Passing the 41st Actuaries Examination
Joo Hyung-min, Seo Ye-ji and Kim Bo-geun
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The new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS17) will be implemented for insurance companies by 2022, which will change the debt evaluation standard from a prime cost to a market price. This means more actuaries are in need in order to prevent an increase in debt and reduction in capital for insurance companies. Under such conditions, a banner that congratulated those who passed the 41st actuaries examination at the ERICA campus put a smile on many. Two students among the three listed are among the first accepted from the Department of Actuarial Science.
The first-round exam scores out of a 100, and all subjects except English must be above 40 points with the average being above 60 in order to pass. Those who passed the first round exam are qualified to take the second round exam within the next 5 years, including the year that they passed the first exam. All 5 subjects must achieve a score of 60 or higher in order to pass the final exam.
The first-round exam consists of 5 subjects: The first subject includes insurance contract law, insurance business acts, and employee retirement benefit security act. The rest are insurance mathematics, principles of economics, accounting principles, and English, which is a subject that can be replaced by official English test scores. In the first-round exam, Kim Bo-geun and Seo Ye-ji both found accounting difficult because they usually study the subject by writing out descriptive answers to problems, whereas the exam had multiple choice questions. They repeatedly practiced solving various questions and tried to memorize the format.
The subjects covered in the second-round exam are actuarial risk management, actuarial mathematics, pension science, actuarial model theory, and lastly, financial management and financial engineering. The interviewees all agreed that financial management and financial engineering was the toughest part to study. “You only need a 100 in order to pass the exam, but the examination covers 300,” said Kim Bo-geun.
Seo Ye-ji (Department of Actuarial Science, ’17) and Joo Hyung-min (Master's Degree in Insurance and Finance) prepared for the exam while working at an insurance company, and Kim Bo-geun (Department of Actuarial Science, 4th year) is currently attending the last semester before his early graduation and has already found a position at an insurance company. Seo and Kim began to learn more about what an actuary does when they were sophomores in college, and the department of Actuarial Science actively supported the career paths of students in becoming actuaries.
As for their struggles for the exam, Kim said he did not go through a slump, thanks to the timely trips that he took once in a while, and an hour of daily exercise that helped him stay healthy inside and out. Seo prevented any slumps by trying not to be shaken by her emotions and having enough sleep. Joo agreed that he was not stressed much during the exam preparation period. He said that he had fun studying for the Society of Actuaries (SOA), which is an American actuaries exam because it felt as if he was studying English. “The passing of the SOA exam was a big motivation for me to do better in the Korean actuaries exam.” The SOA exams cover a lot of content that the Korean exam is tested on. All three of them passed the SOA exam as well.
Although there are unexpected fluctuations in actuaries exams each year, the exam is gradually becoming easier. A total of 124 people passed the exam this year, which is 62 more people than last year. Studying for the exam is important, but business practice and work experience is what gives you an advantage when looking for a job, said Seo Ye-ji. “I was surprised at first by the gap between the real work and the things I studied. Company work is much more complicated than just finding an answer in a book. I recommend you to look for work experience whether it is part time work or working as an intern at a company. You need to have an idea of how things work around here.” Seo Ye-ji went on to say that she wants to thank the school and the professors for making a department that majors in actuarial science and for building an atmosphere where students could effectively chase a dream of becoming an actuary.
Kim Hyun-soo firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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