Examination Services Frequently Asked Questions

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 exam home page for details.

Registration Process:

    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.

    In the event that you need to use a paper application you can find them on the exam home page when the exam is offered in paper/pencil format. 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:

    Preliminary Actuarial Examinations 
    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 letter/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 Customer Service  or +1-888-697-3900.

    Mailed Application: Once your registration has been processed you will receive an emailed order confirmation/receipt.

    I'm having a technical problem with online registration, what do I do?
    Contact 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. In order to calculate when a particular exam will open registrations please go to the CBT schedule/calendar find the exam and the month of administration, then locate the registration deadline and count back six weeks.

    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 order confirmation.


    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 Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 should you have any difficulties.

Refund Policy:

    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 Letter/Ticket of Admission/Receipt? 

    CBT Exams
    • All CBT exam registrations will receive an e‐mailed Acknowledgement Letter/Receipt upon a successful online registration (within the hour). Then between 72 hours and 1 week* from registration you will receive your emailed Confirmation Letter. The Confirmation Letter means that you can go and schedule your exam appointment with Prometric. If you do not receive the emailed Confirmation Letter a week after registration, please check your spam or junk e‐mails, and then contact Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900.

      *NOTE: CBT Quebec City candidates, March or October registrations, will receive their emailed Confirmation Letter significantly outside the standard 1 week date range as this Prometric Exam Location is set‐up especially for our candidates. Once the test center location is confirmed – our CBT Quebec City candidates will receive the emailed Confirmation Letter and should schedule their exam appointment.

    • “Schedule a seat at a Prometric center immediately.” Candidates that wait to make an appointment may find that their local/preferred Prometric testing center is filled and may need to utilize a second or third Prometric location. In the event that there are no available seats you should continue to check the Prometric website daily and continue studying as a seat may open up at your preferred exam location or at a secondary location before the exam window begins. Also, you may find calling your Prometric Regional Registration Center listed on their website helpful in locating a seat.
    • 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 corrections can be made after that 48 hour has lapsed.
    • Lastly, upon scheduling your Prometric appointment you should receive an email confirmation within 24 hours from Prometric; if no email confirmation is received contact Prometric to verify the appointment was successfully recorded.

    Non-CBT Paper/Pencil Exams
    • You will receive an e-mailed 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. No other Ticket of Admission will be e-mailed. The Acknowledgement Letter/Ticket of Admission also serves as your receipt. If you receive an Acknowledgement Letter/Ticket of Admission that contains incorrect information, contact 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 Letter/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 to put it on the examination since cell phones are to be turned off in the exam room.

    Contact Customer Service or at +1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.


    All candidates must present a non-expired valid government-issued identification with BOTH

    1. Photograph
    2. Signature

    Important: The first and last name on your identification must match exactly the name on your Society of Actuaries record.

    Acceptable non-expired valid government-issued photo identifications:

    Driver’s license
    Military ID
    State ID
    or other government-issued identification.

    If you are testing in your home country and your country’s government-issued ID lacks either a photo or a signature (but does not lack both), you should present both the government-issued ID and a secondary ID. The secondary ID should have the same name used on the primary government-issued ID and include the missing signature or photo (e.g., employee ID, student ID, etc.). If a signature is missing from the primary government-issued ID, you may use a major credit card, bank card, etc. with a signature PROVIDED that the name matches the name on the primary government-issued ID.

    If you are testing outside your home country, you must present a non-expired passport as valid ID unless testing in the U.S. and have an ID from the list of acceptable forms of identification.(see above)

    In countries where names on government-issued photo IDs are not in the English/Latin alphabet, the local Prometric test center will require a secondary photo ID with the candidate’s name in the English/Latin alphabet. If the candidate is uncertain whether this rule applies, please contact the Prometric Regional Registration Center as soon as possible.

Candidate Numbers:

    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.

    Non-CBT Paper/Pencil Exams – 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 Customer Service or + 1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.

Exam Times:

    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 - When an exam starts depends on what time you have scheduled. Recommended arrival time is at least 30 minutes prior to the start of your examination to allow for check in.

    Non-CBT Paper/Pencil Exams - Supervisors are asked to open the exam room 30 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow for admission procedures.

    Once check-in is completed or at the scheduled start time the supervisor should begin reading the exam instructions aloud.

    Exam times listed do not include check-in, reading of instructions, or the collection of materials at the end of the exam. Essay exams have a designated read-through time prior to the start of the actual timing of the exam.

    When all check-in procedures, verbal instructions and read-through times (if applicable) are completed, the supervisor will "re-set" the exam clock to the scheduled start time-the 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.

Exam Locations:

    Where can I find out the address of the exam center? 
    CBT Exams – Go to the Prometric site, use the “Locate – A Test Center” function.

    Non-CBT Paper/Pencil Exams – 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.


    What are the approved calculators and how can I obtain one? 
    You may use the battery or solar powered Texas Instruments BA-35 model calculator, BA II Plus, BA II Plus Professional Edition, TI-30Xa, or TI-30X II (IIS solar or IIB battery), or TI-30X Multi View (XS Solar or XB Battery). You may use more than one of the approved models during the examination. Upon entrance to the examination room, candidates must show the supervisor that the memory has been cleared for all of the calculators brought in. Calculator instructions are not allowed in the exam room.

    Note: The BA II Plus and the BA II Plus Professional Edition, clearing will reset the calculator to the factory default settings. Candidates are responsible for resetting their calculator.

    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."

Change of Exam Center:

    How do I request a change of exam center? /Appointment Date? 
    CBT Exams – Go to the Prometric site, use the reschedule function, have your Confirmation Tracking Number ready (you received this number when you initially made your appointment).

    Note: A $50 Prometric rescheduling fee must be paid if the test is rescheduled less than 30 days of the appointment. Candidates may only reschedule an appointment within the same testing window.

    Non-CBT Paper/Pencil Exams – Center changes are contingent on availability at the new location requested. After the registration deadline, there is a non-refundable fee of $60 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 Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900.

Address Changes:

    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 Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.

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 accommodations@soa.org


    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.

    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.

    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.

    Contact Customer Service or +1-888-697-3900 if you need assistance.

    Non CBT Paper/Pencil Exams -- 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 MLC, EA and FSA Exam grades are released in July. Fall MLC, EA and FSA Exam grades are released in January of the following year.

    Exam MLC 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, Customer Service or at +1-888-697-3900.

Hand Scoring:

    What exactly is hand scoring? 
    I believe there may have been an error in the scoring of my 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 scan sheet that was received was scored correctly. It is not a verification of anything that was written in the exam booklet itself nor does this process transfer information from the exam book onto the scan 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.