CAIA Certification: Some Tips and Tricks

3 years ago



If you are thinking of a career in alternative investment management, which nowadays becomes more and more profitable, then you definitely should consider getting a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) qualification. CAIA exam is organized by The CAIA Association and being held since February 2003. Since then, thousands of people all over the world have registered and received their qualifications.

CAIA exam itself consists of two levels and in order to get the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst qualification, you have to pass both CAIA Level I and CAIA Level II exams. While Level I basically focuses on the fundamentals of alternative investment markets, Level II concentrates on proficient topics in alternative investments. The Typical Student team listed the most important information for finance students below. 

When is it being held?

caia-exam-prep-tips-05Final deadline exam registrations:

  • Registration Opens - October 1, 2018
  • Early Registration Deadline - November 12, 2018
  • Registration Closes - February 4, 2019

Examination window:

  • Level I: February 25 - March 8, 2019
  • Level II: March 11 - 22, 2019

The CAIA Level I and Level II exams are being held twice a year in September and March, but keep in mind that you have to register in advance. The total cost of the CAIA certification is around $5,000.

What’s in the CAIA Level I exam?

caia-exam-prep-tips-02The CAIA Level I test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that check the knowledge of the elementary finance concepts. The Level I exam covers such topics as Introduction to Alternative Investments, Professional Standards, and Ethics, Real Assets, Commodities, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Risk Management and Portfolio Management, and Structured Products.

What’s in the CAIA Level II exam?

The CAIA Level II test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions as well as three sets of essay type questions. The Level II exam covers such finance topics as Private Equity, Professional Standards, and Ethics, Real Assets, Hedge Funds, and Managed Futures, Commodities, Structured Products, Risk and Risk Management, Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management, Manager Selection, Due Diligence, and Regulation, and Research issues and current topics. 

What are the CAIA’s requests?

In order to get your CAIA certification you have to hold the following requests: hold a U.S. Bachelor's degree (or equivalent), have more than a year of work experience, successfully pass CAIA Level I and II exams, maintain membership dues, and follow the membership agreement.

How do I prepare for the exam?



The whole CAIA program is based on self-education which means that you have to prepare for the test on your own. So organizing your studying time is completely up to you. You will be able to decide how many hours you need for your preparation. However, in order to successfully pass the exam, the CAIA Association recommends studying at least 200 hours for both Levels I and II. Besides, the CAIA Association reveals the official curriculum for the exams, so you will not waste your time studying unnecessary information.

Some tips and tricks on CAIA exam preparation:

  • revise the learned material from time to time not to forget anything;
  • put your cell phone on airplane mode while studying in order to not being disturbed by the notifications;
  • listen to audio courses while driving, doing laundry, or working out;
  • don’t forget to relax, since you cannot study all the time;
  • remind yourself why you need to study so hard (think of all the perks of having a CAIA qualification);
  • keep calm and be confident during the exam itself.

recommended for you

Any questions or propositions?