Enhancing Our Exam Content

In the spirit of our on-going commitment to transparency as we announce key milestones of the Admissions Transformation Plan (ATP), the CAS is sharing details regarding the process for deciding changes to topics covered on CAS exams. Over the past two years, the CAS utilized three separate analyses to ensure that the content presented on the ACAS and FCAS exams accurately represents a holistic viewpoint of the profession, and evaluates the skills needed to ensure CAS candidates and members are prepared to meet future skill demands. The CAS conducted the three analyses in response to stakeholder and candidate feedback, and to take proactive steps ahead of potential changes in the actuarial field. CAS exams have historically proven to credential highly qualified actuaries, and the CAS took these actions to ensure that we remain the gold standard for credentialing property and casualty actuaries.

The three analyses included

  • a Job Task Analysis (JTA),
  • a second JTA specifically focused on a deep review of predictive analytics skills, and
  • a series of focus groups with employers and other stakeholders to evaluate soft skills and skills needed for the future of the profession.

The work of the ATP to identify changes to CAS exams began with the Job Task Analysis conducted in 2020. This foundational analysis will inform the enhancements to all CAS exams, beginning with the new exams MAS-I, MAS-II, and 5, which are planned to be administered in the Fall of 2023.

The CAS worked with Assessment, Education, and Research Experts (AERE) to conduct the Job Task Analysis of working CAS members. Actuaries from a variety of backgrounds and practice areas were surveyed to identify the domains, tasks, knowledge and skills performed by practicing actuaries. Next, the accuracy of these competencies was further validated by a representative sample of practitioners in relevant actuarial fields, who also rated the importance, criticality and frequency of performance for the previously identified domains and tasks.

Following the first JTA validation, the CAS conducted a second, condensed JTA focused only on predictive analytics. Psychometric and P&C experts worked together to determine what material CAS candidates should be tested on, including a breakdown of the domains that should be assessed on each exam. These recommendations were based on the analysis of the most critical and frequently used domains, tasks and knowledge areas utilized by practicing property and casualty actuaries.

After extensive review and stakeholder feedback, a separate CAS task force reviewed the results and made additional recommendations about adding predictive analytics to the exam pathway.

Finally, guided by the CAS’s psychometric partner, ACS Ventures, the CAS conducted focus groups to determine what technical and soft skills would be needed by Actuaries in the next 3-5 years as the profession evolves. The focus group work used the CAS Envisioned Future as a primary source for its recommendations. The evolution outlined in the ATP is inspired by the CAS Envisioned Future, as described in the CAS Strategic Plan, that sees CAS members as sought after globally for their insights and ability to apply analytics to solve insurance and risk management problems. We are enhancing our long-standing professional certification model by adopting certification industry best practices that will enable us to swiftly respond to market needs so that CAS credentials remain the gold standard for property and casualty actuaries.

The final decisions on enhancements to topics covered in the ACAS and FCAS exam pathway were made by CAS practicing actuaries from a variety of experience levels and backgrounds in the P&C industry.

Our focus on strengthening our professional certification model represents our commitment to a future state that incorporates certification industry best practices to ensure that our credential holders have the professional knowledge and expertise to meet market demands. This will ultimately strengthen the value of our members’ credentials and uphold our position as the leading organization for credentialing property and casualty actuaries.

Later this year, the CAS will publish the domain-level topics for updated versions of the CAS exams, including the new MAS exams and Exam 5, which plan to be administered in Fall 2023. More information about upcoming changes to CAS exams can be found on the Admissions Transformation Plan webpage. As we reach additional milestones, CAS students, candidates and members can expect to see updates on the ATP webpage, which is our main information hub for our stakeholders. If you have any questions or feedback regarding the upcoming changes to CAS exams, please reach out to atp@casact.org.


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Guessing Penalty Eliminated Beginning Fall 2022

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When the Casualty Actuarial Society began administering the multiple-choice exams MAS-I and MAS-II in 2018, a 0.25-point penalty was assessed for each incorrect response to prevent a candidate from guessing correct responses. In September 2021, in conjunction with the release of the Admissions Transformation Plan, and motivated heavily by candidate feedback, staff and volunteer input, the decision was made to remove the guessing penalty. Effective with the Fall 2022 exam sittings, the guessing penalty for exams MAS-I and MAS-II will be eliminated.


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Register to Attend the Virtual Ratemaking, Product, and Modeling Seminar Student Program

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) is pleased to offer a FREE virtual student program in conjunction with the Ratemaking, Product, and Modeling Virtual Seminar on March 15, 2022. University students interested in pursuing an actuarial career are invited to attend. The program will run from 10am-2:15pm ET. Students who participate in the entirety of the program will be issued a certificate of participation.

Agenda for the day:

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.  Welcome
10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Intro to the CAS and P&C Career Path
10:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Featured Speaker- The Computer Knows Your Secrets: The Power, Challenge, and Opportunities of AI + Personal Data
12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch Break
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Intro to Basic Ratemaking
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Career Panel
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Debrief

Register Now!

The deadline to register is Thursday, March 10th. Please note, you must be a member of CAS Student Central to register for the events. Membership is free to university students; become a member by completing the following form.

If you have any questions, please contact Margaret Kerr, University Engagement Manager at CASstudentcentral@casact.org.


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Apply for the 2022 Midwestern Actuarial Forum (MAF) Scholarship

Apply for the 2022 MAF Scholarship

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the scholarship is to further students’ interest in the property/casualty actuarial profession and to encourage the pursuit of the CAS designations.

AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIP:

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of individual merit. The MAF Scholarship Program will award up to two scholarships to deserving students for the 2021-2022 academic year. Both will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Eligibility – You must meet all requirements to be considered

  • Must submit all sections of the MAF Scholarship application by February 15, 2021
  • Currently attending a U.S. college or university as a full-time student and continuing as a full time student at a U.S. college or university in the 2021-2022 academic year
  • Applicants must have sat for at least one actuarial exam by December of 2021
  • Must be a member of CAS Student Central
    • (Join here for free: CASstudentcentral.org)
  • Preference will be given to residents or those attending schools in one of the Midwest States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio or Wisconsin)
  • Applicants should demonstrate high scholastic achievement and strong interest in the casualty actuarial profession, mathematical aptitude, and communication skills.

You must submit the following:

The four page MAF Scholarship application and attached essay.

One letter of recommendation included in this application, preferably completed by internship supervisors, instructors and/or advisors at your educational institution who know you well. Separate letters must be submitted and accompanied by the recommendation forms included. Only one recommendation letter will be considered.

A current official transcript.

*Incomplete applications will be disqualified without any consideration to partial information received.

*Completed applications are due by February 15, 2022.

*You will be notified of award decisions by March 11, 2022. 

Applications are available from MAF or online at the MAF website at https://www.casact.org/affiliate/midwestern-actuarial-forum-maf


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2022 ARECA Actuarial Scholarship Announced for Undergraduates in Asia

ARECA is pleased to announce the 2021/22 scholarship competition for current undergraduate students in the Asia Pacific region who are interested in pursuing the actuarial profession.

About the Scholarship:

The primary element of the scholarship competition is for the applicant to prepare an essay (approximately five pages) addressing a business scenario that is illustrative of the issues that are analyzed by property / casualty actuaries in their daily work.

Scholarship awards of US $1000 each (cash) will be awarded to three students. In addition, the Scholarship winners will have the opportunity to publish their scenario essays in CAS publications, and to participate in an upcoming local ARECA meeting (or other actuarial event) during 2022.

The funding for these scholarships is sponsored by AXIS, part of the AXIS Capital group of companies, which includes global insurers and reinsurers providing clients and distribution partners with a broad range of specialized risk transfer products and services.

About ARECA

Asia Region Casualty Actuaries (ARECA), based in Asia Pacific, is a Regional Affiliate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (“CAS”). ARECA is one of 17 CAS Regional Affiliates providing high-quality education opportunities to CAS members, candidates, students and other risk professionals across the world. For more information visit the CAS website.

Applications are due by 31 March, 2022.

Interested? Get more information and apply here!

Contact:

If you have questions about the scholarship, ARECA, the Casualty Actuarial Society, or the actuarial profession after reviewing the material available through the above link, please contact Bo Lin, CAS International Relations Manager, at blin@casact.org.


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The Wall Street Journal Publishes Article on Actuarial Exam Process

Last week The Wall Street Journal published an article exploring the rigors of the actuarial exam process, featuring anecdotes from candidates about their personal exam journeys.

CAS Staff Actuary Ken Williams, FCAS, was quoted in the overall piece and emphasized that the CAS is working to diversify its candidate pipeline while maintaining the rigor and integrity of the ACAS and FCAS credentials. “I think the piece certainly accurately details the arduous exam process,” said Williams of the published article. “But I think there are so many rewards from the credential you get at the end of the exam journey that make it worth it, which could have been highlighted as well. I personally think the knowledge and skills I learned from taking the exams, the career journey I have enjoyed as an actuary with my FCAS designation, and the community of belonging as a CAS actuary are just a few of the things that make this career path so desirable.”

The article also notes that the actuarial profession is seeing a decline in first-time exam candidates, but Williams said the CAS is not seeing the same for its exams. “In the past five years, we have actually had a 29% increase in candidates. So, we are very optimistic about the growth of the CAS pipeline and are excited to welcome this next generation of actuaries.” For more on CAS’s plans to modernize and transform its admissions process to meet the needs of today’s exam candidates, visit casact.org/ATP.

The full WSJ article is available on The Wall Street Journal website (subscription required).


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