Joint Board examination program


Structure of the examinations

In general, candidates for enrollment are required to pass two Joint Board examinations: the basic EA-1 examination and the pension EA-2 examination. The pension examination is given in two parts: EA-2F and EA-2L.

The EA-1 and the EA-2L examinations are given each May; the EA-2F examination is given each November.

Waiver of the EA-1 examination (updated June 23, 2022)

The Joint Board will grant a waiver of the EA-1 examination to individuals who have successfully completed:

  • An academic program involving courses in actuarial mathematics. See the Educational requirement newsletterPDF; or
  • From the Society of Actuaries (SOA) education and examination program, any version of examination FM and either (1) examinations FAM and ALTAM; (2) examination LTAM; or (3) examination MLC.

Note, for purposes of the above requirements for a waiver, an individual who successfully completed both examinations STAM and FAM-L will be considered to have successfully completed examination FAM since they have SOA transition credit for examination FAM-S.

All waiver requests must be submitted in writing to the Joint Board prior to applying for enrollment. An official college transcript must be included for educational waiver requests.

This waiver policy reflects the SOA's changes to the FM exam (target date Fall 2022) and to their ASA curriculum (eliminating the LTAM exam and adding the FAM exam (October 2022) and the ALTAM exam (Spring 2023). The Joint Board will monitor the content of these SOA exams in the future and will consider changes to the EA-1 waiver requirements if and when appropriate. Any future changes in the EA-1 waiver requirements are expected to be applicable only to examination sittings taking place after the announcement of the changes to the waiver requirements.

Transition credit for examinations taken prior to January 2001

The Joint Board examination program was restructured effective January 2001. The Joint Board will grant credit for exams taken before 2001 according to the following table.

Examinations credited prior to January 1, 2001

Examinations credited as of January 1, 2001

Examinations remaining as of January 1, 2001

None None All
EA(1)-A EA(1) EA(2)-A, EA(2)-B
EA(1)-B None All
EA(2) EA(2)-B EA(1), EA(2)-A
EA(1)-A, EA(1)-B EA(1) EA(2)-A, EA(2)-B
EA(1)-A, EA(2) EA(1), EA(2)-B EA(2)-A
EA(1)-B, EA(2) EA(2)-A, EA(2)-B EA(1)
All All None

How to study for the examination

You can download a copy of the current examination program booklet, which provides general information and suggested readings.

Note:  IRS Notice 2024-2 should not be included in the list of Suggested Readings for the May 2024 EA-2 (Segment L) examination. Prior versions of the booklet that were posted at the above link erroneously included that Notice in the list on page 11.

Prior Joint Board examinations

You can download the following copies of prior examinations and official answers:

Exam sheets

Exam sheets are available upon request from the Society of Actuaries. Requests must be submitted to the Society of Actuaries within 6 months after the date of the exam. To request a copy of your answer sheet, please send an email to Mark Dulceak. Be sure to include:

  1. In the subject heading of the email, the reason for the email, for example, "SOA enrolled actuaries answer sheet request."
  2. In the body of the email, (a) candidate's name, (b) candidate number, (c) exam name, (d) date of exam, (e) exam location, and (f) mailing address to be used for regular USPS mail delivery. Please note that the Society of Actuaries will mail a copy of the answer sheet to the mailing address indicated in the email request. Upon request the Society of Actuaries will email a PDF of the answer sheet to the candidate.