Casualty Actuarial Society

Exams & Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions About the CAS Web Site

Listed below are answers to frequently asked questions about the CAS Web Site. We strongly encourage visitors to the CAS Web Site to ask questions and provide suggestions for improvement via the online feedback form. Further questions and answers will be posted as required. Need help navigating the web or finding information, see our Help section for further information.

Updated: 6 September 2013

CERA
Exams/Admissions
CAS Website and Login Access
Continuing/Professional Education
Discussion Forums
Email Lists
Research/Library
Job Postings
Regional Affiliates


CERA

Information on CERA can be found at http://www.casact.org/CERA. Included in this section is information on obtaining the designation, the ST-9 Exam and ERMM Seminars.

I am trying to register online for exam ST9. It asks me to login, and when I do, there is a blank screen that says “Access Denied..”, even though I have already been able to login to the actual CAS website. Can you please help?
To register online for the ST9 Exam through the CAS website, you will need to have an Electronic Signature Authorization Form on file. You will need an ESAF even if you are already an ACAS or FCAS.

Exams/Admissions

Syllabus of ExaminationsESAF InformationExam Information and Registration
Exam ResultsGeneral Admissions QuestionsStudy Materials

Syllabus of Examinations

Is there a print version of the Syllabus?
No. The syllabus will be made available online exclusively as PDF files.

The Syllabus of Examinations can be accessed through the Admissions/Exams Section of the CAS Web Site.

It would be nice to see the Syllabus and the Syllabus changes published on the Web site.
The full text of the CAS Syllabus of Examinations is available through the Web site. Updates to the web version of the Syllabus are also posted.

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Electronic Signature Authorization Form (ESAF) Information

I am currently a student taking CAS exams who would like to be able to register for exams online but I don't have a password to access the online registration form. How do I obtain a password?
Before registering online for the first time for CAS-specific Exams 3, 5-9, a candidate must submit an Electronic Signature Authorization Form to the CAS Office. Please note that signed forms can be sent to the CAS Office by mail or courier, by fax 703-276-3108, or by email cmarx@casact.org. As with members, students will use their current email address as their new login.

I am trying to register for Exam X but when I log in i get a message saying that the access is restricted. Can you please be of help?
To Register for exams online, you need to have an ESAF form on file. Further information is available at, http://www.casact.org/admissions/index.cfm?fa=esaf.

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Exam Information and Registration

Where do I find information on the preliminary exams?
Information on preliminary exams is available on the Be An Actuary website.

What process does the CAS use to put together a quality examination?
The Examination Committee organizes, manages, administers, and grades the CAS Examinations. The committee also establishes the standards to be achieved by successful candidates.

The chairperson supervises the committee and is responsible for the overall administration of the CAS Examinations. The chairperson is assisted by several senior committee officers referred to as general officers. The committee is subdivided into examination part committees, each headed by a part chairperson. The responsibility for each CAS Examination is assigned to a part committee that writes, grades, and maintains the standards for that examination. Each part committee is assisted by two examination consultants who are CAS members and are experts on the material covered by that examination. The part committees are also assisted by a proofreader who concentrates on uniformity and grammar. In addition, some part committees are assisted by academic consultants who are independent experts from the academic community.

Each examination is drafted by the responsible part committee to test candidates. knowledge of the items listed in the Syllabus of Examinations. The individual part committee, examination consultants, one of the Examination Committee general officers, the Examination Committee chairperson, and, in some cases, academic consultants review each examination to assure its quality.

Every effort is made to ensure that the questions fall within the scope of the Syllabus materials. Complete coverage of all material is not practical for every examination every year. The goal is to produce examinations that contain representative, high-quality questions that test candidates. knowledge of the material. Trick questions are deliberately avoided, and the wording of each question is considered carefully to eliminate possible ambiguities. Preliminary versions of each examination are thoroughly reviewed in relation to all of these factors before the final examination is approved.

How does the CAS set passing scores for each exam?
The overriding goal in setting the examination pass marks is to pass all those candidates who have in the opinion of the CAS demonstrated by their exam responses a sufficient grasp of the syllabus material and to fail those candidates who have not.

The CAS strives to maintain consistent standards of qualification for membership. Because the level of difficulty for each exam varies from year to year, each Part Committee collects extensive data to ascertain the level of difficulty of its examination. The Part Committee compares the performance of the present year. s candidates to the performance of candidates from prior years. Appropriate recognition is given to any peculiarities that may appear in connection with the answers to any question on an examination despite all the care taken in setting the examination questions. After this, the pass mark is set to achieve the desired consistency. The examination part chairperson presents the recommended pass mark with the supporting data to the general officer who oversees that examination part, the Examination Committee chairperson, and the Vice President-Admissions. The final decision on the pass mark is the responsibility of the Vice President-Admissions. The pass mark for CAS Exams 5-9 is provided to candidates after the appeals process has been completed.

The percentage of candidates passing will vary from year to year; however, those candidates demonstrating the required level of competence with the material will pass.

After the passing mark is finalized, each candidate is assigned a score. Scores of 0 to 5 are assigned to candidates who do not pass. On this scale, each interval is 10 percent of the pass mark. For example, a grade of 5 means failing with a mark of at least 90 percent, but less than 100 percent, of the pass mark. A grade of 0 means that the candidate. s score is less than 50 percent of the pass mark. Candidates at or above the passing mark receive a Pass.

What is the process the CAS uses to ensure that the grading process is fair and accurate?
Multiple-choice and true/false answers:
Answers to multiple-choice and true/false questions are read by optical scanning equipment and scored by computer. This process is done twice and the output data are compared to ensure proper reading. Then a statistical analysis is prepared for each question; if this information indicates there might be a problem, the question is carefully examined. Any multiple-choice or true/false question found to be defective is carefully examined to determine the most reasonable way to correct the situation. In some cases, the question is discarded, leaving scores and rankings as they would have been if the defective question had not been asked. In other cases, more than one answer for a multiple-choice question is given credit for being correct.

Essay Responses:
Every effort is made to grade answers to essay questions according to completely objective standards. The anonymity of the candidates is fully preserved; committee members see only candidate numbers when grading an examination, not candidate names.

A model answer is developed for each question prior to grading, including the recommended numerical value for each sub-point in the answer. Each question is assigned to two graders who separately and independently grade photocopies of the candidates. answers using the model answer as a guide. After grading a sufficient number of papers, each grader evaluates the model answer in light of the responses. If either grader believes that the model answer or the values assigned for sub-points should be revised, the two graders confer and revise the model answer, if necessary. Then both graders restart the grading process. After all papers have been graded, the two graders compare the scores assigned to each candidate for that question and reconcile differences.

After all questions have been graded, the multiple-choice scores and essay scores are combined, and candidates are ranked in order by score. A preliminary pass mark is established, and the answers given by candidates near the mark are re-graded. The candidates are re-ranked after the re-grading, and a final pass mark is determined.

Why aren't all of the exams given twice a year?
Except for academic consultants and a proofreader, the CAS Examination Committee is made up of volunteers. More than 10% of the CAS Fellows currently are serving on the Examination Committee. It takes hundreds of hours to create and grade an examination. The CAS would not have the resources to create full examinations twice a year.

Another important reason is that the CAS publishes its past examinations thereby preventing good questions from being used again on the next examination. Thus, each examination must be created "from scratch."

Is there any way to verify that the CAS received my original exam application?
Yes. Send an email to office@casact.org and they should be able to verify for you.

I am having difficulty finding the Exam 2/FM registration form. Is this available yet?
The Exam 2/FM registration form will be available, when released, from the Computer-Based Testing Information on the Be An Actuary website.

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Exam Results

What can I do if I think the pass/fail score for my exam is wrong?
For CAS Exams 5-9, obtain a copy of the examination and the published answers. (The multiple-choice and true/false answers are available on the CAS Web Site the week following examinations; the sample essay solutions are available at the end of July for Spring exams and the end of January for Fall exams.)

Failing candidates will automatically receive an analysis of their examination upon grade notification. Other unsuccessful candidates for Exams 5-9 may obtain an analysis of their examination by writing to the CAS Office before the stated deadline (see question 15). The analysis of an examination is computer-generated. Actual points received for multiple-choice and true/false questions will be displayed. For essay questions, ranges will be given for both the actual score and how the actual score relates to the mean of all candidates. This information is intended to provide the educational guidance that most candidates desire.

Once candidates have reviewed the examination with published answers and their analyses, they may appeal their grade. Only candidates with valid appeals will be considered.

There are two types of valid appeals. The first type is an administrative check of the candidates short answer card to verify that the card reader scanned the card correctly and that the output file reflected this data. The second type of appeal is for an incorrect answer key or sample essay answer. If the candidate believes that the answer key or sample answer is incorrect or there is an alternative correct solution, the candidate must provide specific information on why his or her solution is correct. An example of a non-valid appeal would be the following: "I am appealing my score of 5 on Exam 9, please re-check my examination." Another example of a non-valid appeal would be: "On question number 2, I believe I should get full credit because I answered the following . . ." [See previous answer on grading essay questions.]

Appeals must reach the CAS Office prior to the published deadlines. When a valid appeal is received, it is reviewed by the part chairperson who makes a recommendation to the Examination Committee chairperson. The Examination Committee chairperson will respond based on the recommendation by the part chairperson.

When will my exam results be available?
Examination results are available approximately eight weeks after the examination. The CAS staff places a list of passing candidate numbers in the Exams Section of the CAS Web Site between 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on the day that grades arrive at the CAS Office. Within 24 hours, the grades are printed and mailed to candidates. The CAS does not hold grades for one exam until the results of all exams have been received; the grades for each exam are released as they become available.

An article describing the timetable is provided in the Exams Section under "Looking at the CAS Examination Process."

Why does it take so long to grade an exam that is all multiple choice?
Even for examinations that do not have essay answers, there are reasons that may prevent grades from being released earlier than they are. An important reason is the existence of comments on ambiguous or defective questions or any unusual situations related to the administration of the exam. All letters received on possible ambiguous or defective questions are reviewed thoroughly. Even if no letters are received, the Examination Committee analyzes the results of each question for any potential problems. The CAS also receives letters on any unusual situations with specific test sites. Each of these letters is reviewed for any potential influence on the results of the affected candidate(s).

The part chair recommends a pass score to the general officer of the exam series and the chair of the Examination Committee. The final pass score then must be approved by the Vice President-Admissions. The length of this approval process can vary for an individual exam if anyone disagrees with the recommended pass score or if additional information is requested in support of the recommended pass score.

Why doesn't the CAS provide a grade when you pass?
Some examinations (e.g., Scholastic Aptitude Test) are designed to provide scores that compare individual results. The purpose of the CAS examinations is different. These examinations are a means to achieve membership within the Society where membership certifies that the individual is qualified to practice and has met the minimum requirements of a rather rigorous examination process.

The CAS provides the passing score. Why won't the CAS give me my raw score for my exam?
A goal of the Examination Committee is to produce examinations that contain representative, high-quality questions that test candidates. knowledge of the Syllabus material. All details cannot be tested in one examination. Questions are a sampling of the material that candidates should have mastered. The candidate's focus should be to understand and be able to apply the material rather than trying to meet the minimal pass mark. Candidates who have mastered the material will pass the examination.

The CAS publishes information that has educational value. for example, the CAS provides past examinations with answers and the pass mark (after the appeal process has been completed), and an individual examination analysis for failing candidates. However, the CAS does not publish raw score because it provides no educational value. In addition, the publication of the pass score and raw scores could result in a flood of invalid appeals that would significantly hinder the Examination Committee's ability to respond to appeals that may be meritorious.

On average, how many years does it take to pass all the exams?
According to the 2010 Travel Time Report, it took approximately seven and a half years to become a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society from time of first employment in the industry.

When I do a search on the Candidate Exam Status, why doesn't my name appear?
The Candidate Exam Status only displays standing from the last four exam sittings. If you are a first time CAS candidate and the results have not been released yet or you are an ACAS taking the final two exams, you will not appear in the report published to the website. Further information is available at http://www.casact.org/admissions/index.cfm?fa=exstatus, including instructions on what to do if you believe you are missing exams in your record.

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General Admissions Questions

What are the important deadlines?
See the Syllabus of Examinations Schedule.

Do you plan to post the lists of passing candidate numbers for the CAS Examinations on the Web site?
Yes. The lists of passing candidate numbers are posted on the CAS Web Site as soon as they are available. Approximately eight weeks after the exam sitting, look in the Admissions, under Passing Candidate Numbers.

The CAS implemented a new education and examination structure in 2011. What were the transition rules?
The CAS Board of Directors approved transition rules for the education and examination system that the CAS implemented with the Spring 2011 Examinations. Information and further details are available online.

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Study Materials

Where can I obtain study and syllabus materials?
The CAS Syllabus of Examinations provides details for obtaining materials listed for examinations. Many articles and papers are included in the CAS Study Kits that are available for purchase through the Online Store.

Other material, especially books, may be purchased from the publisher, your local bookstore, or bookstores listed in the Syllabus. There generally are a limited number of copies available to be borrowed for thirty days from the CAS Library. Written requests should be faxed (703-276-3108), mailed to the CAS Library, or e-mailed to library@casact.org.

The CAS Notice of Examinations and Future Fellows newsletter also provide listings of independent vendors who provide review seminars for CAS examinations and supplemental materials. (The vendors are listed as a service to CAS candidates but the CAS takes no responsibility for the seminars or materials.)

Why don't CAS Study Kits include all of the syllabus readings?
The CAS Study Kits include study notes that were written under the direction of the CAS Syllabus Committee and materials copyrighted by the CAS. To include other materials the CAS must obtain copyright permission. Generally, permission can be obtained for articles from periodicals. Sometimes permission will be granted for a short selection from a book. however, publishers are in the business of selling books. A request to reprint a significant portion of a book is generally denied.

How can I participate in the e-mail study groups?
E-mail study groups are available thorugh the individual exam pages and within the CAS Online Community. Users will need a password and login on the CAS website to access the study groups. Candidates with questions may contact the CAS Office.

Where did the Web Notes go?
Web Notes for the individuals exams were incorporated into the individual syllabi starting with the 2011 Syllabus of Basic Education. Web Notes will no longer be available on separate pages.

Does the CAS have study groups?
E-mail study groups are available for candidates preparing for CAS examinations through the CAS Online Community. The Online Community can be accessed through the CAS website. Contact the CAS Office with any questions.

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CAS Website and Login Access

CAS WebsitePassword Protected AccessNew Login InformationMy CAS Account

CAS Website

Is the CAS Web Site connected to the Web sites of other organizations?
Yes. The CAS Web Site is currently linked to nearly 600 other Web sites. A Database of these links is located in the top right-hand corner of the CAS websites to find the links to actuarial organizations, related associations and professional societies, industry publications, academic departments offering programs in actuarial science, popular search engines and other sites of interest to actuaries.

I have checked my address in the membership directory and it is wrong. Is it possible to modify it?
Yes, Login to the CAS website and under My Information you should be able to edit your contact information. The changes should take effect immediately.

One worthwhile project would be to have the CAS Bibliographies available online.
Through the Database of Actuarial Research Enquiry (DARE),users can access and search the citations contained in the Bibliographies.

The Online Catalog can be searched in a number of ways. In addition to searches on standard fields for bibliographical citations (e.g., author's name(s), title, publication name, publisher, and year) users can search for papers on any subject by entering a word or phrase related to the subject. The abstract field in the database will be scanned for a match to the word or phrase entered.

I tried to update the new employer information in CAS website, it just didn’t work. Please advise.
Please contact the Actuaries' Resource Center to have employer information updated.

Password Protected Access

I have forgotten my username and password, is there a way I can obtain it through the website?
Yes. Your username is now your email address. Under My Profile, under edit My Information there is a link to reset your password. You will be prompted to supply your email address. A link will then be sent to that email address allowing you to reset your password. The email address you supply must be the email address on file with the CAS office, so you may need to login using a previous email address and then change your email address once you have logged in. If you are having difficulty accessing or using this feature, please email the CAS Office.

I am unable to log in to the web site, and I can not use the "Forgot your password" link. I think that may be because the e-mail attached to my record is the e-mail from my former employer.
Please contact the CAS Office to update your email address. You will then be able to reset your password.

New Login Information

The Casualty Actuarial Society has transitioned to a new Web-based membership database that will affect how you access MyCAS and other password-protected sections of the CAS Web Site.

If you previously had a CAS account, you can log-in with your old password or create a new password using the Forgot Your Password feature as follows:

  1. Click on the My CAS link in the left-hand menu.
  2. At the log-in screen, click the forgot your password link below the log-in boxes.
  3. On the next screen, enter your e-mail address.
  4. Check your e-mail for a message that includes a link to change your password and click the link.
  5. You will be taken to a web page with your individual information. Click the link at the bottom of the page to change your password.
  6. Enter your new password and click Change Password.
  7. On the next screen, click Done.

My CAS Account

How do we get a photo on our profile, I can't seem to find the links to do that?
CAS Members should be able to upload there own photo within their profile in the CAS Directory.

I have an outstanding balance to pay, how do I do that?
The amount of your outstanding balance is shown in the CAS store under open invoices. If you have any outstanding balance it should display here and allow you to pay it.

I have a email address and password but am not able to access the My CAS feature of the website. Please help?
Currently, the My CAS section of the website is available only to current members, students and affiliates. However, this may change in the future. Update: The MyCAS section is now available to all registered users.

I have requested a new visitor registration but not recieved a reply back, who should I contact?
If you have not heard back within two business days please contact the Actuaries' Resource Center, arc@casact.org.

What does a new visitor registration allow me to do?
You will have access to the following:

  • manage your own contact information
  • purchase items from the CAS Online Store
  • register for events
  • view all transactions made with the CAS
  • reset your password online
  • access to certain open forums within the Online Community

All other areas of the website are restricted to members and current candidates.

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Continuing/Professional Education

See the CAS Continuing Education Policy FAQs for more information regarding the changes approved on May 23, 2010.

Members are encouraged to review the complete CAS Continuing Education Policy for all of the details on the CE requirements.

I am taking the CPCU exams. What is the amount of CE credit you can obtain for studying or passing these exams?
Members should assess whether or not taking the CPCU exam is an activity that is job relevant. According to the policy, “education is considered job-relevant if (1) it broadens or deepens an actuary’s understanding of one or more aspects of the work an actuary does; (2) the material expands an actuary’s knowledge of practice in related disciplines that may bear directly on an actuary’s work; or (3) it facilitates an actuary’s entry into a new area of actuarial practice.”

The amount of CE credit that can be earned for participating in any activity must be assessed by the individual. Ultimately, each member will be responsible for determining the CE activities that are relevant to his or her development and the appropriate balance of technical and nontechnical topics. The member cannot rely on statements from the presenters or the sponsoring organization (including guidelines published by the CAS) regarding the relevancy or credit eligibility of a session. Members should always be guided by Precept 2 of the CAS Code of Professional Conduct and only provide actuarial services when “qualified to do so.”

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Discussion Forums

Chat Rooms

Discussion Forums are now available within each community in the CAS Online communities. To access exam related discussion areas, please visit each exam page. Users will need a CAS login and password to access the discussion forums.

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Email Lists

All Email Lists are now available within the CAS Online community for committees and discussion groups to which users are associated.

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Research/Library

Library

I have old copies of CAS publications (Forums, Proceedings, yearbooks, etc) I do not need anymore. Where can I donate them?
Contact local university libraries. In particular, those with actuarial programs may be interested in carrying our publications. If not, you can donate them to a local public library or recycle them.

How do I check out books from the library?
Send an email to library@casact.org with a list of the book(s) you would like to check out along with your mailing address. You may check out up to two books at a time and may have them for one month without charge. If you are looking to check out more than two books, list all of them with your order of preference and we will send you what is available and put you on a waiting list for the others. We require that you return the books via UPS or an equivalent carrier with tracking capabilities to our address:

    Casualty Actuarial Society
    Attn: Library
    4350 N Fairfax Dr
    Suite 250
    Arlington, VA 22203

I am on an Exam or Syllabus Committee and don’t have all the materials I need. Where can I get them?
Send an email to library@casact.org and we will either email you what you need or send you the library books. As a Committee member, you may keep the library books for as long as they need them, but we ask you return them once you are done with your work on the Committee.

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Job Postings

The CAS recently transitioned to a new Career Center. This replaces the previous Jobs section on the CAS website.

There used to be a Jobs section, what happened to it?
In April 2008, the Jobs section was renamed Career Center and is now maintained by Job Target allowing the CAS to offer more options to job seekers and employers.

I previously had a job listed on the CAS website, do I have to setup an account with JobTarget?
Yes. As the CAS did not previously have online accounts you will need to setup one with JobTarget. If you have job postings listed on job target that are not showing up in your account, please contact JobTarget Customer Service to have your postings moved into your account.

I want to post my resume on the CAS website. How do I do that?
Within the Career Center, there is a place to post resumes. Resumes previously posted on the CAS website were not migrated over as the format is very different in the new system. If you previously posted a resume in the Job Wanted by Actuaries section of the CAS website you will need to repost your resume with Job Target.

I need help with posting a job on the website, who should I contact?
All Questions regarding the new career center should be directed to JobTarget Customer Service at either custserv@jobtarget.com or by calling Customer Service at 888.575.WORK(9675) (inside US) or 860.440.0635 (outside US).

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Regional Affiliates

More CAS Regional Affiliates should be on the Calendar of Events.
The
Calendar of Events strives to include all activities of the CAS. Please feel free to provide suggestions for inclusion via the online feedback form.

I am a new Officer for a regional affiliate, who do I send updates and meeting materials to?
Updates for officers, presentations and all other meeting materials and information for posting to the website should be sent to the Actuaries' Resource Center. Questions regarding Regional Affiliates should be sent to Matt Caruso.