The CAS has announced plans to introduce Exam S, a new preliminary exam. To provide more information about this change, we are posting the article entitled, “CAS to Roll Out New Statistics Preliminary Exam,” written by Steve Armstrong, FCAS, Examination Committee Chair, and Elie Bochner, FCAS, Candidate Liaison Committee, published in the December 2014 issue of Future Fellows.
The CAS, which recently celebrated its centennial anniversary, has always been committed to producing property and casualty actuaries of the highest caliber. As the actuarial profession continues to evolve, so does the educational training that actuaries need in order to stay ahead of the curve. For example, over the past decade, it has become increasingly important for property and casualty actuaries to have a deeper understanding of statistics and its applications. At the same time, the CAS recognizes that the statistical foundation to perform advanced analytics is currently missing from the Syllabus of Basic Education. To fill this gap, the CAS will roll out a comprehensive preliminary exam and introduce advanced statistical topics within current examinations.
Exam S (Statistics and Probabilistic Models) will be a four-hour multiple choice exam covering undergraduate-level statistics topics on the current Exam ST, Exam LC, and VEE Statistics syllabi, as well as other topics, such as introductory generalized linear modeling. This exam will replace Exam ST, Exam LC, and VEE Statistics, and will first be offered in Fall 2015. To allow for a smooth transition, Exams ST and LC will be offered for two additional sittings (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016) coincident with the introduction of Exam S; any candidates with credit for Exam ST, Exam LC and VEE Statistics would be exempt from Exam S.
In addition to the introduction of Exam S, advanced topics on statistics such as Bayesian statistics, linear mixed modeling, and machine learning, with property and casualty insurance applications, will be woven into current examinations starting no sooner than 2016. Such additions will only occur if some existing material can be removed from the current exams – the Syllabus Committee is actively looking to remove material considered to be repetitive or outdated from existing exams to make room for the new material and keep travel time in check.
The CAS Exam and Syllabus Committees are also investigating methods and platforms to validate statistical and advanced analytics knowledge in a more realistic and job-relevant way. These technologies and the logistics surrounding them will take time to develop, but we want candidates and other stakeholders to recognize that, in the future, we aim to validate applications in advanced analytics beyond the traditional pencil and paper method.
This focus on introducing contemporary and advanced statistical topics is important to ensure that the CAS continues to produce the highest caliber of property and casualty actuaries in its second 100 years.
An announcement about this change is posted on the CAS Student Central website, along with links to the 2015 Exam S Syllabus and Transition Policies. Questions can be directed to the CAS Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Alice Chambers.