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Maths in Actuarial Studies (1 Viewer)

Sam14113

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Sorry I know there are already so many threads on this topics but I've got a few questions I can't seem to find clear answers to and would appreciate any thoughts, especially from those taking Actuarial Studies or a similar degree

For context, I'm a 2023 HSC student studying maths ext 2 (among other subjects obviously). I accelerated maths extension 1 last year and received an E4. I really enjoy doing maths - especially the questions in olympiad-style problem solving (eg. UNSW maths competition, Tournament of Towns etc.) I've been considering different options for university and have largely been considering maths and computer science courses, but today a teacher at my school recommended I look into actuarial studies.

I guess my questions in relation to Actuarial Studies are as follows:

I've heard that the math in Actuarial Studies is very challenging, but I'm curious about exactly what that means. Does that mean that there's heaps of content, or that the questions require a lot of ingenuity? I anticipate that to a large extent both probably apply, but which one really accounts for the challenging nature of the course? I ask the question because, as hinted to earlier, the "ingenuity" bit is what I really enjoy about maths. If you're willing to spend the time, it might also be nice to see an example of a 'hard actuarial studies maths question' along with an explanation of how you would work it out - I'm sure I won't understand all of it, but at least I can get a feel for why it was difficult.

I'm not really looking to work as an actuary or similar profession, and really am considering this course for the maths, with the other things coming as an added bonus. Should I rather be looking at like a maths degree? I guess my question comes down to: Is Math in actuarial studies harder/better than math in a math course?


Thanks so much for the help - sorry this has been such a long post
 
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Vall

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@pikachu975 is better person than me to answer this

I'm in first year first term of actuarial studies + maths and so far the hard bit of actuarial maths seems to be remembering to correctly incorporate all the elements of interest, taxes, fees, correctly counting how many years the investment is and then shoving it all into the equation.
You could do a double degree of actuarial studies + science (mathematics) which seems to be a fairly common choice of degree (at least from the people I've been hanging out with). That way you get the cool / fun / hard maths of pure maths but you'll actually be able to get a job at the end of 4 years (as an actuary).
 

Sam14113

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@pikachu975 is better person than me to answer this

I'm in first year first term of actuarial studies + maths and so far the hard bit of actuarial maths seems to be remembering to correctly incorporate all the elements of interest, taxes, fees, correctly counting how many years the investment is and then shoving it all into the equation.
You could do a double degree of actuarial studies + science (mathematics) which seems to be a fairly common choice of degree (at least from the people I've been hanging out with). That way you get the cool / fun / hard maths of pure maths but you'll actually be able to get a job at the end of 4 years (as an actuary).
Thank you!
 

Trebla

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Actuarial studies is very data and application-centric and not really the same as solving pure maths problems like you would in Ext2 Maths. Think probability, statistics and financial maths on steroids. It’s about coming up with models to estimate or measure something that is uncertain.

If that doesn’t sound like your thing and you want more “pure maths” stuff then suggest you do a Science/Maths degree (either standalone or combine with Actuarial).
 

Vall

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oh also if you go to MQ for actuarial you’ll likely be eligible for the MQ business school academic excellence scholarship (which has no application other than getting 98+ ATAR)
 

idkkdi

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Sorry I know there are already so many threads on this topics but I've got a few questions I can't seem to find clear answers to and would appreciate any thoughts, especially from those taking Actuarial Studies or a similar degree

For context, I'm a 2023 HSC student studying maths ext 2 (among other subjects obviously). I accelerated maths extension 1 last year and received an E4. I really enjoy doing maths - especially the questions in olympiad-style problem solving (eg. UNSW maths competition, Tournament of Towns etc.) I've been considering different options for university and have largely been considering maths and computer science courses, but today a teacher at my school recommended I look into actuarial studies.

I guess my questions in relation to Actuarial Studies are as follows:

I've heard that the math in Actuarial Studies is very challenging, but I'm curious about exactly what that means. Does that mean that there's heaps of content, or that the questions require a lot of ingenuity? I anticipate that to a large extent both probably apply, but which one really accounts for the challenging nature of the course? I ask the question because, as hinted to earlier, the "ingenuity" bit is what I really enjoy about maths. If you're willing to spend the time, it might also be nice to see an example of a 'hard actuarial studies maths question' along with an explanation of how you would work it out - I'm sure I won't understand all of it, but at least I can get a feel for why it was difficult.

I'm not really looking to work as an actuary or similar profession, and really am considering this course for the maths, with the other things coming as an added bonus. Should I rather be looking at like a maths degree? I guess my question comes down to: Is Math in actuarial studies harder/better than math in a math course?


Thanks so much for the help - sorry this has been such a long post
math in math is math.
math in actl tends towards stats.
 

Sam14113

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Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. seems like I’ll be sticking with math and maybe comp sci
 

pikachu975

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I've heard that the math in Actuarial Studies is very challenging, but I'm curious about exactly what that means. Does that mean that there's heaps of content, or that the questions require a lot of ingenuity? I anticipate that to a large extent both probably apply, but which one really accounts for the challenging nature of the course? I ask the question because, as hinted to earlier, the "ingenuity" bit is what I really enjoy about maths. If you're willing to spend the time, it might also be nice to see an example of a 'hard actuarial studies maths question' along with an explanation of how you would work it out - I'm sure I won't understand all of it, but at least I can get a feel for why it was difficult.

I'm not really looking to work as an actuary or similar profession, and really am considering this course for the maths, with the other things coming as an added bonus. Should I rather be looking at like a maths degree? I guess my question comes down to: Is Math in actuarial studies harder/better than math in a math course?
Sounds like you'd be better off doing a maths degree because as others have said, the actuarial maths is more financial/probability and a majority of it being statistics.
 

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