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Sample Actuarial Problems

Apply your math skills to actuarial exam questions.

Actuaries earn professional credentials by passing a series of examinations. This online exam is designed to give you an idea of the types of questions you might encounter on the preliminary actuarial examinations administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society and Society of Actuaries. The sample problems are actual questions from prior exams, but they do not cover all the topics or all levels of difficulty.

Answer the five multiple choice questions below, then click submit to see your results.

1

An urn contains 10 balls: 4 red and 6 blue. A second urn contains 16 red balls and an unknown number of blue balls. A single ball is drawn from each urn. The probability that both balls are the same color is 0.44.

Calculate the number of blue balls in the second urn.

2

A device runs until either of two components fails, at which point the device stops running.  The joint density function of the lifetimes of the two components, both measured in hours, is 

f (x,y)=x+y/8 for 0< x < 2 and 0< y < 2 .

What is the probability that the device fails during its first hour of operation?

3

A car dealership sells 0, 1, or 2 luxury cars on any day. When selling a car, the dealer also tries to persuade the customer to buy an extended warranty for the car. Let X denote the number of luxury cars sold in a given day, and let Y denote the number of extended warranties sold.
P(X = 0, Y = 0) = 1 / 6
P(X = 1, Y = 0) = 1/12
P(X = 1, Y = 1) = 1 /6
P(X = 2, Y = 0) = 1 /12
P(X = 2, Y = 1) = 1 /3
P(X = 2, Y = 2) = 1/6

What is the variance of X?

4

A tour operator has a bus that can accommodate 20 tourists. The operator knows that tourists may not show up, so he sells 21 tickets. The probability that an individual tourist will not show up is 0.02, independent of all other tourists. Each ticket costs 50, and is non-refundable if a tourist fails to show up. If a tourist shows up and a seat is not available, the tour operator has to pay 100 (ticket cost + 50 penalty) to the tourist. What is the expected revenue of the tour operator?

5

The future lifetimes (in months) of two components of a machine have the following joint density function:

What is the probability that both components are still functioning 20 months from now?