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Corporate Finance and ERM (CFE) Track Old Exam DP - Design and Pricing

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2011, 05:24 AM
LiveLife LiveLife is offline
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Question SOA vs IoA fellowship exams

From my perspective as an SOA exam taker from India, I find the IoA ST & SA series much easier to take than the FSA exams.

IoA:

Exam fees: 110 GBP = 170 dollars
Study material: 100 dollars
Total: $ 270

SOA:
Exams fees: 700 USD (international discount programme)
Study material: 1000 dollars (all inclusive)

Also, the ST/SA exams are 3 hours, while FSA exams are 6 hours.

Unfortunately, I am already on the SOA path. Why is it so much more difficult? Any ideas?

I guess for people who want to practice in the US/Canada or UK/India/Australia, there isn't much of a choice. However, in a country where both are acceptable designations, the comparison makes a difference.

I am considering hence taking the IoA exams. For example, SA2 and ST2 together would give you DP and CSP Life. However, with the transition in SOA, I can't be sure whether these exams will still be translated to US exams.
http://www.soa.org/education/general...r-faculty.aspx

I have time for 2 exam sessions till the new transition, and I'm not sure I can pass them till then. Also, I'm not sure about the reimbursements, which makes it a tough decision for me.

I'm pretty confused which to take. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:33 AM
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I believe that you need to register as a student of the IOA to be able to sit for the UK exams.This involves paying an annual membership fee,witch is around 200GBP.You might also want to consider buying the textbooks apart from the study materials from acted and that will increase the total cost.Still cheaper than the SOA route but something to consider.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:37 AM
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Agree with respect to the membership fees.

I am already an IoA member, but I would need to renew the membership to take the exams, hence the GBP 200 = $ 310

We'll get the Acted study material for a reduced rate (approx $ 100) which is also included in the calculation. I wonder, do you really need the textbook apart from the acted material? I don't know.


In the long run, I believe, (or want to), that the knowledge I gain out of the exams, is a critical factor. But, I am not sure whether I'll be working in the US or UK market. However, do you believe that the FSA exams is any better/worse wrt to syllabus content compared to the ST/SA series within their own countries?

This is possible, as FSA uses industry relevant textbooks, and the syllabus& exam is longer.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:13 AM
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IOA ST and SA exams are not really good comparison to SOA FSA and CAS 7/9 exams even though both are actuarial exams. I would like to point out several key differences.

1) Due to the lack of exemption, at the higher level papers SOA exam takers are usually more experience in their practice and weaker candidates are filtered out by earlier exams. Some IOA candidates are simply strong students in their university and will have almost all papers exempted with a B.S / M.S degree in 4 years. Their masters programs are not selective but are quite expensive. The exemption system has 3 undesirable effects, this first is that it favors richer but not necessarily stronger students, the second is that IOA candidates may not be as seasoned in taking exams while holding a full time job, and the pool of candidates are almost always from actuarial background. It is pretty obvious that IOA will have a weaker and less diversified pool at the higher level exams.

2) IOA has a lower exam passing rate at the higher level, especially the SA papers. This probably normalized the strength of candidates and passing between IOA and SOA.

3) SOA has more materials and both DP / CSP are 6hr 30mins. You better have the health, concentration and stamina to cover the materials and endure the exam.

4) IOA is well recognized in the commonwealth. SOA is better in east asia and north america.

5) IOA exams are more geared to big picture thinkers and SOA exams are more geared towards strong technicians. Although you will need to be a little of both to clear either tracks.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:17 PM
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Question, which society is popular in Europe (not including UK)?
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:08 AM
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The UK society,due to the university waivers for the CT ,CA series.The UK universities attract many students to their bachelors and masters programs and then there is mutual recognition .
I_am_normally_distributed's post sums it up very well i believe.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:27 AM
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Well, I have to make an update on this. Its been almost 2 years now.

SA2 and ST2 may look easy, but they sure are not. SA2 is truly vast, and I've failed ST2 even after I've put in my best efforts (quite unusual for me).

Let's see if I can pass them some day.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:59 AM
byronwong byronwong is offline
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So any further update on this? I am also wondering if I should take SA2 and ST2 instead of LP and LFV.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:27 PM
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Hi all! Any update on this?

For me the financial factor is key since my employer does not pay for the exams . It looks like U.K. Fellowship exams are much cheaper. Do you really only need acted material?

The length of U.K. Exams, 3 hours , means the syllabus is shorter? If there are exemptions I guess it is because materials are similar . Are U.K. Fellowship exams really easier?

Thank you for your comments
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