Exam 7, 8, or 9? Which to take first?

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    Wanted to launch this discussion for new ACASs such as myself, who could take any of the fellowship exams in Spring 2021 (and at least 7 or 9 in future Spring sittings). If you’ve gone through any of the fellowship exams, please share any insight you have that might help others choose which to tackle first. If you’ve sat for more than 1 of the fellowship exams, how would you rank them in terms of…material difficulty? Exam question difficulty? Study time commitment? Etc. Thanks!


    Only Exam 8 will be offered in Fall 2021 so taking a Spring exam during the Spring 2021 sitting seems the most logical to me. 7 is required to sign opinions, so I’d start with that one. After that you have more freedom to decide if the additional 2 exams are worth taking (depending on your career goals, company, etc).

    I remember that when the Exam 7 syllabus changed significantly a while back some people were skipping 7 until they had a better idea of how the new content would be tested, but given that the content hasn’t changed for a while and we’re not getting any more Examiner’s Reports, there’s not really a reason to do that anymore.


    This whole not-releasing exams, and no instant result is making me feel anxious.

    Ecc 12 12

    First of all, congrats on your ACAS!  As someone mentioned, your personal career goals should be considered so advice really needs to be customized for each person.  For me personally, I’m still trying to get to FCAS, so order of exams never mattered other than which ones were offered when.  My first fellowship exam sitting was Fall 2018, so my only choice was to skip or take Exam 8.  I took Exam 8 but didn’t pass.  So, you have to consider also when they will be offered (again as the non-Robot mentioned above 🙂 )  7 and 9 are not on the Fall 2021 Exam Schedule.  Without knowing anything else about your situation, I’d also guess Exam 7 for Spring 2021 is your best bet.

    Regarding which ones are harder:  For me, I found Exam 7 material harder to digest than Exam 8, but it’s different for everybody depending upon how their brains are wired, their experience, etc.  Take that with a grain of salt, though, because I haven’t passed any fellowship exams yet, although it took me a LOT more time to get through 7 material on the first pass vs 8 material.  Also, I haven’t really studied Exam 9 material yet, so can’t comment on that.  The weird thing I’ve found over the years with these exams is that difficulty ranking of the material itself  doesn’t necessarily line up with difficulty ranking of passing a particular exam.

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