Communications (Subject CA3)
On this page you will find information about the format of the CA3 Communications practical exam, and also documents giving you important administrative information.
The practical exam aims to test your skills at effective communication to both technical and non-technical audiences. It is based on the concepts in the Core technical subjects and in CA1 Actuarial risk management, and questions are set within a financial framework.
All the application forms and other information that you will need are available via the links on the right. Application forms are only available during the booking periods.
You can get further information on all practical exams by emailing email@example.com
Past exam papers
Past exam papers are being added to this page for practice.
The format of CA3
The format of the CA3 exam will be changing from July 2013 - read about these changes.
The practical exam comprises two days. The first day is to help you prepare for the exam on the second day.
Before the exam you will receive a workbook containing a number of communication exercises, many of which will relate to the office environment. These will need to be completed at home and returned prior to the exam. All students will need to return their completed workbook by the date advised in the pre-exam work email. Students who do not meet this requirement will not be allowed to attend the practical exam that they have registered for and will not be entitled to a refund of the exam fee.
This day will include preparation for the assessment, and is led by communication specialists. They will draw on material you have provided in the pre-exam workbooks. The day will conclude with a two hour exam where you will prepare slides for presentation on day two.
You will be individually assessed, by an actuary and a non-actuary, in a 5-10 minute oral presentation, which will be filmed. You will also complete a written assessment, involving the communication of actuarial issues to a non-actuarial audience.
Where possible WIFI access will be made available at the venues on day two for you to use while waiting to do your presentation. You may therefore wish to bring work to do.
CA3 retaker exam
A retaker exam is available for students who have previously sat a two day practical exam. This takes place over two days. On day one you will complete an online slide presentation paper. There is a fixed time for you to download and sit this part of the online exam, which is from 15.00-17.00. You will need a PC and access to the internet, and you may also like to have the facility to print. Please note that we do not provide venue facilities for day one.
Day two is the same as the second day of the full two day exam, and attendance at one of the practical exam venues is required. There is also an online version of the retaker exam available.
Applying for CA3
Please read the exam policies and instructions before you apply. The application form will also give you full details of the entry criteria for the exam. An online version of CA3 is available, principally for overseas students who would otherwise have to travel to the UK.
There are various ways that you can enter:
- Enter online by logging into your personal account if you are paying by card. This will give you greater access to the current exam dates and locations
- Download and complete an application form from the right of this page, and return it to us.
To take this exam you must have passed or been exempted by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries from all the CT subjects and from CA1. You must also have one year's work experience plus your employer's approval.
There have been instances of unprofessional behaviour from students at this exam. Poor conduct may result in dismissal from the exam, which we will treat as a disciplinary offence.
Students who already have a confirmed place on a practical exam can register on a waiting list for earlier places. You will need to complete and return the form available on the right, indicating your preferences for time and location, though we can not guarantee to meet these.
Further information on the CA3 exam
In the past the examiners have been concerned at the low pass rate for CA3. It appears that students may have been entering the exam without full preparation. It is important that this subject is taken seriously during the study period and that adequate time is given to the preparation. We recommend that you spend around 50 hours preparing for this exam, and one of the best forms of preparation is to practise answering exam style questions.
Example assessment questions are available, and there is also an online version of this exam.
Where will the CA3 exams take place?
Practical exams are being scheduled to be held at the following venues:
For those unable to attend a face-to-face exam an online version of CA3 is available.
New venues are being investigated and details of future exam dates will be advertised on the application form.
We correspond with students via email, and all pre-exam work will be emailed to your preferred email address.
We have experienced an increased volume of reports of the non-receipt of emails sent to Hotmail accounts. It is your responsibility to check your inbox regularly (including the 'Junk email') and inform us if you have not received the necessary information or material. Alternatively, please login to your membership account and provide an alternative preferred email address.
Pass lists are published on the website, and we will notify you by letter, according to a fixed schedule of dates. These are on the Friday, twelve weeks following the exam.