For those interested in an actuarial profession, January 2010 is the perfect time to take the
first actuarial exam. Our 163 covers exactly the material that is on the exam, and you
will have a couple of weeks of no school to study for the exam (to take place between
January 5 – 16, 2010). If you wait, you will forget material and/or be too busy to study.
The only reason to wait would be if (1) you are failing this class and will need to take it
again or (2) you have plenty of time before graduation and would like to tutor and/or
grade for the class next year (this can help you study. You learn much more by showing
other people how to do something than you do by simply doing homework).
All of the required information can be found at
http://www.beanactuary.org/exams/cbt.cfm and links from that page. Some important
things to note:
• The registration deadline for the January exam is December 3. Don’t wait to
• Take one (preferably more) of the practice exams. There are (supposed to be)
some at links from the above noted page. I know many people that have had luck
using practice exams from Actex Publishing, e.g., for the exam 1/P see
http://www.actexmadriver.com/showproducts.cfm?FullCat=172 (I have not
financial interest in this company and do not profit from any materials that you
may purchase from them). You do not need to purchase a study guide or text
book, the book we have used this semester is listed as the first/primary reference
for this exam (see http://www.soa.org/files/pdf/edu-2010-exam-p.pdf , This site
also has a link to sample questions). Make sure you take a sample ONLINE
exam, just so that you know how the computer based testing works before you get
to the exam.
• Make sure you own (and take with you to the exam) one of the approved
calculators. Make sure to practice with it beforehand so you know how it works.
Note that the Society of Actuaries calls this “exam P” while the Casualty Actuarial
Society calls it “Exam 1”. Right now, this doesn’t make any difference. Later in your
career you would have to choose what kind of actuary you want to be, as after the first
couple of exams, the two organizations give different exams.