Admissions Transformation
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Content Outline Informational Announcement

In accordance with the Admissions Transformation Plan (ATP), the CAS anticipates publishing new Content Outlines (formerly Syllabi) later this month for the October/November 2023 Exams MAS-I, MAS-II, and 5. The following information will provide our stakeholders, primarily candidates and academics, with details on the similarities and differences between our former Syllabi and new Content Outlines.

1. Syllabi will become Content Outlines

2. Sections/Learning Objective/Knowledge Statements will become Domains/Tasks 

  • Details: The new content outlines will contain domains and tasks, consistent with our evolution to a professional credentialing program.

    Similar to sections, domains are the principal areas of responsibility in which actuaries work. Tasks describe actions that actuaries must perform to be successful within a domain, whereas learning objectives are used for instruction-based assessments. CAS provides candidates with tools to conduct self-study, but CAS does not provide explicit instruction for each exam. Candidates will find the task statements easily readable, and changing the structure from learning objectives to tasks will help candidates better plan for their study. Additionally, knowledge statements have been included in the task statements. Incorporating knowledge statements into task statements will also better help candidates focus on the high-level topics that may be tested.

3. Cognitive Prompts will become Cognitive Levels by Exam 

  • Details: Cognitive complexity has been incorporated into CAS exams for many years; however, it may not have been as obvious to candidates The content outlines will now provide candidates with a percent range for each of the four major cognitive levels that candidates can expect to see on the specific exam. Some exams might focus more on specific cognitive levels than others. Providing the percent ranges will inform candidates on what type of cognitive level is needed to incorporate into their study plan. The cognitive levels are as follows: Remember, Understand/Apply, Analyze/Evaluate, Create.

4. Weight ranges by Learning Objective will become Weight Ranges by Domain  

  • Details: Over the years, learning objectives contained weight ranges that candidates expected to see on an exam. Many times, these weight ranges were very small and started at a range of 0%. This specificity may have caused candidates to skip over a learning objective in favor of studying a more heavily-weighted topic. The adverse impact to skipping over a learning objective is that the candidate may not acquire the knowledge needed in that topic. Additionally, the exam may in fact contain a question on that topic. In the new content outlines, weight ranges will only be specified for the domains and not the tasks. Candidates should now use the domain level topics when creating a study plan.

5. References listed after each Learning Objective will become References listed after Domains/Tasks 

  • Details: The new content outlines will take the reference details formerly found after each learning objective in the syllabi and merge this information into the Complete Text References listing at the end of the document. Having this information in one location will save candidates from the need to scroll back and forth within the document. The required reading titles will still be available after each domain.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the changes to CAS exams, please reach out to atp@casact.org.