The process of becoming an actuary consists of acquiring an actuarial credential and this exam process usually requires a candidate to pass several rigorous professional examinations in a series, which often take up several years in total. This is the crucial step before one can actually become recognized as a credentialed actuary anywhere in the world.
A person needs to be a minimum of 18 years of age to take up an actuary course and the subsequent examinations for the same. A degree of mathematical and statistical aptitude is also a prerequisite for Actuary aspirants.
Actuarial exams are generally scored on a scale from 0 to 10. One needs to manage a score of at least 6 or higher in order to pass these exams. Depending on the level of the exam and the kind of questions asked, the passing score is almost always set after the examination according to the difficulty level of the questions asked in the exam
An actuary uses mathematics and statistics to analyze risks and feasibility of insurance. An actuary generally works on subjects like Life Insurance, General Insurance, Health Insurance, Reinsurance companies, pension funds, consultants, investments, government jobs, academics and risk management in varying roles. These could be anything ranging from financial modeling to risk management and product pricing for insurances.
The actuary exam is a series of examinations—10 to be exact---all of which either have MCQs, or written answer type questions. Depending on the exam and the level for which is it is being conducted, the actuary test can be anywhere between 3 to 5 hours long and take around 7-10 years to complete.
There is no shortcut to success in the exam process. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and motivation to get through the many hours of independent study that are required to prepare for each exam. While everyone studies differently, the typical candidate studies about 100 hours for every hour of the exam. For example, exam P/1 is a three hour exam. That means you will be hitting the books for 300 hours to fully master the concepts tested on that exam. Same goes with the Core Technical Stage.
The Actuarial exams need individuals with unmatched skills in problem solving, mathematical reasoning and of course, great communication skills. So, practically speaking, actuarial exams could be quite testing on you as an individual. I would suggest that you find some study partners that will help you slog through the prep and also keep you motivated. You can signup at StudyPal to help yourself find a study partner near you. Don't forget to go through the official SOA and CAS websites to get a fair idea of study resources available.
Follow the rule of the thumb and arrive early. Don’t let last minute traffic snarls or parking problems throw you off your game for the Actuary Exams. Enter the examination center no less than 20 minutes early and complete all security and signing up formalities. Settle in, kick back and calm yourself down before you begin the marathon that is the actuary exam.
There are a total of 10 exams you need to clear to become a recognized actuary.
The actuary exam is scored on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being the least and 10 being the highest. The passing score is six, but a score of 6 doesn’t correspond to a passing percentage of 60%. Instead, the pass percentage is determined n the difficulty level of the paper and then percentage is given a score of 6. For example an easy paper might have 65% at score6 while a difficult paper might assign 54% to a score of 6.
Anyone can choose to take an actuary exam again. Due to lacunae in the Actuary test prep, the students have almost always have to rewrite a few of the 10 exams on offer. Once passed though, retaking the exam is not advised, as employers don’t really regard scores, but just the fact that whether you have passed the exam or not.
Actuarial exam scores don’t expire. Neither there is a time frame in which one needs to pass all the exams. So if you are on actuary exam prep schedule, don’t rush it but instead try to approach the exam with the best Actuary study strategy
Exams are organized every two months and one needs to wait for that gap for reappearing in an actuary exam.
The score range is 0-10 for an actuary exam.
The option for cancelling actuary exam scores isn’t available. Again, it doesn’t really matter as the employers look at a candidate’s pass/fail status as a credentialed actuary instead of actually skimming through scores of each separate exam
The actuary exam in the US costs $225 dollars for the first two exams. The price steeply increases with each level and goes upwards of $1000. Study materials cost are additional and are dependent on the resources you choose and the exam you are planning to write.
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