CAS Leadership and the Failure of 2020 Exams

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Viewing 16 posts - 33 through 48 (of 84 total)
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  • #1273
    crust12
    Participant

    People do cheat and will cheat with this exam setup. Knowing what topics are/aren’t on an exam is a significant advantage. If anyone denies these statements then they are out of touch with reality.

    #1276
    Michael Scott
    Participant

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. It is absolutely mind-boggling to me how out of touch with reality these other posters are who are insisting the cheating isn’t happening, and/or that it makes no difference if occurs. How can you justify screwing the honest candidates like it’s nothing?

    #1277
    saul goodman
    Participant

    I personally don’t know any actuaries willing to risk their career to help a friend pass an exam. Everyone I know is taking the NDAs very seriously, and is too competitive to even want to help out peers.

    But in the future there will be a question bank, so this will not be the case forever. There was no way to have everyone take the test the same day during the pandemic. But the CAS could have combined the spring and fall 2020 exams to make a small question bank for this sitting and didn’t.

    #1280
    Loki
    Participant

    Crust and Michael Scott would do much better in the real world if they stop playing the victim card so much. Just work harder and you won’t have to worry about what others are doing.

    #1283
    Gandalf
    Participant

    “Couldn’t have said it better myself. It is absolutely mind-boggling to me how out of touch with reality these other posters are who are insisting the cheating isn’t happening, and/or that it makes no difference if occurs. How can you justify screwing the honest candidates like it’s nothing?”

    I haven’t suggested cheating isn’t happening, though I doubt it’s as common as some are suggesting. What is mind-boggling to me is how some posters suggest different passmarks for different days. That’s close to the ultimate in screwing the honest candidates. How can you justify requiring an honest candidate to score more points than an honest candidate a different day?

    #1285
    mathlete
    Participant

    “Crust and Michael Scott would do much better in the real world if they stop playing the victim card so much. Just work harder and you won’t have to worry about what others are doing.”

    Must be an Astros fan

    #1340
    Tigger0209
    Participant

    Tigger0209Participant
    Any idea if CAS is still monitoring this forum. It would be nice to get some precision on Q1 exam release date. Are they targeting Jan or March? How can we adequately prepare if we have to write again?

    #1342
    Maximally Qualified
    Participant

    I don’t like that the CAS is opening this up for potential cheating, along with various other decisions they appear to have made about exams going forward, but think about this like an actuary, please. To successfully cheat you’d need the intersection of a few things, and for anyone else’s cheating to affect you, the person of integrity concerned about cheating, a few more things:

    1) someone taking the same exam you are – not too hard to find in a big shop or across companies, hard to find in a small shop

    2) one of these people has to be someone that you really trust – ok, most people have at least one of these, but I think this intersection is actually smaller than what you’d think, because even in a big shop actuarial department you don’t forge a tight bond with the person working in the next building over in a completely different actuarial function; this sort of forces the majority of people into the “small shop” assumption from (1)

    3) this person has to be willing to help you cheat – again, not as common

    4) no paper trail, sharing of secret info can’t be done electronically – not a huge hurdle but a slight one that I think weighs a bit more this sitting, as you won’t get offhand comments in the office that you’d get if everyone were hanging around in person and chatting over lunch as we were pre-pandemic

    now, even if someone were to sail through those 4 barriers to cheating – and we are talking about a small number of people at this point, for it to affect you:

    5) the first sitter has to remember questions in great enough detail to help – i’d expect mixed results on this one

    6) the second sitter has to go in there on exam day and execute

    7) this has to happen frequently and effectively enough to change the CAS’s concept of how a minimally qualified candidate (or whatever terminology they’re using these days) performs on that exam – this is such an inexact science in the first place as evidenced by pass rates swinging 20% year over year in some instances

    Now, is this type of cheating going to have anything but the slightest of chances of exerting enough force to cause you to fail an exam you would have otherwise passed at any point in your travel?

    If you are morally outraged and it makes you angry that someone could pass an exam like this, good. Doesn’t change your outlook on travel time, though.

    #1346
    accuratepp
    Participant

    I totally get why people are worried about cheating. We are talking about an exam with roughly 30% pass rate, even just 5 people sharing contents with their friends will skew the result.

    For those candidate that actually studied for the exam, they don’t need full details about every single question,  some information on the covered topics are more than enough for them to score a few more points.

    In any case, since Fall sitting has mostly done except for candidates had to reschedule because of lockdown, what do people think of the Spring exam schedule? How can CAS office be so confident about the pandemic is fully resolved by then and Pearson VUE’s site capacity is enough within a narrow test window?

    I truly hope CAS would consider remote testing. For people worrying about cheating during remote testing, a way to solve is  to split exam into two parts and each with 2 hours, within the 2 hours candidate is not allowed take any break, which can prevent any washroom break cheating.

     

    #1348
    TryhardActuary
    Participant

    I’m also curious how many people doubled up this Fall. Would love to see a distribution of people that doubled up and how many of them end up passing/failing the exams they took

    #1363
    exekias
    Participant

    Yeah you don’t really need that much detail to get a significant advantage. Even just knowing x,y,z topics weren’t tested but a,b,c were will improve someone’s chances. They could then double their efforts on a,b,c and not waste time practicing x,y,z.

     

    Those types of things are also more likely for someone to let slip to a friend too. “Oh man they had some really tough questions on b.” Or, “I’m surprised they didn’t cover x at all.” Still, I wouldn’t expect there to be enough people doing this to impact the pass mark. If you learn the material well enough, you will pass regardless of what other candidates are doing.

    #1385
    silenced one
    Participant

    There seems to be some disagreement at to “how bad” this last sitting was, and “how bad” leadership was, but that’s largely personal opinion and misses the point.  Even if you think this last sitting was great, will you admit that in theory someone making exam decisions could really mess something up, and we, the candidates, have minimal protection against that?  Given that something goes wrong, then what can we even do about it?

    #1395
    Tigger0209
    Participant

    The discussion on possible cheating, this is really not post exam news. We all knew it was a possibility once CBT were announced. I feel like that was the time to raise concerns.

    #1397
    act_123
    Participant

    I would give people the benefit of the doubt.  Do you know anyone who would cheat?  I don’t know anyone who would do it.  I know about 10-15 people who have taken exam 9 at the end of the window.  I would be shocked if anyone cheated.  Sure, this is a small sample size, but I don’t think people would risk it.  Especially, since these people have gotten to their last exam.  Maybe I am being naïve.

    #1398
    act_123
    Participant

    Also, quite frankly exam 9 was an extremely challenging test.  I really do hope they grade it like they normally would.  And don’t artificially raise the pass mark because that would just be unfair to everyone quite frankly.

    The CAS could have done a remote option.  They had the time and bandwidth to do it. They didn’t do it because they didn’t want to do it.  In their book >80% of candidates being able to take the test is a win. It is hard to argue with that.

    #1399
    act_123
    Participant

    I was a little unclear what the CAS planned to release.  Do they plan on releasing the # candidates who took the exam and the # who passed?

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