Exam PA Details

Below we’ll lay out everything you need to know for your PA exam from registration details to exam day to what to do after you receive your results.


Exams P, FM, and SRM. The two introductory exams, P and FM, provide a foundation for an advanced exam like PA.

Exam PA assumes prior knowledge of topics from Exam SRM.

Exam Offerings

PA is offered two times per year, with sittings in April and October.

Exam Format

Written-answer questions based on a set of background information, with responses typed in Microsoft Word

Exam Duration

3.5 Hours

Registration Info

Register online at www.soa.org before the registration deadline.

Upcoming exam window and registration deadline

  1. Oct 15, 2024

    Register by Sep 10, 2024

Exam Day and Results: Things To Keep In Mind

Don't forget your must-haves for exam day! Know what to bring and what to do after you pass the exam

What to Bring

  • A government-issued photo ID that includes a signature
  • A reference to your five-digit candidate number (for exam submission)

Exam Results

Because PA is not a multiple-choice exam, you will not receive an unofficial Pass-Fail result immediately after you finish.

After approximately 6 weeks (as reported from using their grading pilot), the SOA will release the list of passing candidates' ID numbers. A few days after this list has been published, you will be able to see your final score in your official SOA transcript when you log into the SOA website.

Passing the Exam

We recommend that you take FAM next if you have not already done so, after which you you will have to choose between ALTAM and ASTAM. If you do not have credit for the now discontinued Exam IFM, you could follow up by taking ATPA.

You will need to obtain your remaining VEE credits, complete your modules (Pre-Actuarial Foundations, Actuarial Science Foundations, FAP), and fulfill your APC requirements in order to attain your ASA designation.

Expert Tips: Helpful insights from our coaches

Our coaches know this exam inside and out. Check out their expert tips for achieving a passing score.

  • Photo of Jon Lai

    Time management can make or break your exam. Be decisive and avoid retracing what’s already done. If you notice a mistake you made, you need to quickly assess if a full correction is worth the time, or if just acknowledging it is more optimal.

    Photo of Jon LaiJon Lai Product Manager

Course Offerings: Topics and weights

  1. 8%

    The primary statistical software used for our analyses is R. Only a surface-level ability to recognize certain code would be needed.

    • 4 Efficient, bite-sized Learning Manuals
    • 76 Minutes of high-quality Learning Videos
    • 1 Assignment Questions
    • 2 Quiz and Exams questions
  2. 25%

    Acquainting ourselves with the data is the next vital step. We learn how to understand and summarize the data with a few numerical and graphical techniques. More often than not, we then discover that the data is not ready to be analyzed with models, so steps are taken to clean the data. We begin by explaining our game plan for analyzing data throughout this course.

    • 14 Efficient, bite-sized Learning Manuals
    • 172 Minutes of high-quality Learning Videos
    • 4 Assignment Questions
    • 1 Quiz and Exams questions
  3. 40%

    With the data adequately prepared, we can commence running predictive models. Once we understand the goal of statistical learning and its essential terminology, we study and ponder a variety of parametric models. This encompasses multiple linear regression, stepwise selection, regularization, and generalized linear models.

    • 24 Efficient, bite-sized Learning Manuals
    • 332 Minutes of high-quality Learning Videos
    • 22 Assignment Questions
    • 5 Quiz and Exams questions
  4. 16%

    With parametric models behind us, we now study a variety of non-parametric models. These models have less assumptions about the model and data. Non-parametric models comprise of decision trees, random forests, and boosting.

    • 9 Efficient, bite-sized Learning Manuals
    • 126 Minutes of high-quality Learning Videos
    • 10 Assignment Questions
    • 3 Quiz and Exams questions
  5. 9%

    Time to shift gears to learn about unsupervised learning. We employ unsupervised learning to create new features to be used in predictive models. We explore principal components analysis (PCA), k-means clustering, and hierarchical clustering.

    • 5 Efficient, bite-sized Learning Manuals
    • 66 Minutes of high-quality Learning Videos
    • 6 Assignment Questions
    • 3 Quiz and Exams questions
  6. 2%

    The efficacy of your analysis hinges on the quality of your communication. Besides addressing the items to document in your report for submission, we discuss ways to be cognizant of and strategize around time and special instructions.

    • 4 Efficient, bite-sized Learning Manuals
    • 17 Minutes of high-quality Learning Videos
    • 0 Assignment Questions
    • 2 Quiz and Exams questions

We're just getting started

Now that you're armed with Exam PA insights, let's get your studies started! From video lessons and manuals to practice exams, find everything you need to achieve a passing score.

Course Pricing