A non-political, non-profit community of Malaysian college and university students aimed at collecting and distributing information about education, opportunities and the future generation of Malaysia. Comments, suggestions, e-mails are welcome!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Choice of course - Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science is becoming a more and more popular field of study among Malaysian students these days. For those of you who are not familiar with what is means, actuarial science is the science of studying probabilities and applying them to real-world situations.

There are a number of ways which one can pursue the study of actuarial science in Malaysia. This, of course, is a very broad overview of the possible routes one can take to study actuarial science is a tertiary institution.

1. A-Levels

A-Levels will definitely provide a solid foundation at pre-university level for Actuarial Science. An additional plus is that A-Levels is recognized in all foreign universities. Some of the subjects required would be Math, Further Math and Economics. The 4th subject, should you decide to take a fourth, should be a subject that encourages you to think critically. I suggest Physics or Accounting. However, this is purely up to the individual.

2. American Degree Program (ADP)

The ADP offers a twinning with universities from the US with possible transfers to the UK and Australia. Most ADP programs have an area specially designed for the study of actuarial science. For example, INTI College, HELP University College and Taylor's College have specifically designed courses for actuarial science. In addition, these colleges offer partial scholarships to students who perform well in secondary school.

3. South Australian Matriculation (SAM)

SAM is a one-year program designed to create a good foundation for students planning to study in Australia. In the SAM program, there is also a specifically designed course at Taylor's College for students planning to undertake Actuarial Science. The subjects that a student has to take would be :- English Studies, Mathematical Studies, Specialist Mathematics, Economics and Accounting Studies.

Please keep in mind that this is a very broad view of the study of actuarial science. For further information, email us or visit the websites of the local institutions of education! Good luck!


Anonymous malaysia is no future said...

First of all, are we (the non-bumis, that is) really to believe that the government will abolish or tone down the New Economic Policy in the near future? We must be realistic, if you have the right to buy a property at a discount and have scholarships for your children, would you let go of these rights?

With Chinese population dwindling in Malaysia, what needs to be done depends on the Chinese themselves.

There is nothing wrong with the brain drain. In fact, we should encourage our children to move to Singapore, Taiwan, China etc. if we disagree with Malaysian government policies that are based on race and religion.

When it comes to the matter of the dwindling number of Chinese Malaysians, we should talk about quality, not quantity.

We should resolve why the Chinese-Malaysian population is reducing. Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

Straight A students can't get scholarships or university places. Nothing new, it is been that way for the past 35 years. Nowadays, even enlightened malay Malaysians are speaking up on this injustice. The MCA and Gerakan? Busy making money from private colleges.

What is so great about having TAR College or Utar which took more than 35 years of begging? Why should it be so difficult to set up an independent university when we have scores of public ones?

While we push young talented people away, other countries notably Singapore, the US and Australia welcome them with open arms.

Is it logical that we drive away our young talented ones and then invite retired Mat Sallehs to live here and exploit our low-cost of living?

Singapore's success in particular owes much to these ex-Malaysians or their descendants including Hon Sui Sen, Goh Keng Swee, Goh Chok Tong, just to name a few.

About 30 percent of top management in both Singapore's government and corporate sector are ex-Malaysians. We export them so that Singapore can compete with, and then whack us.

Korea and Taiwan, both way behind us in the 70s and 80s are now way ahead. Thailand is breathing down our necks.

Sadly, there is just no integrity in the nation's leadership.

10:00 AM

Blogger nick said...

Although we value your opinions and views, please be reminded that this site is not an outlet for praising the government or venting your frustrations. Please give suggestions or comments on the subject matter at hand only.

Thank you.

10:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would definitely recommend anyone who is capable to do further mathematics.....it helps

3:17 PM

Anonymous Curious said...

Would taking the IB Diploma be better comparitively to ie. SAM for preparation for a course, in this case, Actuarial science?

11:59 PM

Blogger nick said...

Better in what aspect?

2:11 AM

Blogger joyce said...

IB is probably one of the most comprehensive preparatory programs. It does not only give you academic education, but it also gives you a very well-rounded sense of what college is going to be like - i.e. assignments a lot of the time and a lot of humanities included. That being said, "better" than SAM would not be a valid comparison because of course the depth of your understanding of Acturial Science preparatory courses (whether in SAM or in IB) would depend very much on your lecturers and your own commitment.

9:48 AM

Blogger Cedar $ent said...

Economics and Further Math are not compulsory if you wish to apply to UK universities. Many studens from Taylor's and Sunway have been accepted by prestigious UK universities for Actuarial Science with pure science A level subject combination. Taking Further Math is an added advantage but acing the subject is another matter. Unless you are a genius, you will need a very experienced teacher to guide you, especially for Pure Math. Mrs Lim from Help Institute is the best FM teacher as far as I know. Taylor's College only has one Pure Math teacher, who is unfortunately inexperienced and we really suffer here... Anyway, if you love Math and taking up challenges, FM is a very cool subject you'll never regret taking.

6:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken, Mrs Lim is no longer teaching at HELP, Mrs Teoh (formerly from taylor's)is her replacement.

1:33 PM

Blogger Cedar $ent said...

Ops, sorry, I got her name wrong. Yeap, Mrs Teoh, or Madam Teh. Fancy I can mistaken my own tuition teacher's name......

1:17 PM

Blogger Lils** said...

Wat sort of careers can we make out of actuarial science? Just curious.

9:44 PM

Blogger Lils** said...

Just curious, but wat sortof careers can we expect frm studying actuarial science?

9:45 PM

Blogger nick said...


Here's a site that may help you.

12:09 AM

Anonymous Ja said...

My brother just finished sitting for his SAM papers this November. He wants to take up acturial science in either University of New South Wales (Australia) or Australian National University. In the past traditionally to do acturial studies, one should have a basic degree (i.e economics) and then sit for a number of papers from the professional body. Once you pass these papers (which i heard you most probably won't the first time) then you are a fully qualified acturist. A few years back there were just a total of 5 acturists in malaysia (I heard they are paid very well).
Acturial science in Austalia is now called acturial studies.They now have a degree called acturial studies in a total of only 3 uni's in australia. University of New South Wales, Macquire University (both in Sydney) and Australian National University (by the way these three uni's are rated around the top 50 in the recent THES). The entry requirement for this degree is TER of 95 or better. Different Pre-U uses different point system for their exams, SAM uses TER which basically is your rank among all the students who sat for SAM that year. A TER of 95 would mean that u're the top 5% of the scorers.
Just doing this 3 year degree does not make you an acturist. You will have had to obtained your degree with good results (how good i'm not too sure) after which the professional board will OFFER you the papers should you wish to take it. But if you graduate from this degree with unsatisfactory results then you would not be allowed to sit for these papers which leaves you not here nor there.Unfortunately i do not know the job scope of the degree alone (which i think my parents should find out before letting my bro into it).Of course if you're offered you would be given exemptions since you have a degree in Acturial Studies as opposed to any other degree. If i'm not mistaken, in australia you have to sit for 4 final papers after your degree. Again note that these 4 papers isn't easy.
BUT if you do become a qualified acturist rest assured a guaranteed job and a spectacular pay where ever you choose to go. Well worth your sweat and hard work. Plus you get to be the handful of existing acturists. What i would like to know is are the acturial studies degree offered by these universities in australia good? How is the degree rated in australia? Anyone knows? Even which uni is the best one to persue this degree would be nice to know..

ps: for those considering this degree, my brother took up ESL, MATHS, SPECIALIST MATHS, ECONOMICS and PHYSICS. The physics was taken to give him some leaway space (should he opt or change his mind to do engineering). So..GOOD LUCK!!!..hope i've helped

10:51 AM

Anonymous Hsueh Ming said...

Generally it's a good idea to take up Further math and Economics (especially further math), even if it's not strictly required. My dad's an actuarist, and trust me, the field requires a great deal of acumen in mathematics and the like. Taking further math now will definitely smoothen any transitional problems and provide a sound basis for your study.

As for good Further Math teacher around, I'd say Mr Yong from Sunway College A Levels is, if not the best, one of the top Further Math lecturers in the field. He's a former colleague of my dad's (my dad lectured in the past), and has vast experience. If I'm not mistaken he's been teaching for a good few decades so far.

9:03 PM

Anonymous TheGunner said...

I am an engineering student who did A-Levels at Sunway College. I was in the Further Maths class, and a number of my classmates end up doing Actuarial Science.

During my time (2003), I was thought by a certain Mr Yong Yau. That guy is good. Before coming to Sunway, he was marking STPM Further Maths papers. Mind you, STPM is the third hardest pre-u paper in the world.

I won't say he's the best, because I don't have a basis for comparison, but he knows his stuff, and he conveys it very well.

My science lecturers were quite good too, but they are not relevant to this discussion.

The only drawback to A-Levels is that it takes half a year more than other pre-u courses, but you gain so much more in terms of a stronger foundation when you go into uni. To me, the extra half year was worth every bit.

Sunway College can be quite costly for some people, but if you can afford it, it's worth considering (for A-Levels, at least). The staff is good, the facilities are up to scratch, the place is not as congested as Taylors, and there are lots of pretty girls to look at. Also, with Monash U shifting out next year, Sunway is going to have the whole campus to themselves.

9:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the same class as thegunner. And yes, Mr. Yong rox. His teaching is very effective and he doesn't kill you with tonnes of work. His homework questions are carefully chosen.

11:16 AM


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