Upcoming Challenges Of Actuarial Science Curriculum 2019

As rightly said by Leo Buscaglia, ”Change is the end result of all true learning.”

Actuarial Science Curriculum 2019 is all set to go. The IFoA is all set to bring a paradigm shift in its educational programme to make the student’s industry ready whilst giving their actuarial exams. With this motive in hand, IFoA has introduced the online based test to make the students handy with the various software that is used in the actuarial world.

Welcoming the 2019 curriculum I would like to throw light on the varied benefits and challenges that this new curriculum imposes.

STUDY HOURS: The study hours under the new arrangement are far more than that of the earlier CT subjects. To specify a few:

(i) Under the CM1 the recommended study hours are 250 as compared to 125-150 hours in CT1&CT5.

(ii) The study hours for CS1 has increased to 200 hours.

(iii) For the updated exam CS2,250 hours are suggested to study under the same institution. This would in turn lead to more sleepless nights, early mornings and suffer from having to lose countless weekends.

EXAMINATION FEES: The standard examination fee for the new subjects is shown below:

COURSE NOTES: Since two subjects are merged into one, this has increased the number of chapters significantly. Thus, more focus needs to be laid on every concept.

EXAMINATION PATTERN: The pattern of assessment has changed drastically.

(i) Core Principles: One needs to sit for a 1 hour 15 minutes online exam in addition to conventional 3 hours 15 minutes paper-pen test. This online test is a major challenge for the ones who are not tech savvy and are not abreast with the software used.

(ii) Core Practices: At this stage, there will be three main modules. The Actuarial Practice (CP1) module will be examined by two paper-based exams. The Modelling Practice (CP2) module will be examined by two three hour computer-based examinations. These will cover the modeling of data, documentation of work, analysis of methods, communication to an actuarial audience and data analytics. The Communication Practice (CP3) module will be examined by one three hours computer-based exam.

(iii) Specialist Principles: The Specialist Principles modules (SP) require you to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of specific specialist subjects. Each subject will be examined by a three-hour paper-based exam.

(iv) Specialist Advanced: The Specialist Advanced modules (SA) require you to apply specific knowledge of principles of actuarial practice to the provision of specific practice areas. Each subject will be examined by a three-hour paper-based exam.

EXEMPTIONS: As of now there hasn’t any agreement signed by the IFoA with the Indian Institute of Actuaries (IAI) which is a major threat to the students who used to sit for examination with both the institutes. Thus, getting exemptions would be a serious challenge. One can get exemptions for the exams passed before December 2018 from other actuarial societies such as The Actuarial Society Of South Africa, The Actuaries Institute Australia, The Casualty Actuarial Society, China Association of Actuaries and Society of Actuaries Students.

Examinations sat after December 2018 will be subject to further discussions with these associations. Individuals will have until December 2023 to claim their exemptions.

Perhaps, the brighter side to this change is that the new curriculum is set to benefit the students in the following ways:

  • UP to DATE: The curriculum so developed caters to the industry’s requirements. The students will be aware of the practical application of the theoretically learned concepts. This would make them job ready and would increase their chances of landing into their dream jobs.
  • COMPLIANT: The change is in compliance with the International Actuarial Association which is the international body that all actuarial associations are a part of. Thus, the IFoA changes are in line with the changes happening across all the world.
  • INTERNATIONALLY FOCUSSED: The best of all is that the new curriculum is internationally focussed so it won’t be necessarily around the UK rules and regulations. So whilst a student who is based in the UK can write the answer based around the UK rules. A student in India, for example, will be able to answer around the Indian rules and regulations so they should be able to relate it more to what actually goes on where they’re working and not necessarily having to learn a lot of material that they don’t come across in their day to day working life.

Thus, we hope that this IFoA’s initiative for change will help us change the entire Actuarial profession and make it more competent.

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