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Old 08-22-2002, 01:15 PM
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JMO Fan JMO Fan is offline
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Default shorter travel time

When the first draft of the '80s changes was discussed, "shorter travel time" was a top priority. When the final was released, it came with an apology for dropping the ball on that goal.

Shorter travel time?
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Old 08-22-2002, 01:48 PM
Need_A_New_Career Need_A_New_Career is offline
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Going back to the whole calculus issue...

I'd like to see someone pass an exam and/or be an effective actuary working in finance or investments without calculus. Mean reversion formulas, Black Scholes option pricing, hedging, etc. are all heavily reliant on calculus and mathematics. The Panjer book, Financial Economics, is a bitch to read even with a math degree.
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Old 08-22-2002, 02:09 PM
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Klaymen Klaymen is offline
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A calculus-free syllabus reminds me of the time we allowed a customer service representative from another company to visit our Actuarial department for a half-day once because he was interested in becoming an Actuary.

Part of his motivation was that Calculus was no longer going to be a separate exam; he would go straight to the statistics. That didn't sound good, and his lack of sufficient skill set showed on the way to parking lot.

He commented how he had been a good employee, being one of only 15 to get an award out of maybe 300 people. He said that put him in the top 1/2 percent. :o

I told him that would be the top 5%, but he was pretty convinced of his calculation.

I wished him the best luck studying Statistics
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Old 08-22-2002, 02:25 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Calculus wouldn't be off the syllabus; just the general testing of calculus ability. You'd still have to know it, and it will be assumed that you have an idea how to integrate a life contingency expression.

Same reason basic math is not specifically tested, but it's right there every time you make a basic math mistake (forget to carry the one, for example).
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Old 08-24-2002, 09:30 AM
kooky cookie kooky cookie is offline
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Can anyone speak to the changes in FSA exams/requirements that are slated to take effect in 2005? I believe the task force report only says that they recommend a new task force be formed to address changes in FSA requirements. Does anyone know what form these changes might take? Would they, for example, be changing part 7 to a full exam?
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Old 08-26-2002, 06:51 PM
FIOB FIOB is offline
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Originally Posted by techguy
Are you really saying that someone who doesn't understand things like interest theory, probability and statistics, and actuarial models could do a good job as an actuary?
That stuff might be useful, but that isn't what you'll spend most of your exam time studying. Take me for instance. I spent a little over a year on the preliminary exams. I've spent the last three years studying for courses 5 and 6. In my whole career I will never use anything that I had to learn for those two courses.
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Old 08-30-2002, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by donkey
Integrating exams with college courses is a huge mistake. It will significantly water down the profession, far more than removing calculus will. We (my firm) get resumes all the time from actuarial science majors who never make any progress through the exams.

Each college, each professor for that matter grades differently. The standard will be totally inconsistent. Allowing any college course to take the place of an SOA exam will flood our profession with mediocrity.
Yes and society’s office would become the registrar and jury of business, science, engineering and XYZ programs of millions of university and colleges worldwide! How would you translate marking systems out of 20 or 100 into B+? Aha here is the opportunity to become "evaluators", a real Non-traditional job for future actuaries.

The purpose of examination should be to warn people at the beginning of the road of the skills required (math, regurgitating and whatnot), hence achieving a good recruitment base for employers who will rest reasonably assured that their investment in exams will not be vain.

Upper exams should test that people are able to use published material to get the work done. I rarely see people not referring to documents in this field. The increasing level of difficulty is the flaw of the system. Eventually we loose not only weaker candidates but also those who do not continue exams due to early heavy job responsibilities, family life and broader perspective. Leaving frustrated people within or outside the ranks of Society and replacing them with B+ business students will not heighten the profession. If that was the case companies would have hire them instead long before.

Now I am going to say something to PLEASE everyone: I think grade 5 should be a pass mark! Ever had a 5 not having sufficiently mastered the material for your work?
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Old 09-20-2002, 09:51 PM
ecotriks ecotriks is offline
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I was wondering if anyone could make out from the report what would happen to people who had say less than 4 exams in 2005-that is whether their exams would be applied towards the QRA designation or whether they would be expected to sit for the new exams again?
Thanks in advance....
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Old 09-20-2002, 10:33 PM
Steve White Steve White is offline
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Are you aware of the Summer 2002 report?

It's a year more recent than the task force report. It doesn't address QRA directly, but does discuss a framework for the future route to ASA / FSA. While it doesn't discuss transition rules, exact course content, etc., it certainly looks like passing any of existing exams 1-4 would likely exempt you from the same material under the new syllabus.

Here is a thread discussing the report.Some of the posters are expressing a different concern, that passing some of the current exams may not be sufficiently rewarded because the corresponding material will not be tested in the future (e.g., college courses might be sufficient.)
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Old 09-23-2002, 12:29 PM
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MNBridge MNBridge is offline
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FIOB -- Never used anything from two exams? What do you do?

I think that the exams could be shortened. CAS exam 9 appears to have about the correct amount of material. CAS 7 is ridiculus.

In answer to the asked question:
I feel the exams are very relevant to my work. While you might not find a paint by numbers answer to the problem in the readings you should be able to apply ideas from the exams.
But then again actuaries are supposed to be smart and have the ability to adapt different ideas to different situations.

Many of the papers are old and should be replaced by newer papers. Check the CV of Variation to see if a curve is lognormal!! Maybe in 1970's; I think I'll just use excel and see how close the fit is.

As for a 5, I think I can say that I've had a five and not mastered the material. I would be for the following, With two (or three?) fives you can get credit for an exam; however you can only pass one exam in this fashion.
People who have shown the ability to pass 8 exams and then get stuck getting 5's over and over again on the last exam (be it the material is not relevant in their area, the exam is more memorization than the others, etc.) are in my opinion qualified.[/b]
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