Sitting the CS1 or CM1 exam as a non-member

ActEd is pleased to offer study materials, tuition, marking and tutor support for this first step into The Actuarial Profession.


What level of mathematics is required?

This exam requires you to understand and apply the following A-level, Higher or Leaving Certificate topics:

Algebra

  • Manipulating equations and inequalities
  • Working with logs and exponentials
  • Solving simultaneous linear equations in 2 variables
  • Solving quadratic equations

Series

  • The sums of geometric, exponential and binomial series

Calculus

  • Differentiation and integration of polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions
  • The product, quotient and chain rule for differentiation
  • Integration by parts and integration by substitution
  • Using differentiation to determine and identify turning points
  • Using integration to determine the area under a curve

Statistics

  • Averages and measures of spread
  • Mean and variance of random variables
  • Calculating probabilities

What can I do to get my maths up to scratch?

You could use your local library and borrow P1, P2 and P3 (or C1, C2 and C3) A-level textbooks to cover the Pure/Core topics. Alternatively, we publish the Pure Maths and Statistics for Actuarial Studies course which covers these topics and many others required by the remaining Core Principles exams. This course is written assuming that you have previously met these topics and just need a refresher. Further information can be found on the course page.

The statistics topics, which are needed for the last chapter of the course, can be found in a T1 (or S1 and S2) A-level textbook.


What study materials do you offer?

We offer a Combined Materials Pack (CMP) which includes:

  • the Profession’s Core Reading for the exam
  • ActEd’s explanations, worked examples and self-assessment questions with full worked solutions
  • Practice questions with full worked solutions to bring you up to exam standard
  • 6 or 7 (CS1 or CM1) exam-standard assignments with full worked solutions

Is there any tuition available?

Yes. Many students find that receiving tuition helps them grasp the materials much more easily than studying the CMP on their own. Our tutors are employed for their ability to make concepts clear to students and this is reflected in the excellent feedback we receive and in the higher pass rate achieved by those who attend.

We offer face-to-face, fully interactive tutorials (not lectures) with group sizes of typically 9-12 students. These build on your home study of the material and get you tackling exam questions. Regular Tutorials are spaced out over the study period whereas Block Tutorials cover the same material but include some consecutive days towards the end of the study period. Attendees also get email support from their tutor.

Live Online Tutorials - Live Online Regular or Block Tutorials are ideal if you like the discipline and motivation of a structured and timetabled course but are unable to travel to one of our face-to-face courses. We aim to replicate as closely as possible what you would experience on a face-to-face tutorial – but deliver it online.

Alternatively, we offer the CS1 or CM1 Online Classroom which offers pre-recorded tutorials straight to your computer covering the same material as the other tutorials which also comes with tutor support.

You can also register on ActEd's Online Discussion Forum, where you can interact with your fellow students. ActEd tutors keep an eye on the discussions and intervene when necessary to avoid any misunderstandings.


Can I get my work marked?

We offer marking of the X and Y assignments (which are included in the CMP) or you can purchase Mock Exams with Mock Marking.

Our dedicated marking team will give you feedback that helps you both understand your mistakes and learn from them (so it’s not just ticks and crosses).


Revision

It is important that you tackle as many past papers as possible in the run up to the exam. You can download old era subject past papers and brief solutions for free directly from the Profession's website, but you will find it difficult to work out which questions are appropriate for CS1 or CM1 due to a recent syllabus change.

We offer a variety of revision materials as extras to the CMP, tuition and marking. These include Flashcards to help you memorise key formulae, definitions and proofs; ASET, which provides fully worked solutions (with exam technique) to relevant past exam questions and Revision Notes.


Don’t forget

In the exam you will be provided a copy of the ‘Formulae and Tables’. This contains a handful of formulae, as well as some compound interest, statistical and life tables.

We recommend that you purchase a copy to familiarise yourself with its contents. They are available separately from the Profession's Publications Unit.


Placing an order for the first time

So in summary, you’ll need to place an order for the CS1 or CM1 CMP and if possible attend a tutorial (or order the online classroom). Marking would be a great addition on top of these two.

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

We’ve produced a short guide to choosing and using your study materials for the actuarial exams.


Any other questions?

It can be a bit daunting starting a new career. If you would like some help choosing the study package that best meets your needs then please email us on CS1@bpp.com or CM1@bpp.com and we’ll be delighted to help you.

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