Exams & Admissions
Membership / Notices to Members

Letter to Candidates from the CAS President and CEO Regarding CAS Exams

The letter below was sent to all CAS candidates earlier today in response to their concerns regarding the Spring 2021 exam sitting. As members have also contacted us with concerns, we wanted to make sure all members were aware of this information provided to candidates.

Letter to Candidates from the CAS President and CEO Regarding CAS Exams
Closing Out the Fall 2020 Exam Sitting and Addressing the Spring 2021 Exam Challenges

After cancelling the Spring 2020 exams due to the coronavirus pandemic, the CAS committed to offering candidates the opportunity to sit for exams in the fall. We are pleased to announce that we successfully met that commitment. All Fall 2020 CAS exam results have now been released, bringing the sitting to a close. Thanks to the hard work of CAS staff and volunteers, and with help from our new testing and grading vendors, we completed a planned 3-year roll out of computer-based testing in just six months, with nearly 4,700 exams given.

We congratulate all of the candidates who passed their exams, particularly those who have now achieved their ACAS and FCAS designations! We look forward to celebrating your success in conjunction with the 2021 CAS Spring Meeting in May.

Post-exam surveys indicate widespread support for computer-based testing with Pearson VUE, but we know the fall sitting also had challenges. One significant challenge was the closure of testing centers and cancellation of exam appointments due to capacity limitations implemented by local governments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While our original plan was to offer exams over a three-week window and conclude testing by early December, we extended the window to December 31 for candidates who had their exam appointments cancelled. As a result, exam results were released later than usual for a typical fall exam sitting. We thank all candidates for their patience in receiving exam results and our volunteers for their efforts in expediently grading the Fall 2020 exams virtually and in a new system.

Registration for the Spring 2021 exams opened in mid-December, and over 3,200 candidates have already registered. We are committed to offering all CAS exams in the spring, including exam 8, which is normally offered only in the fall.

Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to affect our exam administration. Pearson Professional Centers are operating at government-mandated capacity limits, which currently range from 20-50% of full capacity. Competition for appointments with other credentialing organizations, who are in the same situation as the CAS, further strains testing center capacities. Therefore, candidates in certain locations are having trouble scheduling their spring exams with Pearson VUE.

Making no assumptions regarding when exam centers will fully reopen, we are currently working toward solutions to provide all candidates the opportunity to sit for a spring exam. We are considering two options to address the situation: 1) extending the exam window and 2) utilizing alternative test centers. We will announce any changes to exam administration as decisions are made.

We also recognize that candidates who want to sit for a spring exam may have booked exam appointments at testing centers beyond the distance they would prefer to travel. While the CAS would like to manage testing center capacity, prioritization, and location, these factors are beyond our control. We are, however, in constant communication with Pearson VUE to understand capacity challenges in order to direct candidates to testing centers with open appointments. Candidates should also review the test delivery information pertaining to COVID-19 on the Pearson VUE website.

Many candidates and employers have asked why the CAS is not offering its exams via remote proctoring. There are a few reasons we have declined to go in that direction, including concerns with exam security, consistency of the exam experience for all candidates across the globe, and non-negotiable Pearson VUE requirements for its remote-proctoring system. These requirements, which we do not want to impose on our candidates, include a four-hour time limit (including check in time) and disallowing bathroom breaks and scratch paper.

The CAS is doing everything within our power to maintain the security and integrity of our exams while maximizing the opportunity for CAS candidates to sit for a spring exam. We recognize this is an especially stressful time for everyone and we truly appreciate your patience.

We know the sacrifices involved by candidates and their families when preparing to sit for an exam, and how important CAS exams are to our candidates’ careers and professional lives. The CAS is committed to offering candidates the opportunity to sit for exams in the spring.

Sincerely,

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Jessica Leong, FCAS
CAS President
Victor Carter-Bey
CAS CEO

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