Spring 2021 CAS Exam 9 Thread

If you want bloomsy and thoughtfull answers, give people time to think. I am all for bloomsy, but time should be given to develop an in depth answer. If you want people to spit out facts, put many problems. Otherwise it’s just a scheme to fail people.


Just my $.02 on how to approach the increasingly “Bloomsy” trend of CAS exam questions…

I don’t think regurgitating the historical exams (anything 2018 or further back), simpler practice questions of perhaps TIA or even RF, and simpler practice exams of these study materials is the way to go. For entry level exams and earlier Fellowship exams, this strategy was probably enough to pass. And it makes for a good start for studying for fellowship exams now, but that standard has changed. These exams are getting increasingly more difficult and the committee does all they can to ensure you have a full grasp of the material.

So remove the thought process from your brain of “this is unlikely to be tested, so I don’t need to study it.” Instead just strive for a full grasp of understanding all of the material. Have everything that could need to be memorized, memorized, from formulas to lists, and then from there you’re much more likely to be able to handle anything thrown your way. And read the syllabus! The CMO question from 2019 appears a bit more fair when you read the syllabus as CMOs are an explicit item mentioned on the syllabus, but if you had solely relied on exam study guides, this would appear to come out of left field.

“Studying for a 6” is likely not going to cut it, and if you instead strive to have a full grasp of all of the material, not just being able to replicate simpler problems, you will be fine on exam day. The fellowship exams are getting increasingly harder and demand your full respect from a preparation standpoint.


Does anyone have the 2020 exam 9 syllabus lying around? I want to compare to the 2021 syllabus.

You can find prior syllabus in syllabus archives on cas website


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Just curious, has everyone registered already? I was going to wait until Jan, but I hear it’s already all booked.

I’m holding out on registering until exam results come out. I may regret that, but I have a feeling I’ll be okay.

I still disagree. It could be a required topic on the syllabus, but if the source material doesn’t talk about it, it is unfair to be responsible for it.

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I registered and it didn’t look like there were that many spots.

I also disagree that a greater understanding of each paper will help you solve these bloom’s questions.

These questions are not necessarily testing knowledge or breadth of knowledge. They are testing puzzle solving skills. Someone with less knowledge and who is good at solving puzzles may have an easier time than someone who knows all the details and derivations within the paper.

You can understand the derivation for the FV panning formula which is the same thing as the regular duration formula. Actually pretty cool derivation. You can also the specifics around how it works. This does not necessarily make it easier for you to solve these questions if you aren’t good with puzzles.

In particular, there are multiple papers on the syllabus where they haven’t tested much of the papers historically and just focus on testing confusing puzzles instead.

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On the syllabus they specifically call out Section 16.2 for CMOs and BKM page 510-513 goes over a pretty explicit example of it

Not in the 10th edition

Not in the 11th edition either.

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Actually, they do discuss a similar example in the 10th edition, page 530-533 (I think this is similar to the mortgage question in this discussion).

So your saying the CAS is testing based on an old version of the text no one has?

Sky is right about pg 530. Incredible, i had 0 recollection of it. Thx

Yeah you are right. Thanks for this.

pg. 512 in 11th edition.

In the 11th edition it is not a detailed example. The 10th edition seems to have more details. But, yes this is very CAS like to test this.

I’m in for this time around. Was going to sit for 8, then decided 8 is going to be there in the fall either way, so let’s try this one and see how it goes. Plus, if it doesn’t go well there’s the added incentive of OK, you may really be done and just sit on ACAS - but at least you gave this one a shot.

New to the forum! How does one usually get their hands on the BKM textbook? Looks like it’s 200 dollars on the publisher website. Is it worth getting the book?