Membership & Education
Practice Education Course
Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How familiar with the material are candidates supposed to be when they arrive at the PEC? Should a candidate prepare intensively as if it were a typical SOA exam, or is a candidate expected simply to have read the material for background knowledge?
A - Candidates are expected to know the material before they arrive. During the course, candidates will be expected to apply that knowledge. A comparison to the SOA exam system is not possible because the approach is significantly different. There will be a two and a half day teaching course and an open book exam, which is not comparable to a self-study closed book exam.
Q - How much study time is expected in terms of an equivalent number of SOA credits under the old system?
A - Each candidate will prepare differently because this course is practice-oriented and the exam is open book. Candidates with significant related experience will require less study time than those candidates that satisfy the minimum experience requirement. Also, candidates will likely use different approaches to studying than they used for the SOA exams.
Q - How high a standard is expected in order to pass?
A - The learning objectives identify what successful candidates should expect to get out of the course and demonstrate in order to pass the PEC.
Q - What is the expected pass rate?
A - There is no target passing rate for the PEC. The PEC examination is graded on an “absolute” basis, as opposed to a “relative” basis. If 100 percent of the candidates are deemed to have demonstrated a good understanding of the materials when writing the exam, then 100 percent of the candidates will pass. The converse is also true; if a large portion of the candidates fail to demonstrate sufficient knowledge or understating of the material the fail rate will be correspondingly high. It is possible that the pass rate may be around 80 percent but it could also be at 40 percent or 100 percent.
Q - How are exminations graded?
A - The examinations are designed and graded by sub-committee members of the Education and Examination Committee (E&E Committee). Each examination paper is graded and reviewed by two volunteers on an “absolute basis”, as opposed to a “relative” basis. The decision of passing and failing, as well as the passing grade, are also reviewed by the entire E&E Committee before the results of the PEC are announced.
Q - Are sample examination questions available?
A - Yes. They can be found within the Study Note for each practice area.
Q - Are the sessions going to be offered in both French and English?
A - All sessions will be offered in English, as a rule. However, if there is enough demand, every effort will be made to find French-speaking facilitators in order to offer the sessions in French as well.
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