Actuarial Exam Information
Evaluation Criteria of the Society of Actuaries

As of January 1, 2005, the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the major actuarial society in the United States, established a new system for evaluating students wishing to gain entrance into the actuarial profession. The new system stipulated that prospective actuaries be evaluated by a series of examinations and an undergraduate educational component known as validation by educational experience (VEE).

Society of Actuaries Exams

The Society of Actuaries describes its examinations in its basic education catalog. A college-level student wishing to gain access into the actuarial profession should focus on taking courses that will enable him/her to pass at least one of the society’s international exams, preferably before graduating from college. Aspiring actuaries at Queens College should take classes through Math 201 and, in addition, Math 241 (or 611). The courses mentioned below would also be helpful in preparation for the first two exams.

  • For Exam P (probability): Math 633, 242, 621, 271, 272. Of the first three courses, Math 633 is probably the most efficient.
  • For Exam FM (financial mathematics): Math 116 and Business 241. Also recommended is self-study of Mathematics of Investment and Credit, by S. Broverman, Actex Publications. Additional Exam FM study manuals (guides), a DVD, and another textbook are available through Actex Publications; call 1-800-282-2839 to request the company’s catalog.
Validation by Educational Experience

There are three VEE subject categories

  • Applied statistical methods, covered by Econ 249 and 382.
  • Corporate finance, covered by Bus 241 and Bus 341W.
  • Economics, covered by Econ 101 and 102.

Please note:

  • As of July 2005, the SOA approved the above-mentioned courses for the last two categories.
  • For the applied statistical methods category, the SOA approved Econ 382, with the stipulation that it is approved for the regression component only; it must be paired with an approved time series course.
  • Econ 249 is a prerequisite for Econ 382.
  • It is anticipated that the stipulation about time series will be dealt with by the Queens College Economics (Business Administration) Department in the near future.
  • In late 2005, the Actex organization announced that it is giving an online course in applied statistics; the class has been approved for VEE credit.
  • Validation by educational experience requires a grade of B- or better in each VEE course; a candidate may not apply for VEE approval until he or she has passed at least two exams (source: The Future Actuary, Winter 2004, pp. 1 and 5).
External Links

Society of Actuaries
SOA — Exams and Requirements