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  #41  
Old 05-21-2009, 07:02 PM
actuwait actuwait is offline
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Exam AFE seems as difficult as CAS Exam 7.
MLC is tougher than CAS 3L
I have been through FAP Modules and I think if memory is not an issue (which is in my case), it is easy to pass CAS Exam 5 than FAP1. I do agree that FAP can be done on one's own schedule and is available when the person like to study.

I wouldn't say ACAS as being double than ASA. There could be little bit difference but it is hard to measure.
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  #42  
Old 05-22-2009, 12:14 AM
sohpmalvin sohpmalvin is offline
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Come on, AFE exam is hard!!!

Personally, I think that obtaining CERA alone is not easier than ASA. Exam AFE indeed has a great gap in difficulty compared to the preliminaries.

Does it really matter for one who has finished preliminary exams, FAP, VEEs, exam AFE and ERM module to get 2 credentials, compared to those who go for life track? CERA is just to tell people that they have the knowledge included in preliminary exams (except MLC), corporate finance, exam AFE, and ERM modules. If one gets both ASA and CERA, it simply means that they have passed the related exams and modules and have demonstrated relevant knowledge.

By the way, if I haven't passed MLC and obtained CERA, may I add ASA behind my name in signature?
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  #43  
Old 05-22-2009, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sohpmalvin View Post
By the way, if I haven't passed MLC and obtained CERA, may I add ASA behind my name in signature?
Sadly, YES, Bruce talked about this a while back.
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Well, NONE of the preliminary exams are "real" exams...
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  #44  
Old 05-22-2009, 08:59 AM
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I stand by my assertion that the ACAS is at least twice as much work as the ASA. ."
I don't know about your numbers (twice) bust sadly the SOA has severly dumbed down the requirement for associateship and fellowship.

It's just a matter of time before life salaries are hit big time.
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  #45  
Old 05-22-2009, 09:03 AM
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That exam is truly awesome. As an old retired FSA, I will make no pretense of having expertise in this area, but as I looked through that exam two very important thoughts came to mind:
1. The exam is clearly oriented toward relevant questions/problems.
2. Mere spitting back of memorized lists will not save you.

I say kudos to those who created this and those who had the balls to take it.
That looks very interesting, I'll need to look some more at this CERA reading list to see what's relavent. Any suggestions?
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  #46  
Old 05-22-2009, 09:58 AM
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I still think it's wierd how SOA allows someone to be an ASA without passing the exam on Life Contingencies. The SOA was formed by the combination of 2 societies of life insurance actuaries. The concentration of life vs non-life topics is what distinguished the SOA from the CAS.

CAS requires all their members to be tested on life contingencies, but the SOA does not require all their members be tested on the very subject that is the root of its existence. Why not just eliminate exam MLC from the ASA exams and only require it for the FSA concentrations that actually use it?
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  #47  
Old 05-22-2009, 11:03 AM
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I still think it's wierd how SOA allows someone to be an ASA without passing the exam on Life Contingencies. The SOA was formed by the combination of 2 societies of life insurance actuaries. The concentration of life vs non-life topics is what distinguished the SOA from the CAS.

CAS requires all their members to be tested on life contingencies, but the SOA does not require all their members be tested on the very subject that is the root of its existence. Why not just eliminate exam MLC from the ASA exams and only require it for the FSA concentrations that actually use it?
I would say make the exam as CAS 3L and the remaining stuff can be tested as an FSA Module for people who go for life tracks. This way the exam will not be a hurdle for every one who is not a big fan of it and will not use it a lot.
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  #48  
Old 05-22-2009, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Gile View Post
That exam is truly awesome. As an old retired FSA, I will make no pretense of having expertise in this area, but as I looked through that exam two very important thoughts came to mind:
1. The exam is clearly oriented toward relevant questions/problems.
2. Mere spitting back of memorized lists will not save you.

I say kudos to those who created this and those who had the balls to take it.


I think the Exam committees' direction is mostly on the right track. Notwithstanding the folks who claim that it has gotten too easy. . .
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  #49  
Old 05-22-2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
It's just a matter of time before life salaries are hit big time.
Why is that? Other than...?
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Well, NONE of the preliminary exams are "real" exams...
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  #50  
Old 05-22-2009, 09:21 PM
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The responsibility of an actuary has been expanding, at least on the life side. Now you see actuaries not only do traditional actuarial works (mortality study, life & annuity product design), but also works related to capital market (XXX, institutional products, M&A, financial reinsurance). To me, having a new track like AFE definitely makes sense, and the material I learnt in AFE is far more related to what I do compare to the life exam.

Then I ask myself, "So now actuaries have a little community in the finance world, does it makes sense to expand our presence?". Yes, I think so. How to do that? Knowing we are competing with people like CFA and FRM, which gives out thousands and thousands of designation each year, what is the best strategy to compete with those guys?

Should the SOA be thinking about giving out more designation? Maybe or maybe not. Does it water down the current designation? Maybe or maybe not. What is the single most important quality that makes our designation valuable? Hard exams? I don't think so. You may not agree with me, but I think the quality of our works, and the ability to deliver that quality consistently, is the reason why the FSA designation is valuable.

I think the arguement that we should make the exam harder is nonsense. Harder exam does not guarantee better actuary. You don't need ten bullets to kill a bird when one is enough.

Last year, I did a search on the SOA directory to see if there are any actuaries work for the five big investment banks, all the actuaries I found are FSA. I have no idea how the salary argument stands on this case. Here is what I believe, if you are motivated and ambitious enough, you will make more money than your peers eventually.

Last edited by eagle_halo; 05-22-2009 at 09:25 PM..
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