exams was helpful but I found that beyond exam 5 the questions were far more challenging than the actual exam. I know it's beneficial to study more challenging questions but it also made me question whether or not I was prepared for the exam. Buy it for the practice exams but don't get too upset if you're completely lost after you get past exam 5.
This is a great study manual. I have taken a course on probability theory in the past, but the material covered in here is slightly more advanced. It could be used on its own for test prep, but you may still want to reference a textbook. I agree that the practice exams in this were more difficult than the actual exam. Using this manual I managed to pass during my first sitting.
The manual was an excellent preparation for exam P. It included tons of practice problems and exams which were actually much more difficult than the exam itself. I strongly recommend this product to anyone wanting to pass first try!
This exam guide was very solid in developing they foundation needed to pass the P exam on the first try. The practice exams were considerably harder than the actual exam so I felt relatively at ease during the entire test period. I would highly recommend this manual to anyone serious about passing the exam.
Thanks to this book, I passed with flying colors! I would definitely recommend this book to study for the Probability exam.
Ostaszewski is the best. No doubt.
Best study manual ever. The shortcuts suggested by the author are the book's main strengths.
A very good study material with lots of problems
I bought this book for my gf xmas 2011, and she swears by it. She had a different book for FM, failed once, got this guys books, studied, studied, and studied some more, and passed FM. She credits a good portion of her passing FM the second time to this book, and is now using this manual to study for P.
This manual helped me study much harder problems and more problems at that than the ACTEX manual that I had before. The only part I didn't like was the fact that there were only five practice exams.
I just got this and have started studying. It is quick and to the point. BUT I would NOT recommend this for people who have not taken a decent course in probability/stats yet. He goes very quickly through some topics, and in my opinion could clarify a lot of fuzzy things with a 5-word explanation here and there on some examples...this is coming from someone who has already had a calculus-based course in stats. If you still have access to your textbook, it's pretty good.
Great practice exams! This textbook was more helpful than any other. I wrote the exam a first time using another textbook and wasn't successful. I regret not purchasing an ASM textbook. ASM will always be the textbook I turn to for my exams!
This is the perfect manual for Exam P. I did not like ASM material for Exam P (it assumes you already have a course in probability) though ASM for other exams are better. The approach is simple and covers all the material you need for passing exam P. I used Actex as the main material and ASM for the sample exams and got a 10 in exam. If you have time, buy both as ASM exams are better. If not, go with Actex.
A lot of practice tests that are very useful. More exercises to explain concepts would be nice, as some of them got a little confusing. Overall a good study manual.
Great review book. It laid out a general timeline for how to study and they had 5 practice exams.
Really thorough and the amount of emphasis on each section is just right. Lots of practice problems that will prepare you well for the exam. The practice exams are really good. They even have calculator notes for the BA II plus. I read Kellison for some background, but honestly, this is all you need.
Comprehensive and lots lots of practise questions!
This study manual was very helpful and thorough. The practice tests were well written with very thorough and understandable solutions. It is, however, I believe, meant for someone that already has knowledge in probability. Otherwise it may be a little brief on the theory section.
I can't recommend this manual highly enough. It is extremely rigorous and rather challenging, but always well explained, given a reasonable math background. The practice tests (there are 20) are all excellently prepared with detailed solutions... left me more than ready for the exam. Overall, challenging to get through, but if you do, you will undoubtedly pass the test. Thanks, Dr. K!
I used this manual and passed on my first attempt, although I would like to add some details. As a career-changer I found this manual to be okay, but the writing style is not very helpful in my opinion. For example the teaching style of ASM's FM/2 manual is far superior. I believe that the only reason I passed P/1 is because I found the free TIA test and they were extremely helpful and informative.
This manual is excellent. I also exclusively used this manual in preparing for the exam and passed on the first try. He challenges you with difficult practice exams. Nothing on the actual exam will surprise you if you use the manual. I would recommend it to anyone.
This was my first taste of probability. And the book moved way too fast. As if prior knowledge was required. I didn't think the book was helpful in terms of learning the material. I did think the 20 exams could be useful though. I ended up passing the exam with an online seminar which is worth the money over this.
I used this manual to prepare for the November 2009 sitting of Exam 1/P. The manual is written in a very understandable, to-the-point fashion. The explanation of problems and the depth of the problems are incredibly useful. I have recommended this manual to all of my classmates and will continue to do so. If you're not sure how to study for actuarial exams, this manual is a fantastic way to find out how.
This manual is great. It covers everything you need for Exam P/1. The author talks about the "Been There Done That" (BTDT) rule and it really works. His logic is to be over prepared. Many of the practice exams are much more difficult than the actual exam. It's not that he is covering more material than you need, but asks for more in the practice exams. When I got to the actual exam I would read the problems and say "thats all they want" and quickly give the answer. I studied solely from this manual a few hours every day for a few weeks leading up to my exam. The practice exams are great. Take them, study the solutions, and the real thing will seem easy.