Actuarial Science: Comparison Between CS2 And CT-4 And CT-6
The ulterior motive of CS2 under the new Actuarial Science curriculum is to give an improved emphasis on the understanding of statistical concepts and its practical implications to our actuarial problems over CT-4 and CT-6 of the old curriculum.
CS2 bags up some insane statistics and modeling techniques that will make you turn around and test your skills and dedication towards actuarial science. This paper is constructed with great efforts and planning to make you industry ready. It is an essential paper-pass that an employer will look to when hiring an actuarial fresher.
Everyone is aware that CT-4 and CT-6 are being clubbed together under the new curriculum into a single subject i.e. CS2. Well my cusp is, are you seriously aware of how much your coursework and preparation would remain the same or change under the updated curriculum for CS2. If not, then here’s a quick comparison for you guys!
EXAM FORMAT: CT-4 and CT-6 were separate theoretical exams aimed to provide you with grounding on statistics and modeling techniques whereas CS2 having the same objective are further divided into two parts namely,
CS2A- which will be a theoretical pen-paper based subjective exam. And,
CS2B- which will be a practical exam using R on the real data sets to solve actuarial problems discussed in CS2A and has to be given in the same exam diet like that of CS2A.
DURATION OF EXAM: Both CT-4 and CT-6 were 3 hours 15 minutes theoretical exam (which includes 15 minutes reading time). Same goes for CS2A, but there is slight change i.e. now the additional 15 minutes reading time has been included in the overall sitting minutes giving the examinee the liberty of using that time as per his/her choice.
CS2B will be a 1 hour 45 minutes practical exam which you can either give from your home or office.
EVALUATION: For CT-4 and CT-6, single pass mark (variable for each exam diet) was declared by IFoA for each paper and if a student scored equal or higher than the pass mark, he was considered the pass.
On the other hand, under the new curriculum, 70% and 30% weight has been given to CS2A and CS2B respectively. Your final score will be evaluated by adding both the marks according to their weights to obtain a single score. If your final score is equal to or higher than the pass mark, you will clear CS2.
STUDY HOURS: The recommended study time for CT-4 and CT-6 was between 125-150 hours by IFoA. For the updated exam CS2, 250 hours are suggested to study the subject by the same actuarial institution. However, it solely depends on your past and current education background and your ability to grasp the content.
EXAMINATION FEE: As a member of IFoA, the fee charged for CT-4 and CT-6 was £225 for each paper and for CS2, you will be charged £280. While the reduced rate for CT-4 and CT-6 was £120 whereas, for CS2 it is £165.
As a member of IAI, the institution charged ₹2500 for CT-4 and CT-6 respectively. However, the exam fee for the updated 2019 exam hasn’t been disclosed yet.
TOPICS REMOVED & ADDED: Only one topic has been removed from CT-4, which is ‘Principles of Actuarial Modelling’ (Chapter 1). Whereas, a few ponderous topics have been removed from CT-6 namely, ‘Decision Theory’, ‘Bayesian Statistics’, ‘Credibility Theory’, ‘Empirical Bayes Credibility Theory’, ‘Ruin theory’, ‘Generalised Linear Models’, ‘Run-off Triangles’ and ‘Monte Carlo Simulation’.
Contrary to that, ‘Copulas’, ‘Extreme Value Theory’ and ‘Machine Learning’ are the three new topics added to the syllabus which are of significant importance.
STUDY REQUIREMENTS: Previously, for CT-4 and CT-6 a thorough study of core readings and solving problems was recommended along with your expertise in using the calculator.
Now for CS2, you will have to prepare for both subjective and practical exam side by side. Be through with the core readings (Literally! I strongly stress on it !!). They will help you to swim through those vital statistics conceptual-based problems. You should be efficient with R, your codes should be smooth and presentable which is only achievable by constant practice. You can take coaching for both CS2A and CS2B as per your need. Also, there are various courses available on R programming online (Coursera, DataCamp etc.).
PS: If you have already cleared CT-3 under old curriculum and are sitting for CS2 under new curriculum, then is it advisable to study ‘Bayesian Statistics’, ‘Credibility Theory’, ‘Empirical Bayes Credibility Theory’ and ‘Generalised Linear Models’ separately since these topics have been shifted to CS1 (CT-3 update in new curriculum).
Additionally, if you have cleared CT-8 under old curriculum and are sitting for CS2 under the new curriculum, then it is advisable to study ‘Ruin Theory’ and ‘Run-off Triangles’ separately since it has been shifted to CM2 (CT-8 update in new curriculum).
These were some cut through comparisons between CS2 and CT-4 & CT-6. You can take the above changes into account and plan your study route. I wish you all the best for your actuarial jaunt!
To more know about CS2: Risk Modelling and Survival Analysis, click here