Barriers to Entry for Mothers

Re: smaller, more frequent exams

My understanding is that the SOA found that when they had that system… people were not getting credentialed.

But it’s been decades since they tried that system, so perhaps it could progress better if implemented now, especially that we have things such as modules now.


Only one way to know for sure! Yet another exam restructure!

That’s when I was passing exams

And I should have said that’s when I was taking exams lol.


I did know one woman who started exams after me, had 2 kids between my two (mine are 4 yrs apart—hers are 18 months or less). I got my ASA first, having a head start, but she continued to be successful even with 2 under 2.

I attribute it to
1–she is actually way smarter than I am
2–she was way more focused than I was
3–while her husband usually worked full time, her mom lived close and was able to take care of her kids.

She obviously put in the effort. I wouldn’t want to take that away from her. She knew what she wanted and she put everything into it. But also, I did feel she had some advantages that I didn’t have, just as I had some that others didn’t.


Honestly all for it if it means shorter exams, even though it means more exams. With the question bank they are building through the CBT exams I don’t think it would be that hard of a transition from the CAS’s perspective. And they are already exploding Exams 7-9 to piece together a new 7-9, so what’s one more change for the better from our view?

I think the trouble with more, shorter exams is that it’s going to tend to be easier. I think it’s tough to maintain the rigor/difficulty with more, smaller exams.

I don’t think you took the shorter exams that I took. They were easier bc you didn’t have thousands of pages to memorize. But you d*** well better know every footnote.

I think there’s the sense that you need to know the footnotes even on the current fellowship exams


Most definitely have personally had some footnote questions on recent attempts

What are we saying here? The exams need to be big so less people pass them? I think I would have been more successful with smaller more frequent exams. I sailed thru the small exams never failing any but the big exams were painful. Maybe if they were more broken up I would have been an FCAS.

I don’t know, isn’t there also a kind of overhead for each exam? So smaller exams presumably means more exams. If they are more frequent, then that means more times on the roller coaster of sitting for them. To say nothing of having people to write and grade them. Or if not more frequently, then there is the longer time to get through them all.

I think the real issue is that we have different expectations of moms. Most of that is cultural, though some is biological. I imagine it’s much easier to study with a wife who’s 8 months pregnant than it is to be 8 months pregnant and trying to study.


Was it the SOA or CAS that used to publish info regarding male/female ratio of fellows?

I think I remember that female fellows make up about 30% of the population, which seemed low but then they remind us that about 30% of test takers are female so it lines up pretty well

Anyways spouses are here to help. Get them to pick up the slack instead of getting the SOA/CAS to change the exam structure lmao


Interesting report, wish it had ACAS/ASA vs FCAS/FSA breakdown added by those metrics.

A mom (or other relative) living close who is willing and able to help a lot with the kids is a huge advantage. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself in comparing yourself with her.

I’ve come to terms with it. If we want to get thru these exams we do what we have to do. No one does it without some sacrifice.


To an extent… in many ways the actuarial societies are guilds