Preliminary Computer Based Exams
The preliminary exams are the common foundation for becoming an actuary. No matter which actuarial practice area a person decides to enter, future actuarial education will depend on mastery of the preliminary exams.
Probability Exam (SOA Exam P): May be used to obtain Exam 1 credit with the CAS. The exam consists of three hours of multiple-choice questions. The purpose of this exam is to develop knowledge of probability. The application of these tools to problems encountered by actuaries is emphasized. A thorough command of calculus and probability topics is assumed. Additionally, a very basic knowledge of insurance and risk management is assumed.
Financial Mathematics Exam (SOA Exam FM): May be used to obtain Exam 2 credit with the CAS. The exam consists of three hours of multiple-choice questions. This exam covers interest theory (discrete and continuous) and an introduction to derivative securities. It assumes a basic knowledge of calculus and probability.
Models for Financial Economics Exam (SOA Exam MFE): May be used to obtain Exam 3F credit with the CAS. The exam consists of three hours of multiple-choice questions. This exam covers interest rate models, rational valuation of derivative securities, simulation, and financial risk management techniques.
SOA Models for Life Contingencies Exam (SOA Exam MLC): This exam is a four-hour multiple choice and written-answer exam. The syllabus develops the candidate's knowledge of the theoretical basis of contingent payment models and the application of those models to insurance and other financial risks. A thorough knowledge of calculus, probability and interest theory is assumed. Knowledge of risk management at the level of Exam P is also assumed.
Statistics and Probabilistic Models Exam (CAS Exam S): Please note that Exam S is considered an Associate Exam. This exam is administered by the CAS. There is not a waiver or SOA equivalent for this exam. Exam S is a four-hour multiple-choice exam. This examination covers Stochastic Processes, Survival Models (including limited Life Contingencies concepts), Statistics, General Linear Models (including Ordinary Least Squares) and Time Series. The syllabus is defined in the form of learning objectives, knowledge statements, and readings. A thorough knowledge of calculus, probability, and interest theory is assumed. Starting in Fall 2016 it replaces Preliminary Exams LC, ST, and Validation by Educational Experience Statistics.
Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models Exam (SOA Exam C): May be used to obtain Exam 4 credit with the CAS. The exam consists of three and a half hours of multiple choice questions. The syllabus provides an introduction to modeling and covers important actuarial methods that are useful in modeling. A thorough knowledge of calculus and probability is assumed. The candidate will be introduced to useful frequency and severity models beyond those covered in Financial Economics and Life Contingencies Exams.