Fall 2020 FSA CBT Exams

The SOA has been releasing more information on how the CBT exams will work for the Fall 2020 sitting of FSA exams: https://www.soa.org/education/general-info/default/

They just sent me a letter today that includes a video of how the CBT process will work.

SOA Letter

Dear FSA Exam Candidates:

As promised, a demo video showing the Prometric testing environment for the fall exams is now available on the SOA website. While the demo will give you a good sense of what to expect on exam day, there will be slight differences in the actual exam setting.

About CBT Exam Timing

  • Once seated at your designated Prometric workstation, you will have 10 minutes to read through the instructions on navigation, saving and submitting your files. During the exam, 15 minutes of break time will be added to the advertised exam length noted in the introductory study note. When you take any break time, your exam timer will continue to count down. It is your choice when to break and for how long. All applicable Prometric security guidelines will apply if you take a break.

  • The clock will start to run as soon as you click on "Start the Test"Âť and will not stop until you complete the exam or when time runs out. Note that you must upload your files before time runs out in order to submit them for grading.

Reminder : If you have not yet scheduled your exam appointment with Prometric, please do so as soon as possible. Please contact Customer Service with any questions.

Once again, we wish you well on your exam.

SOA Video


So everyone gets an extra 15 minutes on their exam?

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I also wondered the same thing!
So really for the exams that are 3:15 and 2:15, they would become 3:30 and 2:30 respectively?
That’s great - having to use the bathroom or drink water at Prometric totally sucks and they eat up so much time.

I interpreted it as the read-through period is gone and you can use those 15 minutes however you’d like. Did you see something somewhere that said there will still be a read through period?

Yes. The email said: During the exam, 15 minutes of break time will be added to the advertised exam length noted in the introductory study note.

If I look at the FV Introductory Study note (what I am taking) it says:

DATE: Segment C: Monday, November 2, 2020 and Segment A: Thursday, October 29, 2020

  1. Segment C: The examination will consist of three hours and fifteen minutes of written-answer questions worth 60 points. Segment A: The examination will consist of two hours and fifteen minutes of written-answer questions worth 40 points.

So the intro study note refers to an exam time including the read-through, and the email specifies the extra 15 is in addition to the time indicated in the intro study note.

I haven’t seen the exams and won’t until after the sitting, but as a grader, I’m REALLY looking forward to typed answers.

Also, good to hear about the 15 minute break time

As an exam taker I’m also really looking forward to typed answers!

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Looks like we will NOT be getting an extra 15 min.

In fact, it looks like the 15 min read through is actually an extra 15 minutes for whatever, since they cannot enforce the read through only time per TIA.

Thanks for sharing that! Dropping the 15 minute read through period and letting students just use that extra time on the exam (or for breaks) makes sense. Yay for no more read through period where I would want to just brain dump thoughts that come to my mind when reading the question for the first time!

Wow - I think it’s awful. They removed 30 minutes of exam time (to at least read the questions and process / strategize where to start) with no adjustment. For some of us it’s very helpful, and they kept it for in-person LTAM, which I think is telling.

The 15 minutes cannot be claimed by the SOA as both a break and needed reading time - it’s one or the other. If they can’t enforce a no-writing period, then add a smaller portion (15 minutes) of exam time to counter it that is not to double as a break.

The SOA announced the dates for exam results:

They’re delayed a week later than usual (probably due to exams running for two weeks instead of one). Spring exams are still the last week of April and first week of May though.

Anyone have an idea when the Fall exams will be released? My guess is sometime next week.

They did not release July exams until 2 weeks after results were announced… with the holidays next week I don’t expect anything before December at best.

Not sure we’re on the same page. I mean just the exams, not the solutions.

The timing of the release of the solutions to the july exams was very annoying relative to the timing of the fall exams.

Ahh interesting - I didn’t realize they weren’t released together. Seems a little pointless without solutions imo.

I don’t think it’s pointless. Don’t you want to stare at the problems and add up the points you think you got? Plus sometimes seeing the problems anew can give you new insight into what they were actually asking for and if you misread it on exam day.

That’s true, but also would stress me out even more, even though I can’t do about it now to affect January’s result. But to each his own. At the end of the exam (when time hadn’t expired but there wasn’t time to effectively do anything else without risking not submitting the exam at all) I added up what I left blank. :sob: