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CAIA Level 1 Examination | 1 Page Study Guide

CAIA Level I Exam

CAIA Level 1 Examination | 1 Page Study Guide


The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) level I examination is one half of the required testing to complete the CAIA designation. While the CAIA Level I exam is all multiple choice questions, the level II examination is composed of half multiple choice and half essay questions. This major difference makes studying for each exam unique.

The level I CAIA exam is composed of two sections of 100 multiple choice questions each. You are allotted two hours for each section and allowed a thirty minute break in between sections. You must bring two forms of identification to the testing center and one must contain a picture of you. You are allowed to use an approved calculator on the exam; a TI BA II Plus (including the professional model) or the HP 12 C (as well as the platinum edition). You are given a small “whiteboard” to do scratch-work on while taking the exam. The Level I and Level II exams are offered twice a year in March and September.

The level I testing material is divided into two sections- quantitative methods and an introduction to alternative investments. The topics covered are quantitative analysis, regulatory framework, trading strategies, performance measurement, credit derivatives, and the ability to differentiate between various alternative investment trading strategies and performance measures. Candidates are expected to have an elementary understanding of finance before registering for the initial exam.

You will not need to memorize the formulas which are in the study guide; they are given to you in a pop-up window while you take the exam. Although a 70 percent passing score is required to pass the exam, your score is derived from benchmarking against the scores of all other candidates taking the CAIA Level I exam during your testing period. This means that you can expect to receive your results back within approximately two weeks of the final day of testing. You need a cumulative score of 70 percent on the exam meaning that you do not need to pass each individual sub-section on the exam.

On average, over 70 percent of those who sit for the CAIA Level I exam pass it. If a candidate does not pass the exam, he/she is allowed to retake the exam in any future period at a $350 dollar retake fee. If a candidate is successful on the CAIA level I exam, he/she must pass the Level II CAIA exam within 3 years of taking the Level I examination.

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