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All you need to know about the CAIA® exam

Exam Content

The CAIA® curriculum reflects the investment profession's current theory and practice with an emphasis on asset valuation and portfolio management.

Level I: The Level I curriculum introduces candidates to alternative asset classes. Candidates are asked to distinguish various alternative investment strategies and products and understanding the difference between alternative and traditional products.
Professional Standards and Ethics 15% – 20%
Introduction to Alternative Investments 20% – 25%
Real Assets (including Commodities) 10% – 20%
Hedge Funds 10% – 20%
Private Equity 5% – 10%
Structured Products 10% – 15%
Risk Management and Portfolio Management 5% – 10%
Level II: The Level II curriculum builds on candidates’ understanding of various asset classes and focuses on asset allocation in a multi-asset framework. Candidates gain deeper understanding of risk management techniques and tools as well as various structured products.
Topic Multiple Choice Essay
Professional Standards and Ethics 0% 10%
Core and Integrated Topics 0% 10%
Asset Allocation and Institutional Investors 8% – 12% 0% – 10%
Private Equity 11% – 15% 0% – 10%
Real Assets 13% – 17% 0% – 10%
Commodities 5% – 7% 0% – 10%
Hedge Funds and Managed Futures 18% – 22% 0% – 10%
Structured Products 5% – 7% 0% – 10%
Total 70% 30%

CAIA® Exam Format

The CAIA® Exam is a computer exam given in two levels. It is offered exclusively in English, twice a year in Mars and September,in many sites around the world.

  • Exam Length: 4 hours
  • Number of questions: 200 questions
  • Type of questions: Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • Exam duration: 4 hours
  • Number of questions: 100 questions and 3 essays
  • Type of questions: Multiple choice questions (MCQs), Constructed-Response

Two types of questions

Multiple Choice

Multiple-choice questions have four answer choices. All questions for a topic are grouped together and some questions are presented in item sets.


You will be tested on specific types of response, such as descriptions, calculations, or arguments. Candidates will not be penalized for incorrect grammar or spelling.


In order to pass the CAIA® Exam you will need to know important formulas and calculations and therefore master your calculator. Only the following types of business calculators are authorized by the CAIA Association® for use during the exam:
Texas Instruments BA II Plus including the BA II Plus Professional texas-instrument-ba-2-plus-pro                               texas-instrument-ba-2-plus
Hewlett Packard 12C including the HP 12C Platinum hp 12c                   

Scoring & Results

Level I results are released within three weeks after the last examination day. Level II results are generally released within six weeks after the last examination day.


March 2016 Level I


March 2015 Level II

Candidates who earn 70% or more of the total points are assured of passing the exam. However, because the CAIA association compares each candidate’s score against the average exam score, there is the potential for a curve, which would effectively move the passing score below 70%.

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