Don’t be afraid of change. You might lose something good, but you’ll gain something better.’
With the introduction of Actuarial Exam 2019 curriculum by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, you can relate to this quote if you are an actuarial science aspirant. Certain questions such as how the new curriculum will impact the preparations, the exemptions policy, clubbing of papers and introduction of software along with the theory papers are buzzing in minds of all actuarial aspirants.
Assessment of grasp of the subject by testing the aspirants in software papers in addition to the theory paper has been introduced for 4 papers under the new curriculum.
Actuarial Mathematics (CM1) provides a grounding in the principles of actuarial modeling, theories of interest rates and the mathematical techniques used to model and value cashflows which are either certain or are contingent on mortality, morbidity or survival.
Loss Reserving and Financial Engineering (CM2) provides a grounding in the principles of actuarial modeling, focusing on stochastic asset-liability models and the valuation of financial derivatives. It also provides knowledge of the theories of the behavior of financial markets, measures of risk, determining reserves for a non-life insurer and price options.
Actuarial Statistics (CS1), as the name suggests, provides a grounding in mathematical and statistical methods that are of relevance for actuarial work. It gives knowledge of statistical distributions, methods to summarise data, the principles of statistical inference, regression models and the fundamental concepts of Bayesian statistics.
Risk Modelling and Survival Analysis (CS2) builds on CS1. It develops knowledge of and the ability to apply statistical methods for risk modeling, time series analysis methods, stochastic processes, survival analysis, and graduation methods.
With the advent of tools such as R, VBA, and automation at the workplace, it has become indispensable to be hands-on with software relevant to one’s job. Being tech-savvy along with knowledge of actuarial papers is the need of the hour. Also, as the skill set of actuaries is used in wider applications in both traditional and non-traditional fields, the curriculum has been updated to reflect these challenges and ensure that it is fit for purpose in today’s evolving world.
Let’s have a look at what’s in store with the additional problem-based assessment for few papers from 2019 onwards…
There will be a 1 hour 45 minutes problem-based assessment, be done using the respective software. The exam can be given in the office or at home.
The two papers for the CS and CM subjects will be weighted. Paper A, the 3 hours and 15 minutes paper will be weighted at 70% and the Problem-based Assessment, Paper B, at 30%. Paper A an important role in testing knowledge and understanding of the subject, but the second paper, of Problem-based Assessment, test the application of this knowledge using real sets of data.
The outcome will be a single mark. So, the marks for the two papers will be added together and, provided you achieve the pass mark, you will pass. There is no requirement to achieve a pass in both the papers.
If an exam in the Curriculum 2019 has two applicable subjects in the current curriculum you will need to obtain passes or exemptions in both of these to be able to obtain a pass or the exemption in the new subject. This applies to CT1, CT4, CT5, and CT6. If one has a pass or exemption in only one of these applicable subjects by the time the deadlines have passed one will need to set the subject as a whole.
Though many aspirants feel that the introduction of software has complicated the route to qualification, in reality, gaining hands-on experience on the software and understanding the application of theoretical concepts using software helps in getting a better grasp on the subject. Though it’s going to be a two-step journey for these 4 papers, it’ll definitely be a new path to explore and develop as budding actuaries!
Wish you all the luck!!