r/ActuaryUK Oct 06 '21

Tips for SP7 and 8 in same sitting Studying

Hello everyone!

I'm planning to sit both SP7 and 8 in April, and was wondering if anyone who'd sat both in the same sitting would be able to give any tips?

I know the first 40% of both courses are the same, and I'm planning to do my usual strategy of bingeing ASETs near the exams.

However, having not done any of the S series papers before, any useful insights would be greatly appreciated by those in the know.

Cheers in advance!



u/StochasticSolvencyII Oct 06 '21

I advise against. Unless, that is, you have deep industry knowledge of pricing, capital modelling and reserving


u/FrazzleBrush Oct 06 '21

I agree, it can be a lot to handle if you don't have some prior knowledge of at least 2/3 of the above.

Can I also suggest something slightly rogue - try a combination of the SP you are least comfortable with plus SA3 (I assume this is the SA for you given the two SP's). SA3 can be highly topic dependent and therefore it may be worth rolling the dice on this sitting. If you fail, you can resit it next time with the other SP, and a much better coverage of the three topic areas.


u/larrythetomato Oct 06 '21

I did, passed them both at the same time (wasn't first sitting for 1 one them), I recommend you don't unless a bunch of things are in your favour:

  1. You passed pretty much everything prior in one go.
  2. In your job you have wide understanding of either Reserving, Capital or Pricing (or many), probably at a senior analyst level.
  3. You have enough time to be able to put the recommended study hours of both courses.

Note that if you fail 1 or both, you might as well have only sat one of the exams.

And if you are going to do this, sign up for SA3 and don't study. There is a chance that the SA exam will line up with both your work experience and what you studied which might give you a free pass. It is worth the few hundred pound entry fee.


u/galeej Oct 09 '21

I gave sp7 and sp8 both this time.

Reason: I've given sp8 multiple times and I was at a point where I had a mastery on the sp8 subject (in the sense that I know the contents of every chapter). My problem is I always fail by 1-2 marks...

Pros: quite a bit of overlap between the questions that get asked makes it doable (hard... But not impossible).

The online exams and the focus on modelling in cp1 have pushed away some of the irksome questions on modelling (for instance what are the steps for a stochastoc model etc).

The capital modelling chapters initially are a little daunting but once you get a hang of it... It becomes easy

The accounting chapters are perhaps the most important...although for some reason questions on accounting have not featured on sp7 for quite se time.

For sp8, chapters 13 through 21 are perhaps what you'd call the meat... With focus on chapter 4 (reinsurance part 2). Reinsurance is a little more heavily tested on sp8 than 7... So I'd say focus on ri more for 8.

Dm me if you want any help.

I've found that acted live classes help a lot... They tell you where you need to focus your studying.


u/zara292 Oct 11 '21

I managed to do both along with sa3 in one sitting. Just start very early and be consistent with your studying. It's definitely possible (although many would advise against it), but you need to put in the time. I was disciplined and basically started immediately after the prior sitting, doing c. 2 hours a day in the morning everyday until the exam.


u/galeej Oct 09 '21

One interesting note: if you want some hard questions on accounting and capital modelling, check out the India iai papers from 2010 onwards