I once had that discussion printed out and saved. It got put on a hard drive somewhere and I don’t know where it is - which really sucks if all the AO history is gone (unless it’s on the Wayback Machine and can be retrieved from there.)
And yes, I remember it. Results were really poor on Exam 8, the question was asked if everyone was distracted, no one said that was it and they weren’t distracted by the stock market meltdown, the exam was simply too freaking long, and then the candidate pool got thrown under the bus and was told to quit complaining.
Iirc, that wasn’t the last time the CAS said “Our exam didn’t suck, it was the candidates that sucked.”
I know, because I tried helping a group of candidates put together a complaint letter about the poor quality of upper-level exams… but then it went nowhere.
I know I have everything from the 2011 sequel where Dan Roth penned a letter (not) explaining how the exams were easier and candidates just did worse, and it was all because they weren’t better prepared - a statement that was so detached from reality, even then-President of the CAS Pat Teufel had to distance herself from it.
Of course, there was supposed to be lots of work done to understand what happened and improve things so that it didn’t happen again … and then all of that quietly disappeared into the fog, and numerous people who’ve told me they’ve asked about what ever came of all of that say to a person they never get an answer about it.
Pepperidge Farm remembers.
Ah yes, 2008… my final CAS exam. I don’t have any memory of being distracted that spring, other than the actual day of the meltdown, when no one got anything done at work as we all watched the company stock price drop over 80% in one day. Not a good day for those deeply invested in the ESPP.
It was the Fall 2008 sitting, which was (old) exams 6 and 9. Exam 8 was a spring exam back then. The message to candidates was from Exam Committee chair Arlie Proctor, speculating on why we all sucked and only managed a ~30% pass rate.
Then, as you said, it was repeated in Fall 2011, with Dan Roth and (new) exams 6 and 8, I believe (the exam syllabus was overhauled for 2011).
It was almost repeated again in Fall 2014, when exam 8 had a bunch of typos & errors, but those were caught before grading and then-chair Steve Armstrong managed to avert the crisis and not throw candidates under the bus.
I think William Wilder managed to avoid similar scandal at the end of his term (2017), but we’re now approaching the end of Jason Russ’s term as chair with an entirely new exam format using a new vendor. I wouldn’t be shocked to see another lecture to candidates about getting distracted by the election and COVID.
Yes, it was Exam 9 - not 8. Typo on my part. And yes, I and others thought it was incredibly disingenuous of Proctor to go ask candidates if they were distracted and that’s why they struggled, then basically blame them for everything.
I didn’t realize 8 in '14 had the same problem. I don’t think I was sitting then, so it wouldn’t have been on my radar. I don’t recall '17 being a problem, either and I did sit then. I recall '13 in general and spring specifically having low pass ratios, and then '15 fall was low and '18 fall was low. I know 5 had low pass ratios the first 3 years it was offered 2x a year - as in, <40% for all sittings and <36% for five of the six.
Which reminds me, since I was looking back at a file I keep: I didn’t put in last fall’s results. I might do that tonight as a distraction to things.
This site keeps stats: http://www.actuarial-lookup.com/
Might cut down on time in your compilation