SP1 or SP9

Discussion in 'SP9' started by rskk0702, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. rskk0702

    rskk0702 Keen member

    Hi Guys,

    Just a general question. This may or may not have been asked in the forum before, but I am really confused and would like some advice especially from those who have been through the same dilemma.

    A little background about me: I work for a life insurance company and I sat for SP2 in April 2019. I want to decide on the next SP to take and confused between SP1 and SP9.

    If you are/were in a similar situation, could you share what are the things you considered in making a decision? I have heard from some that SP9 is a bit difficult to crack through and would slow down the process of finishing exams. Is that so? Does anyone feel the same?

  2. Anna Bishop

    Anna Bishop ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    Hello Kay

    This is a difficult decision!

    SP1 is very similar to SP2 in terms of areas looked at (eg modelling, data, assumptions, pricing, reserving, capital), just for health products rather than life insurance products. So arguably lots of familiarity and less work?

    SP9 is a large course, similar size to CA1 and is very different to SP2 in terms of content. However, it is a big and developing area of actuarial work and so great from an employability perspective! Also you get the additional CERA qualification. SP9 involves a fair bit of (complex?) maths on time series, copulas, extreme value theory so that is also a factor to consider, ie whether you enjoy having the balance of words and numbers and can cope with the numbers.

    Good luck in the decision!
    rskk0702 likes this.
  3. rskk0702

    rskk0702 Keen member

    Thank you, Anna, for your insight!

    I had a discussion with my employer and got the feeling that health exam may not be that valuable as ERM exam. Since the government has its own Social Care program, health is required just to cover majorly income protection and long term care.

    I am tearing apart between the urge to finish my exams faster and not affecting my future growth prospects. I checked certain past papers of SP9 and I understand the exam judges the understanding of the applicability of complex maths in different scenarios than having a calculation based question. I think writing those things in words is what make this exam complex. Maybe someone who wrote the exam or acted tutors can tell better how complex it gets.

    Let’s say I decide to go with SP9 then what would be the written order. I appeared for SP2 in April sitting. If the course work is the same as CP1 then it may not be a good idea to give it in September sitting. I can rather give CP1 in September sitting as I have read the syllabus once. Or SA2 would be a better exam to write in September sitting considering I just studied SP2.
  4. Anna Bishop

    Anna Bishop ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    My thoughts would be to do CP1 this September as it complements SP2 well (some nice overlap with SP2 in the middle sections of CP1), you already have some familiarity with it and the summer session passes very quickly! Doing CP1 will then prepare you nicely for SP9 in terms of the risk material. SP9 or SA2 in April 2020 and then the other in Sep 2020?

    I understand the urge to get qualified quickly but it can have some downsides as well - you are suddenly expected to be an expert in the workplace without having had much practical experience! All subjective though and sounds like you are doing well so far. Good luck for the exam results for SP2. :)

  5. dimitris13

    dimitris13 Ton up Member


    with S2 to be fully implemented for a couple of years now and risk related functions/activities to be fully established (so only bau work to remain "active"), and ifrs17 coming up fast do you think that it is still a good choice to pick a much larger sp exam even if it gives the additional qualification ?

    i am a fan of it but if someone looks at a site with actuarial jobs there are no more than 5 posts for erm positions. This is something that we need to think about.

    In addition I would put the fact that lot of people that have sat and pass st9 say that they didnt see what they were expecting as "reward".

  6. dimitris13

    dimitris13 Ton up Member


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