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Rotman first year pre-req plus an extra math course?

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  • Aug 11th, 2010 9:19 am
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[OP]
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Jan 8, 2010
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Rotman first year pre-req plus an extra math course?

I have been accepted to Rotman Commerce and I am going to enter into first-year. However, I do not know what I want to do as a career so I am going to try to keep my options open first-year. I have an interest in math and I do not want to stop taking math after first year. Also, I have been looking into a career as an actuary, and it is heavily math based. I can take MAT133Y1 which is supposed to be an easier math and fulfill the Rotman requirements; however, all actuarial/upper -year math courses require MAT137Y1 or MAT157Y1. I am thinking of taking one of these two harder math courses, plus either MAT223H1/MAT240H1 which should be taken in first year for the actuarial program. Would this much math be too much to handle first year?

So basically I would have:

mat137y1/mat157y1
mat223h1/mat240h1
eco100y1
rsm100y1
bird course h1 (probably intro to psychology)
bird course y1 (seminar)
12 replies
Newbie
Jun 19, 2010
26 posts
1 upvote
3rd year act sci student here at UofT. You'll need to take both calculus and algebra in first year or you won't be able to enroll in second year calculus. That is by no means to much math to handle at least if you're interested in actuarial science.

MAT223 isn't all that bad, besides the random proof here and there, its a pretty straight forward standard first year algebra course.

MAT137 on the other hand is a course that was designed to be tough to prepare people taking majors which involve math. Assuming you did high school here in Canada you'll find that our high school math curriculum is complete garbage. Given the other courses you're taking, mat137 will be by far the hardest course you'll have in first year. If you do end up taking mat137, the best piece of advice i can offer is, do the problem sets on your own instead of with a group of friends. They'll be tough to do alone but it'll prepare you for the tests.

Take MAT157/MAT240 if you plan on taking higher level math courses in the future ie. 3rd/4th year, graduate school. It is a course that is very heavily proof based and if you're not familiar with how to do mathematical proofs it can be very difficult.

On a side note, the math that is involved with actuarial science is not very difficult however the probability theory and statistics that is involved is a lot more challenging than the math aspect.

Hope that helps.
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2007
567 posts
Graduating 4th yr statistics student at UTSG here.

DNM summarized it very nicely. MAT137 will be very very difficult. You will be introduced to mathematical proofs for the first time, and that will decide whether you pass the course or not. DNM is also correct about statistics courses.. ActSci involves lots of stats/probability stuff and many people have trouble with STA257/261 combo. Actuarial Science is a tough tough program, make sure you know what you are getting into.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 8, 2010
44 posts
1 upvote
Wow, just the replies I was looking for. Thanks so much, this really cleared things up for me.

Since you guys are both majoring in math at U of T, I have some questions to ask.

How is the acturial science program at U of T? Does it prepare you well for the exams you have to take in order to be an actuary?

Are there a lot of students that want to become actuaries? Is there a lot of competition for job placements?

Is Mat137/157 one of those maths where you have to be naturally smart in order to excel (by excel, I'm talking getting an A)? Or is it possible to study really really hard and do very good?

Also, if you guys don't mind me asking, what kinds of marks did you guys get in HS math (70s, 80s, 90s)? The reason I ask is so that I compare and see if I am suitable for math at the Uni level before I waste my time. (I got an 86 in HS Calculus, but I plan on spending a lot more hours at Math in Uni)

Thanks again.
Newbie
Jun 19, 2010
26 posts
1 upvote
The actuarial science program at UofT is great academically however with regards to summer internships and job placements after graduation they are lacking significantly in comparison to Waterloo Co-op. By the end of the second year you will be prepared to write Exam P and Exam FM and will also covered roughly 1/3 of the syllabus for Exam MLC. However a great deal of self study will be necessary as the actuarial exams are not easy. In 3rd year you will cover another third of the Exam MLC syllabus and most of the Exam MFE syllabus. In 4th year you will finish the MLC and MFE syllabus as well as cover the Exam C syllabus. The majority of the VEE credits you need will be obtained in 3rd year and you will need to obtain 70%+ in the course to have them validated by the SOA.

The number of students going from second year act sci to third act sci drops off considerably but the competition is still pretty fierce. The competition for job placements will always be high and even higher in an economy like this. The best way to stand out would be a good GPA, couple of Exams, and executive roles in some clubs.

You will need some level of mathematical intuition to do well in MAT137 and probably a lot more to do well in Mat157. It will be the first time you are introduced to mathematical proofs as jhan said and for some people it just clicks while others struggle regardless of how well they did in high school math.

I find comparing high school marks to be a waste of time as every school is different and there is no standardization but I'm pretty sure my high school calculus mark was low 80s but I also ended up skipping a lot towards the end of the term once i had my admission.
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2007
567 posts
Is Mat137/157 one of those maths where you have to be naturally smart in order to excel (by excel, I'm talking getting an A)? Or is it possible to study really really hard and do very good
It's going to be a combination of both. It would be nearly impossible to get an A in MAT137 just by trying hard..
Also, if you guys don't mind me asking, what kinds of marks did you guys get in HS math (70s, 80s, 90s)? The reason I ask is so that I compare and see if I am suitable for math at the Uni level before I waste my time. (I got an 86 in HS Calculus, but I plan on spending a lot more hours at Math in Uni)
There is no correlation between high school math mark and university math mark. You will see mathematical proofs for the first time, and that will decide your university mark. 80+ in high school calculus should be enough to get you started though.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 8, 2010
44 posts
1 upvote
Thanks DNM and jhan for the replies!
DNM wrote:
Aug 8th, 2010 3:37 pm
The actuarial science program at UofT is great academically however with regards to summer internships and job placements after graduation they are lacking significantly in comparison to Waterloo Co-op. By the end of the second year you will be prepared to write Exam P and Exam FM and will also covered roughly 1/3 of the syllabus for Exam MLC. However a great deal of self study will be necessary as the actuarial exams are not easy. In 3rd year you will cover another third of the Exam MLC syllabus and most of the Exam MFE syllabus. In 4th year you will finish the MLC and MFE syllabus as well as cover the Exam C syllabus. The majority of the VEE credits you need will be obtained in 3rd year and you will need to obtain 70%+ in the course to have them validated by the SOA.
So basically by the time I have graduated the four year program, I should have Exam P, Exam FM, Exam MFE, Exam MLC, Exam C finished?
And then after this I can choose which route I want to go into, (SOA or CAS) and take more exams to get to my associate level in either of these organizations?
Deal Addict
Dec 21, 2005
1246 posts
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Good luck with MAT137/MAT157. I took 137 first year and it completely devastated my GPA
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2007
567 posts
Also, if you are pursuing ActSci (or Stats or any other math specialist) you will have to take infamous MAT237.. ahh the memories.. ten times harder than MAT137. Class average regularly in the 40's (before the bell curve).
Newbie
Jun 19, 2010
26 posts
1 upvote
yeayaknow wrote:
Aug 9th, 2010 6:37 am
Thanks DNM and jhan for the replies!



So basically by the time I have graduated the four year program, I should have Exam P, Exam FM, Exam MFE, Exam MLC, Exam C finished?
And then after this I can choose which route I want to go into, (SOA or CAS) and take more exams to get to my associate level in either of these organizations?
That is correct. It is a lot easier said then done. You'll end up spending atleast 100-200 hours per exam and probably even more for MLC, MFE and C. The courses will teach you the majority of the material however there will still be parts that are brushed over which can and probably will show up on the SOA exams that you will you need to study on your own.

Oh and mat237 was awesome :P ...so glad i got that over with last year. If i recall correctly I got a 8/40 on the first midterm. Haha good thing we were able to drop our lowest midterm mark.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 8, 2010
44 posts
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These courses sound hard. Let's see, I want a high GPA yet, I also want to keep my options open for the upper years...

How hard is it to change courses once the school year begins? I want to try MAT 137 and if I isn't for me, then I may want to switch to business math.
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May 26, 2009
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yeayaknow wrote:
Aug 11th, 2010 10:59 am
These courses sound hard. Let's see, I want a high GPA yet, I also want to keep my options open for the upper years...

How hard is it to change courses once the school year begins? I want to try MAT 137 and if I isn't for me, then I may want to switch to business math.
As long as you do it in time it should be fine. MAT133 is a joke compared to the other MAT classes. It was a full year course and we didn't start learning new non-High School concepts until February, and that was just Integration.

Btw, how "deep" into math do you plan on going? Just courses to help supplement? A minor? A major?
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[OP]
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Jan 8, 2010
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Xeerochild wrote:
Aug 11th, 2010 11:03 am

Btw, how "deep" into math do you plan on going? Just courses to help supplement? A minor? A major?

Good question: Ummm, basically I just want to learn Math, if that makes sense. The main reason for this is because I see myself applying Math in my future years in university. If I stick with the Rotman program, I most likely will major in Finance and Economics, of which, I heard it is good to know advanced Math for the Economics courses. If I decide to drop Rotman or if I do not make it into second year, then the only other field I can see myself in is something Math related (Actuarial Science?).

Also, I have a very strong interest in Astronomy and advanced Math is required for the subject; however, the chance of me majoring in Astronomy is slim since I will have no science courses, and did not take any past Gr. 10 science. But say that I do decide to make the 360 flip from Business to Astronomy, at least I will have some of the courses required for the program. I guess its safe to say my interests are all over the place, know what I mean? :P
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