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How can I ascertain that I am ready for SOA exam?

My ultimate plan is to become an associate of the Society of Actuaries as I will pride myself as a certified actuary. I have recently taken a mock exam online to test myself and reviewed test answers to sample actuarial problems. I am generally an enterprising person but becoming a SOA associate seems very rigorous and I do not want to mess up. How best do I gauge my readiness for SOA exam?

Naomi Doyle

in Exams and Tests

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Derrick Little on January 29, 2018

The society of actuaries provides exams for professionals working in health, pension or life insurance. To become a SOA associate, you will need to pass all their five exams. These exams will test your educational experiences in relevant areas of study including statistics. Here are some steps to ready yourself for the exam:

● Begin study early.
The workload that you will go through is a lot and therefore requires several hours of preparation. Furthermore, remember that you will be juggling work with study therefore only limited hours in your day will be available for your study sessions.

Buy the right course syllabus.
Having the right syllabus will help you study for only what the SOA examination covers. Do not waste precious time reading for things that are not going to be tested. There are reputable places you can buy course material online.

● Thoroughly go through each topic.
You will find that most concepts are difficult on first sight. Therefore, study each concept until you feel well versed in it. Make sure you mark short notes as you move along and solve each problem you come across. Review each topic after to have read it through.

● Seek supplementary study material.
It is important to make sure you seek additional study resources that are within the syllabus to supplement what you have. This will help you to read widely and further understand difficult concepts. You can purchase these study materials online.

Concentrate on studying for one exam at a time.
The greatest mistake you can make is trying to prepare for two exams at a time. For your mind to be at its optimal it is best not to overload yourself with too much work. Prepare for the first exam efficiently then wait for the results before embarking on the second one. This is to avoid the risk of redoing a failed exam together with the new exam. Be patient with yourself.

Practice by taking up mock examinations.
I am glad to hear you have done a practice exam. This is a very effective way of testing yourself. Solve as many actuarial problems as your time can allow. Practice makes perfect. As you do this test, create a strict exam atmosphere.

Seek assistance and support.
It is good to surround yourself with the right support system and seek help from mentors on tests answers for problems that prove to be too difficult.

Kyle Mckinneya year ago

Unlike other professions, actuarial science requires a lot of work and commitment to succeed and become competitive. The exams are usually very difficult but not impossible. However, the good salaries the industry offers is well worthwhile. It will probably take some years for you to earn a designation, so be patient. Take one step at a time.

Moreover, I think you should assess what specific fields in actuarial science that you enjoy most to know whether to take SOA or CAS exams. CAS deals with casualty problems while SOA deals with life or health problems. Test this by taking some time to work on both sides on an
internship basis.

I would recommend that you first acquire at least two years of working experience in the insurance sector before you undertake SOA exams. This will effectively help you tackle most of the problems you will encounter in the exam syllabus.


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