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Thread: Will I have enough math background to pass the first two exams?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Will I have enough math background to pass the first two exams?

    Hey everyone,

    I am a Finance major at my university and ive been thinking about becoming an actuary. My university requires me to take BCALC and BSTATs but with just a finance major i do not need to go past these math classes. I checked the VEE requirements for mathematics and i will be able to meet them by taking the three BSTAT classes at my university. However, ive been wondering if this will be enough math knowledge to do well on the exams since most actuaries come from math backgrounds. I know I will have to teach myself a lot but is it possible to do well without taking the higher level math courses? Will these classes give me enough background information so that I will be able to use the ACTEX study guides effectively? Should I also consider minoring in math?

    CAS requires two online courses before becoming an associate. I know im far from becoming one but should I be worrying about these online courses now or wait until after I graduate?

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    The maths courses I took during university are calculus I and II, Introduction to linear algebra, Introduction to ODE and a few low level statistics courses. I passed exam P, FM, MFE and very likely MLC in the recent sitting. So, higher level math courses are not a necessary condition. You may just take a look at exam P sample questions and justify it yourself.

    Don't worry about those online courses now. Passing those preliminary exams is more important in your situation if you want to be an actuary.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Thanks for your reply it helped a lot! Ive been also searching internships and a lot of the main actuary internships want actuary science or mathematics majors. If I have one exam passed by the time I apply to an internship and have the VEE requirements completed will it matter that I am a finance major? Would getting a minor in mathematics be worth it simply to put on my resume? ( along with just having a higher understanding)

    Many companies also want strong computer skills. Would it be worth my time to become certified in excel or any other MS program? Which programs are most needed in this field?

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I haven't got an actuarial job yet. Just apply when you see any openings. Some companies specify what majors they need and some do not.

    Nowadays, one exam probably is not enough and VEE is not that important.

    If you have a minor in maths. put it on resume. At least it is relevant.

    Certified or not. I don't know.

    I am not sure if the followings are correct.
    P&C most likely uses SAS, R.
    Life uses the Prophet.
    But if you know excel, then you are probably fine.

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