Should you take actuarial exams?

Qualifying as an actuary usually takes a lot of time. There is a set of exams to pass, years of practical experience to attain, and loads of patience and persistence.

On my journey, I had to take fourteen ( I had an exemption from one) exams and write essays documenting years of work experience. All of that took me a few years because I had to take these exams aside from work. Please note, I took UK exams while working in Germany; the downside is that companies in Germany don't support UK exams like the companies in the UK would. This means I had to use a lot of my personal time to study, whilst still putting in 50 to 60 hours of work each week.

The average time to qualify in the UK usually ranges from 3 to 7 years depending on whether to include University study or not. I read Economics at the University so after graduating I wasn't awarded with a handsome list of exam exemptions. However, all the hard and smart work finally paid off and in 2017 I qualified as a Fellow of Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

How is it to work as an actuary?

Most time I really enjoy my work. It can be challenging (deadlines, pressure, fast-paced environment) but it is never boring. The nature of the work itself is interesting. On top of that markets, economies and climate keep changing, which adds to the mix. Thankfully the part between "all the time" and "most time" that is not that fun is very small and has nothing to do with actuarial science.  

If you have ever wondered whether to take actuarial exams, my short answer is "absolutely". Yes, it is tough. However, with the right mix of hard work, great productivity tools, and a healthy dose of fun you will enjoy it. Once completed, you will be happy that you have decided to take that path.

If you are interested to find out more check out the website of Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK (link or the Casualty Actuarial Society in the US (link

Until next time

M| K