View Full Version : EXAM CSP

09-12-2005, 01:09 PM
Does anyone know how exam CSP work under the upcoming system?

10-03-2005, 01:14 PM
I called the SOA to ask about conversion issues.

CSP will be one of the two exams (DP being the other) offered beginning in May 2007. Not sure which one will be offered in May and which in November, but everyone who reads this should urge the SOA to place CSP in May and DP in Movember - it works out better for everyone...

I wish I could do PD credits. Unfortunately the new exam system is not very well thought out and as a result of their shortsightedness, they screwed many people over including myself. It makes me feel bad that I stayed in this profession instead of getting a graduate degree.

Why is the SOA's credentialing process such cowsh*t? You would think that there would be at least one FSA in this profession who is not repressed and vindicative about exams. If you are on the SOA E&E committee, please go outside and do something non-actuarial for a change. Breathe some fresh air.I think you need to take your own advice. If you honestly think that the SOA's goal (even a minor one) is to screw the students it is time to cut your losses and move somewhere else.

10-03-2005, 04:53 PM
A few comments on your rants...
1) once a year essay exams.
Have you ever talked to any of the largely volunteer crew that works on essay exams. It is a tremendous undertaking and large time commitment for all involved. I can only imagine the burnout level of the volunteers if they had to find volunteers for every essay exam twice a year.

2) Why do the exams keep changing
What is important today is very different from what was important 5 years ago. Look how important modeling is in today's actuarial workplace and compare it to 5 years ago. Or risk management.

3) vague conversion guideline.
No comment here as I have not looked at them.

Me, I've been taking exams since 1986 and have been through quite a few conversions. I'm finishing up my PD and hope to be ready for the March FAC. I passed course 8 on my 5th try, so that makes 5 years of studying for that exam. So I understand the pain of annual exams. And it was frustrating, but I understood why it was so.

10-03-2005, 07:23 PM
Are DP and CSP only going to be offered annually?

I know much of the blame for excessive travel time can be attributed to 5, 6, 8 only being offered once per year.

If the goal is truly to decrease travel time, IMO, every effort should be made to offer everything a minimum of semi-annually.

10-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Just out of curiosity, Kenny why did you repaste my whole block statement? You replied to it directly. It is shown right above your reply.

I do not know if the SOA tries to screw students. However, there are questions that I would like answered, such as

1)Why not offer essay exams twice a year?
It is because existing FSAs would be upset with the travel time?

2)Why does the SOA E&E committee keep changing the exams? Shouldn't
they know what they want by now? Why does the CAS not change their
exams every five years?

3)Why are the conversion rules so vague? And how is it acceptable to allow
Courses 5 and 6 to count for so little after conversion?

Do you know how many people studying for Course 5 right now have no idea they are getting cheated on the conversion?

I see their comments in the forums, and I think they don't understand how the conversion works...

Its because the new system isn't well-defined.

A few others:

Why can't people use FAP 1-5 to count as C5 under the old system even though it supposedly replaces Course 5?

Is it acceptable to make us wait years to take the remaining one or two exams to achieve FSA?

Why does this profession not accomodate those of us who want career development and growth before we pass all of the exams (and repass exams we should have had without the various conversions)?

In short, we want to get this over with. We don't care anymore. We just want credentials because is is too many exams and so many exams is an unneccessary waste of our time.
Why, does it bother you when I do that?

10-03-2005, 09:38 PM
Why, does it bother you when I do that?


Sorry - don't mean to laugh at people, but that one got me.

Back to the subject, though - to add on to what GadgetGeek's already said:

1) Not only would it be a serious undertaking to offer the larger exams more often, you'd also have to consider a few other resource constraints:

-Many of the resources will be tied up with the FAP modules/exams and the FSA modules/capstone. Hopefully, it'll be fairly efficient and expedient by the time DP & CSP are ready to roll out, but there's a chance it may not be.
-Look how long it takes now. Doing more than one set of essay exams would certainly be taxing on the SOA, and I'm not sure they'd be able to do it, unless you're willing to wait 8 weeks instead of 6 for your results. Maybe, but like it's been said before, it would take a lot more effort.

2) This has been addressed in the Chat with the Candidates forum - the 2000 system was seen by some as a big mistake that really needed to be fixed. This redesign has been in the works for a few years now, so that says something about a system that is ready to be scrapped after 2-3 years of being implemented. So, they've moved on to the 2005 system. There are already revisions being planned - financial economics, in 2007, should be added to the preliminary exams in some form.

3) It's not that the rules are vague - it's understood what you map to if you have credit for Course 5 & 6. It's what the modules in the new system will be like that's up in the air right now. And I'm not sure it's fair to say that the transition isn't worth it. No one's experienced the modules yet. I'm willing to believe they're a little harder than other people might imagine.

I'm studying for Course 5 right now - I'm not sure I'll pass it, but I'm willing to give it a try. To me, it's been worth it to read the syllabus - I'm fairly new to the field, so I've learned a bit of the basics and an introduction to the more complex concepts. That's something that I'll have whether I pass the exam or not. Will it help with the modules? Who knows? But I don't think I'm getting "cheated". If I received no credit for the exam, then I think I might feel a bit irked about it. But if I pass Course 5, then I surpass having to experience the first 5 modules, along with the test associated with them. I'll take that.

Farmer Mac
10-04-2005, 08:19 AM
I have to admit, that was pretty good.

10-04-2005, 10:34 AM
Although not on the exam committee since I am still taking exams, here is what I have heard:

For a fall exam, the examination committee gets the course of reading in February and has to submit questions by April. The part chair and vice chair then have to go through the questions to determine which ones are on the exam and have the exam done so it can be reviewed by a consultant to make sure it is a "good" exam. The entire process has to be done by September in time to get it copied and sent to all of the proctors throughout the nation.

The fact that the exams are yearly make them higher quality exams. If they were offered every six months, I believe that the exam committee would be in a rush and not take time to make sure that the exam is of good quality.

For those who say that there are still problems with the questions now, just think how much worse they would be if they were just thrown out there without much review.

10-04-2005, 01:06 PM
I don't have much to add, I think all (at least most) of your questions have been addressed in this thread and throughout this forum. Many of them have been discussed extensively.

The point I was trying to make was with regard to this quoteYou would think that there would be at least one FSA in this profession who is not repressed and vindictive about exams. I realize you are probably just venting, but if you honestly believe the SOA is "out to get" students, or the E&E committees are being vindictive when they design exams then you do not belong in this profession. I do not understand why anyone would stay within a profesion when they believe one of the major governing bodies is intentionally trying f* with their lives. No matter how much time you have spent here, it is a sunk cost, find something else that does not make you paranoid.

Have you asked the SOA any of your questions? Obviously, there are some questions which cannot be answerd yet, but most can. I personally had very little difficulty getting clarification regarding the conversion. The contact at the SOA was always very helpful. I also have additional options bc I have the EA exams to take, perhaps that has helped keep me from getting frustrated.