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A Peek Inside the EA-2L Exam Committee

ASEA Monthly

I used to think that I did a pretty good job of keeping up with professional requirements. However, after reading the Academy’s “Professionalism for the Solo Actuary,” I was shocked and dismayed to learn that I may be on the lazy train to ABCD-ville. This is not the actuary I dreamt of being as a child. It was time to “level up” my game (©2022, ASPPA Annual Conference).

Then along comes Alan Stone and his groovy crew of EA-2L exam writers. He says, “come hang with us, write some test questions, go to a meeting in a tropical destination and learn a bunch of stuff that will make you a better actuary.” I say, “Sign me up!”

For those of you who don’t know, Alan chairs the committee that writes the EA-2L exam, along with Steve Loomis (yep, the one you have to pass to be enrolled). So, you actually get to write actuarial exam questions. When I failed my first exam, I remember thinking, “Did they really write that question so that I would fall into that other answer range if I forgot that one small thing?” Yes, young and sad version of me—yes they did.

Now, let me tell you about the impressive folks I met on the EA-2L exam writing committee. They are from companies with really big names that rhyme with Zercer and Zowers. They are from the PBGC.  They are James Turpin! (All kidding aside—if you haven’t had the pleasure of working with James, it’s something you owe yourself at least once.) Surely, galivanting around with this group is exactly what I needed to fix my rep with the Academy.

I’m not going to lie—I was a bit intimidated at first. There was a Zip file with spreadsheets, templates, instructions, processes, and scary words like “must” and “never.” However, everyone is assigned a partner, and Alan is very supportive and laid-back. I soon figured out what I was doing and was able to settle into my natural rhythm: procrastinate, freak out, and make excuses.

After all the questions are done, there is a meeting to review everything with the group. And how excited I was when they decided to have the meeting in Tampa!

We had a wonderful time in Tampa. My wife was able to come along, and we found the group to be more like a family. Alan is an exceptional host. He, Steve and Carl Shalit made sure we enjoyed the best dining and had an overall top-notch experience. In summary, my first year being on the EA-2L exam writing committee was amazing. Not only did I get to collaborate with some of the sharpest actuaries in existence and improve my skills, but I got to spend time with some genuinely nice people. 

And here is the great news for you: they need some more people next year. So, if you would like to level up your game and meet some great folks, reach out to Alan. I can’t tell you where we are going for next year’s meeting, but it rhymes with Zoronto.

Charles A. Brown, EA, FCA, MSEA, QPA, QKA, is the Consulting Associate DirectorLegal & Regulatory U.S., at Wolters Kluwer.