Society of Actuaries

Preliminary Examinations 

The SOA offers 3 different different certifications: Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA), and Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA). The traditional path for most students pursuing an FSA is to earn their ASA shortly after graduating college.  Some students may choose to pursue a CERA credential instead of an ASA. Both credentials are stepping stones to the FSA.  For more information on the CERA credential, visit

There are 7 preliminary exams in the ASA curriculum, with 3 (P, FM, and IFM) counting towards the ACAS certification with the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).

Exam P (Probability)
This exam covers calculus-based probability, with many problems set as word problems involving risk.  M 362K typically covers 80% of the content for this exam.  Multiple sections of this course are offered each fall, spring and summer.  In addition to the class, students should plan on preparing an additional 150+ hours if they wish to successfully pass exam P/1.  Similar preparation is required for the other exams.

Exam FM (Interest Theory)
This exam covers interest theory and introductory financial mathematics.  M 329F (Interest Theory) covers 100% of the content for this exam.  Traditionally, we offer at least two sections of M 329F each fall and spring semester.   

Exam IFM (Investments and Financial Markets)
This exam covers financial economics: the basic mathematical analysis of options and other financial derivatives. M 339D and M 339W (Financial Mathematics for Actuarial Applications) are offered each fall and spring semester.

Exam LTAM (Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics)
This exam covers life contingent actuarial models, including contingent payment models and survival models and special stochastic processes.  Our two-semester sequence M 339U & M 339V covers all the learning objectives for this exam.  M 339U (Actuarial Contingent Payments I) is offered every semester and M 339V (Actuarial Contingent Payments II) is offered each spring semester only.

Exam STAM (Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics)
This exam covers simple risk measures; frequency and severity-of-loss and compound models; simulation and its use in modeling; and construction and validation of actuarial models, including credibility theory and estimating and fitting survival models.  M 339J (Probability Models with Actuarial Applications) offered every semester and M 349P (Actuarial Statistical Estimates) offered in the fall cover 100% of the content for Exam STAM.

Exam Statistics for Risk Modeling (SRM)                                                                             This exam covers predictive analytics topics including regression, time series and the generalized linear model. This will be a formal prerequisite to the new Predictive Analytics Exam.  Students should might take M349, M378N, and some self-study.

Predictive Analytics  
This exam will be added to the ASA curriculum in 2018.  We are offering a course in Predictive Analytics spring 2019.

For more details on the new exams, see the SOA explanation on their website: