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info_outline Classroom courses and CBEs are running from our centres and will gradually return to full capacity with additional measures to minimise the spread of the virus. See our COVID pages for details.

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CAIA®Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst

Level 1

The first level of CAIA is suitable for financial professionals wanting to diversify their knowledge and learn about the Alternative Investments sector. As well as building your knowledge of various alternative asset classes, you will learn the tools and techniques used to evaluate the risk-return attributes of each. Ethics and professional standards are also a key part of this level.

Classroom courses continue to run live online due to extended lockdown restrictions. We hope to start running smaller in-centre classes when we feel it is safe, and so continue to monitor government announcements and advice.

Total package (excluding exams): help_outline

£873 - £2,028.95 (inc. VAT where applicable)

Spread the cost over 12 months: help_outline

1. Structure

CAIA Level 1 consists of seven topics (also known as subjects) which are mandatory and examined by a multiple-choice computer based exam. The exam has 200 questions in total, which are divided into two sections of 100 questions each. You have two hours for each 100 question section with an optional 30 minute break.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements, however you should have an understanding of the basic concepts of finance and quantitative analysis. If you are less confident with Fixed Income and Derivatives we would recommend for you to study IMC Unit 2 Investment Practice or CISI Capital Markets Programme in Derivatives.


Below is a syllabus overview detailing topics (subjects) and their approximate exam weighting. For more information, please see CAIA’s full syllabus (PDF 800KB) launch.

Level 1 topic Approximate exam weight
Professional Standards and Ethics 15% - 25%
Introduction to Alternative Investments 20% - 28%
Real Assets 11% - 17%
Hedge Funds 12% - 20%
Private Equity 11% - 17%
Structured Products 10% - 14%


Professional Standards and Ethics

You’ll explore professionalism in the industry, such as the integrity of capital markets, your duties to clients and employers, investment analysis, recommendations, actions, and potential conflicts of interest.

Introduction to Alternative Investments

This subject introduces you to fundamentals of alternative investments, including: quantitative foundations, statistical foundations, measures of risk and performance, foundations of financial economics, benchmarking and performance attribution, alpha, beta, and hypothesis testing, and regression, multivariate, and nonlinear methods.

Real Assets

Learn and understand real assets, such as natural resources and land, commodity forward pricing, commodities: applications and evidence, operationally-intensive real assets, liquid and fixed-income real estate and real estate equity investments.

Hedge Funds

This subject will teach you the structure of the hedge fund industry, macro and managed futures funds, event-driven hedge funds, relative value hedge funds, equity hedge funds, and funds of hedge funds.

Private Equity

Develop an understanding of private equity, including equity types of private equity and debt types of private equity.

Structured Products

Explore an introduction to structuring, credit risk and credit derivatives, CDO structuring of credit risk and equity-linked structured products.

2. Study methods

Do you prefer face-to-face classroom courses with a tutor, or studying using distance learning that fits around your work and home commitments? Our study methods have been designed to maximise your time and help you pass your exam. Whichever study method you choose, you’ll receive high quality resources and continuous support right up to your exam.

To see which CAIA study method is best for you, please see our infographic launch.

Simply choose a study package below:

grid_on Study method comparison table


Classroom Sessions: Due to the impact of Covid-19, Classroom sessions will run as Live Online until we feel it’s safe to run them again in a study centre. We are monitoring government guidelines and will transition over to Classroom as soon as we can.

Our recommended and most popular package including classroom tuition and revision integrated with Kaplan Schweser study materials. This package gives you a wide range of tools for exam success.

excl. VAT)

Combined Schweser online tuition and classroom revision study options and Kaplan Schweser study materials.

excl. VAT)

Classroom tuition course and Kaplan Schweser study materials.

excl. VAT)

Study at your own pace with Schweser online tuition and online revision classes. This package offers maximum flexibility for independent study and comes with integrated Kaplan Schweser study materials.

(VAT not applicable)

Or you can choose an individual tuition or revision classroom course without the supporting Kaplan Schweser study materials.

Revision only

Classroom revision without the Kaplan Schweser study materials.

excl. VAT)

Timetables - Classroom and Schweser Online

Classroom tuition courses take place over 6 days (from 9-5pm). Schweser online classes take place over 9 sessions of 3 hours each.

Classroom revision courses take place over 2 weekend days (from 9-5pm). Schweser online classes take place over 2 sessions of 4 hours each.

location_on Classroom location

All classes take place at our Moorgate training centre:

Optional extras

Although we have designed our packages to include key items to assist you in preparing for your exam, there are additional items that you may choose to purchase:

Schweser Online Mock Exam 2

The Schweser mock exams are as close to the actual exam in format, difficulty, and length as we can make them. They help develop your test-taking skills, identify your weak areas, and demonstrate your mastery of the curriculum.

from £65.00
(VAT not applicable)
1-2-1 tutor sessions

A one hour 1-2-1 meeting with your tutor, either at our training location or online, within the last two weeks leading up to your exam. You can get your final questions answered before the exam day.

excl. VAT)
Calculator (BA II Plus Pro)

We recommend the Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional which has been authorised by the CAIA Association for the exam.

from £60.00
(from £50.00
excl. VAT)

Inhouse training

Our public classroom courses run in central London. Like many of our courses, we can also offer these courses inhouse for your team or organisation.

Please contact us on 020 7920 3060 or email us at to find out more about how we can help train your team.

3. Exams, sittings and resits


There are two exam sittings per year, in March and September. You'll need to register with the CAIA Association® launch for exam entry. You need to have passed Level 1 before registering for the Level 2 exam. Exam results are graded either a pass or fail and you should receive results within three weeks of the last examination day.

You have unlimited time to pass the Level 2 exam after passing Level 1 to qualify for the CAIA Charter.

How long does it take to pass?

It’s possible to complete the full CAIA designation within one year, as the exams are held in March and September. The examining body recommends spending a minimum of 200 hours of study time for each level.

What are pass rates like?

Exam pass rate percentages are fluid and change from sitting to sitting. Pass marks are initially set at 70% but may be adjusted downwards depending on the average score in a particular sitting. You must therefore aim to score over 70% to be sure of success.

Can Kaplan help if I fail an exam?

We do all we can to help you to pass the exam. However, if you don't pass first time then don't worry. There are a lots of ways we can support you. What you will be entitled to will depend on the last study package you purchased with us.

What CAIA resits are available

Below is a table showing you what resit support you will be entitled to depending on what package you purchased from us in the first place.

Package Resit support
  Lifetime Pass Guarantee Schweser Commitment Pass Assurance
Classroom Enhanced check check  
Blended Enhanced check check  
Tuition Plus   check check
Distance Learning   check  
Tuition only     check
Revision only     check

You can access your resit support by filling in the resit enrolment form.

picture_as_pdfResit enrolment form

Lifetime Pass Guarantee

Lifetime pass guarantee is applicable to Classroom Enhanced and Blended Enhanced packages. Depending on your study option, you may qualify for unlimited weekday revision for free. You'll be able to make the most of our guarantee, right up until you pass the exam... however many times it may take. However, if you don't meet the criteria, then you may be entitled to Pass Assurance.

Terms and conditions – You'll need to have attended both the live or online tuition course and the live revision course in the same sitting with Kaplan. An attendance record of at least 90% is needed. This will be based on your signature given at class registers and/or the time you logged into online classes when using the online study portal. The Lifetime Pass Guarantee will expire if you do not attend 100% of the free weekday revision course or if an exam sitting is missed.

The Schweser Commitment

Schweser Commitment is applicable to Classroom Enhanced, Blended Enhanced, Distance Learning and Tuition Plus. Should you need a second chance, you may be eligible to receive the same material package at the next exam sitting for free. However, if you don't meet the criteria, then you may be entitled to PassProtection™ which entitles you to 50% off from your same-part purchases for the next exam sitting.

Terms and conditions – Available for 2019 purchasers of Complete Enhanced, Blended Enhanced, Tuition Plus, Distance Learning, Essential, Premium, or PremiumPlus™. You must answer at least 50% of the available questions from your QBank and Practice Exams. You have unlimited attempts at each question. Your Performance Tracker dashboard will turn from red to green when your Questions Used shows at least 50%. If you meet the criteria you will receive the same study package (eBook and hardcopy) FREE of charge for the 2020 exam. Please note this does not include the delivery fee of £65 but you can opt to select just the ebooks which would not include the delivery fee. If you don't meet the criteria, you can still receive PassProtection™.

Pass Assurance

Pass assurance is applicable to Tuition Plus, Tuition Only and Revision Only. If you failed your exam then you can benefit from receiving 15% off a Tuition and/or Revision course.

Terms and conditions – You should have taken a Tuition/Revision course with Kaplan.

4. Study Materials and Delivery Costs

Study Materials

We offer a wealth of study materials to enhance your learning experience. These include hard copy books as well as online resources on Schweser’s study portal. View a full comparison of the study materials launch included in each package.

Classroom Enhanced, Blended Enhanced, Tuition Plus and Distance Learning packages come with core materials, including:

  • Getting Started Guide

    Explains how to use the resources effectively to maximise your chance of passing the exam.

  • Schweser Online Study Portal

    Includes dashboard with activity feed and performance metrics

  • SchweserNotes

    Clear, concise study notes and examples that cover every learning outcome statement (downloadable as eBooks as well as in print).

  • Quicksheet

    A compact study tool summarising key formulae, definitions and concepts (downloadable as an eBook as well as in print).

  • Resource library

    A collection of online reference videos to prepare you for your studies.

  • SchweserPro QBank

    Thousands of practice questions to work through online and build custom exams.

  • Kaplan Schweser Online Practice Exams

    2 full-length practice exams to help you perform on exam day.

Additional materials come with the following packages:

  • Classroom Enhanced keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down
    • Classroom Tuition - Slide Pack
    • Classroom Materials - Mindmap and Q&A material inc. full mock exam
    • Schweser Online Mock 1
    • Schweser Secret Sauce
  • Blended Enhanced keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down
    • Live Online Tuition Slide Pack
    • Online Revision Workbooks
    • Classroom Materials - MindMap and Q&A material inc. full mock exam
    • Schweser Online Mock 1
    • Schweser Secret Sauce
  • Tuition Plus keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down
    • Classroom Tuition Slide Pack
  • Distance Learning keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down
    • Live Online Tuition Slide Pack
    • Online Revision Workshops
    • Schweser Online Mock 1
    • Schweser Secret Sauce

Delivery costs

Materials are delivered to the address you provide us (and must be signed for on delivery). For detailed information on delivery prices please refer to our delivery page.

5. Kaplan Schweser Online Study Portal

Kaplan Schweser’s online portal provides access to a wide variety of resources to help you prepare for your exams. It also hosts all our live online tuition and revision classes.

Depending on the study package you choose, online features can include:

  • check
    Activity feed - Take the guesswork out of your study plan and feel confident with strategically placed weekly tasks that adjust to your customised calendar.
  • check
    Schweser Online Tuition - 9 sessions of 3 hours each. Watch at your own convenience either live or recorded.
  • check
    Ask your Instructor - Ask questions and receive answers from your tutor within 24 to 48 hours. (In addition, for those on classroom courses you will also receive personal tutor contact details.)
  • check
    SchweserNotes - Clear, concise study notes and examples that cover every learning outcome statement.
  • check
    Quicksheet - A compact study tool summarising key formulae, definitions and concepts.
  • check
    Candidate Resource library - A collection of online reference videos to prepare you for your studies.
  • check
    SchweserPro™ QBank - Thousands of practice questions to work through online and build custom exams.
  • check
    Schweser Online Review Workshop - Includes a final review instead of classroom revision. This workshop includes an eight hour online review of topics, an online mock and a Secret Sauce® eBook.

For more information on technical support available and minimum system requirements for Kaplan Schweser’s online portal, visit the Schweser portal technical support launch.

Access duration

You can access your content from 48 working hours of purchase (subject to availability) until your examination date.

6. Tutor support

We’ll support you every step of the way throughout your learning experience with us. You can contact a tutor and get the help you need within 48 working hours.

We are open weekdays (excluding bank holidays) 9:00am to 5.30pm. In addition, our classroom tutors will provide you with their personal contact details.

7. Testing and mocks

Vital to passing your exam will be attempting as many questions and mock exams as possible. Depending on your chosen package, you will gain access to over 100 questions in the SchweserPro™ Qbank and two full exam standard practice exams.

If you would like more exam practice you can purchase the Schweser Online Mock 2 as an optional extra.

After the mock, many candidates also take the opportunity of a final 1-2-1 meeting with their tutor.

You can find information about our mocks and 1-2-1s in our comparison table launch.

8. Course pricing and funding options

Pricing structure

Below are our study package prices. The only additional costs will be delivery and if you decide to purchase any optional extras.

You can find information about our packages and optional extras in our comparison table launch.

Package Price (excl. VAT) Price (incl. VAT)
Classroom Enhanced £1,752.05 £2,028.95
Blended Enhanced £1,395.65 £1,538.55
Tuition Plus £1,225.00 £1,359.00
Distance Learning with Live Online classes £873.00 (VAT not applicable)
Revision only £657.00 £788.40

Payment options

Employer sponsored ›

Your employer may fund the costs of your studies if you’re already working in a related field and want to develop your learning. You’ll need to speak to them to see if you’re eligible and confirm that they’re happy to pay for your studies.

Payment plans ›

Our CAIA packages are covered with our interest-free payment plan, providing the total cost is £500 minimum (including VAT). The plan lets you spread the cost of your studies over a period of up to 12 months, with no extra costs.

How to enrol

Enrol online, call us on 020 7920 3060 or enrol with a form which you can email to

picture_as_pdfDownload enrolment form

Why study CAIA Level 1 with Kaplan?

World-class experience

Learn from world-class tutors with years of teaching and industry experience - rest assured you are in capable hands.

Flexible study options

Our study tools are flexible enough to fit around your lifestyle. From online to classroom, we give you all the support and materials you need to succeed.

Pass commitment assurance

We know the exams are tough but we’re here to help you every step of the way. Should you need a second chance we’ll put you back on track with our pass commitment.

Unrivalled study materials

We understand that CAIA is a big time commitment, which is why you will get access to comprehensive Schweser study materials and practice questions to keep you on track.

Don't just take our word for it

“I studied with the ‘blended enhanced’ package which helped me pass both CAIA levels first time. The online system is user friendly and the calendar helped to plan my revision. The qbank was useful too as well as the practice tests. I would recommend Kaplan for preparing the CAIA chartership”

Agnes Maumus
Blended Enhanced package

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