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The Basics of the CAIA for Alternative Investments

While testing, it’s best to focus on the questions and not get distracted. If you need help during your exam, use the chat icon to request assistance. Once you’ve completed these preparatory steps, get familiar with the unique requirements for testing online. Private equity is another common place to work for candidates with this accreditation. For example, venture capital firms invest in very young startup companies that are still private in exchange for a significant portion of equity. These topics are weighted equally except for emerging topics and ethics, regulation, and ESG.

Our Packages create a study plan adaptive to your schedule and include integrated study tools that provide practice of key concepts of the curriculum. Given COVID-19, online proctored exams (at home or an office) are now available as an option for candidates as well, subject to meeting the environmental and technical requirements. Before taking the Level 1 exam, applicants must do one of three things. They can get a bachelor’s degree, reach the final year of a bachelor’s program, or obtain a combination of work experience and college equal to 4,000 hours, acquired over a minimum of three sequential years. Once applicants pass the Level 3 exam, in order to earn the CFA title, they must have 4,000 hours of qualified work experience that was completed in a minimum of three years.

CFA and CAIA certifications are designed for analytical professionals. Furthermore, they both require passing a series of exams from a reputable organization in the industry. Because of its remote nature, testing with OnVUE requires that candidates agree to additional policies that help protect exam integrity. These include (but are not limited to) consenting to recording and monitoring throughout the exam, along with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technology techniques. Test-takers must accept these policies during the registration process prior to scheduling an exam. A. Once your exam has started, keep your mobile phone in the room where you’re testing, but out of arm’s reach in case the proctor needs to call you.

Gain the knowledge and strategies for a new era of portfolio construction. For the latest exam dates and FAQ, check out our CAIA exam dates article. Exam retake fees for both levels are slightly cheaper, at $795 per retake per level.

  1. This has just been an overview of the CAIA program and what individuals new to the designation can expect from it.
  2. For a positive outcome, make sure your space is private and secure.
  3. Therefore, these topics are not included in the multiple-choice section of the exam.
  4. Aspiring alternative investment professionals need to complete and pass 2 levels of examination.

The result is simply a pass or fail, but candidates will be provided with performance report to understand the areas of relative strength and weakness compared to a reference group. So you passed the Level I CAIA exam—the first milestone on the way to becoming a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst℠. This article will answer the most common questions we receive from people preparing to take the next step toward becoming a CAIA Charterholder.

The Level II CAIA exam is composed of 100 multiple-choice questions and three sets of constructed-response (essay-type) questions, which measure candidates’ knowledge of the CAIA Level II curriculum. Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the multiple-choice question section and 2 hours to complete the constructed-response section. Based on candidate surveys performed by CAIA Association, more than 200 hours of study are recommended to prepare. To best manage your study plan, it’s essential to know what is on the curriculum and how the topics are weighted.

In addition, you need time to practice for the constructed response questions because, although they are “essay questions,” they are not like those in college exams. It takes a long time and a substantial investment of money to complete each program. The CAIA requires an estimated caia exam 200 hours of study time per level for a total of 400 hours and $3,190 in standard registration and exam fees. The CAIA Association administers the program and sets its basic requirements. Data show that 75% of candidates who earn their CAIA charter do so in 12 to 18 months.

What are the Level I CAIA® exam topic weights?

It was as high as 70% a few years ago, but the latest report from March 2022 is 58%. Although more people pass than fail the CAIA Level II exam, it’s not by much. You can greatly improve your odds of success by learning from other candidates’ experiences and avoiding common CAIA study mistakes. CAIA exam prep courses aren’t cheap, but they can easily pay for themselves when you consider that every retake requires a $450 fee and six-month wait for the next exam period. If you’re concerned about passing on the first attempt, look for a program with a pass guarantee such as Kaplan Schweser. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with most of the curriculum and only need to review a handful of topics in depth, UpperMark’s customizable, subject-based plans might be a better fit.

The Basics of the CAIA for Alternative Investments

A charterholder has the perfect skill set to thrive in these firms, as they have extensive knowledge surrounding alternative investments. The CAIA exam, short for Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, is a professional charter program designed to prepare you for a career in alternative investments. The exam is broken down into two parts, Level I and Level II, which are taken in separate sessions. A minimum of 200 hours of study is recommended and most candidates take 12 to 18 months to pass both exams and become a CAIA Association member.

The CAIA is useful in large part because alternative investments are an essential part of many institutional investment portfolios. The CAIA is relevant to financial professionals who want to focus on alternative investments at pension funds, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds. Completion of the CAIA program demonstrates an understanding of alternative investments, including hedge funds, real assets, private equity, and structured products. Compared to the more sought-after CFA exam, the CAIA exam has a very narrow but in-depth focus on specific alternative investments. With this in mind, the CAIA exam is best suited for financial professionals pursuing a career in private equity or hedge funds. These include hedge funds, private equity funds, and pension funds.

What Topics Are on the Level II Exam?

So you’ve decided to take the next step in your financial career by earning the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Charter, but you’ll need to prove your qualifications by passing the exams first. With a completion rate of just 40%, the CAIA Charter program is notoriously intense. For many people, the best shot at success is enrolling in a CAIA exam prep course. There are no prerequisites for taking the Level 1 and Level 2 CAIA exams. However, it is best to have a working knowledge of financial and investment concepts.

Another area where CAIA charterholders often find themselves working is pension funds. These funds usually allocate their portfolio among stocks, bonds, and real estate. CAIA Level I candidates are assumed to have an elementary undergraduate understanding of the basic concepts of traditional finance and quantitative analysis. The real assets section introduces students to the different types of real investments, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs), direct investment in real estate and real estate valuation. Additionally, understanding the role of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and its indexes are important aspects to this section. Effective preparation requires a study schedule that covers the entire CAIA Charter curriculum and practice that resembles exam content.

Any mobile phone use other than speaking with a proctor is grounds for exam revocation. A. Should you experience technical difficulties during your exam, simply raise your hand using the OnVUE application at the top of your screen and a proctor will assist you. If for some reason this is unavailable, you can get help via the chat button on this page or the OnVUE download page. With either process, you’ll be asked to download and run OnVUE, our online proctoring software. For additional details and even more helpful info, download our guide to taking your exam online (PDF, Opens in new window).

Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling. The examination fees remain consistent for every level, with variations based on the registration date and candidate status (new or returning). The first exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 4 hours. It is split into two sections of 100 questions, each 2 hours long, with a small break in between. If a candidate has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, they are eligible to skip the first CAIA exam. This is because most of the information on the first exam is already covered in the CFA curriculum.

Becoming a CAIA charterholder is very difficult and takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It requires a serious time commitment and can be an arduous process. In addition, becoming a charterholder requires passing two difficult exams and fulfilling other criteria. Grading begins once the examination window is closed, and Level I results are posted within three weeks after the final examination day. Level II exam results are available within six weeks after the last exam day, due to the need to grade essay questions. The CAIA Association recommends that candidates devote 200 or more hours of study to prepare for the Level II exam.

However, only 40% of candidates who begin the program actually earn the charter. You can greatly improve your odds of success by learning from other candidates’ experiences and avoiding common study mistakes. The CAIA charter is a globally recognized designation, known as the benchmark for best practice in the alternative investment profession. Earning the CAIA designation sets you apart as a financial professional with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to provide sound advice on alternative investment strategies.

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