The Handbook can be useful

I was a huge fan of using the Handbook during my case writing. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not that big on memorizing long criteria or rules so instead I learned how the Handbook worked and just went in there every time I needed specific criteria.

This was in a time when we could use FolioViews in the UFE. That’s changed and now it’s some sort of PDF viewer which I understand may not be as search friendly. You may have to therefore rely a little more on knowing the Handbook sections.

On the bright side, I believe you’re able to Copy-Paste now directly from the handbook. That was not something I could do and boy would it have been a time saver. We had to go back and forth between the two at the risk of crashing your computer at any moment.

All this to say, I find myself a little surprised when people tell me they don’t use the Handbook at all. If you’ve got all the rules and criteria memorized, then kudos to you but if you don’t, give it a shot, you might be surprised how useful you find it.


  1. I 100% agree. Most people I know who failed were afraid to use the handbook. I used it on all my practices cases and knew it really well. This really helped both with areas with a lot of criteria (like software or whatnot – unlike in the past, you now usually need to get all criteria) or when we were hit with something weird in an exam situation. I knew how best to work with the search and get to it fast (this was with last year’s PDF viewer).

    It’s useless for tax though, except maybe if you blank on a CCA class or something.

    • Right on – glad you see the light 🙂

      I think it’s a worthy investment of time to figure out how to use the handbook quickly for the exam. For both SOA and UFE I used it a number of times on each exam. I’m almost certain they always put in an issue that should send you into the Handbook in order to get enough depth.

      Agreed about the tax act as well – except in rare situations such as CCA rates or that LPP/PUP case, it will take you too long to read and processes.

    • Hi Sarah
      I found it time consuming.
      Pls let me know how to search quickly. Can we bookmark major topics like revenue, intangibles etc.


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