Everything you need to know about CB3 – Business Management

Everything you need to know about CB3 – Business Management

Read time – 15 mins

  • What to expect?

This exam entirely online is designed to help you understand the business environment in which you will be working, your professional responsibilities and how to tackle business-related problems. It is a practically focused programme, which includes some background reading, a business simulation game, completion of a workbook, with some short exercises, and finally an online test.

  • Prerequisites to taking this exam

It is mandatory to pass the Stage 1 Professionalism Course (or OPAT) before you can apply for CB3. Stage 1 Professionalism Course is the new format of previous OPAT test. You must have either cleared OPAT test previously or need to take Stage 1 Professionalism Course before you can apply to sit the CB3 exam. If you have already cleared OPAT test previously, you can access the new format Stage 1 Professionalism course free of charge if you wish to by reaching out to memberservices@actuaries.org.uk.

  • Registration fees

The full rate of CB3 is £550 and the reduced rate for this exam is £350.

  • Exam content

Once you are through with either OPAT or Stage 1 Professionalism Course, you can register for the CB3 exam. After registering for the CB3 exam, you will receive an email from IFoA, 15 days prior to the exam containing the following information:

  1. You will need to access the IFoA’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Login to your IFoA account, go to My Account and then go to My learning environment and click on the link to the Business game that you are enrolled on – Participation in business game happens through VLE.
  2. You will receive access to 2 websites for your background reading: I-coach website and College of Law website. The email received will contain your specific access details to each of these websites – This provides content to study for the background reading.

There are 4 stages of this exam – Background Reading, Business Game, Workbook submission and Online Test. The first 3 stages of this exam happen simultaneously. It is advisable to start populating the workbook over the course of the business game.

1) Background reading: This is the reading material and online tutorials which will be required during the six-week Business Game. The materials deal with legal areas which are of relevance to actuaries: mergers and acquisitions, data protection and intellectual property.

There are 52 strategy tutorials – each will take about 5 minutes to complete, with some with additional exercises taking longer.

The reading material will need to be completed in line with the 6-week timetable.

You will receive a timetable for the 6 weeks. This timetable breaks down the sections (from I-coach website and College of Law website) that need to be studied each week and various deadlines by which your team’s inputs should be submitted on VLE and Growball application.

2) Business Game: Before the start of the Business Game period, you must study the player briefing for the Business Game, the preparatory study slides and the accounting notes. This will be available to you to download from the VLE.

This is how you will participate in the game:

· Prior to the start of the Business Game, you will be advised of your team. You will be in a team of up to eight other ‘players’. If it is possible, you will be placed in a team of players within the same time zone. Your team will be competing against up to six other teams. One of the members of your team will be assigned as the Team Coordinator.

· You need to introduce yourself to the other players in your team by posting a short introduction about yourself in the discussion forum on VLE.

· The game will have four rounds so there will be four Half Year decision sheets to be submitted together with other submissions. The Team Coordinator will be responsible for the required submissions at each of the 4 rounds by 11am UK time onto the Growball software.

· You must communicate with each other using the discussion forums on VLE during each round to agree your decisions for sending to IFoA for grading. Please note – if you do not contribute to the discussion forum for the Introduction and each Half Year, you will not be able to move on to the next and you will be removed from the exam.

· The decision sheets must be submitted as indicated in the schedule. All dates and times are UK time. Results and feedback from IFoA will be uploaded by them to the VLE in accordance with the schedule. They will only be visible to your team and will include:

o Your share price

o A Financial report

· If decision sheets are not input onto the Growball software, IFoA will use default data, which will affect your team’s performance.

Example of Business Game timetable is here – https://www.actuaries.org.uk/system/files/field/document/CB3-guide201907.pdf

Note that you will receive a separate schedule for yourself when you register for CB3 exam which will depend on the dates for which you have booked the CB3 exam for.

3) Workbook Submission: At the end of week 6, you will need to complete a workbook which contains seven written exercises and an answer book for you to fill in. You should ideally work on this workbook over the course of 6 weeks as this will be available to you at the start of the business game. This workbook will be marked and you will receive an email either confirming your workbook is of an acceptable standard or detailing any required updates within two weeks of the completion of the Business Game. Once all workbooks are marked you will receive the model answers. Your workbook needs to be uploaded by 4 pm (UK Time) on the final Friday of the Business Game.

4) Online test: Two weeks after the business game has ended, candidates will be able to sit the online test. This test must be attempted within first 4 weeks of its availability and is valid for three months to allow candidates to re-sit the exam if necessary. You will have 3 attempts to take this exam and if you fail at any point, you will have to wait for 4 weeks until you can re-sit again.

This test is not timed but should take less than two hours to complete. The exam has 32 questions and you must achieve at least 24 correct answers in order to pass. You must answer the questions in the order they appear and once you have submitted an answer you cannot alter it. You are required to take the exam without assistance from another person. Once you have completed the test you will be told online whether you have passed or failed on screen.

N.B. Failure to pass the online exam within three months of first attempting it will result in a fail for the entire assessment and you will be required to rebook and sit all elements again.

  • Pass List

When you have successfully completed all the elements of the game i.e., active participation in Business game, completed the workbook to acceptable standard and passed the online test, your name will be published in the pass list. You must achieve these three requirements on or before 25th of a month to appear on the pass list for that month.

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