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Frequently Asked Questions - Curriculum

Learning materials

  • 1. Where do I find the Core Reading?

    You can find the IFoA Core Reading at the E-Shop. ActEd (BPP) provide face-to-face tuition and distance learning materials for the IFoA examinations. More information is available at on the ActED website.

  • 2. How can I access the learning materials?

    Core Reading for each subject is produced by the IFoA and is available through the E-Shop. ActEd (BPP) is the main provider of additional supporting materials and learning resources. Their website provides information on what resources are available and the costs.

  • 3. Are there individual sets of Core Reading for CS1, CS2 and CM1 and CM2?

    Yes, there are sets of Core Reading for each of the four subjects.

Route to Qualification

  • 1. Is there a recommended route to qualification? What subjects should I be attempting first?

    The qualification structure is designed to help students with their studies. For both Associate and Fellow, students will need to pass or obtain exemptions from all the Core Principles subjects. It therefore makes sense to complete these before progressing to the Core Practice subjects. The Core Principles can be taken in any order, but it does make sense to pass certain subjects before attempting others. CS1 is recommended as the starting point. This provides a grounding in the basics of statistical techniques. CS2 then builds on this. So certainly, CS1 before CS2. CM1 and CM2 then cover the principles of mathematics and modelling as applied to actuarial work, and CM2 then builds upon this. Again, CM1 before CM2. Some students may want a break from heavy maths between the CS and CM subjects and so they might take the opportunity to sit CB1 at this stage. Finally, in order to gain the most benefit, it is advisable to sit CB3 after CB1 and CB2.

  • 2. Can I attempt an SP paper before I have completed all the Core Principles and Core Practices?

    Yes, and some students choose to do this, especially if they are working in a related field. But otherwise it does make sense to progress through the qualification structure as described.

  • 3. Will my ST3, SA5 and SA6 exam still count towards qualification?

    Yes, it will count as one of your SP/SA subjects provided you have passed!

Assessment

  • 1. I understand that ‘reading time’ has been removed from the examination schedule. Why is this?

    We wanted to give our adult learners the choice of how to use this time. We haven’t removed the time but it is now included in the overall time; for example, a 3 hour paper is now 3 hours and 15 minutes. The only exception is Paper 2 of CP1, which retains a dedicated 45 minutes of planning time, followed by a 2hours and 30 minutes examination.

  • 2. I see that the CS and CM subjects have two papers. What are the different assessments?

    The new curriculum has allowed us to review the way we assess our subjects. The traditional examination has an important role in testing knowledge and understanding, but now the second paper, (‘Problem-based Assessment’), tests the application of this knowledge using real sets of data.

  • 3. Do I have to attempt both papers in the same sitting?

    Yes, you will have to sit both papers in the same sitting. You should view this as an examination with two elements of assessment.

  • 4. Do I have to pass both papers in the same sitting?

    The two papers for the CS and CM subjects will be weighted. Paper A, the 3 hours and 15 minutes paper will be weighted at 70% and the Problem-based Assessment, Paper B, at 30%. The outcome will be a single mark. So, the marks for the two papers will be added together and, provided you achieve the pass mark, you will pass. There is no requirement to achieve a pass in both papers. If you fail either CS or CM, you will be required to take both Paper A and Paper B again. 

  • 5. Will I have to familiarise myself with ‘R’ code or is everything I need to know contained in the Core Reading?

    We recommend that those sitting the papers requiring ‘R’ (CS1 and CS2) familiarise themselves with ‘R Studio'. There are lots of free resources available to help you with this and we will be providing you with an ‘R’ guide detailing the packages that you will need.

  • 6. In the case of CS/CM subjects, will there be a separate pass mark for each part? If not, how will the final pass mark be decided?

    There will not be a separate pass mark for each paper. The elements of assessment will be marked and the two marks aggregated with a 70:30 split between the theory paper and the Problem-based Assessment. A final single mark will then be calculated for each of the CS and CM subjects (CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2). The Chief Examiner will set the pass mark for each subject.

If you have any further queries, or would like us to add to these FAQs, please contact the education services team.

Contact Details

Education Services Team

education.services@actuaries.org.uk

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.

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    This free 1 hour CPD webinar is designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020 and is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    Modelling the structure and trends of cancer morbidity risk is important for pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision. We model the dynamics of cancer incidence over time in different regions in England, using 1981-2016 ONS data. The modelling allows estimation of cancer rates at various age, year, gender and region levels, following a Bayesian setting to account for statistical uncertainty. Our analysis indicates significant regional variation in cancer incidence rates. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    In this talk we will outline the steps Aviva took in pulling together our first large-scale disclosures on the exposure of our business to climate change published in March 2019; in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. After touching on why insurers have such an important role in climate change, we'll cover a brief “how-to” guide for those who have not yet embarked on thinking about these topics before giving a case study of how the learnings from a TCFD disclosure exercise can be applied to investment portfolios.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    The insurance industry currently underwrites customers with diabetes based on a range of factors, medical expertise and various medical studies. The work undertaken by the Diabetes Working Party would help the industry to approach this using current research findings to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes is considered. This includes the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes. This webinar will present our latest findings in the management of this important chronic condition which will include research in collaboration with the ARC. 

  • Fully booked.

    This event is now fully booked. To join the wait list, please register here.

    Get ready for the new CPD Scheme launching on 1 September. Join us for a discussion on what the new Scheme will look like in practice. There will be an opportunity to field questions to the IFoA Executive on how the Scheme’s requirements will affect you.

  • Asia Conference Webinar Series

    Webinars
    1 September 2020 - 24 September 2020

    Spaces available

    There will be a prestigious line-up of international speakers discussing the insurance and financial industry’s innovation and change in Asia.  The conference will take place throughout September via an online platform. The webinars consist of plenary speaking sessions and a series of workshop sessions including Life, GI, Data Science, Sustainability, Risk Management and Investment.

    This will be the perfect opportunity for you to discover,ask questions and be at the forefront of current and developing actuarial/financial topics and trends in Asia.

     

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar we will provide an insight into enterprise-wide risk management in banking, showing similarities to the world of insurance as well as identifying differences. Just as insurance companies have to submit an ORSA, so bank’s have to submit their own equivalent, the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process or ICAAP.

  • Examination Preparation

    Webinar
    10 September 2020

    Spaces available

    IFoA Webinar on Examination guidance for those candidates sitting Examinations in September, delivered by the Education Actuaries

  • Spaces available

    This free 90 minute webinar is designed to support the IFoA CPD Co-ordinators, and others, involved in supporting our members to achieve their CPD requirements. 

    The programme will include an overview of the new CPD Scheme; specifically sharing with you key messages to support you implement and embrace the new CPD Scheme for our members within your organisation and regional community; how to arrange a reflective practice discussion; and an interactive reflective practice discussion learning exercise.  In addition, delegates will gain information about accessing, and making the most of the IFoA event Toolkits which you can make use of to run your own in-house events and events for regional communities.