Examination Services Frequently Asked Questions
What Exam should I be taking first?
Candidates have flexibility about the order in which requirements can be completed. A suggested order can be seen here. Click on any exam/requirement below to go to its home page and learn about any specific eligibility requirements.
Why don’t I see my progress of completed requirements in MySOA like some of my peers and colleagues?
Candidates had to have passed SOA examinations on July 1, 2013, or later to have their requirements shown on the educational pathway graphic in MySOA.
Contacting the SOA:
When you have a question for Customer Service, Exams, Education, VEE or the Registrar we ask that you send only one email per topic/question. Multiple follow-up emails with the same question create an additional backlog in our queue and slow down our efficiency in responding to everyone. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Exam Delivery Methods:
How are the exams administered?
The exams are offered as Computer Based Testing (CBT) and as paper and pencil. Please see the individual exam’s home page for details.
The preferred registration method is online. We accept Visa, American Express or Master Card.
All exams have online registration during their specific registration window. (See exam calendars.) Registration is specific to a particular exam administration. Example: Candidates that register for an exam in the January administration are to take the exam in that exam window. If January is not the exam administration that you want to attend, then you must wait and register for the correct exam administration when that registration window is available.
Candidates must register using their first and last name as it is written on their valid government issued ID.
I have registered, but when I go to my record, I see question marks (???) in place of my name. Why?
Our database accepts all information from various keyboards (U.S. and International) however; it only recognizes the U.S./English Alpha-Numeric characters and spaces.
I need a paper application, are they available?
If you need to use a paper application, you can find them on the exam home page. They can be faxed back to us at +1-847-273-8529 with credit card information. Payments made by Check or Money Order must be in U.S. funds or equivalent mailed with the application to reach us by the registration deadline to:
Society of Actuaries
P.O. Box 95600
Chicago, IL 60694-5600
How do I know if I have registered successfully?
Online: An order confirmation page should appear onscreen upon successful registration and within the hour receipt of an emailed acknowledgement/receipt. If the onscreen confirmation does not appear and you have not received the emailed confirmation, your order has not been accepted and you will need to contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900.
Mailed Application: Once your registration has been processed you will receive an emailed order acknowledgement/receipt.
I'm having a technical problem with online registration, what do I do?
Contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900.
Exam Registration Opening and Deadlines:
When does the exam registration window open?
Exam registration windows are typically open for six weeks. To calculate when a particular exam will open registrations please go to the Yearly Examination Calendars, select CBT schedule/calendar find the exam and the month of administration, then locate the registration deadline and count back six weeks. Paper/Pencil Spring exam registrations open the third week in January and Fall exam registrations open the third week in July.
When is the exam registration deadline?
Registration deadline dates are listed on the home page for each exam or on the Computer Based Testing Schedule/Calendar. No late exam registrations are accepted for the preliminary exams.
When does the exam registration close?
Online: Registration closes at midnight U.S. Central Time on the deadline date.
Paper Applications: Must be received in the office by midnight U.S. Central Time on the deadline date. Applications received after the deadline will NOT be accepted. You will be contacted by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) if your application is denied due to a late delivery. We encourage you to register online, by fax, or use an overnight delivery service. Applications are processed in the order they are received. Once your registration is processed, you will receive an emailed acknowledgement/receipt.
Why are late registrations not accepted for Exams P, FM, IFM, STAM, SRM, and GIINT? Deadline dates are predetermined by Prometric and the SOA. Each exam window is at least six weeks in length; allowing sufficient time for candidates to register for an exam. There needs to be a definitive cut-off time to allow for candidate information uploads. These uploads are what allow candidates to schedule appointments at the Prometric exam center of their choice, and they allow Prometric to set-up the various exam related processes for their exam centers. In order to be consistent for all exam candidates, once registration is closed for these exams, there are no exceptions.
How can I tell if I have registered successfully/paid for my exam?
Receipt of an email within the hour of registration, will show a zero-balance due. If no receipt is emailed to you within an hour then you should verify that your order was successfully processed.
Go to www.soa.org, My SOA, Login, scroll down to Locate Orders and Dues, select the order date in question, click on View beneath Receipt. If there is no order, then your online registration was unsuccessful, and you must try again. If your order is there, you can review it and check to see if there is a balance due.
Contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 should you have any difficulties.
The SOA does not offer refunds for its examinations since January 2011. Please review this policy.
Acknowledgement Letter/Ticket of Admission:
When can I expect my Acknowledgement/Ticket of Admission/Receipt?
After your registration has been processed successfully with the SOA, you will receive an acknowledgement/receipt by email that includes your unique candidate/eligibility number for this administration. The candidate/eligibility number included in the body of the acknowledgement/receipt and will be activated approximately 1-hour after receiving the email. The upload time frame is an approximation and can take longer. Please check multiple times at Prometric and if after a few hours the information is not at Prometric, then you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for a review of why your candidate number has not been uploaded to Prometric. Candidate numbers that are not uploaded automatically may have missing contact information on their record. Record requirements that may cause upload issues are the following: A missing or invalid primary phone number, primary email address or primary mailing address.
- NOTE: Make your appointment ASAP! Candidates who do not make their appointment at a CBT Prometric exam center soon after their candidate number is available at Prometric may find their local CBT center is filled on the days when the exam is offered. The latest a candidate can schedule a CBT appointment is 48-hours prior to the start time of the exam on the final day of the testing window. No appointments or changes will be made after that time.
- Lastly, if you do not receive a confirmation email from Prometric within 24-hours of scheduling your exam appointment, please contact Prometric directly to make sure the exam appointment was scheduled properly
How and when do I schedule my exam appointment at Prometric?
Schedule Online with Prometric (Preferred Choice)
After approximately1-hour or longer of receiving your acknowledgement/receipt email, you may schedule your exam appointment by going to: Prometric.com/SOA and using your candidate/eligibility number found in the receipt area of your initial email.
Step by Step Guide to Appointment Scheduling at Prometric.com/SOA
- Go to www.prometric.com/soa
- Locate “ACTIONS”, Click on, “Schedule”.
- Choose the location where you want to take your exam
- Read through Information Review, click on Next.
- Eligibility Information, you will need your candidate/eligibility number (5 digits) that is located on the receipt area of your email, plus the first four letters of your last name (last names that do not have four letters, please tap the space bar the number of times until it accounts for the four spaces) click on Next.
- Test Center Selection, put into the Search box name of the city you want to take the exam in, click on search, select from the list of available Prometric Test Centers, click on Schedule Appointment.
- Date and Time Selection, click on Next.
- Select the appointment date and available time, click on Next.
- Additional Information
- Fill in your Email address, then Validate your email address, click on Next.
- Appointment Verification
- Verify your appointment information, your name’s spelling, date, time, and exam name.
- Finish by clicking on Complete Appointment.
- After scheduling is completed successfully, please print the confirmation page from Prometric for your reference.
Are there language options?
CBT Language Options – Please select carefully.
- English is the only language option outside of Canada.
- Candidates taking their exam in Canada will have the bilingual options of English or French language.
If English is selected the entire testing experience is in the English language.
*If French is selected, the candidate sees a split screen (English on the left‐hand side/French on the right‐hand side). The Tutorial and the Final Score Report are entirely in French. The examination portion is completely in English with the navigation ability to select a French translation of the exam question by clicking on a button titled French.
The PA Exam, when you access the problem statement, the statement will be in English. There will be a button on the screen to view the same statement in French.
These bilingual versions are only offered in Canada.
Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay)
- You will receive an emailed Receipt/Acknowledgement Letter/Ticket of Admission upon successful online registration or after paper application has been processed. This letter will include your candidate number and selected exam center number. The Acknowledgement Letter/Ticket of Admission also serves as your receipt. If you receive an Acknowledgement/Ticket of Admission/Receipt that contains incorrect information, contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900.
- How can I receive another Ticket of Admission?
CBT Exams and Non-CBT Paper/Pencil Exams
If you have not received or have misplaced your Acknowledgement/Ticket of Admission/Receipt, you can reprint one. Go to www.soa.org, My SOA, Login, scroll down to Locate Orders and Dues, select the order date in question, click on View beneath Receipt. Print off this document which contains your Name, Candidate ID Number, Exam Location and the name of the Exam.
E-mailed Acknowledgement Letters/Tickets of Admission/Receipts should be printed and used for admittance into the exam. You may use your smart phone to show the emailed ticket of admission to the exam supervisor; however, it is the candidate’s responsibility to recall their candidate number or to have it on a piece of paper in order to put it on the examination, since cell phones are turned off in the exam room.
Contact SOA Customer Service or at +1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.
What are the approved calculators and how can I obtain one?
Only the following models of Texas Instruments calculators are approved:
- BA II Plus
- BA II Plus Professional
- TI-30X II (IIS solar or IIB battery)
- TI-30XS MultiView (or XB battery)
Candidates may bring more than one calculator into the examination room along with extra batteries, provided each calculator is on the approved list.
Calculator covers and instructions will not be permitted in the examination room. Please note that upon entrance to the exam room, candidates using the BA II Plus, BA II Plus Professional Edition, TI-30X IIS, TI-30XB (solar or battery), or TI-30XS MultiView (or XB battery) must show the supervisor that the memory has been cleared.
NOTE: BA II Plus and the BA II Plus Professional Edition, clearing the calculator will reset the calculator to the factory default settings.
No other calculators will be provided for those who fail to bring an approved model.
Please see the exam home page for specific Rules and Regulations regarding calculators.
You can purchase calculators at any office supply store or directly from: Texas Instruments at Epsstore.ti.com.
For the Enrolled Actuaries (EA) examinations, candidates may use any model that meets the specifications of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries as follows: "Candidates for the EA exams are permitted to use calculators which (1) have self-contained power sources; (2) are noiseless; and (3) do not have the capability to retain text."
REQUIRED: All candidates must present a non-expired valid government-issued identification with:
- Name (English/Latin alphabet)
A secondary form of identification is required if the name on your government-issued identification is not in English/Latin alphabet or lacks either a photo or a signature (but should not lack both.)
Primary Forms of Identification
If you are testing in your Country of Citizenship, acceptable types of identification include:
- Driver’s license
- State ID
- Military ID
A secondary form of identification is required if the name on your identification is not in English/Latin alphabet or lacks either a photo or a signature (but should not lack both.)
If you are testing outside your Country of Citizenship, you must present a passport as primary form of identification. If the name on your passport is not in English/Latin alphabet, or lacks either a photo or a signature, a secondary form of identification is required.
IMPORTANT: If you are testing outside your Country of Citizenship and you cannot present a non-expired valid passport, you will not be allowed to test.
Secondary Forms of Identification
Secondary forms of identification must be non-expired, include the same name used on the primary government-issued ID, and include the missing signature or photo.
- Alien registration card
- National ID card
- Employee ID
- Student ID
- Major credit card
- Bank card
The following are helpful reminders:
- All forms of identification being presented at the testing center must match your name exactly as it appears on the scheduling notification. You will not be allowed to test if the name on your identification does not exactly match the name on your scheduling notification.
- Your identification must be in good condition, and cannot be bent, frayed, taped, cracked or otherwise damaged in any way.
- The identification must be the original and cannot be photocopies. Neither SOA or Prometric will make any exceptions to this policy.
- If you need to contact Prometric for any assistance, use the same form of your name that is on your exam application form and your government issued photo ID. Do not change the spelling and do not change the order of your name.
- Including your middle name is optional, and not required.
- When you arrive at the test center, you will be required to present your non-expired government-issued identification with both a signature and a photograph as describe above. If you have questions or are uncertain about what constitutes valid identification, contact the SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 prior to the exam administration.
- Without the required ID, a candidate will not be permitted to test, and the exam fee will be forfeited.
If your name has legally changed between the time you registered for your exam, and the date of your exam (such as getting married, divorced) make sure your ID has been updated and send the name change information to the SOA Customer Service Center as soon as possible.
The SOA is unable to guarantee that any updates can be made to the name within five business days of a scheduled exam.
No photocopies of identification or of name change documentation will be accepted at the testing center.
Where can I locate my candidate number?
Your Acknowledgment Letter contains the assigned candidate number for the exam that you have registered for and the candidate number is different for each exam registration.
Go to www.soa.org, My SOA, Login, scroll down to Locate Orders and Dues, select the order date in question, click on View beneath Receipt. View or print as needed.
CBT exams – candidate numbers are also considered eligibility numbers and are used at the Prometric website to schedule your seat for the exam.
Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay) – candidate numbers are used for identification purposes and need to be written on both scantron answer sheets and candidate paper for paper and pencil exams.
Retain your candidate number to confirm results on the SOA Website.
Contact SOA Customer Service or + 1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.
What time do the exams start and how long are they?
Exact dates, times and length of the exams can be found on the specific exam’s home page. To avoid scheduling conflicts, please allow yourself enough time “before” and “after” the exam in the event of an unexpected occurrence.
CBT Exams – Exam date and time are dependent on what exam appointment you selected.
Recommended arrival time is at least 30 minutes prior to the start of your examination to allow for check-in.
CBT Appointment Duration vs. Exam Time – The appointment duration includes the time for you to review a pre-exam tutorial as well as a brief post-exam survey, in addition to the exam time. The exam time varies by exam and that information can be found on the exam’s home page and the first paragraph of the specific exam’s syllabus.
|CBT Appointment Duration for Exams P, FM, IFM, SRM, STAM, and GIINT|
|Pre-exam Tutorial||12 minutes|
|Exam Time||Varies by exam. It can be found on the exam’s home page and the first paragraph of the specific exam’s syllabus.|
|Post-exam Survey||15 minutes|
|CBT Appointment Duration for Exam PA|
The PA tutorial and the instructions it provides will be available at any time during the actual exam.
|Exam Time||Five-hour and 15-minute project|
|Post-exam Survey||10 minutes|
A preliminary test result will appear after the post-exam survey. Excluding any exams that have had recent syllabus changes and the Exam PA.
A diagnostic representation is provided if the result shows you were unsuccessful in achieving the passing score. Excluding any exams that have had recent syllabus changes and the Exam PA.
Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay) – Predetermined exam date for each exam offered. Check exam home page for specifics.
|Paper/Pencil Exam Day|
|Check In||Supervisors are asked to open the exam room 30 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow for admission procedures.|
|Pre-Exam Process||Supervisor reading of instructions, distribution of exam materials, FSA and LTAM essay exams have a designated read-through time prior to the start of the actual timing of the exam.|
|Exams Begins||Supervisor will "reset" the exam clock to the scheduled start time and candidates will be instructed to begin work. Candidates will be given the full amount of exam time according to the "reset" clock to complete the exam.|
|End of Exam||Time is called, all exam materials are collected and then candidates are dismissed.|
Where can I find out the address of the exam center?
CBT Exams – CBT Exams – Go to the Prometric site, locate ACTIONS, use “Locate”.
Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay) – Go to the Exam page, scroll down until you locate, Exam Center Location (PDF document).
Do exam locations ever change prior to exam day?
Exam locations can change from the time they are confirmed up until exam day. The candidate is responsible for checking for any changes up until exam day. No notices will be sent.
Change of Exam Center & Appointment Date:
How do I request a change of exam center & appointment date?
CBT Exams* – The quickest and easiest way to reschedule your exam P, FM, PA, IFM, SRM, STAM, and GIINT is to do it online, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rescheduling is possible until noon of the second business day prior to the scheduled exam, if there is an open appointment and may include a Prometric rescheduling fee, see fee schedule below.
Go to the Prometric site and locate “ACTIONS” use the Reschedule/Cancel function. Rescheduling may result in a fee paid directly to Prometric. For further assistance, contact the Prometric Customer Service Center.
Candidates may only reschedule an appointment within the same testing window. For example, if you are registered for exam P in January, you must reschedule an appointment within the January testing window. You will not be able to reschedule for the next exam P administration in a different month.
|Reschedule 30 or more days before appointment date||None|
|Reschedule 2-29 days before appointment date||$70.00|
|Cancellation or Failing to appear at appointment on time||Forfeiture of exam fee|
No correction can be made once the 48-hour window has passed, and we are unable to provide authorization to reschedule within 48-hours of appointment date.
Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay) – Center changes are contingent on availability at the new location requested. After the registration deadline, there is a non-refundable fee of $60.00 due at the time of the approved request. Walk-in candidates without proper registration will not be allowed to test at the exam center.
To request a center change, contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900.
How do I change my address?
Go to www.soa.org, My SOA, Login, Locate SOA Profile, select “Edit Contact Info” which brings you to My Addresses; click on Edit, update information as needed.
Contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.
Reporting of Technical Issues at Prometric Locations:
What do I do if I encounter a technical issue at a Prometric exam location?
Exam P, FM, IFM, SRM, STAM and GIINT candidates that experience a technical difficulty during their exam must raise their hand/stand up to be seen and notify a Prometric Staff member for the purposes of trouble-shooting and documentation. If the onsite Prometric Staff is unable to resolve the technical issue, you must register a complaint with Prometric. You will receive a reference number for the complaint, and a response from Prometric within 48 business hours. If the issue can be resolved on a call, please proceed to call the Prometric Service Center.
Exam PA candidates that experience a technical difficulty during their exam must immediately raise their hand/stand up to be seen and advise a Prometric Staff member immediately for the purposes of trouble-shooting and documentation. If the onsite Prometric Staff member is unable to resolve the technical issue, you should ask for and receive a reference number of the documented issue and at your earliest convenience send an email to PAExam@soa.org and provide the reference number from Prometric and include a brief account of your technical issue. Your email to the PA Exam email box will be acknowledged and your technical issue will be reviewed.
Testing Accommodations For Candidates:
Whom should I contact?
To request testing accommodations for the SOA exams a candidate must submit a written request and medical documentation by the exam registration deadline.
Additional documentation may be required depending on the nature of the situation for which the arrangements are requested.
For more information contact email@example.com
When can I expect to receive my examination results?
CBT Exams* – An unofficial pass/fail result will be displayed on the computer screen at the conclusion of the examination. In most test centers, a printed copy of the candidate’s unofficial pass/fail score will be available in the administrative area outside the testing room. Excluding any exams that have had recent syllabus changes and the Exam PA.
Also, a diagnostic representation is provided for all candidates who are unsuccessful on the preliminary CBT exams. This performance feedback is provided at the Prometric testing center along with unofficial instant results. Excluding any exams that have had recent syllabus changes and the Exam PA.
Passing candidate numbers will be posted on the exam results web page approximately 8 weeks after the CBT Exam Session. You will need your candidate number to verify this information.
To access your grade, go to www.soa.org, My SOA, Login, Click on My Education and Exams, then locate Education and Exams and at the bottom of the box click on Transcripts.
* When an exam is going through syllabus changes, instantaneous results and the diagnostic representation will no longer be available, at least for the next few sessions to allow for post-exam analysis which is required by the examination committee. Instead, results will be released on the SOA website about 8 weeks after each testing window ends.
Contact SOA Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.
Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay) -- Passing candidate numbers will be posted on the exam results web page approximately 8-11 weeks after the Exam Session. You will need your candidate number to verify this information.
Spring LTAM, EA and FSA Exam grades are released in July. Fall LTAM, EA and FSA Exam grades are released in January of the following year. Exam PA results are released in March from the preceding December and in August for June.
Exam LTAM and FSA Exams will have an “Analysis Breakdown” for all candidates who are unsuccessful on the exam on their transcripts approximately one week after the grades are posted.
How do I obtain an Official Transcript?
To access your transcript, go to www.soa.org, My SOA, Login, Click on My Education and Exams, then locate Education and Exams and at the bottom of the box click on Transcripts. View or Print as needed.
If you need a transcript with a water mark, or any other assistance contact, SOA Customer Service or at +1-888-697-3900.
What exactly is hand scoring?
I believe there may have been an error in the scoring of my scantron answer sheet for my paper/pencil, multiple-choice exam, how can I go about having it scored again?
Hand scoring is a verification that the scantron sheet that was received was scored correctly. It is not a verification of anything that was written in the exam book itself nor does this process transfer information from the exam book onto the scantron sheet. It is solely a process of confirming that the multiple-choice answer sheet was scored correctly. Applications for hand scoring must be received within 60 days after the exam results are released. See the hand scoring homepage for information and the application.
Do not request hand scoring services until you have checked your grade. If you should have any other questions regarding this process, please contact Mark Dulceak or +1-847-273-8831.