Membership & Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - How familiar with the material are candidates supposed to be when they arrive at the PEC? Should a candidate prepare intensively as if it were a typical SOA exam, or is a candidate expected simply to have read the material for background knowledge?

A - Candidates are expected to know the material before they arrive. During the course, candidates will be expected to apply that knowledge. A comparison to the SOA exam system is not possible because the approach is significantly different. There will be a two-and-a-half-day teaching course and an open book exam, which is not comparable to a self-study closed book exam.

Q - There is a study note in the syllabus that makes reference to several other documents, am I responsible for those as well?

A - You should consider them the same as study notes marked as “background”.  While they will not be tested directly, the fact that they are referenced in a study note may mean that they are necessary reading for some candidates to understand the original study note.

Q - How much study time is expected in terms of an equivalent number of SOA credits under the old system?

A - Each candidate will prepare differently because this course is practice-oriented and the exam is open book. Candidates with significant related experience will require less study time than those candidates that satisfy the minimum experience requirement. Also, candidates will likely use different approaches to studying than they used for the SOA exams.

Q - How high a standard is expected in order to pass?

A - The learning objectives identify what successful candidates should expect to get out of the course and demonstrate in order to pass the PEC.

Q - What is the expected pass rate?

A - The PEC is conducted on a "pass/fail" basis.  There is no target passing rate for the PEC.

Q - How are examinations graded?

A - The examinations are designed and graded by members of the PEC Organizing Committee.  Each question is independently graded by two volunteers who then reconcile any significant differences in marks that they have awarded to a given candidate for that question.  The result of this work for each question is then tabulated and used to calculate a final mark.  Candidate papers are ranked and marginal papers are reviewed in their entirety in the process of determining passing papers.

The pass/fail decisions are reviewed by the committee before the results of the PEC are announced.  The Committee ultimately determines which candidate paper pass or fail.

Q - Are sample examination questions available?

A - Yes. They can be found within the Study Material for each practice area.

Q - Are the sessions going to be offered in both French and English?

A - All sessions will be offered in English, as a rule. However, if there is enough demand, every effort will be made to find French-speaking facilitators in order to offer the sessions in French as well.