Actuarial Exam Preparation

As students, we often waste most of our time doing non-productive activities during the day. These non-productive activities leave us feeling drained which then makes studying less effective. Here are some guidelines to help you maximize your productivity and create an effective study plan for yourself.

  • Keep a work log for at least a week. Write down all of your activities and the time spent doing them. This may be time-consuming initially but this step is essential to help you get a true picture of what your whole week looks like
  • Analyze your activities. Separate your activities into productive and non-productive activities. Productive activities are basically high priority activities that require most of your time and attention. For example, attending classes, studying for your exams, working your part-time or full-time job etc. Non-productive activities are low priority activities such as keeping up-to-date with news on your social media feed, checking out that new café in town, watching that new episode from the TV series you’ve been following and so on
  • Most students will find that they are spending way too much time than they should on nonproductive activities in a week
  • Prioritize all your activities. Preparing for your actuarial exam should be the highest priority on your list every day. You need to concentrate most of your time on just a few high-priority activities on a daily basis. I personally spend most of my time on 2 to at most 3 high-priority activities every day. This is to ensure that I am able to give the focus and attention needed to complete these high-priority activities successfully
  • Allocate appropriate amounts of time for both your high priority and low priority items. Preparing for your actuarial exam should take up at least 2 to 3 hours in a day. Once you’ve figured it out, you’ll have at least 21 to 22 hours in a day left for all your other activities such as sleeping, attending classes, completing your assignments etc. That’s plenty of time left for you to designate
  • Set deadlines and milestones in your exam study plan to help you stay on track and motivated. Deadlines will serve as small milestones in your study plan. Once you’ve successfully achieved a milestone, reward yourself with something nice. On the other hand, if you fail to meet a milestone, give yourself more work to do
  • The objective of your study plan is to maximize your exam success. Failing the actuarial exams is a major source of stress for many students. Having an effective and productive study plan will definitely help reduce the stress you are under

What are the introductory measures for Actuarial Career 

An actuary is a profession that requires a skilled person to determine the present effects of future unforeseen events.

The Profession of Actuary is changing as it is moving into newer roles in addition to the traditional roles. As students we need to have the clarity of what exactly is actuarial sciences and why should we become an actuary and what does it take to become an actuary.

Typically an Actuary uses financial and statistical techniques to solve real business problems, particularly which involve risk management.

But what sets them apart from their counterparts in other professions is the natural mathematical, economic and statistical aptitude, awareness and the ability to apply these to situations in the real financial world. When the interested individuals become a member of any Actuarial Societies of the world, be it Indian or UK, they already possess some of the skills required to make them an excellent actuary someday.

To buckle up for this field, one must have sound knowledge in Mathematics & Statistics, have a knack for logic and problem solving, be a good communicator and most importantly have excellent business awareness.

The Institute of Actuaries of India(IAI) and Institute and Faculty of Actuaries(IFoA) are the two most prominent. Educational Institutes that provides ample opportunities for students across the globe. The Institute of Actuaries of India plays a very important role by encouraging students to take up Actuary as a profession by felicitating them with prestigious awards.

Be it Parikh Parivar Prize Fund or Late A S Gupta Prize Fund for students scoring highest marks in ACET, Academic Excellence Award for securing highest marks in the subject papers and Principal Financial Group Award or Meena Sidhwani Memorial Academic Excellence Award for Associateship and Fellowship respectively. Please have a look at it, at or_Exam_Performance

Moreover, the Institute of Actuaries of India has started a Student Support Scheme w.e.f 1st April 2016 which is solely a humble initiative from the IAI’s side, in order to support economically disadvantaged students. It’s their social responsibility and aims to create an enabling infrastructure to reach out to economically disadvantaged students. For more details, please do visit _Support_Scheme

To kick-start for the exam preparation, one has to attain membership from the Institute, first and foremost. One has to clear ACET exam from IAI to attain its membership, although there is a non-member criterion for students appearing from IFoA. Please go through this link for more details,

Thenceforth, they can sit for the Actuarial Exams, which is divided into 2 types, three hour Written examination and Practical examinations. Written examination comes in four stages and these four stages include practical subjects in itself. The stages include:

Core Technical– In the Core Technical stage there are 9 subjects. We are required to pass/be exempted from all subjects at this stage.

Core Application– In the Core applications stage actuarial concepts are covered.

Specialist Technical– This stage builds on the Core Applications Stage, but in individual immersive capacity. The choice is introduced at this stage. The student will choose 2 subjects from the 6 subjects offered.

Specialist Application– There is no requirement to have passed the corresponding specialist technical subject, however, the Specialist Applications subjects will typically assume knowledge of the corresponding Specialist Technical subject.

There is sufficient resources available for the hardworking, dedicated individuals who are motivated enough to clear all the Stages of this exam. The websites of IAI and IFoA has been providing best of the best educational support through online resources, be it Online Library Services, Study Materials, Videos, Reference Book List for clearing ACET etc. Go through the links

Moreover, there is a great opportunity for students who are just about to leave school who are preparing to take on a degree soon. It’s all about Actuarial apprenticeship. It’s a great pathway to take on before taking Actuarial exams, in order to become an Actuary. It’s exciting and plain sailing for the enthusiastic ones. Please visit the link once, to know more about the exciting journey, at

Hence, burning the midnight oil is a must to be in this profession and as we take one exam after another, we acquire the skills that will make us a successful actuary, one day. It takes a lot of patience, grit and determination to get there, but when we are there, we will definitely become a knowledge hub and financial success will be just, incidental.

With this, I wish to conclude with a great quote that I hope everyone who is aspiring today for the profession will follow and make it happen one day, is that

“Some people dream of accomplishing great things. Others stay awake and make it happen.”

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