CAIA® Program Study Materials

What is the CAIA® (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst℠) Designation?

The CAIA® Charter is a rigorous self-study course designed for finance professionals who seek a high level of knowledge and ability to demonstrate expertize in alternative investments. The curriculum places emphasis on understanding alternative asset classes and building applications in manager selection, risk management and asset allocation.

As a globally-recognized credential for professionals managing, analyzing, distributing or regulating alternative investments, distinguish yourself with knowledge, expertize and a clear career advantage by becoming a CAIA® Charterholder.

Successful completion of two exams and a Membership in the CAIA® Association places you among more than 11,000 professionals worldwide.

  • Relevant: Learn what you need to know for success and credibility in alternatives
  • Current: Study materials are reviewed and updated regularly
  • Efficient: 75% of Candidates who earn their CAIA® Charter do so in 12 to 18 months
  • Comprehensive: Two exam levels cover everything from the characteristics of various strategies within each alternative asset class to portfolio management concepts central to alternative investments. Both exams include segments on ethics and professional conduct.

Exam Registration

To register as a candidate for CAIA®, a student is expected to have an elementary understanding of the basic concepts of finance.

Exam registration is a quick three-step online process:

  1. Complete an exam registration form
  2. Sign the CAIA® Candidate and Member Agreement
  3. Purchase and schedule an exam

Registering for the first exam also enrolls you as a CAIA® candidate. This requires a one-time enrollment fee in addition to the exam registration fee.

For more details on fees, registration deadlines, enrollment and scheduling of exams, please visit

Kaplan is not responsible for the candidate’s enrollment and exam registration.

Exam Details

Administered by the CAIA® Association, the rigorous two-tier exams must be completed before achieving the Charter qualification. Based on candidate surveys, more than 200 hours of preparation is recommended for each level.

CAIA® Level I

The Level I curriculum builds a foundation by introducing candidates to various alternative asset classes, knowledge of the tools and techniques to evaluate their risk-return attributes, and the role of active management in asset allocation and portfolio construction. Divided into 2 sections of 100 multiple-choice questions each, candidates are given 4 hours with an optional 30-minute break.

CAIA® Level II

Level II provides advanced coverage of several Level I topics and introduces candidates to recent academic and industry research in alternative investments, asset allocation and risk management. Candidates will also learn to apply the knowledge and analytics from Level I within a portfolio management context.

Comprising of 100 multiple-choice questions and three sets of constructed-response (essay-type) questions, candidates are given 2 hours for each individual section to complete them.

Purchase of Study Materials

Candidates may purchase the following packages from the Kaplan Schweser CAIA® Study Materials:

  • PremiumPlus™ (Core + Instruction + Review) Package
  • Premium (Core + Instruction) Package
  • EssentialPlus (Core + Review) Package
  • Essential (Core) Package
  • SchweserNotes™ (Basic) Package
  • Online Review Workshop Package

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