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 individual exam’s 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.

If 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:

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 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 SOA 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  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 exams open in January and Fall exams open 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 order confirmation.

Why are late registrations not accepted for Exams P, FM, IFM, STAM, SRM, PA 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.

Payments:

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.

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  SOA 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.

Paper/Pencil Exams (Multiple-Choice and Written Essay)

  • 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  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 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 or to have it on a piece of paper in order to put it on the examination, since cell phones are to be turned off in the exam room.

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

Calculators:

What are the approved calculators and how can I obtain one?  
Only the following models of Texas Instruments calculators are approved:

  • BA-35
  • BA II Plus
  • BA II Plus Professional
  • TI-30Xa
  • 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."

Identification:

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

  • Name (English/Latin alphabet)
  • Photograph
  • Signature

A secondary forms 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 home country, acceptable types of identification include:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • State ID
  • Military ID

A secondary forms 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 home country, 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 home country 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

Primary Forms of Identification

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.

Name Change

If your name has legally changed between the time you registered for your exam, and the date of your exam (such as getting married), 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.

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.

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.

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 – 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
Pre-exam Tutorial
Exam Time Five-hour and 15-minute project 
Post-exam Survey

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.

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.

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, IFM, GIINT, SRM, and STAM is to do it online, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. *Rescheduling the PA exam appointment is not an option since it is a single exam day administration. Go to the Prometric site and use the reschedule 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.

Cancellation/Reschedule Period Fee
Reschedule 30 or more days before appointment date None
Reschedule 2-29 days before appointment date $50
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 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.

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 SOA 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

Grades:

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.

* When an exam is going through syllabus changes, instantaneous results 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.

Transcripts:

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.

Hand Scoring:

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 booklet 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.