View Full Version : CAS 5 vs CAS 4

jy006m

06-24-2011, 07:56 PM

Just preliminarily passed Exam 4. What is the difficulty level of Exam 5? What kind of math/statistics pre-requisite knowledge do you need on 5 that you don't need on 4? I'm currently working in pensions but have considered switching to P&C for a while. The thing that worries me is the upper level CAS exam track since my math background is kind of lacking. I did not major in math while in college so I had to learn double integrals, partial derivatives, information matrices, etc while studying for the pre-lims. Since I am at the point where the CAS and SOA diverge hope someone can helpe me make an informed decision.

nonactuarialactuary

06-24-2011, 08:16 PM

Just preliminarily passed Exam 4. What is the difficulty level of Exam 5? What kind of math/statistics pre-requisite knowledge do you need on 5 that you don't need on 4? I'm currently working in pensions but have considered switching to P&C for a while. The thing that worries me is the upper level CAS exam track since my math background is kind of lacking. I did not major in math while in college so I had to learn double integrals, partial derivatives, information matrices, etc while studying for the pre-lims. Since I am at the point where the CAS and SOA diverge hope someone can helpe me make an informed decision.

There is no hard math on CAS 5 in it's present form. Pretty much nothing more involved than what you could do on a standard four function calculator (okay, maybe toss an exponential or two in there). The insurance component will be new to you, but nothing that you can't learn. I passed old 5, ratemaking, with no prior experience in it whatsoever. Ratemaking in real life is a very complex process involving all sorts of fancy mathematical models. Ratemaking on the exam is a relatively simple process, with nothing more than a brief executive summary of some of the more complex topics. The difficult components to the reserving portion of the exam (old 6) are now on current exam 7. The reserving component of current 5 involves very simple math. If you can calculate a bunch of ratios and take an average, you probably got more than half of the points on the 2011 sitting of 5B.

Islander

06-24-2011, 09:32 PM

Just preliminarily passed Exam 4. What is the difficulty level of Exam 5? What kind of math/statistics pre-requisite knowledge do you need on 5 that you don't need on 4? I'm currently working in pensions but have considered switching to P&C for a while. The thing that worries me is the upper level CAS exam track since my math background is kind of lacking. I did not major in math while in college so I had to learn double integrals, partial derivatives, information matrices, etc while studying for the pre-lims. Since I am at the point where the CAS and SOA diverge hope someone can helpe me make an informed decision.

Since you working in pensions, you may not realize that exam 5 is a spring exam. Next one will be in 2012. (New) Exam 6 and 8 are Fall exams.

jy006m

06-25-2011, 12:48 AM

Hmm, after searching on the internet and finding brief descriptions, looks like CAS 5-7 are a lot like the SOA FAP Modules, in that they are essay format and less about math compared to the prelims and more about learning about the respective industries. Can someone let me know if I'm wrong?

Vorian Atreides

06-25-2011, 01:39 AM

Computations are still an integral part of the upper CAS Exams, however, you're required to "show your work" for full credit.

That is, someone with the "wrong" answer but the correct process will likely outscore someone with the "right" answer but doesn't show their work.

JasonScandopolous

06-25-2011, 11:07 AM

I'd overall say that exam 5 is easier than exam 4. But, being completely different in terms of how to study for it and the info you need to pass it, you may disagree. You won't know until you take it.

JuicyJuice

06-25-2011, 11:09 AM

Hmm, after searching on the internet and finding brief descriptions, looks like CAS 5-7 are a lot like the SOA FAP Modules

blasphemy!!!!!!!

:troll::meltdown:

Vorian Atreides

06-25-2011, 11:26 AM

I think the OP intended that the goals/objectives of CAS 5-7 are similar to SOA's FAP to the extent of instructing the candidate in the fundamentals of actuarial practice; not that Exams 5-7 are comparable in their completion to FAP.

sohlelynol

06-25-2011, 02:46 PM

The most important skill currently required for upper level CAS exams is writing fast. Even if you write super fast you may not finish the exam.

jy006m

06-25-2011, 10:53 PM

Computations are still an integral part of the upper CAS Exams, however, you're required to "show your work" for full credit.

That is, someone with the "wrong" answer but the correct process will likely outscore someone with the "right" answer but doesn't show their work.

Good. Takes out the luck factor inherent in the multiple choice pre-lims.

jy006m

06-25-2011, 10:59 PM

Just glanced through last year's exam solutions for CAS 5, 6, and 7. Doesn't look too bad mathematically. CAS 7 even has a little bit of economics (disclosure: that was my major). CAS it is!

jy006m

06-25-2011, 11:22 PM

BTW what are CAS Online Courses 1 and 2? Are they pre-reqs for Exams 5 and 6? How long do they take to complete?

Vorian Atreides

06-26-2011, 12:46 AM

BTW what are CAS Online Courses 1 and 2? Are they pre-reqs for Exams 5 and 6? How long do they take to complete?

There are two sub-forums that can help you with this question better.

In a nutshell, you don't need them to sit for the Exams; but they can be helpful in improving one's understanding of some of the material.

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