actuarial exams & VEE Creditsunderstand these before you begin |
Introduction to SOA/CAS Exams & Validation by Educational Experience (VEE)
what are the soa/cas exams?
Actuaries achieve professional status by passing a set of examinations prescribed by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or Society of Actuaries (SOA). The first four exams are jointly administered by the CAS and SOA.
Many prospective actuaries begin taking exams while in college with the aid of self-study courses. Most achieve Associateship in three to five years. All students acquire a core set of knowledge from required courses before following the CAS or SOA career path. A student's selection to pursue the SOA or CAS career path is frequently influenced by personal interest, set of skills, and acceptance of a particular entry-level job. After achieving Associateship status and usually after gaining a few years of work experience, you can complete the Fellowship exams with a focus on the area in which you work.
Both Associate and Fellowship level exams are difficult, and becoming an actuary requires a fair amount of study and preparation. Depending on which course of study you choose, you'll prepare for exams by studying material required by the CAS or the SOA.
(From www.beanactuary.org/exams)
Many prospective actuaries begin taking exams while in college with the aid of self-study courses. Most achieve Associateship in three to five years. All students acquire a core set of knowledge from required courses before following the CAS or SOA career path. A student's selection to pursue the SOA or CAS career path is frequently influenced by personal interest, set of skills, and acceptance of a particular entry-level job. After achieving Associateship status and usually after gaining a few years of work experience, you can complete the Fellowship exams with a focus on the area in which you work.
Both Associate and Fellowship level exams are difficult, and becoming an actuary requires a fair amount of study and preparation. Depending on which course of study you choose, you'll prepare for exams by studying material required by the CAS or the SOA.
(From www.beanactuary.org/exams)
why do i need to take the soa/cas exams?
Unlike other professions, such as law and medicine, in the actuarial profession you can earn while you learn. Many students receive on-the-job training while enrolled in the examination process. Employers are generally supportive and may give students study time during working hours, pay exam fees, and award raises for each exam passed. However, most employers prefer to hire people who have started the series of examinations on their own and have already passed one or two exams.
what psu classes do i need for the soa/cas exams?
Jointly-Administered SOA/CAS Preliminary ExamsSOA Exam P (Probability) counts for CAS Exam 1:
The Casualty Actuarial Society has a new exam: For more information on ACAS Requirements, and for a detailed breakdown of Exam S transition requirements, please visit here.
CAS Exam S (Statistics and Probabilistic Models) instead of SOA Exam MLC and VEE in Applied Statistics
The recommended Stat classes for the CAS exams are not tailored for Actuarial Exam preparation, so it is important to look on the exam syllabi for topics that aren't covered in class so that you can best prepare yourself to sit for these exams.
- STAT 414 - take this by Fall of Sophomore year
- R M 297C - take this at same time as STAT 414
- Exam Details here
The Casualty Actuarial Society has a new exam: For more information on ACAS Requirements, and for a detailed breakdown of Exam S transition requirements, please visit here.
CAS Exam S (Statistics and Probabilistic Models) instead of SOA Exam MLC and VEE in Applied Statistics
The recommended Stat classes for the CAS exams are not tailored for Actuarial Exam preparation, so it is important to look on the exam syllabi for topics that aren't covered in class so that you can best prepare yourself to sit for these exams.
what is validation by educational experience (vee)?
VEE allows students to get credit for CAS/SOA exams simply by taking college courses. There are 3 VEE topics: Economics, Corporate Finance, and Applied Statistical Methods. The minimum grade to receive credit for a VEE course is a "B-". VEE is a great way to avoid having to take more exams so it is STRONGLY SUGGESTED that you work the following courses into your Penn State semester schedule:
Required classes for VEE Economics:
To formally receive credit for passing VEE courses, you must first pass 2 CAS/SOA exams, and then you can apply with this form.
Many companies will cover this expense for their employees, so it is recommended to wait until you have a full time position to formally apply for these credits (but still take the courses while you're here).
Required classes for VEE Economics:
- Econ 102 or Econ 502 or Econ 521
and - Econ 104 or Econ 522
- Fin 301
- Acctg 211
- Stat 415
To formally receive credit for passing VEE courses, you must first pass 2 CAS/SOA exams, and then you can apply with this form.
Many companies will cover this expense for their employees, so it is recommended to wait until you have a full time position to formally apply for these credits (but still take the courses while you're here).
soa curriculum changes
Read about changes on the SOA website!
The following summarizes changes to the ASA curriculum that will be effective July 1, 2018.
So the ASA requirements will include 3 VEEs (same number as now), 7 exams (2 more than currently), and the modules.
The following summarizes changes to the ASA curriculum that will be effective July 1, 2018.
- No change to Exam P
- Exam FM will only include interest theory as well as a small section on corporate finance (starting June 2017)
- Exam MFE has major changes. Name changed to IFM (Investment and Financial Markets) (starting July 2017)
- Derivatives drop to 50% of exam
- Major added topics:
- Determining return and variance of a portfolio of stocks, and creating the Efficient Frontier
- Requires MATH 220 Matrices, which RM students no longer take.
- CAPM, Efficient Markets, Behavioral Finance (cool), Investment Risk and Project Analysis (Semi-variance, VaR, TVaR, Monte Carlo Simulation, Decision Trees), Capital Structures (Miller-Modigliani, Asymmetric information’s impact on choices)
- Exam MLC changes to LTAM (Long Term Actuarial Models)
- Universal Life deferred to the FAP e-learning modules
- Drops Participating Insurance, Reserves with Continuous Asset Flows (Thiele), Yield Curves, Non-Diversifiable risk, Policy Changes
- Adds LT Coverages such as Long Term Care (LTC), Combined Life + LTC Ins, Long Term Disability (LTD), Retiree Health
- Adds Estimating qx using the Kaplan-Meier and Nelson-Aalen formulas from C exam
- Exam C changes to STAM (Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics)
- Adds Pricing and Reserving for P&C and Health Insurance
- Drops Simulation and 4.d.
- Adds a Statistics for Risk Modeling Exam (SRM) with questions in R
- Materials in VEE Applied Statistics
- Adds GLM, Principal Component Analysis, Decision Trees, Cluster Analysis
- Adds a Predictive Analytics (PA) Exam
- Model Building, Problem Definition, Exploratory Data Analysis, Model Selection & Validation, Communication of Results & Uncertainties
- No change to VEE Economics
- VEE Corporate Finance (FIN 301) will now include an accounting component (ACCTG 211) as VEE Accounting and Finance
- VEE Applied Statistics will be replaced by VEE Mathematical Statistics
So the ASA requirements will include 3 VEEs (same number as now), 7 exams (2 more than currently), and the modules.
transition rules
Read about transition rules on the SOA website!
The following summarizes transition rules that will be effective July 1, 2018.
The following summarizes transition rules that will be effective July 1, 2018.
- If you attain ASA by July 1st, 2018 and FSA by July 1st, 2022 you will be exempt from taking the predictive analytics exam
- If you earn the current STAT VEE by July 1st, 2018 it will count as credit for the new Statistics for Risk Modeling exam and new VEE Mathematical Statistics so take STAT 462/463
- If you earn the current Finance VEE by July 1st, 2019 it will count as credit for the new Finance and Accounting VEE, but ACCTG 211 is a good class to take regardless.
Current | Transitions To |
VEE Economics | VEE Economics |
VEE Corporate Finance* | VEE Accounting and Finance |
VEE Applied Statistics | Statistics for Risk Modeling (SRM) Exam and VEE Mathematical Statistics |
P (Probability) | Probability Exam |
FM (Financial Mathematics) | Financial Mathematics Exam |
MFE (Models for Financial Economics) | Investment and Financial Markets Exam |
MLC (Models for Life Contingencies) | Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics Exam |
C (Construction of Actuarial Models) | Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics and VEE Mathematical Statistics |
FAP (Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice) | FAP |
APC (Associateship Professionalism Course) | APC |
For students who are interested in getting ASA before June 2018:
Below is the advice from former President Luke Yang:
For students who passed P, FM, MFE, MLC, register “FAP Modules 1-8” (the cost is about $300).DO NOT register the IA (Interim Assessment) since it is very expensive. Start working on EOM 1-4 and submit them before start preparing Exam C. Then students can use the time studying for Exam C and wait for the result of EOM 1-4. This is just a time-saving strategy, but again, this ONLY applies to those 1) finish four preliminary exams and 2) want to get the ASA before the changes in June 2018.
For students who are interested in getting ASA before June 2018:
Below is the advice from former President Luke Yang:
For students who passed P, FM, MFE, MLC, register “FAP Modules 1-8” (the cost is about $300).DO NOT register the IA (Interim Assessment) since it is very expensive. Start working on EOM 1-4 and submit them before start preparing Exam C. Then students can use the time studying for Exam C and wait for the result of EOM 1-4. This is just a time-saving strategy, but again, this ONLY applies to those 1) finish four preliminary exams and 2) want to get the ASA before the changes in June 2018.
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