More FSA Track Changes (2025+)

The email just came out. Thoughts?

I gave feedback to the committee who was looking at this, last year, and asked if they collected any grader feedback on a 4-week grading turnaround time. They hadn’t, and they still haven’t, not even consulting with the actual exam chairs on this.

They’re also taking away central grading (the in person component), and doing everything virtually. I mostly wanted to volunteer my time to connect to the profession and make friends with other actuaries. And it’s been an incredibly valuable experience. I did virtual grading, in 2021, and it’s not the same. So I won’t be volunteering with grading after this gets implemented.

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Also very glad I already got my FSA&EA in retirement, because now they have to take FIVE exams (with an extra 3.5 hours of exam time compared to other tracks), which sucks.

So the total content time (2.5hrs/exam except for EA exams, which are 6.5 hrs of content combined) for EA FSAs is 14 hours (with 15.5 hours of testing time), compared to 10 hours of content time (with 12 hours of testing time). What an odd decision.

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Thanks for noting this, it looks like there’s a link at Evolving the FSA Pathway - Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (soa.org).

Sounds like the EA exams collectively will count as one exam for these purposes. That’s worse than I’d hoped but better than I’d feared, so I’ll call it a win. Maybe I’ll have to take the design and accounting exam before it gets phased out…third time’s the charm? I failed twice early COVID and kinda gave up.

A set of 3 modules from a single track needs to be finished up by year-end 2025 to earn credit. Seems like an easy way to knock out one of the exams (I only have one more module to do).

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So everyone wins except retirement FSA hopefuls?

Nice

I think 3 modules for 1 exam is kinda too easy. Transitioning kids these days have it so easy

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Bummer. Advanced ALTAM is not an FSA exam, so technically not covered, but likely we’ll lose in person central grading along the way. I’m agreed to be on a remote grading team this exam session for several reasons (not grading related), some of which still apply, though already a key one of those changed enough that being at central grading would have been much better. Still, had I known that central grading might disappear, that likely would have gotten me to central grading this time.

Being retired, I have enough time that I’ll probably continue to grade anyway, but time will tell. It certainly won’t be as enjoyable.

I did meet one nice GoA poster at a central grading.

[Maybe this goes in the Running Thread: one advantage to not being at central grading is that I expect to do a 5K in this area the day I would be doing central grading. That was not a significant factor in my decision to join the remote grading team, and despite that advantage, now being at central grading would have been better.]

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I feel like central grading was the SOA’s way of paying their volunteers. They better mail out some bomb ass SOA branded thank you gifts moving forward

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They have discussed paying graders, though I don’t know who exactly would get paid. Seems like they still have a lot of details to work out. I got to listen in to an SOA call last Friday about the changes, and it does seem like they’ve mostly focused on things from the candidate’s view, and haven’t put enough thought into the grader side of things.

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Today’s candidates are tomorrow’s graders. Maybe.

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