CAS to Roll Out New Statistics Exam

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.

CAS Preliminary Actuarial Exam SThe 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from the current exams – the Syllabus Committee is actively looking to remove material considered to be repetitive or outdated from existing exams to make room for the new material and keep travel time in check.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.


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Why You Should Apply for the CAS Trust Scholarship

jon.jpgSignificant tuition assistance, an all-expenses paid trip to the CAS Annual Meeting, networking opportunities with the leaders in the casualty actuarial profession, and access to world-class professional development sessions; these are some of the countless benefits I have received since being selected as one of the 2014 CAS Trust Scholarship recipients.

The CAS Trust Scholarship has been awarded annually for over a decade to high-achieving college students that have demonstrated a strong interest in casualty actuarial science. The CAS is currently accepting applications for the 2015 CAS Trust Scholarship, and will award the scholarship to up to three deserving students. The first place winner will receive $10,000, and the runners-up will each receive $5,000. The application is available to download on the CAS Trust Scholarship website and is due by March 2, 2015. I strongly encourage all CAS Student Central members to apply!

Not only does the scholarship provide significant financial assistance to offset rising tuitions and the costs of actuarial exams, but the recipients are also invited to attend the CAS Annual Meeting. I was fortunate enough to be selected the same year that the CAS Centennial Celebration was being held. The meeting was an excellent networking opportunity, as the CAS members were very friendly and willing to share their insights about the profession. Further, they were very supportive of one another, and took the time to recognize the volunteer and research contributions of their members.

One of the major segments of the meeting was an address from outgoing President Wayne Fisher. He discussed the current state of the actuarial profession, and explained why he is confident that, despite increasing competition, demand for casualty actuaries will remain strong. There was also a terrific selection of professional development sessions, where I learned about world-class research and developing trends in the industry. One of the sessions that I attended focused on cyber security and was led by two high-ranking national security officials. They discussed the state of our nation’s cyber security and the role the insurance industry can play in managing the risks of cyber attacks.

I have benefitted greatly from receiving the CAS Trust Scholarship, thanks to the financial assistance and the opportunity to attend the CAS Centennial Celebration. Attending the meeting offered a tremendous opportunity for networking and professional development, and added significant value to my long-term career prospects. If you are an actuarial student looking for similar benefits, I encourage you to submit an application for the 2015 CAS Trust Scholarship!

Jonathan Bisschop is a senior at the University of Connecticut and an actuarial science major. He has completed three internships at Travelers in various areas of the company. Upon graduation, he will begin working at Travelers as a member of the Actuarial & Analytics Leadership Development Program. In addition to his studies, Jonathan is also the Vice President of UConn’s chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma – the international risk management & actuarial science fraternity. 


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