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CP3 Communications Practice

In October 2016, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) announced that the current communications exam, CA3, will be replaced by CP3 in the new curriculum. While the new curriculum will take effect from 31 December 2018, a decision was taken to launch the new CP3 exam in September 2017

This page provides you with guidance on the format of the exam, an example exam paper, a sample marking guide, and examples of a good answer and a poor answer.

Format of the exam

The CP3 exam will assess your ability to communicate effectively in writing to a non actuarial/non technical audience.  The CP3 computer based exam will consist of a single written exam.

The presentation element has been removed from the examination and is now a requirement within Personal and Professional Development (PPD).  Find out more about PPD.

The CP3 computer-based assessment is in two parts: 

CP3 exam structure







Pre-work: Scenario Material

You will be provided with scenario material a minimum of  three days before the written exam. This could include a number of documents such as articles, written communications between relevant stakeholders, data sets, tables and charts.

This will give you the opportunity to review the materials and familiarise yourself with the scenario, and the subject area before sitting the exam. The exam question will be set around the scenario on which the advance material is based.

Candidates are not required to undertake any research or additional reading relating to the technical material beyond what is provided in the scenario documents.

Written paper:

The CP3 exam is a three hour paper, which will have two questions

  • First question - A written communication piece such as a written report, a memo, a letter or a set of briefing notes. 
    • 90% of the overall mark
  • Second question - A short reflective piece which will give you the chance to justify the style and structure of communication and the choice of charts/tables or diagrams you have used in your written answers.
    • 10% of the overall mark.

In the case of the September 2017 exam, the advance material will be available for download from 10.00 (BST) on Friday 22 September. The exam will take place at 14.00 (BST) on Monday 25 September.

A review of the changes to the Communications exam

A review of the changes to the Communications exam














You will find a sample exam paper, the relevant advance material, a marking guide and examples of a good answer that would result in a pass and a poor answer that would result in a fail.

These are provided to give you an illustration of the format, and support your preparation for the exam.

We have also created FAQs that you can read here.

Marking process

Each script will be assessed by two markers who will mark the script according to the marking schedule.

You may be aware that under the current model for CA3, the markers for the presentation question consisted of an actuary and a non-actuary. This model has been adopted for the new CP3 exam.

Who are these changes applicable to?

Annual PPD recording will be compulsory for all students, including those exempt from the current WBS requirements (due to joining the IFoA before 30 June 2004).

Please note that currently this information is relating to those qualifying as Fellow. Information relating to the Associate qualification will be released shortly.  


Further information on the changes to WBS into the new PPD format is available on the Personal and Professional Development page. 

Contact Details

Education Services Team

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 01865 268207

We aim to respond to all enquiries within two working days.