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April Exams 2020

April 2020 exams

The examination timetable for April 2020 is as follows:

Date Monday 13 April 2020 Tuesday 14 April 2020 Wednesday 15 April 2020 Thursday 16 April 2020 Friday 17 April 2020
AM     CP2 – Paper 1 CP2 – Paper 2  
Date Monday 20 April 2020 Tuesday 21 April 2020 Wednesday 22 April 2020 Thursday 23 April 2020 Friday 24 April 2020
AM CP3        
Date Monday 27 April 2020 Tuesday 28 April 2020 Wednesday 29 April 2020 Thursday 30 April 2020 Friday 1 May 2020
AM CB2 CP1 - Paper 1 CP1 – Paper 2 SP1, SP5, SP7 SP8, SP9
Date Monday 4 May 2020 Tuesday 5 May 2020 Wednesday 6 May 2020 Thursday 7 May 2020 Friday 8 May 2020
AM SA1, SA2, SA3, SA4, SA7 SP2, SP4, SP6 CB1    

Examination results and pass lists published

The revised dates for publication of results are:

  • Core Principles subjects (CB1-2;): Tuesday 21 July 2020
  • Core Practices, Specialist Principles and Specialist Advanced subjects: Thursday 23 July 2020

April 2020 examinations – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

Please note that these FAQs are only for reference as new guidelines and regulations will apply to future examinations.

You can find essential documents, policies and guidance related to our April 2020 examinations on our April 2020 Essential documents web page.

Last updated 15 May 2020: FAQ dated 15 May 2020 has been updated.

FAQ

  1. General
  2. Taking our online examinations
  3. Our cancelled examinations
  4. Cancelling your examination registration
  5. Refunds
  6. April 2020 examination arrangements
  7. Access arrangements
  8. Examination results
  9. University Exemptions
     

1. General

Will the September examinations run as scheduled?

Updated 15 May 2020

We understand that you need information as soon as possible on our plans for September now that the April/May sitting is complete.

We are working very hard, in what is still a very uncertain future, to balance our candidates' wellbeing with their desire to sit the full portfolio of our examinations in September – including those we had to cancel in April.

We expect to make an announcement on the FAQ page of our website by the end of May about our plans for the September sitting; in good time for you to come to a decision on your studies well before booking for our examinations opens.

We continue to thank you for your understanding in the current unprecedented situation for all of us, and hope that when you see our announcement it will meet your expectations for our September examinations.

Why is the IFoA running some examinations online in April 2020 rather than cancelling them all?

We have heard that for many personal reasons some of you would prefer not to sit our April examinations.  Others have told us that they do not wish to waste the many days of study they have already invested in preparation for the April examinations and want to continue so that the COVID19 pandemic does not interrupt their work towards qualification.

To try to balance these requests we will be moving some of our April examinations online. While it is too early to make definitive statements about our September 2020 examinations, we also hope that by running a number of online examinations in April it will help protect capacity later this year for those who cannot take examinations now or those who are working towards a September date.

Why did the IFoA take so long to make its decision?

Updated 07 April 2020

Like many other international actuarial associations, we have had to carefully balance the wellbeing of our candidates and their families with the desire of many student members to complete their current studies despite these unprecedented global circumstances. You will understand that this has not been an easy process and has had to be carefully considered.

We have always followed advice from either the WHO, UK Government, or the British Council - who have guided us on international examination centres. Until recently it appeared both feasible and safe to operate the majority of our centres. We kept this option open as long as sensible.

This advice changed significantly in the week beginning 16 March 2020, and many global third-party examination centres started to close. Like the US Society of Actuaries - who on 17 March 2020 announced postponement of their examinations - we promptly came to a decision. We immediately communicated to you that none of our assessments would take place in examination centres and that we would work quickly to identify other solutions, including moving examinations online.

Only five working days later we announced the first details of our revised April examinations; specifically, following a full review by our Chief Examiners and IT suppliers, the examinations that we would be moving online and those we would have to cancel. Three working days later we were able to provide you with detailed information on these examinations and the essential documents you need to read before deciding whether to continue with your studies or cancel your bookings.

While we understand that you would have wished to have had this information sooner, we believe that to implement online examinations and communicate all essential details to you within nine working days in the current circumstances shows the IFoA’s commitment to providing you with choice over your April examinations.

Which examinations will be available online?

Following careful review of the April 2020 examination papers by our Chief Examiners, we have recognised we can only deliver a reduced number of examinations online.

The full list of the examinations we will be offering online is available on our web page for students booked onto April 2020 exams.

Which examinations will not be available online?

Following careful review of the April 2020 examination papers by our Chief Examiners, we have recognised that some of our original examinations cannot be delivered online in the time we have available.  We will therefore be cancelling these examinations.

The full list of the April examinations that we are cancelling is available on our web page for students booked onto April 2020 exams.

I am registered for an examination. Do I have to sit the new online version?

No. We recognise that, for many different personal and practical reasons, you may not wish to take up the offer of an alternative online examination and you are under no obligation to do so.  If you are unable to make any change of date or do not want to sit the online examination you will be refunded in full.  To receive this refund you will need to cancel your assessment before the following deadlines by emailing Education.Services@actuaries.org.uk.

by 17.00 UK time 15 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 27 April 2020

or

by 17.00 UK time 22 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 4 May 2020

We would ask you to be patient and not chase your email. We will not accept cancellations by telephone.

How will the online examinations operate?

Our April online examinations will operate in the following way:

At the start time of any examination, candidates will access the written examination paper from the IFoA online platform.

Answers will be typed and then uploaded at the end of the examination to the same platform. There is no provision for handwritten answers.

Answers will be typed into either Word or Excel depending on the examination.

Electronic ‘scripts’ will then be loaded onto our e-marking platform, and distributed as usual to examiners/markers.

Marking will proceed using this platform which has been in use with examiners/markers since April 2019.

Post-marking, the Board of Examiners will meet to consider the examination marks.

The usual process for publication of results will be followed, although it must be recognised that in the current circumstances there may be some delay. We will aim to communicate this promptly if a delay looks likely.

Is the examination platform capable of supporting the increase in online examinations?

Updated 03 April 2020

While we will be offering more online examinations in April than usual, our online platform has already demonstrated over the past two sittings that it can handle the numbers of candidates planned for each individual examination cohort.

Will there be a higher risk of examination misconduct by delivering these examinations online?

We recognise that larger than usual numbers of you will be taking these examinations online.

To maintain the integrity of our examinations, we are therefore taking enhanced security measures.  Our examiners, supported by our ‘back-office’ systems, will be scrutinising examination ‘scripts’ for possible cases of collusion and, during the April examination period, we will be deploying specialist  software to identify any cases of plagiarism. We are reserving the right to undertake such reviews pre or post publication of examination results.

You are all reminded that student members of the IFoA are bound by the Actuaries’ Code and that any finding of examination misconduct could put your career at risk.

We believe we are therefore taking appropriate and proportionate measures to manage the risk of any potential examination misconduct.

Once you know how many students have cancelled their April bookings, will you be opening online examination to students who originally chose not to book for these examinations?

No. With our cancellation deadlines so close to the online examinations we do not have the capacity in the current circumstances to administer any new bookings.

 

2. Taking our online examinations

I am registered for an examination/examinations and want to sit the new online version.  Do I need to do anything?

No. Those of you already booked for the original examinations will have their places guaranteed on the new online versions, should you wish to continue with your studies.  You need take no action now.  The IFoA will contact you with detailed arrangements on your new online assessment.

Will I have to study new material for the online examinations?

Updated 03 April 2020

The new examinations are based on those which were prepared for delivery in our examination centres in April.  If you have studied for these you will be fully prepared for the online versions. The Chief Examiners have adapted the papers so that answers can be uploaded using Word (or Excel in the case of CP2) and there will be no requirement to prepare other materials such as graphs.

I have seen on social media that these examinations may be ‘open-book’. What are the materials that I will be able to use during your online examinations?

Updated 17 April 2020

In line with our Assessment Regulations (March 2020) you are permitted to use personal course notes during our April online examinations. Personal course notes include electronic or hard copy Core Reading, tutorial materials, and supplementary materials such as notes you have prepared personally as part of your studies.

However, during your examinations such notes may only be used for reference purposes, and you must not copy and paste content from any personal course notes into your answer script.

Our advice is that when referring to such materials, you need to remember that the skills you are required to demonstrate remain the same as in traditional examinations; namely to show understanding of the materials and their effective application to specific situations. You will therefore need to ensure you correctly balance your examination time between use of your personal course notes and completion of the examination paper.

Use of any materials which do not constitute personal course notes are strictly prohibited. For the avoidance of doubt, these include (but are not limited to) materials/items specified in our Assessment Regulations (Section 7d - regulation 60), namely e-templates and any electronic files which contain pre-existing calculations.  

You are reminded of your professional ethical obligations under the Actuaries’ Code, or as applicable, to uphold our Assessment Regulations, and you must not collude with other candidates and/or third parties.

Your answer script will be checked for originality to ensure it is your own work, there is no evidence of plagiarism, and that there are no similarities to the work of other candidates. We reserve the right to carry out such checks during marking and after the release of results - as outlined in our Contingency Statement. Any potential case of inappropriate conduct will be investigated in line with our Assessment Regulations, and results will be withheld until such investigations are complete.

I have decided to sit an online examination. When will I receive joining instructions?

You will receive joining instructions at least two weeks before the examination date. This will give you sufficient time to carry out pre-examination checks to test whether your computer equipment will work on the day of the examination.

Will examinations be held at the same time as previously advertised?

To accommodate the changes we have had to reschedule all examinations except for CP2 and CP3. Details of start times will be included in your joining instructions and the revised dates can be found on our web page for students booked onto April 2020 exams.

Is the examination timetable based on UK time?

Updated 03 April 2020

Yes. This has been the only solution possible in the time we have available to introduce these online examinations.  We have revised the examination timetable so that we can best accommodate our international candidates and will also be selecting start times carefully.

How did you decide on the new dates for the examinations?

Updated 03 April 2020 

As far as possible we have simply moved examinations back by one week from the original schedule to allow us to make all arrangements for the transition to online delivery.

Some of your revised examination dates fall on national Bank Holidays. Will you be making any allowance for this?

Updated 03 April 2020

No. Under normal circumstances we try our best to avoid any clash with a public holiday anywhere in the world.  However in the current extreme situation we are limited in our flexibility in choosing dates for the revised examinations. Sadly, we will not be able to avoid all national Bank Holidays. We understand that this may not be convenient for all of you, and this is why, should you need to cancel your examination for personal reasons, we will offer a full refund.

When will you inform us of the start times for the examinations?

Updated 03 April 2020 

Start times for the new online examinations will be between 08:00 and 09:00 UK time. Your personal start time will be advised to you by email two weeks before the examination date.

Can I switch the start time for my examination?

Updated 03 April 2020

No. We regret that we are unable to book any candidates onto alternative start times. This is because in order to deliver our online examinations in the time available, we can only implement a simple solution which allocates start times. We currently have no capacity to open a more complex booking system. These allocations will as far as possible allow reasonable start times for students in different time zones.  In any case variation in start time will be minimal.
 

3. Our cancelled examinations

My CS1, CS2, CM1 or CM2 examination has been cancelled. What do I need to do?

You do not need to take any action. We will process the refund as quickly as possible and will contact you (or your employer) if there is any issue with processing the refund. See our refund policy for April 2020 examinations.

We would ask you to be patient and not chase your refund.

My examination has been cancelled.  Can I transfer my registration to another examination which will be delivered online?

No. If your examination is cancelled you will receive a full refund. We regret that we are unable to book any candidates onto alternative online examinations. This is because, in order to deliver our online examinations in the time available, we can only implement a simple solution which is to transfer all candidates to our new online examinations or cancel the registration. We currently have no capacity to open a more complex booking system.

My examination has been cancelled. Can I obtain a refund for the ActEd material I purchased for this examination?

ActEd BPP is an independent company and you will need to direct this question to them. They have a dedicated COVID-19 webpage at https://acted.co.uk/news_update.html
 

4. Cancelling your examination registration

I am registered for an examination. Do I have to sit the new online version?

No. We recognise that, for many different personal and practical reasons, you may not wish to take up the offer of an alternative online examination and you are under no obligation to do so.  If you are unable to make any change of date or do not want to sit the online examination you will be refunded in full.  To receive this refund you will need to cancel your assessment before the following deadlines by emailing Education.Services@actuaries.org.uk.

by 17.00 UK time 15 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 27 April 2020

or

by 17.00 UK time 22 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 4 May 2020

We would ask you to be patient and not chase your email. We will not accept cancellations by telephone.

What will happen if I do not contact you by the deadline for cancellations?

If we have not heard from you by

17.00 UK time 15 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 27 April 2020

or

17.00 UK time 22 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 4 May 2020

we will assume that you wish to sit the examination online. After this deadline you will not be eligible for any refund, unless you develop health issues which mean you are unable to take the examination. Full details of the procedure you need to follow in this case can be found in our refund policy for April 2020 examinations.

What happens if I develop COVID-19 symptoms after the deadline for cancellation and I cannot sit my online examination?

Provided you tell us this before the examination date we will refund your examination fee in full. Details of the procedure you need to follow can be found in our refund policy for April 2020 examinations.

What do I do if I am booked on an existing CP2 or CP3 examination but due to the current circumstances now wish to cancel my registration?

If you are registered for CP2 or CP3 but no longer wish to sit the examination, you may cancel by emailing Education.Services@actuaries.org.uk by 8 April at the very latest. You will receive a full refund if you paid the fee yourself, or the fee will be refunded to your employer if they paid for you. See our refund statement.

We would ask you to be patient and not chase your email. We will not accept cancellations by telephone.

Instead of cancelling my registration can I carry forward my booking to the September examinations?

No. With uncertainty over how the COVID-19 pandemic will develop we are currently not able to guarantee how our September examinations will run. In these circumstances we cannot therefore carry April bookings over to the September sitting, in order to be fair to all students.
 

5. Refunds

How long will it take for me to receive my refund?

We will do our best to process any refunds as quickly as possible. Because of the potential scale of refunds this may take several weeks to complete.

We would ask you to be patient as we are potentially dealing with significant numbers of cancellations whilst working remotely. It would help us process all the repayments if you avoid chasing your original email.
 

6. April 2020 examination arrangements

Will this require changes to the Assessment Regulations?

We have updated our Assessment Regulations and introduced an Exam contingency statement. Our Regulations relating to online assessments now apply to all April 2020 examinations. It is important that you read and understand these as you will be asked to accept them when you log on to the platform before sitting your examinations.

Will I be able to apply for Mitigating Circumstances should there be any issues during my examination?

We have provided some additional guidance on mitigating circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are included in a new Appendix to our Mitigating Circumstances policy. These should be read in conjunction with our usual Mitigating Circumstances policy document.

I am concerned that I will not be able to type my answers as quickly as I could have hand-written them. Will I be allowed more time to complete my examination?

If you feel that typing your answers may impact your performance, then for this sitting we recommend that you withdraw from the examination(s). We are not in a position to allow additional time or  accept a mitigating circumstances application for this scenario.

What packages will I need in order to sit an online examination?

Full details of the technical requirements for our examinations can be found in our Technical requirements online handbook 2020.

Which online examinations will require Word and/or Excel?

Updated 03 April 2020

You can see the packages required for each of our online examinations in our Examination Answers - Software requirements.

Can I use Excel to help construct my answers?

Updated 07 April 2020

It is important that you upload your examination scripts in Microsoft Word only - with the exception of CP2. However you may find it useful to use Microsoft Excel to aid with the construction of your answers. If you do this you must copy and paste any Excel content into your final submitted Word document.

I do not have access to the necessary computer equipment or software to sit the online examinations?

If you do not have access to the necessary computer equipment or software to sit online examinations you may cancel your April 2020 sitting by emailing Education.Services@actuaries.org.uk by

17.00 UK time 15 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 27 April 2020

or

17.00 UK time 22 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 4 May 2020
 

You will receive a full refund if you paid the fee yourself, or alternatively the fee will be refunded to your employer if they paid for you. See our refund statement.

I do not know if my broadband connection is good enough or reliable enough to sit the online examinations?

In this circumstance you will need to carry out pre-examination checks relating to your computer equipment. Should these show that your broadband connection is not good enough you may cancel your April 2020 sitting by emailing Education.Services@actuaries.org.uk  by

17.00 UK time 15 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 27 April 2020

or

17.00 UK time 22 April 2020 for the rearranged examinations in week beginning 4 May 2020
 

You will receive a full refund if you paid the fee yourself, or alternatively the fee will be refunded to your employer if they paid for you. See our refund statement.

What happens if my computer equipment fails during my examination?

If you experience systems issues during your examination, you must continue to complete the examination to the best of your ability. Such systems issues could relate to internet connectivity or failures of electricity supply.

If you wish for these issues to be considered under the IFoA mitigating circumstances policy you should keep a log of such issues and the start and finish times for these incidents. You should also provide screenshots as evidence for any systems errors or issues which have occurred.

If you are unable to upload your script at the end of the examination then we regret that your script will not be marked.

What happens if the IFoA system fails during my examination?

Updated 23 April 2020

To enable us to offer the majority of our examinations in the current exceptional circumstances, we have used up almost all our contingencies. Should the IFoA system fail in some way during an examination we will do our best to immediately put alternative arrangements in place.  If this proves impossible our only remaining option will then be to cancel that particular assessment. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel an assessment we will contact you directly and offer a full refund of your examination fees.

Will the marking take account of the change in examination format?

The Board of Examiners will decide whether any adjustments are required to take account of changes in examination format once papers have been through the marking process.

Will the marking take account of the disruption to my studies caused by this pandemic?

No. We have made this decision because we have offered all those deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic the opportunity to cancel their examinations with no penalty. By continuing to sit our examinations individuals are therefore recognising that they are suitably prepared to present themselves for assessment.  We are taking this position to maintain the academic quality of our examinations.

Will there be changes to the IFoA Appeals Policy to reflect the arrangements for the April examinations?

Updated 14 April 2020

Yes. We recognise that the April examinations, apart from CP2 and CP3, are being delivered in a different format.  The Appeals Policy remains the same.  The reasons for an appeal are clearly set out in this document, but recognising the situation we find ourselves in, we have added COVID-19 – Appendix to Appeals Policy for the April examinations.
 

7. Access arrangements

Will my Access Arrangements still be the same?

For those of you who already have access arrangements, we will continue to provide those as far as we reasonably can. We will be able to provide additional time to those candidates where this has already been agreed. A further communication to reflect changed start times will be sent by 8 April.

We are unable to provide access arrangements for our online examinations unless they have already been agreed and communicated to you.

We regret that any other access arrangements requests such as enlarged papers, special chairs, scribes, etc. cannot now be accommodated for the April 2020 examinations.

When will I hear about my access arrangements?

Updated 03 April 2020

Where additional time and/or rest-breaks have already been agreed for your written examinations, these will be automatically transferred to your online assessments. You do not need to take any further action.

We are urgently reviewing all other previously agreed arrangements to see if they can be accommodated during our online examinations. We will contact you with any changes to your arrangements by 8 April at the latest.

We are working hard on this under challenging circumstances.  However we quite understand that for personal reasons some of you wish for certainty now.  If this is the case, we recommend you cancel your examinations.  Any cancellation will be penalty free and you will receive a full refund. Please see our refund policy for further information.
 

8. Examination results

When will the examination results be released?

The revised dates for publication of results are:

Core Principles subjects (CB1-2;): Tuesday 21 July 2020

Core Practices, Specialist Principles and Specialist Advanced subjects: Thursday 23 July 2020
 

9. University Exemptions

My university is making changes to their examinations. Will I still be eligible for exemptions when I graduate?

Yes. We are in correspondence with all our accredited universities and are in the process of agreeing how we will recognise their emergency examinations for accreditation purposes.

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Events calendar

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    The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report. 

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    We have over 500 volunteers and countless topics which we have amalgamated into 93 workstreams.