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SOA Hopes To Pare Exams

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The Society of Actuaries is working with other actuarial groups to develop a proposal that could reduce the number of multiple choice tests that some would-be actuaries must take.

The SOA, Schaumburg, Ill., has teamed with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Ottawa, Ontario, and the Casualty Actuarial Society, Arlington, Va., to send a joint letter about the topic to members

The groups are asking for member comments on the idea of establishing “Future Education Methods … that would institute an accreditation process for qualifying university actuarial programs in the United States and Canada.”

At universities that met rigorous accreditation standards, students could get exemptions from requirements to take some multiple-choice, preliminary CAS/SOA examinations, the groups write.

Students at universities without accredited actuarial programs could still rise up through the traditional examination process, the groups write.

Even at accredited universities, students would still have to take the P/1 Probability exam, “because the teaching of the corresponding courses is generally not done by and under the control of actuaries on the university staff,” the actuarial groups write.

Many candidates and employers use the probability exam as a screening mechanism, and it is a topic that is well-suited for multiple-choice examinations, the groups write.

The groups say they are proposing the change partly because it would make the actuarial profession a more attractive career opportunity for university students.

In addition, the groups note that they already have mutual recognition agreements with the United Kingdom and Australia that grant some examination credit for university training.

Comments on the proposal are due Sept. 10.

A copy of the letter is available here.