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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.

Total package (excluding exams): help_outline

£820 - £2,050 (inc. VAT where applicable)

Spread the cost over 12 months: help_outline

1. Structure

CAIA Level 1 consists of six 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 11% - 17%
Private Securities 12% - 20%
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 Securities

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 packages

Whatever your learning style, we have a study package for you.

Do you prefer structured learning? We offer classroom, live online or a blended approach. Or do you prefer self study? Then we offer a distance learning package where you can study at your own pace.

Our flexible study packages have been designed to maximise your time, keep you on track, and help you pass your exam. Whichever study package you choose, you’ll receive high quality Schweser study materials, recordings, and continuous support right up to your exam. To see which study package is best for you, please see our infographic launch.

Study methods available for this qualification

picture_as_pdf Study method comparison chart

people people

Structured teaching keeps you on track and motivated with scheduled classes.

  • Classroom tuition
  • Classroom revision
  • Schweser study material
  • Pass Protection
  • Recommended Package
excl. VAT)

Buy now

laptop people

Structured teaching keeps you on track and motivated with scheduled classes.

  • Live online tuition
  • Classroom revision
  • Schweser study material
  • Pass Protection
excl. VAT)

Buy now

Live Online

Structured teaching keeps you on track and motivated with scheduled classes.

  • Live online tuition
  • Live online revision
  • Schweser study material
  • Pass Protection
excl. VAT)

Buy now

laptop laptop
Distance Learning

Self study at your own pace and when it's convenient with OnDemand videos.

  • OnDemand tuition
  • OnDemand revision
  • Schweser study material
  • Pass Protection
(VAT not applicable)

Buy now

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

Classroom Revision only

Classroom revision without the Kaplan Schweser study materials.

excl. VAT)
Live Online Revision only

Live Online revision without the Kaplan Schweser study materials.

excl. VAT)

Timetables - Classroom and Live Online

Classroom tuition courses take place over six days (from 9-5pm) or 10 evenings (from 6-9pm). Classroom revision courses take place over two days (from 9-5pm).

date_rangeView timetable

location_on Classroom location

We have classes in London:

Optional extras

We offer a number of optional extras that can be beneficial as part of your studies:

Schweser Mock Exam 4

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.

(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)
Texas BAII+ Professional Calculator

One of the recommended CFA Calculators, as well as the calculator that will be referenced in classes.

£60.00 Including UK delivery
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

We do everything we can to help you pass your CAIA exam first time. However, should you need a second chance, then don’t worry. With Pass Protection, there are lots of ways we can support you as you prepare for your exam resit. For further information, please refer to our pass protection policy launch.

picture_as_pdfResit enrolment form

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, Blended, Live Online and Distance Learning packages all 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

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

  • Schweser Online Mock Exam 1 – 3

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

  • Schweser's Secret Sauce®

    Take this compact book anywhere you go, printed or eBook, for a concise review of the CFA Program curriculum. Secret Sauce provides insights and exam tips on how to effectively prepare and apply your knowledge on exam day.

Additional materials come with the following packages:

  • Classroom, Blended and Live Online keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down
    • Tuition classroom recordings
    • Revision classroom recordings
    • Tuition course slides
    • Mindmaps and Q&A book
  • Distance Learning keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down
    • OnDemand Tuition with Workbooks
    • OnDemand Revision with Workbooks

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.

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 online tuition and revision classes.

Online features

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

  • check
    View your online materials in one place and access your content in a few clicks
  • check
    Take the guesswork out of your study plan with strategically placed weekly tasks
  • check
    Track your performance against that of other candidates
  • check
    Complete tests and get instant feedback
  • check
    Access on mobile, tablet and computer

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 three full exam standard practice exams.

If you would like more exam practice you can purchase the Schweser Online Mock 4 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 £1,750.00 £2,050.00
Blended £1,400.00 £1,630.00
Live Online £1,200.00 £1,390.00
Distance Learning £820.00 (VAT not applicable)
Classroom Revision only £625.00 £750.00
Live Online Revision only £425.00 £510.00

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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