ACET Preparation decoded

Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET) is the ticket to entering the world of Actuarial Science via the gate of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI). If you are thinking of pursuing actuarial science, this article will help you in planning and preparation for the ACET Exam.

This article will give you insights about the structure of ACET Preparation and Exam, some frequently asked questions, tips on how to crack it, followed by my experience of securing ALL INDIA RANK 1 in ACET (Dec 2015).

Actuarial Common Entrance Test:

Actuarial Common Entrance Test or ACET is the entrance exam for actuarial science which is held at least twice a year, mostly in June and December by the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI).

IAI started conducting ACET exam from January 2012. There has been a change in the structure of ACET examination from May 2016 exam diet. After passing ACET, you will be eligible to sit for the actuarial exams under IAI.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What are the eligibility criteria for ACET?
Ans. The only eligibility criterion is that you must have appeared 10+2 examination or an equivalent examination with English as one of the subjects in 10+2 level.

Q. What is the latest exam structure of the ACET?
Ans. It is a three-hour online examination of 100 marks having 70 multiple choice questions. The distribution of questions are as follows:

  • 45 questions of 1 mark each
  • 20 questions of 2 marks each
  • 5 questions of 3 marks each

Q. What are the subjects covered in the syllabus of ACET?
Ans. The ACET comprises of the following subjects:

ACET Preparation decoded

Q. What is the mode of examination?
Ans. It is an online i.e. computer-based examination where you have to be present at your chosen exam center. There are currently 24 exam centers across India.

Q. Is there any negative marking for wrong answers?
Ans.
Yes, there is a negative marking of 50% weight. It means every incorrect answer will deduct half of the weight of marks of the question.

Q. What is the validity of ACET results?
Ans.
The validity of ACET results is for three years from the date of declaration of result. It means you have to take membership within this period; otherwise, you will have to reappear for the ACET exam.

Q. Where can I find the past question papers?
Ans.
The sample question papers and their solutions for the past few years are available on the IAI website.

Q. How to prepare for the exam?
Ans. There may not be a definite answer to this question. Everyone has his own study methods and learning pace. However, this might help you in some way in your preparation:

  • Read the concepts carefully and try to get an in-depth understanding of them
  • Do solve as many questions as you can
  • Making your own notes can help you for quick revision purpose
  • Do past papers in strict exam conditions
  • Try to solve some mock papers online to get the hands-on computer-based exam

Q. How much time is required for the preparation of this exam?
Ans. One can clear ACET after doing serious preparation of two months. However, it also depends on your focus and dedication towards the subject.

Q. From where I can get the study material to prepare for the exam?
Ans.
You can find a list of recommended books on the IAI website. As per my knowledge, STATS PACK and FAC are the best and sufficient resources for Statistics and Mathematics respectively (provided by Actuarial Education). For other subjects, you can choose from the given list by referring to the contents of the subject. You can also search for some e-books.

Q. Would it be a good idea to take coaching for ACET?
Ans. The answer to this question solely depends on individuals. I can say, as per my experience, it can be cracked by self-study. You just need to be disciplined, patient and quick to complete the paper within time.

Q. Can I use a scientific calculator during the exam?
Ans. Yes, you can use a scientific calculator in the exam, provided that you should have the one among the list of calculators given on IAI website.

Q. Is there any award for the ACET Topper given by IAI?
Ans. Yes, the candidate who scores AIR 1 in ACET is awarded a personalized Trophy and Prize money of Rs. 10,000. Also, the award is presented in the “Global Conference of Actuaries” in the Actuarial Gala Functions and Awards (AGFA) Ceremony in February every year. Moreover, the interview of the candidate is published on the website and in the Actuary India magazine.

The story behind securing AIR1:

Now I would like to share some incidents which played a major role in my success! You may have read this before:

‘’Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’’. – Napoleon Hill

I just believed in this line and it happened! Yes, the first step to success is to believe it. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.

Actuarial Science became my aim just after I completed my schooling. As I wanted to focus more on Actuary, I took admission in a local college for my graduation. When I met with the principal and told her about Actuarial Science, she immediately handed over me a piece of paper with the heading ‘Disabled needn’t think they’re any less: UPSC Topper’. :p

There was an interview of a physically disabled girl, who had recently topped in UPSC Examination in that newspaper. I just got speechless when my principal said, ‘If she can do it, then why not you?’

That was the day when I decided to top in ACET. I used to see that newspaper daily which I hung up on the wall of my room. That motivated me to do the best I can and even I didn’t know when I revised the whole syllabus four times!

This was not the end. This thing hit me again when I read a book named ‘The power of your subconscious mind’ by Joseph Murphy. After reading a few pages of it, I started visualizing myself going to the Global Conference of Actuaries (GCA) to get my award. Reading the interviews of the past toppers and imagine me in that place was quite exciting for me. And the day was not far when my interview got published!

In simpler terms, I trained myself for the first rank only.
Let me summarize it with some Quick tips:

  • Practice mock papers in strict exam condition
  • Do not read again and again the concepts you are already familiar with instead
  • Spend time on those which you find more challenging
  • Do not get stuck to the question if you are unable to solve it, move to the next immediately and come back to it later.

Believe in yourself and you will succeed.
I wish you the very best for your future!

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