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  #51  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:51 PM
jominican jominican is online now
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Originally Posted by thekang View Post
I'll take the other side of the argument here.

If you want to compare, it should be apples to apples. UK actuarial programs (bachelors, not the masters) can provide exemptions for CT1 to CT8. This is roughly equivalent to the prelims. If you do an actuarial degree in the US, you would have learned the content for the prelims as well. I know in practice this doesn't mean US actuarial graduates have all the prelims cleared, but the international students do it constantly so it is definitely possible.

I think travel time for SOA and IFOA are pretty similar, assuming a fresh graduate with all prelims cleared as the starting point (CAS is a different beast altogether). But that's a different debate.
You would be surprised at how many people who majored in actuarial science still can't pass preliminary exams.
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  #52  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:07 PM
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GargoyleWaiting GargoyleWaiting is offline
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Where do you get your figures from please? I asked about how long for someone starting exams in the workplace with no exemptions from previous college courses.
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Originally Posted by https://www.actuaries.org.uk/become-actuary/careers-advice/careers-faqs
In order to become an Associate or Fellow of the IFoA, students must pass exams, complete a number of practical modules, and acquire a satisfactory level of work-based skills. This means that the average qualification time is currently three to six years.
(3+6)/2 = 4.5

Seriously dude, you're not even trying.
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Originally Posted by UFActuary View Post
But the mosquitoes in New Brunswick Bay of Fundy did mess with my understanding of some limited loss functions
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Originally Posted by King of the North View Post
Excel gave me #VALUE.

Edit: Nevermind, I was linking a sumif and didn't open the linked spreadsheet. It is now giving me #N/A.
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  #53  
Old 02-02-2017, 05:26 PM
jominican jominican is online now
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Originally Posted by GargoyleWaiting View Post
(3+6)/2 = 4.5

Seriously dude, you're not even trying.
i know right. Literally have to do everything for this guy
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  #54  
Old 02-02-2017, 06:46 PM
IroningBoard IroningBoard is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jominican View Post
It's way faster to become credentialed in the UK because you get so many exams waived from just taking classes in university. Here in the US, you can't waive a single exam by college courses. The only thing you can waive is your VEEs, which doesn't add much time to becoming credentialed anyways.

That's also why there's a HUGE advantage in being in an actuarial program in UK universities than someone who majored in something else or is a career changer. Here, actuaries can be of any background and still "catch up" to those with actuarial educational background.
You actually can get exemptions in the US.

If you get an actuarial science degree from an accredited university, for example Uni of Waterloo (granted, it's in Canada) then you can apply for exemptions from the IFoA exams. Once you have these approved, you can then get exemptions from the relevant SOA exams.

Despite all the talk about how easy it is to get exemptions from the UK exams, it's not that common at all. Most of the actuarial students I know did not study actuarial science. Of those who did, only a VERY small minority managed to get exemptions from all the CT exams. This is equivalent to getting exemptions from the prelims, and in fact if they chose to they could apply to get exemptions from the SOA exams.

I bet overall, travel times on average are similar in the UK and the US. Both organisations offer mutual recognition, and if the qualifications were not roughly equivalent then this probably wouldn't be the case.

Bear in mind, in the US students typically start exams in college, graduating with a few exam passes. UK students don't sit exams until they have graduated and started work. They'll therefore have the ability to pass exams faster and with greater success, as in theory they will have greater knowledge and mathematical ability than the equivalent US student sitting his first prelim.

Another difference is that US students typically sit one exam at a time, with less time between sittings. The UK exam sittings only occur every 6 months. Because there is a longer time to prepare, students will offer double or even triple up on the CT exams (Prelims). This means the top students can pass 5 or 6 CT exams in their first year. This is by no means the average though, the average is probably more like 2 or 3 a year.

According to Actuarial Lookup, the average UK student finished the CT exams 3 years after graduation (which sounds quite slow). I guess this is skewed slightly by those who have not yet finished them, but I have no idea how the website treats censoring.

Last edited by IroningBoard; 02-02-2017 at 06:54 PM..
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  #55  
Old 02-02-2017, 07:05 PM
jominican jominican is online now
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Originally Posted by IroningBoard View Post
You actually can get exemptions in the US.

If you get an actuarial science degree from an accredited university, for example Uni of Waterloo (granted, it's in Canada) then you can apply for exemptions from the IFoA exams. Once you have these approved, you can then get exemptions from the relevant SOA exams.
You're talking about one out of thousands of university in North America. The whole discussion here is the if you go to a university in NA, you can't waive actuarial exams.

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Originally Posted by IroningBoard View Post
Despite all the talk about how easy it is to get exemptions from the UK exams, it's not that common at all. Most of the actuarial students I know did not study actuarial science. Of those who did, only a VERY small minority managed to get exemptions from all the CT exams. This is equivalent to getting exemptions from the prelims, and in fact if they chose to they could apply to get exemptions from the SOA exams.
I'm not sure if you're just using your own personal circle of friends to generalize all the actuarial students in the UK, but it is extremely common in the UK to get exemption CT exams. Sure, they might not get exempt from all the CT, but even 3-4 is significant. Like you said, they could apply to get exempt from the SOA exams, which makes it even faster to become credentialed in the UK (whether you want a UK or US credential). Even if you know a bunch of people who weren't in an actuarial program in University, that doesn't mean the option is unavailable to the general public. Having that option alone makes it faster to become credentialed regardless if you take it.

Last edited by jominican; 02-02-2017 at 07:28 PM..
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  #56  
Old 02-02-2017, 07:20 PM
jominican jominican is online now
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Originally Posted by IroningBoard View Post
I bet overall, travel times on average are similar in the UK and the US. Both organisations offer mutual recognition, and if the qualifications were not roughly equivalent then this probably wouldn't be the case.
Just because they offer mutual recognition doesn't mean it takes the same time to achieve either credential.

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Bear in mind, in the US students typically start exams in college, graduating with a few exam passes. UK students don't sit exams until they have graduated and started work. They'll therefore have the ability to pass exams faster and with greater success, as in theory they will have greater knowledge and mathematical ability than the equivalent US student sitting his first prelim.
This doesn't make any sense. If US students have to start exams in college while in school, they're already spending extra time studying for exams. With that extra time, UK students can study for exams of their own if their program doesn't waive all the exams. Your latter statement is just straight up confusing.

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Originally Posted by IroningBoard View Post
Another difference is that US students typically sit one exam at a time, with less time between sittings. The UK exam sittings only occur every 6 months. Because there is a longer time to prepare, students will offer double or even triple up on the CT exams (Prelims). This means the top students can pass 5 or 6 CT exams in their first year. This is by no means the average though, the average is probably more like 2 or 3 a year.
The recommended time to prepare for CT exams are 125-150 hours compared to the recommended times to prepare for US exams, which are 100 hours per hour of exam.

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Originally Posted by IroningBoard View Post
According to Actuarial Lookup, the average UK student finished the CT exams 3 years after graduation (which sounds quite slow). I guess this is skewed slightly by those who have not yet finished them, but I have no idea how the website treats censoring.
There's your data proof. despite being able to waive exams, UK students still finish their prelims slower than US.

Last edited by jominican; 02-02-2017 at 07:32 PM..
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  #57  
Old 02-03-2017, 03:16 AM
IroningBoard IroningBoard is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jominican View Post
You're talking about one out of thousands of university in North America. The whole discussion here is the if you go to a university in NA, you can't waive actuarial exams.



I'm not sure if you're just using your own personal circle of friends to generalize all the actuarial students in the UK, but it is extremely common in the UK to get exemption CT exams. Sure, they might not get exempt from all the CT, but even 3-4 is significant. Like you said, they could apply to get exempt from the SOA exams, which makes it even faster to become credentialed in the UK (whether you want a UK or US credential). Even if you know a bunch of people who weren't in an actuarial program in University, that doesn't mean the option is unavailable to the general public. Having that option alone makes it faster to become credentialed regardless if you take it.


I'm mainly basing my statement on the hundreds of CVs I've had to read through, which I think is a fair representation of entry level applicants (Large FTSE100 insurer. Interestingly, HR kept sending rubbish candidates to interviews so we took over the screening process ourself. Candidates are now filtered by an actuarial student before being looked at by the hiring manager). The vast majority have studied a maths degree and don't have any exemptions. A reasonable number of these have an exemption from CT3 (exam P), and you occasionally get an Economics student who will automatically be exempt from CT7 (VEE economics). Every now and then we come across a student with a load of exemptions, but often they don't look like a very good candidate. I don't know where your opinion comes from that it is "extremely common".

Also, I wouldn't agree that there is a "huge advantage" to studying an actuarial degree like you said in your previous post. A lot of employers are strange and would actually prefer you don't have a load of exemptions. You still have to wait a minimum of 3 years to qualify, and the few people I work with who do have multiple exemptions have struggled to pass exams because they have had to jump straight in with the more difficult ones. I'd like to see the data, but I bet having 3 or 4 exemptions doesn't significantly decrease travel time.

I agree about the US exemptions, it's not really a big thing to consider, just thought I'd mention that it's possible in case anybody was interested.

Last edited by IroningBoard; 02-03-2017 at 03:32 AM..
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  #58  
Old 02-03-2017, 03:28 AM
IroningBoard IroningBoard is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jominican View Post
Just because they offer mutual recognition doesn't mean it takes the same time to achieve either credential.



This doesn't make any sense. If US students have to start exams in college while in school, they're already spending extra time studying for exams. With that extra time, UK students can study for exams of their own if their program doesn't waive all the exams. Your latter statement is just straight up confusing.



The recommended time to prepare for CT exams are 125-150 hours compared to the recommended times to prepare for US exams, which are 100 hours per hour of exam.



There's your data proof. despite being able to waive exams, UK students still finish their prelims slower than US.
I'm just talking about what seems to happen in real life. Nobody in the UK sits exams before graduating (apart from a few exemptions, for example somebody who didn't study a numerical degree or a career changer). Exams are not advantageous to have when applying for EL jobs and can sometimes be detrimental, so it's rare to see. Yes, the option is there. I'm just offering a suggestion about what factors could influence travel time. If you start exams later but then pass them more quickly, travel time will be faster, making it hard to compare the difficulty of both exam systems.

Interestingly, a lot of entry level candidates don't even seem to know what an actuary is until they get to their final year and need to start thinking about jobs. I don't think the EL market is anywhere near as competitive as the US one. This makes it quite easy for a keen candidate to stand out, and an internship pretty much guarantees you'll get interviews.

Not sure what you're trying to argue really, I'm just offering some of my opinions based on my experience that some people may find interesting. Take from it what you will, I'm not trying to say one system is better than the other.

Last edited by IroningBoard; 02-03-2017 at 03:36 AM..
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  #59  
Old 02-03-2017, 03:52 AM
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GargoyleWaiting GargoyleWaiting is offline
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IroningBoard is talking much more sense than this thread deserves.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFActuary View Post
But the mosquitoes in New Brunswick Bay of Fundy did mess with my understanding of some limited loss functions
Quote:
Originally Posted by King of the North View Post
Excel gave me #VALUE.

Edit: Nevermind, I was linking a sumif and didn't open the linked spreadsheet. It is now giving me #N/A.
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  #60  
Old 02-03-2017, 06:24 AM
thekang thekang is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jominican View Post
You would be surprised at how many people who majored in actuarial science still can't pass preliminary exams.
I am well aware of this, that is why I said what I did in my post. I expect the reason for this is usually either:
  • The university doesn't give a **** what they are teaching
  • The student doesn't give a **** about taking exams
An actuarial degree in the US is still supposed to prepare you for all the preliminary exams (whether it works or not is another matter). And for the UK, not every actuarial degree graduate gets exemptions either; you get awarded the exemption only if you hit the minimum marks needed for your college final exam, which is approved by the IFOA to be equivalent to a CT paper (whether this works or not is another matter).

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Originally Posted by IroningBoard View Post
I'm just talking about what seems to happen in real life. Nobody in the UK sits exams before graduating (apart from a few exemptions, for example somebody who didn't study a numerical degree or a career changer). Exams are not advantageous to have when applying for EL jobs and can sometimes be detrimental, so it's rare to see. Yes, the option is there. I'm just offering a suggestion about what factors could influence travel time. If you start exams later but then pass them more quickly, travel time will be faster, making it hard to compare the difficulty of both exam systems.

Interestingly, a lot of entry level candidates don't even seem to know what an actuary is until they get to their final year and need to start thinking about jobs. I don't think the EL market is anywhere near as competitive as the US one. This makes it quite easy for a keen candidate to stand out, and an internship pretty much guarantees you'll get interviews.

Not sure what you're trying to argue really, I'm just offering some of my opinions based on my experience that some people may find interesting. Take from it what you will, I'm not trying to say one system is better than the other.
I think you probably don't understand the competition for international students trying to get an actuarial position in the UK, it is extremely difficult (similar to the situation in US). But what I hear is similar to what you said, that exams are not important. Employers pay a lot of attention to schools (e.g. Oxbridge, which incidentally does not have actuarial courses) and class of honours instead.

This also leads to another issue that can affect travel times between the UK and US system, that many IFOA exam candidates are graduates from top schools in the UK. There is definitely a much lower proportion of Ivy League graduates taking US actuarial (fellowship) exams. Of course they are two separate systems, but just putting it out there in case someone is in the position of choosing between the two systems (e.g. Waterloo graduate).

Last edited by thekang; 02-03-2017 at 06:45 AM..
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