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Old 10-31-2018, 10:36 PM
GIFADE-208 GIFADE-208 is offline
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Default Typing Instead of Writing for Higher Level Exams

I think it's time the SoA & CAS consider allowing exam takers to type their answers for FSA/FCAS exams (an option if an exam taker prefers to type). Here is why I think so:

From an exam-taker's perspective:
1)The purpose of the exam is to test your knowledge and not physical writing/writing speed/writing clarity. I agree on communicating an answer to a problem. Typing is a much convenient method of writing/communicating an answer for most, and equally consistent.
I'm sure students have failed not because they didn't know how to solve a problem or answer a question, but because they didn't write clearly enough (typically due to time constraints) for an examiner to understand what they were saying. Most candidates learn to write for the exam, and only for the exam.

2) The most familiar tool actuaries (and most professionals) use today to solve problems (be it quantitative or qualitative) is a computer. As the exam focuses on practicalizing the questions asked in the exam room, answers and delivery methods should be as practical as possible too, especially if knowledge of the material can be proved in a such a way.

3) Many other professional exams have the option to write or type. So I presume there is some proof of concept. And if there are symbols or math equations to be used, candidates could write these on a paper for submission - or provisions could be made to input those symbols and equations

There are a lot of benefits for graders and the exam committee too.
Any thoughts and feedback on this?
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:01 AM
nonactuarialactuary nonactuarialactuary is offline
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Honestly, itís a great idea that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Iím 100% confident that Iíve failed exams in the past thanks to my crappy handwriting and slow writing speed. Taking the test on a computer more closely mirrors the real world. It also enables all sorts of detailed questions impossible with pen and paper (e.g., assessing a loss development triangle with more than 3 or 4 diagonals).

The CAS actually implemented something like this for the spring 2018 sitting for exam 5. Unfortunately though, they implemented it in the dumbest way possible, and everything about that sitting was a spectacular failure to the point where computer based testing is on indefinite hiatus for now. The idea was good, but the execution was terrible. Iím hoping that theyíll bring it back at some point.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:22 PM
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ALivelySedative ALivelySedative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonactuarialactuary View Post
Honestly, itís a great idea that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Iím 100% confident that Iíve failed exams in the past thanks to my crappy handwriting and slow writing speed. Taking the test on a computer more closely mirrors the real world. It also enables all sorts of detailed questions impossible with pen and paper (e.g., assessing a loss development triangle with more than 3 or 4 diagonals).

The CAS actually implemented something like this for the spring 2018 sitting for exam 5. Unfortunately though, they implemented it in the dumbest way possible, and everything about that sitting was a spectacular failure to the point where computer based testing is on indefinite hiatus for now. The idea was good, but the execution was terrible. Iím hoping that theyíll bring it back at some point.
CAS could not have done a worse job (I took that sitting). Until they can get around latency issues there's no point.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:15 PM
inveniamviam inveniamviam is offline
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100% agree...should have the option to type. Nobody sits at their job all day long writing out pages of information, but many of us sit our jobs all day long typing pages of information. We would not suffer to "train our hands to write for 5 hours straight", have our hands cramp up while writing, write too slowly to pass exam, or write illegibly in an attempt to finish as quickly as possible. As you mentioned, the graders would find it easier to read things as well. There is no reason that typing should not be an option on these exams.
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:21 PM
mel.fel mel.fel is offline
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I LOVE THIS IDEA SO MUCH! plus it would help with illegibility when I start running out of time! and SOA people could control/search for things (not sure that's to my benefit but its to theirs)
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