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September Exams 2020

These FAQs refer to our September 2020 examinations.

Last updated 03 September 2020

You can find further guidance for our September 2020 examinations on the Essential documents listed at the end of this page. 

You can find our April 2020 FAQ towards the end of this page. 

FAQ

  1. General
  2. Taking our online examinations
  3. Examination arrangements
  4. Access arrangements
  5. Examination results
  6. University Exemptions
     

1. General

Will the IFoA continue to run its examinations online?

Updated 03 September

After delivering the majority of our examinations online in April, and receiving much positive feedback from candidates, we are now confident that we can do the same in September, and this time including those we had to cancel earlier in the year. Provided September is as successful as April we will continue to run our examinations online.

Will all the IFoA examinations be "open book" and if so what are the rules around plagiarism and collusion?

Updated 07 September 2020

Yes.  As part of the development of our online examinations we have made the decision that our assessments will be ‘open book’.

During these examinations you may refer to any materials available to you – printed, electronic, or online but you are not permitted to use e-templates and any electronic files which contain pre-existing calculations.

You are strictly prohibited from copying and pasting, or re-typing content, word for word, from any source or multiple sources. To do so could amount to plagiarism. Such material may be used for reference purposes only. You should not copy verbatim from any materials but should use your own words.

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. This is improper examination behaviour under our Assessment Regulations.

Experience has shown that during ‘open-book’ assessments you will need to balance your time between referring to available materials and answering the questions. Remember that the examinations will be testing your ability to show understanding of the subject and its application to specific situations. We therefore recommend that you are fully prepared by developing a good understanding of the content of your study modules.

We recognise that answers to some questions in our examinations, such as asking for ‘definitions’ or  ‘listing principles’, may have been memorised as part of your revision strategy.  These could be identical or very similar to the contents of your learning materials. Examiners and markers will be familiar with these questions, and candidates will not generally be investigated for plagiarism where such similarity is identified. However, if you use direct quotations from your learning materials to answer other questions, you should acknowledge this with a page or line number in the body of your answer, plus author's name and year of publication.

If you are referencing external material then you should remember this should form only a very small fraction of your overall script and it needs to be relevant to the question. Large volumes of reference material will not be seen as your own response to the questions and could also be flagged as plagiarism. Our recommendation is that you answer everything in your own words.

We have sophisticated techniques for detecting plagiarism and collusion between candidates.  We will take appropriate action to review candidate submissions and if necessary investigate these further should evidence suggest that potential inappropriate behaviour may have occurred during an examination.

We remind you that as student members of the IFoA you are bound by the Actuaries’ Code and that any finding of inappropriate behaviour during an examination could have serious implications for you and your career.

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

While we will be offering more online examinations than in April 2020, our online platform has already demonstrated over the past sittings that it can handle the numbers of candidates planned for each individual examination cohort.

Will delivering IFoA examinations online increase the risk of examination misconduct?

Updated 03 September 2020

We are taking appropriate and proportionate measures to manage the risk of examination misconduct.

To maintain the integrity of our examinations, we continue to improve our security measures.  You can expect to see more security at the start of your September examination. You can find more information on security measures for our September examinations in our Handbook and Guidance for September 2020 Examinations (page 8).

Our examiners will be studying examination ‘scripts’ for possible cases of inappropriate behaviour. We will be using specialist software in September to identify any cases of plagiarism or collusion and may carry out ‘script’ reviews before or after examination results are published.

We remind you that student members of the IFoA are bound by the Actuaries’ Code and that any finding of examination misconduct could have serious implications for you and your career.


2. Taking our online examinations

How will the online examinations operate?

Updated 03 September 2020

Our September online examinations will operate in the following way:

Detailed instructions on how the examination platform can be accessed, including enhanced Two Factor Authentication using SMS, and download and upload of papers can be found in our updated Handbook and Guidance for September 2020 Examinations.

Once a script has been uploaded and accepted by the system it cannot be changed. It is a candidate’s responsibility to make sure the correct script has been uploaded. Scripts will be double-blind marked by our markers.

How will my paper be marked?

Updated 03 September 2020

All examination papers are double-blind marked by two separate markers. Neither knows what mark the other has awarded. 

Where appropriate, script review may follow, which will give the final mark that is awarded.

Pass marks are agreed by the Board of Examiners, who also formally oversee marking, prior to the release of results.

You will then receive personal notification of your examination results. The IFoA has previously announced that it will cease publication of public pass-lists from April 2020.

You can find further information on IFoA examination marking on our Marking guidelines web page.

When will I receive joining instructions?

If you register for an examination you will receive joining instructions two weeks before the examination date.

Is the examination timetable based on UK time?

Yes. However, we will be drawing up the examination timetable so that it best accommodates our international candidates and will also be selecting start times on the same basis.

Can I switch the start time for my examination?

Updated 03 September 2020

No. We regret that we are unable to book any candidates onto alternative start times. Once you have selected your start time at the point of booking we are unable to change it for you.

Why are all the examinations in the morning UK time?

Updated 03 September 2020

Our examinations in September 2020 will have start times between 08:00 and 10:00 UK time (morning in the UK). This is to be convenient to our candidates who sit our examinations in many time zones across the world.

I am planning to sit my examinations at my place of work.  Do I need to be invigilated/proctored by someone for the entire examination?

Updated 03 September 2020

All IFoA examinations now take place online. We have introduced security measures which allow candidates to sit their examinations at any location of their choice. This means you no longer need to be invigilated if you sit at your employer’s premises.

However, if your employer wishes to provide such arrangements to provide extra security, we have Guidance notes on Workplace Invigilation available.

We remind you that as a Student member of the IFoA, you are bound by the Actuaries’ Code and that any finding of inappropriate behaviour during an examination, such as collusion, could have serious implications for you and your career.


3. Examination arrangements

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

Updated 03 September 2020

No. The syllabus and core reading for all subjects remains the same for 2020. The only difference is the format of the examination papers, which the examiners have carefully adapted so that they can be answered using Word or Excel. There will be no requirement to prepare other materials such as graphs.

How will I complete the September CS and CM examinations in their new online format?

Updated 03 September 2020

Examiners have revised the format of September’s CS and CM ‘A Papers’ so that they can be completed using Word

The need for complex mathematical/actuarial notation has been kept to a minimum, however, there will still be a need to use some mathematical notation to ensure appropriate coverage of the syllabus.

Where questions require mathematical notation you should refer to the notation sheet that will be provided prior to the examination. This details how to answer these types of questions using standard symbols/notation available in Word.

The format of the ‘B Papers’ will remain the same as in previous examination sittings.

CS1A will have a different format to previous papers. This paper will include a similar number of questions and overall style to past papers. However, sections that previously required significant mathematical notation will now be assessed by multiple-choice questions (around 25% of the paper). 

The CM1A examination paper will include a similar number of questions and overall style to past papers.

The CS2A examination paper will contain a similar number of questions and overall style to past papers.  However, some of the sections that previously required significant mathematical notation will now be assessed by multiple-choice questions (around 25% of the paper). These multiple-choice questions will form part of the longer questions that candidates are already familiar with.

The format of the CM2A paper will be similar to past papers, but with adjustments to ensure candidates can complete answers using Word within the examination time.

Although we have been working against a tight deadline to ensure that candidates can sit all IFoA examinations online in September we have been able to provide some specimen questions, as well as further guidance, including the Exams Specimen Notation sheet.

We also intend to hold webinars to guide candidates in revision techniques to help them succeed in our new format examinations. 

We recommend that you prepare for your examinations by developing a good understanding of the content of the study modules.

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?

Updated 03 September 2020

No. We are not in a position to allow additional time or accept mitigating circumstances applications for this situation.

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

Updated 03 September 2020

Full details of the technical requirements for our examinations are on our Technical requirements web page.

Can I use Excel to help construct my answers?

Updated 03 September 2020

Most of the examination subjects require the answers to be provided in Microsoft Word. The exceptions to this are CP2, CM1 Paper B and CM2 Paper B which require the use of excel. When sitting other subjects, you may wish to use Excel to aid with calculations. It should be noted however that any calculations have to be typed in full into your Word answer script to ensure you receive the appropriate marks.

For the CS and CM exam papers, the level of detail that is required for your workings in calculation questions is similar to the model solutions in previous sittings. If you miss out any of the calculation steps then full marks may not be awarded

Which functions in Microsoft Office and R cannot be used in the examinations?

Updated 03 September 2020

Candidates can use any standard function available in Excel, Word and R (excluding the use of Macros), as set out in the IFoA Assessment Regulations

However, you cannot use functions which are only available in versions of Microsoft Office released after 2010, including “Dictate”.  Therefore, you must complete all your examination answers using keyboard entry, unless we have agreed the use of dictation software as part of an access arrangement. This is so that candidates using the 2010 version of Microsoft Office are not placed at a disadvantage.

The use of RMarkdown and knitR is not permitted during the examination.

How will I answer questions requiring mathematical formulae input using Word?

Updated 03 September 2020

We require all answers to be typed, except where we have agreed to specific access arrangements. We have produced a notation sheet, which suggests keystrokes for candidates to use in place of the mathematical formulae and symbols that would have been handwritten previously. However, the list of keystrokes in the notation sheet is not exhaustive and other sensible alternative approaches will be accepted, such as the equation editor functionality in Word.

It is not currently possible, or permitted, in the IFoA examinations, to handwrite mathematical equations. This includes the use of freehand drawing tools or other hardware such as drawing tablets, which are prohibited.

View the IFoA Exams Specimen Notation sheet.

Can I use a device that converts handwritten text into typed text automatically?

Updated 03 September 2020

No. Candidates can only use standard functions available in Excel, Word and R (excluding the use of Macros). Not all students will have access to additional hardware or software that would allow them to input handwritten text into MS Office products e.g. Apple pencil and Surface pen. Allowing candidates to use handwriting conversion hardware or software, would therefore give some candidates a material advantage over others who do not have access to these products. All answers must therefore be completed using keyboard entry unless we have agreed to the use of specific software as part of an access arrangement.

What happens if my computer equipment fails during an examination?

Updated 03 September 2020

If you experience systems issues during your examination, such as internet connectivity or failure of electricity supply, you must continue to complete the examination to the best of your ability.

If these issues significantly affect your performance and you want them to be considered under the IFoA mitigating circumstances policy, you should keep a record of the issues, including their start and finish times. You should also provide screenshots as evidence for any systems errors or other issues which occur.

If you experience issues when trying to upload your exam answer script, you MUST call the IFoA so a member of the Examinations team can give you guidance and further instructions. Details on how to do this will be included in your examination instructions. You may then be authorised to email in your exam script to us using a unique identifier code. The IFoA will not accept any exam submissions which are emailed to us without such an identifier. 

Full instructions are contained in our updated Handbook and Guidance for September 2020 Examinations.

What happens if any of the IFoA processes or platforms fail during my examination?

Updated 03 September 2020

If the IFoA processes or platforms fail in some way during an examination we will do our best to immediately put alternative arrangements in place.  If this is not possible,  we may have to cancel that particular assessment. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel an assessment we will contact you directly with a full explanation, an apology and offer a full refund of your examination fees.

Will the move to all online examinations require changes to the Assessment Regulations?

Updated 15 July 2020

We have updated our assessment regulations for our September 2020 examinations. Please make sure you have read our IFoA Assessment Regulations before booking examinations for the September 2020 session.

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

Updated 15 July 2020

We have updated our guidance on mitigating circumstances for our September 2020 examinations. Please make sure you have read our IFoA Mitigating Circumstances Policy before booking examinations for the September 2020 session.

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

Our Examiners have developed online papers which they believe are appropriate for the assessments and which maintain our standards.  However as is usual academic practice, once papers have been through the marking process the Board of Examiners has the authority to decide whether any adjustments to marks are required to take account of changes in examination format.


4. Access arrangements

Can I receive Access Arrangements?

You can apply for access arrangements through our normal process.


5. Examination results

When will the examination results be released?

The revised dates for the publication of results are:

  • Core Principles subjects (CB1-2;): Tuesday 15 December 2020
  • Core Practices, Specialist Principles and Specialist Advanced subjects: Thursday 17 December 2020
     

6. University Exemptions

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

Yes. We have been in correspondence with all our accredited universities and have agreed with them, the examination arrangements they have made.

 

Essential documents 

September 2020 Examinations

 

April 2020 FAQ 

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

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann. 

  • Spaces available

    COVID-19 has seen a marked increase in mental health issues. We all have mental health and poor mental health has serious consequences for individuals and our workplaces, with it costing UK businesses £33-42 billion annually.

  • The price is righter

    16 March 2021

    Spaces available

    This webinar provides an overview of the state of the UK protection market, and how different insurers are using different levels of sophistication to price (such as using customer demand models). It considers how insurers have implemented these sophisticated pricing techniques, and the practical challenges they have faced.

  • Spaces available

    This discussion will revolve around the latest industry developments including and introduction to Part VII transfers and Schemes of Arrangement (process, parties involved and recent events), insights and lessons from recent with-profits transactions and restructurings (including Equitable Life and Pru-Rothesay), how firms can apply these learnings to future arrangements, and the outlook for future with-profits transactions and restructurings (including the impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit)

     

  • Spaces available

    What is stewardship and how has the landscape changed under the 2020 UK Stewardship Code?

    • How does effective stewardship create long term value for beneficiaries?
    • What roles do asset owners and asset managers play in active stewardship?
    • A practical approach to stewardship reporting
  • Spaces available

    Income drawdown products offer an investment strategy to generate an income in retirement.  However, for those needing to decumulate their capital to provide a sufficient income in retirement, sequencing risk is high.  This is the risk that poor returns are experienced when capital is highest (in the first part of the decumulation phase) and good returns when capital is lowest (in the last part).   It is very difficult to recover from this risk, if it is realised.  This means that income drawdown products are not very resilient for those needing to decumulate their capital.