Jim Daniel's Study Notes

Information on
and obtaining of
Jim Daniel's Study Notes

Jim Daniel has begun occasionally releasing Study Notes to help learners prepare for actuarial exams. These are not detailed study manuals full of practice problems, but are brief and free study aids written in the same learner-friendly style as his CAS-required Exam 3L SoA Study Notes on multistate transition models (Markov chains) and on Poisson processes that many readers have found easy to master.

NOTE that each of these pdf files has live links to external websites referenced and live links to places referenced within the document. If you read the file with Adobe Acrobat or with a browser, links to external websites such as http:\\www.soa.org should appear boxed in green. If there is a reference within the document to Equation 2.4, say, the "2.4" should be boxed in red and clicking on it should take you back to that spot; clicking on the backward navigation arrow in Acrobat or your browser should return you to where you were when you clicked. If you print the document, however, none of these boxes should appear. These links were made live in order to make it easier for those that want to read the documents on a computer.


  • "Poisson processes (and mixture distributions)", 14 pages originally intended as an alternative to the then SoA/CAS-required material on Poisson processes in the Probability Models textbook by Ross but now the required reading material for CAS 3L; two of those pages cover the concept of mixture distributions that come up throughout the Exam MLC/3L and C/4 syllabi. You can download the pdf file for free.
  • "Mixture distributions in Exams MLC/3L and C/4", 12 pages intended to explain how to compute with the mixture distributions that appear in Exam MLC/3L and especially in Exam C/4—including a simple way to compute with the kernel-smoothing or kernel-density method of Exam C/4. You can download the pdf file for free.
  • "(Common) Shock models in Exam MLC", 11 pages intended  to explain a simple way to compute with shock models that makes them a special case of the more commonly tested material on joint independent lifetimes. You can download the pdf file for free.
  • "LogNormal stock-price models", 11 pages primarily intended to provide prerequisite background on these models that is covered in the new MFE/3F syllabus material and through May 2009 was covered on Exam C/4. While initially intended for those taking C/4 through May 2009 without the MFE/3F background, it might still be helpful for MFE/3F students as well. You can download the pdf file for free.