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Examinations: In order to achieve professional status as an actuary, one must pass a set of examinations that are provided by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA). All candidates are required to take the 5 preliminary exams (1/P, 2/FM, 3F/MFE, 3L/MLC, and 4/C) which serves as starting points for an actuarial career.

The following is a comparison of UCSB Classes and Actuarial Exams. Note that the Actuarial exams program is always under revision and is constantly updated. We will try to update our information as frequently as possible.

If you need information about the examinations, please contact Undergraduate Program Assistant at

First ExamCorresponding UCSB Course(s)
SOA: Exam P / CAS: Exam 1
PSTAT 120AB (Mostly A)
Second Exam 
SOA: Exam FM / CAS: Exam 2
(Financial Mathematics)
PSTAT 171 (PSTAT 170 is helpful)
Third Exam 
SOA: Exam MFE (Financial Economics)
SOA: Exam MLC (Life Contingencies)
CAS: Exam 3F/L (Statistics and Actuarial Models)PSTAT 120AB, PSTAT 120C or
Fourth Exam 
SOA: Exam C / CAS: Exam 4
(Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models)
PSTAT 173 + parts of PSTAT 120BC, 160B


  • First, Second and Fourth Exams administered by the CAS and SOA are identical.
  • The CAS will grant credit for CAS Exam 3 F/L to those who pass SOA Exam MFE/MLC (but not vice versa).
  • UCSB Course PSTAT 170/MATH 170 contains partial material of CAS Exam 8. Other UCSB courses preparing for CAS Exam 8 are graduate courses PSTAT 223, PSTAT 213C, PSTAT 222.Need help with exams?
  • Enroll into PSTAT 182T, Tutorial in Actuarial Statistics
  • Practice interactive online actuarial problems
  • Review excellent slides in preparation to “exam FM” and “exam MLC