Skip to Content

Sample Actuarial Problems

Apply your math skills to actuarial exam questions.

Actuaries earn professional credentials by passing a series of examinations. This online exam is designed to give you an idea of the types of questions you might encounter on the preliminary actuarial examinations administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society and Society of Actuaries. The sample problems are actual questions from prior exams, but they do not cover all the topics or all levels of difficulty.

Answer the five multiple choice questions below, then click submit to see your results.


An urn contains 10 balls: 4 red and 6 blue. A second urn contains 16 red balls and an unknown number of blue balls. A single ball is drawn from each urn. The probability that both balls are the same color is 0.44.

Calculate the number of blue balls in the second urn.


An insurance company estimates that 40% of policyholders who have only an auto policy will renew next year and 60% of policyholders who have only a homeowners policy will renew next year. The company estimates that 80% of policyholders who have both an auto and a homeowners policy will renew at least one of those policies next year.

Company records show that 65% of policyholders have an auto policy, 50% of policyholders have a homeowners policy, and 15% of policyholders have both an auto and a homeowners policy.

Using the company's estimates, calculate the percentage of policyholders that will renew at least one policy next year.


A device runs until either of two components fails, at which point the device stops running.  The joint density function of the lifetimes of the two components, both measured in hours, is 

f (x,y)=x+y/8 for 0< x < 2 and 0< y < 2 .

What is the probability that the device fails during its first hour of operation?

An insurance policy pays for a random loss X subject to a deductible of C, where 0 < C < 1. The loss amount is modeled as a continuous random variable with density function

Given a random loss X, the probability that the insurance payment is less than 0.5 is equal to 0.64 .

Calculate C.


An insurance company issues life insurance policies in three separate categories: standard, preferred, and ultra-preferred. Of the company’s policyholders, 50% are standard, 40% are preferred, and 10% are ultra-preferred. Each standard policyholder has probability 0.010 of dying in the next year, each preferred policyholder has probability 0.005 of dying in the next year, and each ultra-preferred policyholder has probability 0.001 of dying in the next year.

A policyholder dies in the next year.

What is the probability that the deceased policyholder was ultra-preferred?