Best Intro to Quant. Finance?

Hey all. I'm new to these boards, and I'm hoping someone here can give me some advice. A year ago I got a B.A. in Math and I've recently decided to take the GRE and start applying to MFE programs. The thing is, I have no background in finance, but I want to learn everything I can about it before applying and possibly diving into a MFE program. I actually wanted to be an actuary for a while and passed two exams. There's an exam they have on Financial Economics that covers interest rate models, an intro to Black-Scholes and put-call parity and some other topics. I'm wondering, given the topics covered on the exam, if I should take it or just get a good textbook. One that I've heard is good is Options, Futures, and other Derivatives by John C. Hull. Does anyone think taking that actuarial exam and passing it would help my admission chances being that I don't have any background in finance? Any advice would be tremendously appreciated.

John Hull's book covers everything in that exam and much more so I think it makes more sense to just take the book. Some of the members here are from acturial background and doing MFE. Send Ajbraha a PM and see what he got to say.

Will do, and yeah, that's what I figured about the book, I just wasn't sure. Thanks for the reply.
Actually I would like to recommend the book "Principles of Financial Engineering" by Prof Salih Neftci.... I specially liked the introductory chapters, specially you if you are new to financial engineering... Also I feel the concepts are more structured in prof neftci's book :-- the notations are consistent and the mathematics simple yet flowing...

As Andy pointed out, there have been students with your background, and as is stated on our home page the admission is based on "overall fit" (for eg i come from an engineering background; never studied finance) and that includes not only your previous education like work eg, career goals, recos, etc