05-13-2002, 12:13 AM
Anyone ever wrote both SOA C6 or C5 and any of CAS C5+ exams?
What are the differences in difficulty?
CAS exams also need heavy memorization?
How many hours are needed to pass each of the CAS exam beyond C4 for a first timer in general?
How is the casualty job market in California or Seattle ?
Just got SOA C6 done and am considering switching to the casualty side.
Thanks for any inputs.
05-13-2002, 09:38 AM
This is just my opinion, based on having taken CAS 5,6, and 7. (I took the SOA exams in the 80's to early 90's so my experience there is out of date.)
The exams are a mix of calculation and memorization. Much more memorization than the early exams. A common mistake of first-timers is to concentrate on the calculations and blow off the memorization bits because they are easier and then get caught on exam day. Sometimes the exams are skewed one way, some another, and there is no telling if you will get heavy list exam, a heavy calculation exam, or something balanced.
I think you need 300 to 400 QUALITY hours to pass, but that varies greatly from person to person. Exam 5 is strong on pricing, and Exam 6 is strong on reserving, so a background in either will be a help for those exams. Exam 7 is an oddball exam which concentrates on accounting and regulation. There is a larger proportion of memorization there. The material itself is not difficult, but the amount of material is staggering, and much of it is mind-numbingly boring, so it can be difficult to study for it effectively.
Organization and motivation are key. I've taken both SOA and CAS exams. Neither has the edge in difficulty. However, I have passed CAS exams at a faster rate than I passed the SOA exams just due to improvement in my study habits, and the recognition that I really would have to put in that many hours to pass, so I might as well just bite the bullet and try to get them in efficiently on one or two attempts, instead of floundering around.
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