CAIA Exam Overview

All you need to know about the CAIA® exam


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 Future: 18% – 22%0% – 10%
  • Structured Product: 5% – 7%0% – 10%
  • Total:   70% 30%

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.

CAIA® Level I

4 hours

200 questions

Multiple choice questions (MCQs)

CAIA® Level II

4 hours

100 questions MCQ
+ 3 essays

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.

Earn Your CAIA® Charter

Here is the list of requirements you need to meet:

Meet one of the two requirement*

1- Obtain a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, with a minimum of one year of professional experience
2- Have a minimum of four years of professional experience

Agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the CAIA Association® Member Agreement


Establish and maintain membership in CAIA Association



Provide two professional references

Pass Level I and Level II of the CAIA exam

* Professional experience is defined as full-time employment in a professional capacity with the regulatory, banking, financial, or related fields 

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%.