Enhancing Our Exam Content
In the spirit of our on-going commitment to transparency as we announce key milestones of the Admissions Transformation Plan (ATP), the CAS is sharing details regarding the process for deciding changes to topics covered on CAS exams. Over the past two years, the CAS utilized three separate analyses to ensure that the content presented on the ACAS and FCAS exams accurately represents a holistic viewpoint of the profession, and evaluates the skills needed to ensure CAS candidates and members are prepared to meet future skill demands. The CAS conducted the three analyses in response to stakeholder and candidate feedback, and to take proactive steps ahead of potential changes in the actuarial field. CAS exams have historically proven to credential highly qualified actuaries, and the CAS took these actions to ensure that we remain the gold standard for credentialing property and casualty actuaries.
The three analyses included
- a Job Task Analysis (JTA),
- a second JTA specifically focused on a deep review of predictive analytics skills, and
- a series of focus groups with employers and other stakeholders to evaluate soft skills and skills needed for the future of the profession.
The work of the ATP to identify changes to CAS exams began with the Job Task Analysis conducted in 2020. This foundational analysis will inform the enhancements to all CAS exams, beginning with the new exams MAS-I, MAS-II, and 5, which are planned to be administered in the Fall of 2023.
The CAS worked with Assessment, Education, and Research Experts (AERE) to conduct the Job Task Analysis of working CAS members. Actuaries from a variety of backgrounds and practice areas were surveyed to identify the domains, tasks, knowledge and skills performed by practicing actuaries. Next, the accuracy of these competencies was further validated by a representative sample of practitioners in relevant actuarial fields, who also rated the importance, criticality and frequency of performance for the previously identified domains and tasks.
Following the first JTA validation, the CAS conducted a second, condensed JTA focused only on predictive analytics. Psychometric and P&C experts worked together to determine what material CAS candidates should be tested on, including a breakdown of the domains that should be assessed on each exam. These recommendations were based on the analysis of the most critical and frequently used domains, tasks and knowledge areas utilized by practicing property and casualty actuaries.
After extensive review and stakeholder feedback, a separate CAS task force reviewed the results and made additional recommendations about adding predictive analytics to the exam pathway.
Finally, guided by the CAS’s psychometric partner, ACS Ventures, the CAS conducted focus groups to determine what technical and soft skills would be needed by Actuaries in the next 3-5 years as the profession evolves. The focus group work used the CAS Envisioned Future as a primary source for its recommendations. The evolution outlined in the ATP is inspired by the CAS Envisioned Future, as described in the CAS Strategic Plan, that sees CAS members as sought after globally for their insights and ability to apply analytics to solve insurance and risk management problems. We are enhancing our long-standing professional certification model by adopting certification industry best practices that will enable us to swiftly respond to market needs so that CAS credentials remain the gold standard for property and casualty actuaries.
The final decisions on enhancements to topics covered in the ACAS and FCAS exam pathway were made by CAS practicing actuaries from a variety of experience levels and backgrounds in the P&C industry.
Our focus on strengthening our professional certification model represents our commitment to a future state that incorporates certification industry best practices to ensure that our credential holders have the professional knowledge and expertise to meet market demands. This will ultimately strengthen the value of our members’ credentials and uphold our position as the leading organization for credentialing property and casualty actuaries.
Later this year, the CAS will publish the domain-level topics for updated versions of the CAS exams, including the new MAS exams and Exam 5, which plan to be administered in Fall 2023. More information about upcoming changes to CAS exams can be found on the Admissions Transformation Plan webpage. As we reach additional milestones, CAS students, candidates and members can expect to see updates on the ATP webpage, which is our main information hub for our stakeholders. If you have any questions or feedback regarding the upcoming changes to CAS exams, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.