Help and advice for new students

This page contains help and advice for new students. We have divided the questions into the following sections:

Short guide to choosing study material
Certificate in Financial Mathematics (CT1)
Induction courses
Actuarial exam subject listing
What should I order if I am sitting an exam for the first time?
Profession's Student Handbook 

Certificate in Financial Mathematics (CT1)

If you are a non-member planning to take this exam as your first step into the actuarial profession then please see our specialist advice.

Induction courses

Induction courses are designed to give new actuarial students a flying start to the early subjects, as well as introducing and developing the basic actuarial skills that new students will use in the office.

Actuarial exam subject listing

Full listing of subject numbers and associated titles.

What should I order if I am sitting an exam for the first time?

Please read the IFoA Student Handbook carefully to understand how the exam system works. It is important that you start studying as soon as possible – we would expect this to be on or before 1 November 2016 for the April 2017 exams, so you should order your materials and apply for tutorials as soon as possible.

Paper products

Please have a look at our short guide to choosing study material but if you are sitting a subject for the first time, we recommend that you order a Combined Materials PackSeries X Marking, and Mock Exam A with Marking (unless your employer will automatically purchase a Mock Exam for you). Our Revision NotesASETMyTestSound Revision and Flashcards are also very popular.

If you have not studied maths for a long period, you may find it useful to study the Foundation ActEd Course (FAC). To help you judge whether or not you would find FAC helpful, see our FAC page, where you will find an initial assessment with 18 questions, which are typical of mathematical problems that will be encountered in the early actuarial exams. 

If you are sitting Subject CT3 and have never studied statistics before, you may find it useful to study StatsPack alongside the Subject CT3 notes.

In addition to the ActEd study materials mentioned above, you will also need a copy of the Formulae and Tables for Examinations of the Faculty of Actuaries and the Institute of Actuaries, 2nd Edition (2002). These are often referred to as simply the (orange, yellow or gold) Tables and are available separately from the IFoA's Publications Unit.


Our tutorials are also very helpful. You can choose between a Regular Tutorial or Block Tutorial or for some subjects, a Live Online Tutorial or the Online Classroom. A Revision Day or an Online Revision Tutorial is a very useful addition. Please note that there is a significant degree of overlap between Regular and Block Tutorials and we do not expect students to attend both of these in a given subject in the same session. There is no overlap between Revision Tutorials and other tutorials.

As our tutorials are based around the course notes and therefore require students to have worked through some or all of the current course before each tutorial, you should order your courses before or at the same time as registering on tutorials. If you order tutorials before materials, your application may be delayed while we try to contact you to advise you of the situation. If you would like more information about our tutorials, please visit our Tutorials section.

Placing an order for the first time

For help on completing the ActEd application forms, please view Placing your first order.

The profession's libraries

The IFoA's library services offer a comprehensive collection of publications for members, students and other people interested in actuarial science.

Certified Actuarial Analyst

We are specialist actuarial educators and we are producing a wide range of affordable, online study resources to prepare students studying for the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) exams offered by CAA Global.

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