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chic squirrel
05-12-2004, 05:48 PM
Hi....I am planning to take the CAS 3 and 6 this Fall.....wanted to know your thoughts on the 'doability' of Exam 6 before Exam 5. I have a basic understanding of insurance since I've worked in the industry for a couple of years.

thanks

whisper
05-12-2004, 05:49 PM
It should be doable. Although, taking 2 exams in a sitting may not be the wisest course of action.

carenthir_dm
05-12-2004, 06:05 PM
I took part 6 last sitting, and part 5 last week for the first time. I failed with a 5, but didn't put in more than 150 hours; I wouldn't say part 5 is at all a necessary prerequisite.

Bullfrog1220
05-12-2004, 06:41 PM
I find it entertaining how many young 'uns like to declare that they are going to take two exams, and then we never hear from them again. I gather from your post that this will be your first attempt on both of them.

I highly recommend that you take a long look at the CAS 6 syllabus before making this plan. The upper CAS exams are very challenging. If you want to sit for two exams, #3 and #4 are doable, though challenging. But, when you mix in the upper exams, that's a whole new animal.

If you do decide to sit for #3 and #6 this fall, I wish you the best of luck. If you beat them both, I definitely would like to see a post. Further, I'm curious to hear from anyone who has passed two exams, including at least one upper one, both on their first attempt.

statzman
05-12-2004, 07:06 PM
Part 6 is definitely doable before part 5. I sat for part 6 last sitting and passed, it was my first upper exam. I put in about 300 hours.

I agree with the others that taking two exams in one sitting is a ridiculous amount of work.

If you have 1,2&4 - there is no point in getting 6 done early anyway - you'll have 3 spring exams and one fall exam left. If you are able to plan the schedule, start with the spring exams, since there are 3 of those, and only 2 fall exams.

In response to bullfrog, I've seen people pass two exams in one sitting, but these have happened ONLY when:
The person had already sat for one of the exams, and failed with a relatively high score: 4 or 5.
(Note, this is a necessary condition - definitely not a sufficient one)

Or another case is when the material was already familiar. I passed 1&2 together, but this was after being a TA in college for calculus and probability... the material for exam 1 was very familiar to me.

Chic squirrel, take a look at the candidate numbers that passed this year for the CAS exams... See if anyone passed cas 3 with any other upper exam... you may find a few, but I guarantee not many.

And lastly, I have friends, and have heard stories of candidates who scored a pair of fives.. that stinks!!!

chic squirrel
05-12-2004, 09:14 PM
Thanks for your opinions! Well, the reason I want to take 2 exams is that I am not working at the moment so if I put my nose to the grind from the word go, I might just be able to do it!
I plan to start with 1 exam and see how things go. Thanks for your time!

Maine-iac
05-13-2004, 10:00 AM
Well, good luck with it! CAS 6 and CAS 5 have virtually no overlap, so that part shouldn't be a problem.

Avi
05-13-2004, 10:02 AM
Well, good luck with it! CAS 6 and CAS 5 have virtually no overlap, so that part shouldn't be a problem.Although the background from the Insurance Operations part may prove helpful in understanding the systems as a whole.

JTBenson
05-13-2004, 12:19 PM
Squirrel,

What is the reason you aren't working? Is it because you are in between jobs or because you have just gotten out of college? The reason I ask is because if you have 1-4 and 6 passed without any experience, you may not have the experience you need to deserve a salary that a 5-exam student would get. It might limit your choices.

Fiveagain
05-13-2004, 12:58 PM
I took part 1 and 2 on the same day and got a total of 10.

I cannot imagine anyone taking part 6 along with another exam. It has way too much material on it.

Tex Act
05-13-2004, 01:12 PM
Well, good luck with it! CAS 6 and CAS 5 have virtually no overlap, so that part shouldn't be a problem.Although the background from the Insurance Operations part may prove helpful in understanding the systems as a whole.

It doesn't really help that much to pass the exam. It would help to understand the material better. But who really cares about understanding the material, right? ;)

chic squirrel
05-13-2004, 01:26 PM
Squirrel,

What is the reason you aren't working? Is it because you are in between jobs or because you have just gotten out of college? The reason I ask is because if you have 1-4 and 6 passed without any experience, you may not have the experience you need to deserve a salary that a 5-exam student would get. It might limit your choices.

I have actually passed only Course 2 now and appeared for Course 4 yesterday which I think went well.
I have worked in India in the insurance sector for a year and a half and will begin working here in the Fall once my H1B gets issued(my employer has filed it).I wanted to get the difficult ones out of the way before I start working-as many as possible-as I can only imagine how difficult it is to study while you are working.
I hadnt thought of what you said-my employer has a policy of increasuing the salary for every exam passed but are you saying that for the higher exams(5 and above) the increase will be much more if I have the relevant years of work experience?

MNBridge
05-13-2004, 02:08 PM
I would never worry about having too many exams!!

Yes it's true you may not make the salary that the others with 5 exams are making but I can pretty much guarantee that there is not one person out there who if given the choice would ask to not have credit for an exam they have passed and ask to take it again.

mathseal
05-13-2004, 02:20 PM
We're actuaries, so let's look at the statistics:

According to the CAS pass lists, of the 842 people that have passed the new part 6 (4 fall sittings), only three passed it with another exam. But there's no telling how many tried multiple exams. Since at least two of them had strong passing rates but didn't pass anything the previous fall - I'd guess they barely missed one, and retook it with the others.

Looking at it differently. For those candidates who suceeded in passing multiple exams under the new structure, which exams did they pass?

Exam # of candidates
1 39
2 48
3 18
4 20
5 07
6 03
7 07
8 04
9 02
----------------
Total (148)

The 148 exams were passed by 70 candidates.
3 candidates passed 2 exams per sitting on two separate sittings,
And 2 candidates passed 3 exams in one sitting. :o

Hope this helps. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!

At my last company we used to have a saying,
> Better one 6 than two 5's.
> But better two 6's than one 10.

ramanujan
05-13-2004, 03:56 PM
I sat for 4 and 5 this spring attepting both for the first time. Same is true for my study partner. Both of us started working full time last year.

On exam 4 - According to the latest "popular key" complied by Dumber, I have 29/40 and my partner has 30/40.

On exam 5 - On multiple choice I have 13.25/17, my partner has 15.75/17. My total estimate is 64/100, don't know this statistic for my partner.

At present, I am quite sure of passing 4. On 5 I will most likely get a 5 or 6. Passing two exams in first attempt is difficult, but not impossible.

aniasat
07-13-2004, 10:16 AM
Chic Squirrel,

I am not sure if you have decided on taking two exams (or otherwise). But I just wanted to let you know that me and Ramanujan, my study buddy, took Course 4 & CAS 5 in May 2004 and passed both the exams.

Both of us work full time (demanding) jobs - i work for a consulting firm and ramanujan works for a reinsurance company.

So, with the right studying techniques and some discipline, I think it is definitely doable.

Good luck!!

Anita

bermi
07-13-2004, 10:27 AM
Chic Squirrel,

I am not sure if you have decided on taking two exams (or otherwise). But I just wanted to let you know that me and Ramanujan, my study buddy, took Course 4 & CAS 5 in May 2004 and passed both the exams.

Both of us work full time (demanding) jobs - i work for a consulting firm and ramanujan works for a reinsurance company.

So, with the right studying techniques and some discipline, I think it is definitely doable.

Good luck!!

Anita

How many hours did the two of you allocate to each exam?

GefilteFish144
07-13-2004, 10:40 AM
Taking 6 before 5 can be done easily, and a necessity for people who have passed their last of the first 4 exams in the spring. Just don't take 7 before 6 -- then you're asking for trouble.

ramanujan
07-13-2004, 11:56 AM
Chic Squirrel,

I am not sure if you have decided on taking two exams (or otherwise). But I just wanted to let you know that me and Ramanujan, my study buddy, took Course 4 & CAS 5 in May 2004 and passed both the exams.

Both of us work full time (demanding) jobs - i work for a consulting firm and ramanujan works for a reinsurance company.

So, with the right studying techniques and some discipline, I think it is definitely doable.

Good luck!!

Anita

How many hours did the two of you allocate to each exam?


I never kept track of the no. of hours but my best estimate would be 150 hours for exam 4 (I received my grade today, got a 8) and 300-350 hours for exam 5. What is your estimate, Anita?

GefilteFish144
07-13-2004, 12:15 PM
I never kept track of the no. of hours but my best estimate would be 150 hours for exam 4 (I received my grade today, got a 8) and 300-350 hours for exam 5. What is your estimate, Anita?

How many times had you attempted 4 and 5 before this sitting? Certainly studying for 2 exams is much easier when you don't have to learn the stuff from scratch.

ramanujan
07-13-2004, 12:23 PM
I never kept track of the no. of hours but my best estimate would be 150 hours for exam 4 (I received my grade today, got a 8) and 300-350 hours for exam 5. What is your estimate, Anita?

How many times had you attempted 4 and 5 before this sitting? Certainly studying for 2 exams is much easier when you don't have to learn the stuff from scratch.

Both for the first time. Same for Anita.
I had a little help on course 4 with a time series course that I took in university a couple of years back. On course 5, I had some advantage since my job is mostly pricing.

GefilteFish144
07-13-2004, 01:24 PM
Both for the first time. Same for Anita.
I had a little help on course 4 with a time series course that I took in university a couple of years back. On course 5, I had some advantage since my job is mostly pricing.

Nice work, both of you. Even with work experience and coursework, these exams are tough to pass, especially on the first try. But for most people I'd say taking 2 exams for the first time would probably be a tall order. I had a tough time even taking 2 exam parts, back in the pre-2000 days when they divided Exams 3-5 into 2 or 3 parts each.

ramanujan
07-13-2004, 02:10 PM
Both for the first time. Same for Anita.
I had a little help on course 4 with a time series course that I took in university a couple of years back. On course 5, I had some advantage since my job is mostly pricing.

Nice work, both of you. Even with work experience and coursework, these exams are tough to pass, especially on the first try. But for most people I'd say taking 2 exams for the first time would probably be a tall order. I had a tough time even taking 2 exam parts, back in the pre-2000 days when they divided Exams 3-5 into 2 or 3 parts each.

Thanks, GefilteFish144.

Howard Mahler
07-13-2004, 04:27 PM
If you have not worked on ratemaking, it might not hurt to glance through the McClenhan Chapter on Ratemaking in Foundations of CAS. In particular you might look at his simple loss development exhibit. Note I said glance through this chapter rather than study in detail. (You will have to study it for Part 5.)

Howard Mahler

Hi....I am planning to take the CAS 3 and 6 this Fall.....wanted to know your thoughts on the 'doability' of Exam 6 before Exam 5. I have a basic understanding of insurance since I've worked in the industry for a couple of years.

thanks

carrytheCrøss
11-15-2005, 05:23 PM
:bump:

So I've dug up and read multiple threads regarding whether to take CAS 5 before 6, and have read that 6 is definitely passable before having taken 5. However, I have not seen this question asked by a new hire. I graduate in May, so if I were fortunate enough to land an opportunity, would it be prudent to try CAS 6? Given I would have had only about three months of work experience by the November test date? I was contemplating taking a VEE test in August and taking the November sitting off. In this situation, I would beging studying early for CAS 5. However, if I decided to actually take CAS 6 in November, I would start studying some time during the summer months preceding it.

I would just like to get some of you all's opinions on this. Thanks in advance.

Edit: To make more clear

GreenPea
11-15-2005, 06:00 PM
I just got killed by CAS 6 two weeks ago. What are you asking exactly?

:bump:

So I've dug up and read multiple threads regarding whether to take CAS 5 before 6, and have read that 6 is definitely passable before having taken 5. However, I have not seen this question asked by a new hire. I graduate in May, so if I were fortunate enough to land an opportunity, would CAS 6 still be doable, given I would have had little over three months of work experience by test time? I was contemplating doing a VEE (the test of which would be in August) and taking that sitting off, perhaps starting early for CAS 5. Of course, though, if I decided to take 6 instead, I would start some time during the summer. I would just like to get some of you all's opinions on this. Thanks in advance.

carrytheCrøss
11-15-2005, 08:20 PM
I edited my previous post, and I think it's more clear now. Basically it boils down to, as a new hire, do you you think it would be wise to take CAS 6 with only about about three months experience, or take the sitting off?

Thoughts?

GreenPea
11-15-2005, 09:19 PM
I work for personal line P&C as a pricing analyst for about one year or so. My experience does not help me much in CAS 6 b/c loss reserving and reinsurance are not things I see in my job.

If you are really good, everything is possible.

I edited my previous post, and I think it's more clear now. Basically it boils down to, as a new hire, do you you think it would be wise to take CAS 6 with only about about three months experience, or take the sitting off?

Thoughts?

KindGrind
11-16-2005, 08:36 AM
I took part 6 in fall 2004 just after I graduated from University / started working. So basically I started studying while I had 2 months of work experience (and mostly irrelevant since I'm in ratemaking) and it worked out perfectly. It's really doable. Plus, there's not much link between exam 5 and 6

The Sad Man
11-16-2005, 10:22 AM
If you're ridiculously dedicated, it's certainly possible. You're gonna have to learn a ton of stuff though, easily 2x-3x more than what you've seen on any of the preliminary exams. This is especially true if you have extremely limited work experience, e.g. how familiar are you with triangles?

carrytheCrøss
11-17-2005, 03:17 AM
Thanks very much for the input thus far.

sticks1839
11-22-2005, 11:12 AM
:bump:

However, I have not seen this question asked by a new hire. I graduate in May, so if I were fortunate enough to land an opportunity, would it be prudent to try CAS 6? Given I would have had only about three months of work experience by the November test date? I was contemplating taking a VEE test in August and taking the November sitting off. In this situation, I would beging studying early for CAS 5. However, if I decided to actually take CAS 6 in November, I would start studying some time during the summer months preceding it.

I would just like to get some of you all's opinions on this. Thanks in advance.

Edit: To make more clear

I might be in a similar situation next Nov. although I'll have been working for a year and 3 months. This is contingent on passing 3 this past Nov. and 4 in May, but I have every intention of putting in more than enough effort to do so. My advice to you as a new hire is to sit every exam sitting unless you've passed every exam offered in that sitting, (as might be the case if you pass 6 before 5). Failures happen on these exams and passing on taking an exam can only prolong your exam progress. Give it a shot, and probably the worse case is learning stuff for 6 helps you on your job, and gets you familiar with upper level exams.