View Full Version : Putting your exam score on a resume

January 15th 2009, 12:52 PM
I agree with posts I have seen that for most people it is better to leave a 9 or a 10 off their resume.
However, I am a math teacher with an Aerospace Engineering degree looking to change careers, and I'm getting the sense that applicants with a more relevant (math, actuary science, etc.) degree have a slight advantage over me.
If I received a 10 on Exam P, would this show that I'm just as capable of passing exams as a math/actuary science major? Just a thought. Thanks in advance for offering an opinion.

Gus Gus
January 20th 2009, 08:55 AM
I put my Exam P score on my resume.

There's a guy in the math department at my uni that was an actuary for ~25 years. Whenever I told him I made a 10 on the first actuarial exam, he told me congratulations, that's really special, you should be proud, etc. etc. I asked him if I should put the score on my resume or not and he threw back his head and had a right chuckle. He said, "Why wouldn't you? A company would rather hire somebody who made a 10 instead of a 6." Now of course he meant, all things other things being equal, why would a company prefer an inferior score?

I respect this guy's opinion. As mentioned, he was a FCAS for many years and he worked for a well known consulting company and was often involved in the interviewing process.

But as you may have seen on this forum, a lot of people think it's a bad idea. Clearly it just depends on the company. I put my exam score on my resume and I have been applying for jobs steadily for 6 months and I have a grand total of two phone interviews and zero on-site interviews. So I don't think it really matters too much. Companies seem to be more interested in number of exams passed and relevant experience. I don't expect to get a job until I pass a few more exams. In particular, my 10 on Exam P/1 appears to be worth sweet F.A.

January 23rd 2009, 07:41 AM
When I was first exploring the idea of being an actuary I met with one who had worked in private consulting for many years. He told me that if you score higher than a 6, you've wasted your time studying too much. Now I'm sure he didn't mean that scoring higher than a 6 is BAD but it just gave me the impression that, in general, companies only care about you passing, not what passing mark you made. Scoring a 10 may be an impressive feat but at the same time, it could also indicate that you spend too much time studying and wouldn't be able to contribute valuable hours to your actual work on the job which is what they really care about in the long run.

Jessica Chung
January 23rd 2009, 09:36 AM
Then I guess it pretty much depends on who your interviewer is. Some people don't like actuaries with high scores, but some do. It's just a matter of principles and personalities. =)

January 23rd 2009, 11:06 AM
I interviewed for an internship couple of months ago and I was asked my score for FM. I got a 9, and somehow I feel that that's one of the reasons I'm offered an internship. Nonetheless, I won't put my score on my resume, but if I'm asked, I won't try to hide either.

Gus Gus
February 6th 2009, 04:02 PM
The other day I asked another FSA who, like the other guy I mentioned in my first post on this thread, laughed in my face when I told him about people not wanting to put high scores on resumes. My 10 is staying on there. :laugh:

February 1st 2010, 01:28 PM
Anyone else with a comment on this question, now that scores are out for the fall exams?

February 1st 2010, 04:15 PM
Anyone else with a comment on this question, now that scores are out for the fall exams?

I put my scores on - I reasoned that it'd show that I'm committed to the exam process. It's strange that this is considered by some people to be a competition where you do NOT want to highlight your successes.

While not every person that puts their scores on their resume is the stereotypical arrogant impossible-to-work-with math nerd, it's probably true that arrogant people always put there 8's/9's/10's on. However, an interviewer should be able to identify these types of people quickly.

I would think putting scores on would result in indifference at worst.

February 1st 2010, 06:37 PM
I've had probably a dozen phone interviews. I've never been asked my exam scores. The place I actually got an offer from (one of the biggest consulting companies) asked for it on their application form, but it was never discussed. For the record, I got an offer with one exam passed, and I only got a 7 on that exam. There must be something else people are looking at, because although the job search process is terribly slow, I've been getting generally very positive responses with my one little exam.

February 2nd 2010, 10:49 AM
As part of my actuarial job, I screened actuarial resumes for a large insurance company for several years. Resumes showing actuarial exam scores were received with skepticism, and all other things being equal, non-score resumes were placed higher. Some managers felt it showed a preference for studying over work.

Later, at a medium-sized insurer, my manager had a nice wall plaque designed, with engraved metal nameplates for anyone receiving a 10 on an actuarial exam. A few thought it was a good incentive, most hated it, and other managers had mixed feelings. I scored 10 on one early exam, and don't feel it indicated any better work skill in those subjects; other subjects on which I got 6's and 7's became my forte.

February 2nd 2010, 12:03 PM
Personally I wouldn't care but in a situation like this I wouldn't put it down on the off-chance that someone would look at it negatively. If you get an interview and they ask, then you can tell them.

February 2nd 2010, 03:15 PM
Well, now that NME has weighed in, I'm definately going to have to remove it.

I also better ditch my GPA too... don't want them to think I study too hard.

February 2nd 2010, 03:54 PM
Well, now that NME has weighed in, I'm definately going to have to remove it.

I also better ditch my GPA too... don't want them to think I study too hard.

Haha, GPA I'd keep on there if it's good to get past those pesky HR people :)

February 3rd 2010, 02:10 AM
Just as kind of a side note to the conversation, you would think that considering the career long expectation of continued learning and growth, the numerical score on an exam may not be particularly relevant for a number of reasons. Its only a snapshot of how your skills for that exam's material was on the day of the exam. If you took the exam too soon, you could pass with a low score, but still subsequently learn the rest of the material necessary to score a 10. I feel I could have scored a 10, had I waited one or two more sessions before I tested, but I wasn't aiming for a 10, I was aiming for a passing score, so I took it absolutely as soon as I thought I could pass, with the intent to learn any remaining material afterwards because I still consider it a responsibility to be well prepared for the career. Since there's no way to standardize how much time each person takes to prepare, no professor to take the test on a certain day, etc., the exam scores don't necessarily represent actual differences in long run mastery of the topics, or aptitude, or anything. In some sense, they can almost be seen as a representation of each individuals appetite for risk, people scoring a 10 being those who don't care to tolerate any risk that they might fail, and make sure they are absolutely thoroughly prepared before taking the exam, and those scoring a 6 being the people who are more willing to accept the risk of a low score or not passing in exchange for the chance of being able to say they passed as soon as possible.