Actuaries are the foundation of financial security. Insurance Companies, financial organizations, and numerous multinational companies are reluctant to make certain financial decisions involving risk without taking advise from the actuaries professionals first.
Come January 2012, the UAAP season in football was about to begin once again. In fact, this made me a lot nervous. For an inexperienced newcomer like me, the UAAP season is a much more competitive level compared to RIFA and the Singa Cup. With Micah still recovering, the spotlight was still on me.
Entranceindia.com a pioneer in providing model papers for various engineering and medical entrance tests has been providing ACET Preparation Sample Papers and Model Papers since beginning of ACET Test in India i.e. January 2012. Before January 2012, the admission into the course of Actuaries was on the basis of qualification and not entrance test.
1. From May 2016 ACET is a 3 hours exam conducted online. It has 70 multiple choice questions with one correct answer for each question.
Section-II English and Logical Reasoning having 45% of weightage.
Perhaps the thing that Ateneo applicants dread the most, next to Mathematics, is the prospect of writing an essay. Unfortunately, if you’re interested in an Ateneo education, you’ll be eating essays for breakfast lunch and dinner. The time to start preparing for that is right now—before you even take the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET).
The syllabus as mentioned in Actuaries India website as under:
Syllabus for ACET Examination will include the following
4) Data Interpretation
a) Notation and standard functions
b) Numerical Methods
a) Permutations and combinations
b) Types of data
Statistical diagrams, bar chart, histogram, dot plot, stem-and-leaf, boxplot
c) Measures of location
mean, median, mode
d) Measures of spread
range, interquartile range, standard deviation, variance, Skewness
basic rules of probabilities
f) Advanced probabilities
tree diagrams, conditional probabilities
g) Discrete random variables
definitions, probabilities, mean, mode, median, standard deviation, variance, coefficient of skewness
h) Continuous random variables
definitions, probabilities, mean, mode, median, standard deviation, variance, coefficient of skewness
i) Discrete distributions
discrete uniform, Bernoulli, binomial, Poisson
j) Continuous distributions
continuous uniform, exponential, the normal distribution
scatter plots, covariance, correlation coefficient
a) Vocabulary Based (Synonyms Antonyms)
b) English Usage or Grammar
c) Sentence Correction
d) Fill in the blanks
e) Cloze Passage
f) Analogies or Reverse Analogies
g) Jumbled Paragraph
h) Meaning-Usage Match
i) Summary Questions
j) Verbal Reasoning
k) Facts / Inferences / Judgements
l) Reading Comprehension
Vocabulary: Vocabulary questions test the candidate’s knowledge of the primary meanings of words, secondary shades of meaning, usage, idioms and phrases, antonyms, related words, etc.
The vast majority of applicants lived regular lives with not a lot of scruff, but the Ateneo will be reading over 18,000 essays, so you at least have to write about something genuinely you, but at the same time non-standard.
Grammar: Grammar-based questions test the candidate’s ability to spot and correct grammatical errors. It should generally tests knowledge of high school level grammar and includes areas like subject-verb agreement, use of modifiers, parellel construction, redundancy, phrasal verbs, use of articles, prepositions, etc.
For countless minutes, I sat in front of my laptop, watching the insertion point blink, waiting for my mind to come up with any idea of what significant experience or accomplishment I should discuss in this essay. I was not used to the feeling of being at a loss for ideas. In the tests I took in school, I would always say that the essay was the easiest part. This time, it seemed like I was writing an essay for the first time and I did not know how to start. Then, I remembered being stuck in the same situation, staring at the insertion point. It happened a year ago, it was the day I published my first blog post.
Verbal Reasoning: Verbal reasoning questions are designed to test the candidate’s ability to identify relationships or patterns within groups of words or sentences.
4) Data Interpretation:
Data is given in form of tables, charts and graphs. In this section it is tested that how can you interpret the given data and answers the questions based on it.
b) Column Graphs
c) Bar Graphs
d) Line Charts
e) Pie Chart
f) Venn Diagrams
(Combination of two or more types linked to each other)
5) Logical Reasoning
a) Number and Letter Series
e) Venn Diagrams
f) Binary Logic
g) Seating Arrangement
h) Logical Sequence
i) Logical Matching
j) Logical Connectives
l) Blood Relations
Why an Actuary so Important?
The work of an actuary is quite diverse.
It ranges from the technical aspect of the development of the complex financial products be it in investment banking or any insurance company to in consultancy roles.
What if your ACET scores and HS grades are terrible? Do you have the personal qualities to justify getting in? What if your ACET scores and HS grades are sky high, but your essay comes off as pretentious or disappointingly weak? Wouldn't it raise doubts on whether you deserve a spot and whether your academic record is valid? It is in moments like these, and during the appeal process, that the essay comes into play, and for that reason we think it is a very important component of your application.
The Enterprise Risk Management is one of the important areas you can specialize in this field. They apply the business knowledge with the economic know how with special skill in mathematics, statistics with the ability to reason it logically and analytically to plan out financial and strategic advice.
With this passion of football, it has taught me very well. I had a lot of ecstatic highs and devastating lows throughout this season. Aside from balancing my studies, leadership and varsity, the most important values I learned were taught in the football field. I became determined to win every match, guided and helped my team on the defending side, perseverance after a loss and most importantly, the passion and emotion that drives me to giving my best.
The day to day duties carried out by an Actuary are:
- To Develop a new range of financial products
- Assess the valuation of liabilities and Assets
- Strategic advice to various investment portfolios, keeping in mind the profitability aspect
- Compute the rates for funds and other pension schemes
- Analyze the different aspects of location related catastrophe claims
- Monitor and measure new product development in market testing
- Presentations, reports and valuation on a quarterly basis.
Lots of opportunity lies in the Banking and Insurance sector
Take the instance of insurance companies as actuaries played a main role.
Outside of school, we would be competing as individuals and as groups in the Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge. As a group, we would win in the sectorial, regional, and national levels in our age group. And at times, we got all the answers correctly in a
Though I did not do well in the individual rounds of this contest, I still continued to pursue my interest in the subject by joining the Ateneo Math Olympiad beginning grade 5. Again, I did not place for the individual contests, but I won some group contests.
Insurers do take financial risks with lots of uncertainties and assure to compensate any financial loss for the entire time period under the contract that may last for days, months or years or might span a lifetime of an individual or an asset.
The position I play is a very challenging one. Being a goalkeeper is the hardest yet the most important position in the sport. I always have to be alert, strong and tough each and every minute in order to give a good performance because it can be crucial to winning games. I had to wait for my chance because I was only the second choice as goalkeeper behind Micah Alampay, a fourth year veteran. But sometimes life just deals you unexpected twists. During the school year, bad news arrived for Micah: his lungs collapsed and it would take a year for him to recover. This misfortune on his part was now a opportunity for the inexperienced newcomer. I was now the first choice for the team.
Here comes the role of an actuary. The actuaries help to calculate the cost and work out the premiums of the policy holders how much they can expect to pay.
Take for example the Banking sector that sees actuaries in demand these days and more likely to grow in the future.
My passion for football has taught me a lot. I had a lot of ecstatic highs and devastating lows throughout that season. Aside from balancing the demands of my studies, leadership and varsity the most important values I learned were taught on the football field. Determination that was needed to win every match, cooperation and diligence in guiding my team on the defending side, perseverance after a loss and most importantly, the passion and emotion that drives me to giving my best- all these I took to heart.
The current roles are in the areas of investment banking, Finance and credit risk, The Enterprise Risk Management, etc. An Actuary does monitor the various risks involved in trading positions in the investment banking sector to ensure that excessive risks are not pushed further to increase business.
In fact, I started playing this sport quite late. It was only in grade 7 when I started playing and started to love the sport. It began with the summer football school in the Ateneo Football Center. I enjoyed this sport very much and a lot of positive praise heaped onto me, but I still was hesitant to take this passion of mine into a whole new level: varsity football.
Though I continued to join summer football school, join small time tournaments and enjoy kick-about with my friends, the fear of unknown still continues to bother me. Finally, in third year, a lot of my friends, my family, and even varsity team members, pushed me to decide to even just try out for the varsity football team. I joined the team and trained day in and day out after classes.
In today’s business environment not only insurance companies and pension houses or even the growing demand in the banks, other establishments does hire actuaries in a non conventional role like strategic management decisions for the smooth running of their business activities.
But, the Ateneo is so much more to me. My surname is explanation enough. Carrying with me the surname of “Oracion”, how can I not be associated with this school? It seems that I have already been part of Ateneo even before I existed. My father, Vivencio Oracion, has been teaching for more than 20 years and even became the Associate Principal for Student Affairs at the Ateneo de Manila High School. More so, my mother, Carmela Oracion, who has not only been teaching for more than 20 years, but even became principal of the Ateneo High School and is currently the Assistant to the Vice- President for Basic Education. Both of my parents have offered the better part of their lives for this school. Whether I like it or not, carrying this surname entails having to prove something to the Ateneo, much as how my parents did for this school.
This is because every company needs to tackle various situations involving instability and to reduce the risk factor. This expertise provided the opportunity to settle down in upper management and executive positions.
Throughout all of my different experiences, I realized I am a much different and a much improved person years before. Studies, leadership and my passion for football all helped me be defined as a person. With my surname “Oracion”, I proved to myself that it is about time to show the person who I am, molded by my family, friends and my experiences, to the rest of the world.
Actuary the emerging new discipline in India
Until the denationalization of the Insurance Industry, LIC was the main head honcho for actuaries. Preceding denationalization, actuarial career was not by any means known to the overall population . It was just after the industry was opened in the year 2000 to private investment that the quantity of insurance companies working in India expanded.
This has made a surge in the interest for actuaries in the nation.
Throughout the UAAP season, my mental and physical health was above-par. I never missed any minute of training session and I always concentrated on being in my best form as a goalkeeper. As the season progressed, my confidence, along with my skill, grew rapidly. I was having better and better performance every week. During one of the games this season, against FEU, the spotlight was on me and I shined much of the time. FEU was very dominant for this game, but the score was only 0-1. I saved almost all of their 10+ shots. After having the best game of my season, I was approached by the Philippine Under-21 National team to try out, yet I rejected the offer since I am still just a student. Disappointedly, we placed only second for the UAAP season.
At present, there are numerous private owned insurance companies. Further, there are numerous KPO/ investigative focuses and private banks set up by different worldwide back up plans and actuarial specialists, which thus build the interest for actuaries in the Indian insurance
I thought I left the post-ACET (Ateneo College Entrance Test) depression behind when I ate Zarks after taking it but here it is haunting me! I remembered how poorly I did in the WHOLE test. No, I am not exaggerating. Time pressure did a great job screwing up my mindset then. I already took the ACET when I was a Junior for the AJSS (Ateneo Junior Summer Seminar). I could still recall my 3rd year self cursing the test items. Of course I didn’t pass. Taking it now that I’m a senior didn’t make a difference. I still had no knowledge of Trigonometry. I still did poorly in Math which ACET is like 99% of.
Passing out the core exam will award you Actuary Fellowship
As many as 15 subjects you have to get through in order to be awarded Fellowship by the Institute of Actuaries of India. There is no such deadline or duration to pass out the exam, but it’s your determination, dedication and devotion the key towards your success.
These subjects are basically branched out in three groups.
The application essay is often an underrated aspect of the Ateneo application. Rumours are the committee doesn't even read the essays unless you failed to pass the ACET, but I would like to think not. We think that the essay, in contrast, could make or break your application.
The first segment the CT series focuses on the application of mathematics and statistics in actuarial application in Life Insurance, General Insurance, employee benefit and investment. Introductory topics dealing with economics, financial reporting and financial economics are part of the syllabus.
Ok, so not every one of us has exactly had a near-death experience, rose from extreme circumstances like starvation or walked 20 miles to school everyday. The vast majority of applicants lived regular lives with not a lot of scruff, but the Ateneo will be reading over 18,000 essays, so you at least have to write about something genuinely you, but at the same time non-standard. Perhaps you can give a different take on everyday experiences and tell the reader things even he or she would appreciate knowing, like how you view your daily commute to school, or how you learned to appreciate the value of acceptance from the story of Miley. Things like that.
The theoretical questions are set in such a ways that it helps the examiner to understand the real life problem solving situations, how efficiently you are able to handle than straight forward questions.
I am not even their first born, or their second. I am their youngest, and we are all boys. So what defines the last born of the Oracions? I will give it a try.
The second segment is bifurcated further into two sections, the CA and ST series subjects. The ST series are all practical based and require a working knowledge the most. CA consists of Risk Management, Documentation and develop communication of the technical aspect in simple language to all non technical persons.
All these would serve as a prelude to the one thing that would really set me apart and define me as a person. Being good in Math and being a good student-leader, for an Oracion that was standard for the course. But I had a burning passion for something else-something I didn’t share with any of my family members
, it was mine alone. Enter my love for the beautiful sport of football.
In the third segment, the SA series you have to choose any one Specialist subject from an array of topics, like Health and Care, Life Insurance and also that of General Insurance including Finance and Investment .
The lucrative job market awaits you
In the event that you can survive the barbecuing tests, there is a result - the average yearly pay for an actuary is quite tempting. Actuaries are universally popular and can fix the salary terms on strong pay bundles, salaries and perks.
No big surprise then that this calling has been evaluated among the best jobs in the US.
In India the pattern is gradually grabbing.
The time has come for me to undergo what everyone else in my family has done before me-applying to the Ateneo de Manila University. It has always been part of me, this institution having spent all my basic education years in this prestigious school.
Insurance companies and counseling firms offer legitimacy to experience and capabilities with compensation bundles extending from 8 lacs every annum for amateurs to around 40 lacs every annum for those in senior positions.
Admittedly, even though my passion for the sport is there, I was nervous and quite shaky in my first few games. 6-2, 0-0, 2-5, 5-0 were the results of my first games as I remember. With the help of my senior teammates, I slowly adjusted and became comfortable in and around the team. Third place for the Rizal Football Association football tournament was my very first team honor received. Along with this, the team placed second in the first Singa Cup held in Singapore.
In UK a qualified statistician can gain 20 lacs every annum.
The actuarial profession is ideal for people who appreciate difficulties and can take up challenges. The individuals who create a reputation of achievement will have numerous opportunities for development and progression.
Math turned out to be an important part of my life, it opened a lot of opportunities for me and this episode in my life also helped define me as a student-determined to always do my best.
Most employers of actuaries honor legitimacy increments as you increase experience and pass the actuarial examinations. Most organizations, likewise offer monetary rewards, pay increments, and advancements for every professional assignment accomplished.
One lesson that the late inspirational writer Richard Carlson left me is the choice of being right or being happy. We mistakenly think that we will only be happy if we prove ourselves right and everyone else wrong, or if we nail that difficult problem and show everyone what we’ve accomplished.