ACET Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2021

ACET Syllabus

To attain the certification of an actuary in India, students need to qualify for the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET) exam. One of the important sections of the ACET exam is its syllabus. It is an entry-level test which one needs to clear in order to join the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) as a student member and to gain the actuary certification. If you are aspiring to give this exam, here is a blog that aims to detail the ACET syllabus and its varied sections that you need to cover in order to ace the exam.

ACET Exam Highlights

Exam NameActuarial Common Entrance Test
Conducting BodyIAI (Institute of Actuaries of India)
FrequencyTwice a year
Mode of ExaminationOnline
No. of Questions70
Total Duration3 hours
Marks DistributionMathematics- 30 Marks
Statistics- 30 Marks
Data Interpretation- 15 Marks
English- 15 Marks
Logical Reasoning- 10 Marks
Pass Percentage50%
Weightage Distribution45 Questions- Each of 1 Mark
20 Questions- Each of 2 Marks
5 Questions- Each of 3 Marks
Negative MarkingNone


ACET is a compulsory exam in which candidates have to qualify to further appear in multiple actuarial exams offered by the IAI for the actuary certification. Further, it is an online-based examination that is organised thrice a year and at 24 centres around India to make it feasible for students from every state to appear in the exam. However, in 2021, the test will take place online at home.

ACET Examination Details

Here are some of the important details that you should be aware about before taking the test.

  1. ACET is a 3-hour paper that has 70 multiple choice questions with only one correct answer for each question.
  2. Once you register for the exam, you can download the sample question paper
  3. ACET exam is conducted in 24 centres in India.
  4. ACET exam is conducted on a single day with a single time slot.
  5. Passing marks for the ACET exam is 50%. 

ACET Important Dates for 2021

Registration Begins20th January, 2021
Registration Closes27th February, 2021 upto 3 PM
Date of Examination27th March, 2021 (10 AM to 1 PM)
Date of Results3rd April 2021

ACET Exam Pattern

The ACET exam consists of 70 MCQ type questions of 100 marks in total. The maximum duration of the test is 3 hours. There are 5 sections in the ACET syllabus. The questions are of either 1, 2 or 3 marks and there is no negative marking in the exam. The distribution of marks as per the questions are as follows: 

  • 5 questions- 3 marks each 
  • 20 questions- 2 marks each
  • 45 questions- 1 mark each

Check Out: Tips To Crack Competitive Exams

ACET Syllabus: Key Details

The five sections of the ACET exam are Mathematics, Statistics, English, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. These sections carry different weightage of marks and are of equal importance as they focus on varied aspects. In the ACET syllabus, the sections of Mathematics, Statistics and Data Interpretation together hold the 55% of weightage of marks whereas English and Logical Reasoning contributes to 45%. To qualify for the exam, students need to score at least 50% marks in aggregate. The section-wise bifurcation of marks is as follows:

ACET Syllabus: Sections in Detail

Let’s delve deeper into what each section of the ACET syllabus entails and the different topics you need to cover. 


Since statistical applications are an incremental aspect of Actuarial Science, this section aims to evaluate candidates on the fundamental knowledge of statistical concepts. Take a look at the following which lists down the topics and their details covered under the section of Statistics in the ACET syllabus:

Topics Details 
Types of DataBar Chart, Histogram,
Dot Plot, Statistical Diagrams,
Stem-and-leaf, Boxplot  
Probabilities Basic probability rules 
Measures of Location  Mean, Median and Mode  
Measures of Spread Range, Standard Deviations,
Variance, Skewness, Interquartile Range   
Continuous Random Variables Mean, Median, Mode, Definitions,
Variance, Coefficient of Skewness,
Probabilities, Standard Deviation  
Correlation Scatter Plots, Covariance,
Correlation, Coefficient 
Continuous Distributions Exponential, Normal Distribution,
Continuous Uniform   
Advanced Probabilities Conditional Probabilities, Tree Diagrams  
Discrete Random Variables Definitions, Mean, Median, Mode,
Variance, Coefficient of Skewness,
Probabilities, Standard Deviation
Discrete Distribution Bernoulli, Binomial, Poisson, Discrete Uniform 
Permutations and Combination 


For this section of the ACET syllabus, basic and advanced mathematical concepts are put into question. Here is a list of varied topics you need to cover for this category:

  • Numerical Methods 
  • Notation and Standard Functions 
  • Differentiation 
  • Integration 
  • Algebra 
  • Vectors 
  • Matrices 


In ACET syllabus, the English section focuses on testing the verbal abilities of the candidates. From comprehension passages to cloze passages, the questions can focus on several basic concepts of English. To help you further, we have enlisted the topics you must study for this section in the following table:

Sentence CorrectionVocabulary Based (Synonyms & Antonyms) 
Fill in the Blanks English Usage or Grammar 
Jumbled Paragraphs Reading Comprehension
Verbal Reasoning Analogies and Reverse Analogies 
Cloze Passage Facts/ Inferences/ Judgements    
Meaning-Usage Match  Summary Questions 

Moreover, to assist you in understanding the different concepts in this part of the ACET syllabus, we have detailed some major topics below:

  • Grammar: Generally, these questions comprise of 10th standard grammar concepts like the use of modifiers, parallel construction, redundancy, subject-verb agreement, phrasal verbs, articles, prepositions etc.   
  • Vocabulary: It aims to test the candidates on their efficiency to crack the secondary shades of meaning, meanings of words, their usage, antonyms, related words etc. 

Check out: 50 Difficult Words with Meanings

  • Verbal Reasoning: To evaluate candidates on their proficiency towards understanding the relationships or patterns between a group of words or sentences. 

Data Interpretation

The section of Data Interpretation in the ACET syllabus comprises of data-related tables and graphs that candidates need to analyze. Here is a list of different topics covered under this part:

  • Line Chart  
  • Venn Diagram 
  • Caselets 
  • Pie Chart 
  • Tables 
  • Column Graphs 
  • Bar Graphs  

Logical Reasoning

For Logical Reasoning, the questions can range syllogism to seating arrangements. Here is a list of concepts encompassed by this part of the ACET syllabus:

  • Number and Letter Series 
  • Cubes 
  • Clocks 
  • Venn Diagrams 
  • Logical Matching 
  • Blood Relations 
  • Logical Connectives
  • Syllogisms 
  • Seating Arrangement   
  • Binary Logic
  • Logical Sequence 

Reference Books for ACET Exam

The following books are recommended by Institute of Actuaries of India to prepare for the ACET exam.

  1. Challenging Mathematical Problems with Elementary Solutions Editors: A.M. Yaglom and I.M. Yaglom
  2. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay, McGraw Hill
  3. Problem Solving Strategies Editor: Arthur Engel
  4. The Pearson and Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT Editor: Nishit K. Sinha
  5. TOMATO (Test Of Mathematics at Ten plus Two level published by ISI)
  6. Trishna’s Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for the CAT and other MBA Entrance Examinations
  7. High School English Grammar and Composition– Wren and Martin
  8. Word Power Made Easy Editor: Norman Lewis
  9. ACTED Study Material – FAC and STATSPACK
  10. Challenge and Thrill of Pre-College Mathematics by New Age International Publishers
  11. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations Editor: Abhijit Guha
  12. An Excursion in Mathematics Editors: M. R. Modak, S. A. Katre, V. V. Acharya, V. M. Sholapurkar
  13. Problem Primer for the Olympiad Editors: C R Pranesachar, B J Venkatachala, C S Yogananda
  14. How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Editor: Arun Sharma
  15. Quantitative Aptitude for MBA Entrance Examinations Editor: R.S. Aggarwal

ACET Sample Question Papers and Solutions

Here are the previous year question papers and their solutions shared IAI. Practice these questions to know your competency for the exam. 

Question PaperSolution Key
June, 2019 June, 2019
September, 2019September, 2019
February, 2020February, 2020
October, 2020October, 2020
January, 2021January, 2021

ACET Online Examination 2021

With concern for the pandemic, ACET is conducting an online exam this year i.e. 2021. The exam will not be held at respective centres but at home. Here are some of the key points of the ACET Online Exam 2021. 

Pre-Exam Prep

  1. You will be provided with access to the exam platform.
  2. You will receive all the exam related information on your login portal 5 days prior to the exam i.e. 22 March 2021.

Technical Requirements for the Test

Since you need to take an online exam at your home, your computer/ laptop should be equipped with the following to take the test:

  1. Webcam with minimum resolution of 640*480
  2. Microphone
  3. Internet connection of 1 MBPS or more
  4. At Least 2 GB RAM in laptop/ computer
  5. Minimum 64 MB graphics card
  6. Operating system: Windows 10/ Windows 8/ Windows 7
  7. Latest Chrome Browser
  8. Net Framework


  • You must disable all screen sharing, antivirus and windows firewall. 
  • Students will be responsible for any technical glitch/ data failure. 
  • You can keep a backup laptop.
  • No extra break is allowed if a student’s laptop breaks down.
  • If the webcam or microphone is disabled at any point, the script will not be evaluated.

How to start the Online Examination

Here is the entire examination process that you must follow during the online exam.

  • Download and install the examination software shared with you on your login portal.
  • Close all other applications, clear the cache, browser history and antivirus software.
  • Once you open the app, you cannot access any other browser than the SEB application.
  • Login to the exam 10 minutes before the test starts
  • Check your details and confirm the details.
  • The exam will start at 10:00 AM and you will not be able to enter after that.
  • During the exam, you have to show your Government approved ID Card to complete verification.
  • You can use scientific calculator but only these models of scientific calculators are allowed:
    •  Casio FX82 (ES/MS) (with or without any suffix) 
    • Casio FX83 (ES/MS) (with or without any suffix) 
    • Casio FX85 (ES/MS) (with or without any suffix) 
    • Sharp EL531 (with or without any prefix or suffix) 
    • Texas Instruments BA II Plus (with or without any suffix)
    • Texas Instruments TI-30 (with or without any suffix) 
    • Hewlett Packard HP12c (with or without any suffix)
  • All your activities will be monitored during the exam and will be recorded. Any discrepancy will lead to cancellation of your exam.
  • After completion of the exam, you need to fill a survey shared to you via email.
  • In case of any query, you can contact

Read the official ACET Announcement here. 

ACET Mock Examination 2021

ACET is conducting a mock examination for 2021 to help candidates understand the online process of the test. This test is to know if the candidate’s system is compatible with the test and to give them a hands-on experience of the final exam. Here are some of the details on the ACET Mock Exam 2021.

  1. ACET Mock Examination will be conducted on Thursday, 18 March 2021 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
  2. The mock examination details will be available on the candidate’s ACET portal on Wednesday, 17th March, 2021. 
  3. Read the official ACET announcement here.

Also Read: Logical Reasoning Books For Competitive Exam 

List of ACET Test Centres in India

The following list of centres is given by Institute of Actuaries of India. 

CodeCentre NameCodeCentre Name

Thus, we hope that this blog has helped you comprehend the varied elements of the ACET syllabus. If you are aspiring to pursue a degree in Actuarial Science abroad, take the help of Leverage Edu’s AI tool to browse through a wide range of programs and institutions in this field and find the right combination that fits your interests and aspirations.

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