What Does It Take To Be An Actuary?
I just failed this exam for the fourth time - very frustrating.
I have a bachelors degree in Math from a top university and graduated near the top of my class. For all of my undergraduate math courses, the professors would joke that you could bring anything you wanted - self notes, text books, past exams, whatever. Why? Because those things as well as memory didn't mean squat. I either you understood the material and thus would be able to solve the problems presented, or not. The answer to the questions you would be asked was not in any of those materials - in fact, you had never seen those questions before. It truly was a test of your ability to think.
This exam is particularly brutal and on the extreme as far as the spectrum running from pure memory to pure thought. But even the other exams, though not as far to pure memory
as this one, are still largely memrozation (take for example the minimum bias procedure - in a CAS exam, either you remember the formula or not as there is not enough time to derive it - in a real thinking exam, you would be given a set of conditions you had never seen before and be asked to derive the formula). In fact, if you are using a calculator, it's not a thinking exam.
That being said, it is what it is - the exams are what they are and either you can pass them or you can't. Which begs the question - what does it really take to be an actuary (i.e. get FCAS)? As far as I can tell, being an FCAS is all about having a mega memory. So does this mean that this is the skill set that is required to be an actuary? Is this the type of person that the CAS wants to have as the quants in this industry?