Frequently Asked Questions about Actuary Courses in India

Want to join Actuarial Courses in India. Read on for more information…


1. What does Actuary mean?
Oxford Dictionary: “A person whose job involves calculating insurance risks and payments for insurance companies by studying how frequently accidents, fires, deaths, etc., will happen.” An actuary is a financial expert who applies mathematical and statistical methods for assessment of financial and other risks relating to various contingent events and for scientific valuation of financial products in the fields of insurance, retirement and other various benefits, investment and other related areas.

2. How to become an Actuary ?
In India, a Fellow member of The Institute of Actuaries of India is referred to as an Actuary. The Fellow membership is achieved by passing examinations at various stages and fulfilling other conditionalities as required from time-to-time. The examinations can be taken after being enrolled as a Student member. For enrollment as a Student member, one needs to be at least a graduate with a major subject in mathematical sciences such as mathematics, statistics, econometrics, engineering and actuarial sciences.

3. How many exams are there ?
Spread over 4 groups called Series — CT, CA, ST and SA — there are 15 subjects. See Exam Fees

4. When are the IAI exams conducted?
The exams are conducted twice a year during the months of May-June and October-November.

5. What is the fee structure for IAI exams?
See Fee structure

6. Where do Actuaries work?
The Actuaries work in wide range of areas which include the following: · Life insurance · Pension funds · General insurance · Health insurance · Investments · Government · Academics · Risk Management · Reinsurance companies · Consultants

7. What are the employment opportunities available to an Actuary?
See Career Opportunities

8. What is the best order one has to follow in taking up the examinations?
Candidates are free to take subjects in any order that they choose. There is however considerable merit in following the natural order of the subjects in the syllabus. There is no formal requirement relating to the order in which the examinations are taken. However it is recommended that the CT series subjects are at least studied (even if not passed) before a student attempts the CA, ST and SA series subjects. These later subjects build upon the material taught in the CT series.

Similarly when attempting the CT series subjects, it should be borne in mind that some subjects build upon others. There are therefore some logical routes through the subjects. The particular route chosen may depend on the area in which a student is working or on any exemptions the student has been awarded. The numbering of the subjects in the CT series represents our ordering that would be appropriate for anyone working in Life Insurance, General Insurance or Pensions. Students might opt to take subjects CT7-Economics and CT2-Finance and Financial Reporting at any stage.

A student working in general insurance might prefer to study subject CT6-Actuarial Mathematics-2 at any stage after studying subject CT3-Statistical Modeling.

A student working in investment might prefer to take subjects CT7-Economics,CT2-Finance and Financial Reporting and CT8-Financial Economics before studying subject CT4-Survival Models, and Subjects CT5 – Actuarial Mathematics-I and CT6-Actuarial Mathematics-II.

Subject CA3 covers communications. It will be based on the concepts in the CT series subjects. However, as the questions will be set within a financial framework, some students may prefer to delay this subject until after studying some or all of the ST series subjects.

The order in which the later subjects may be studied is less clear-cut. Students are advised to take subject CA1-Investment and Asset Management first as the principles of investment are important for the other ST series subjects. Students are also advised to have at least studied the relevant ST series subject before attempting their chosen SA series subject. The SA series subjects require student to have both knowledge of Indian practice and good understanding of practical issues. Both papers for the SA series subjects must be passed at the same time.

A practical approach is expected from candidates in all subjects. While evidence of practical experience may help the candidate, it will not be demanded, but breadth of knowledge and evidence of judgment are expected of candidates taking the SA series subjects.

9. How many years does one take to become a qualified Actuary?
There is no fixed time for becoming a qualified Actuary but depending on the efforts put in, one may get through the exams in 4 to 6 years on an average. IAI encourages students to acquire the qualification in minimum possible years.

10. Does IAI qualification has recognition and acceptance at an international level ?
The IAI examinations and the consequent designations are at levels of standards that are internationally accepted. For example, currently for CT series subjects , are exempted from Institute of Actuaries, London. Processes to have an agreement at full Fellowship level are in place.

11. Do Actuaries or Actuarial students get support from their employers?
Most of the employers support their employees pursuing Actuarial studies and encourage them in passing the exams.

12. Does IAI have honors/awards for excellence in exams?
Prizes for highest scoring successful candidate exist in almost all subjects. Besides, there is an incentive scheme conferring monetary awards on achieving Fellowship on various counts.

13. How does IAI encourage students in passing exams quickly?
Besides actuarial incentive schemes, prizes and awards, IAI arranges review tuition classes for some of the subjects.

14. Is it necessary for one to be an employee of an Insurance Co. /Consultant to take up actuarial exams?
It is not necessary to be an employee of an actuarial employer to take the exams. Anyone can write the exams. However for taking the exams of ST and SA series, work experience is an advantage. In any case, for attainment of Fellowship , a minimum work experience of 3 years is required. Most of the actuarial employers recruit graduates with mathematical sciences subjects as actuarial trainees/apprentices and require/encourage them to take up the actuarial examination.

15. What is CPD?
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It is incorporated within the Actuarial Code of Conduct of the Institute which defines CPD as ‘the maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill, and the development of the personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and associated technical duties throughout the actuary’s working life.

16. Are there any restrictions on the number of attempts?
Neither there are restrictions on number of attempts nor is there any time limit within which the exams are to be completed.

Courtesy: Institute of Actuaries, Mumbai, For more details you can visit their website

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