View Full Version : exams comparison

November 15th 2007, 06:56 AM
Hi guys.
I have 2 questions:
How difficult is the U.S. actuarial exams 1-4?
How about UK/Australian actuarial exams?

I know the answers would vary from different people.
I am a senior high school student.
IF I get 800 on both my SAT 1 and 2 Mathematics level 2, and get high 7 for Mathematics Higher level IB. Would I still have difficulty in the U.S. actuarial exams 1-4? Is the mathematics the difficult part or the memorization or what?

Thx alot.. :smiloe:

December 5th 2007, 11:29 PM
I recently took exam P and I'm positive I passed, I also have some knowlege on the difficulty of some other exams through my own research. It's tough to define the term "difficulty", to me a subject in mathematics is "difficult" if you study VERY hard but can't seem to grasp the concepts, or the more "difficult" the subject the more you must study and practice, fortunately this has never happend to me in upper division math courses, ie I can always study hard and grasp everything. Exam P is nothing like any exam you have ever taken, it really tests the depth of your understanding of the material and problem solving skills. I studied 250-350 hrs. Memorized 60-80 formulas. Thats what it takes to pass this exam. They say roughly 100 hours study per 1 hr of exam. I also here exam Fm(exam#2) is about same difficulty(possibly easier) level. From what I have read the first 2 exam's(p and fm) are somewhat of an introduction to actuarial exams ie, easy relative to later examinations. I here size of the material(#of different topics,# of formulas) for exam's #3 and #4 is much larger then first 2 exams. Also level of problem solving and concepts become harder. To my knowlege exams #5-#9 become very difficult in all phases. Overall I think I'm slowly learning that actuarial examinations are the most difficult set of professional examinations known to man. All of this may sound very discourging to you, but don't be you just have to find out what your made of. My advice would be to major in Mathematics preferably statistics(note: majoring in any other subject including finance would be a disadvantage, ie problem solving skills and the ability to read through advanced math like fish swim through the sea will be less honed than a math major), take as many probability and statistic courses as you can, after your first 2 years of college you will become "mathematicly mature". If you find the 1st 2 years of college difficult(according to my definition) and struggle to get good grades and/or you are miserable and bored, don't bother pursuing an actuarial career, however, most likely this will not be the case because you are good at math and will work hard, then at this point I would start studying for actuarial examinations.The reason I say this is because the thought of memorizing 60-80 formulas and understanding how most of them are derived, having to solve loads of tough practice problems, and obtaining a deep insight to the concepts overall probably seems frightning to you, thus if you wait to the point when you are "mathematicly mature" this will not be anywhere near as overwhelming as it sounds now.In reference to the SAT's I would imagine you have to do pretty good, however I think the courses you have taken should be just as good an indicator, algebra,geometry,calculus should come easy to you(according to my definition), also you must have a love for mathematics. Note some of the info I have given you might not be totally accurate as have not taken exams #2-9 but I have done a lot of research into the question you are asking. Some additional motivation for you, the pay in this profession is very good, an FSA(someone who has completed all actuarial examinations) with 10-15+ years experience earns somewhere between 200K-350K a year! Getting to this level is no easy task though.Man this was a long post,Good luck!

April 8th 2008, 03:20 AM
Could anyone please quote for me the average financial rewards for actuaries at the different actuarial designations.thank you.:dull:

April 8th 2008, 06:28 PM