SOA Exam FM & MFE Syllabus Changes for Summer 2017

The Society of Actuaries announced last year that the syllabus learning objectives and readings for Exams FM & MFE would be changing for the summer 2017, beginning with the June 2017 FM Exam sitting and the July 2017 Exam MFE sitting. 

If you take either FM or MFE this winter or spring and don’t pass, basically this means that if you retake the exam, the syllabus learning objectives and readings will be different. Students should be mindful of these changes if they are sharing or buying old editions of study manuals for these Exams FM and MFE. ACTEX & ASM have shared a guide to which study manual edition applies to which exam sitting.

Details on the Exam FM & MFE Syllabus Changes

The new June 2017 FM syllabus includes two new learning objectives: Interest Rate Swaps and Determinants of Interest Rates, and three new study notes that are required reading for this examination.

The new July 2017 MFE syllabus adds derivatives material that was previously included covered by FM.

According to the SOA website:

“These changes were motivated by two factors.

  1. Return Exam FM to its former coverage of theory of interest topics. With the exception of interest rate swaps, all derivatives material will be moved to Exam MFE. One feature of this change is that most university programs will be able to cover this material in a single three-credit course.
  2. Remove some of the more mathematically sophisticated topics from Exam MFE, in particularly those related to stochastic calculus. It is more appropriate for those topics to be covered in fellowship exams as needed for each track.”

Candidates who have passed Exam FM by April 30, 2017 will get credit for that exam.  Candidates who have passed Exam MFE by March 31, 2017 will get credit for that exam.

The SOA does point out that “it is possible that some candidates will be tested on the basic derivatives material twice while others will not be tested at all.

In the broader ASA & CERA curriculum changes that are coming in 2018, there will only be minor changes to the FM learning objectives with some corporate finance topics added. The MFE Exam will change to a new exam, “Investment and Financial Markets” (IFM) with some corporate finance and portfolio theory topics added.

We’ll keep covering exam syllabus and curriculum changes as they are announced and updated.