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CAIA Level 2: Curriculum, Exam Format and Pass Rate


The CAIA exam is offered in a two-tier system. This means that you have to pass Level 1 before moving on to Level 2. The exam content is “built on” in a way that Level 2 tests candidates a more advanced knowledge in topis covered in Level 1.

Here is an overview of CAIA Level 2 and what you can expect to pass this part of the examination and gain the designation.

CAIA Level 2 Curriculum

The curriculum is broadly divided into two topics: Alternative Investments and Core and Integrated Topics. Candidates must apply the skills and knowledge from Level 1 to gain a deeper understanding of issues involved in each of the areas of alternative investments.

The exam content includes:

  • Professional Standards and Ethics
  • Private Equity
  • Real Assets
  • Commodities
  • Hedge Funds and Managed Futures
  • Structured Products
  • Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management
  • Risk and Risk Management
  • Manager Selection, Due Diligence, and Regulation

The weighting is more complicated in Level 2. First, there is a general breakdown of question type: multiple-choice (70%) and constructed-response which essentially means essays (30%)

Within multiple choice, there is no questions on ethics. Private equity, real assets and hedge funds have slightly higher weighting. Within the essay section, ethics have the highest rating at 25%, while all other topics have same weighting.

The overall weighting is presented in the chart below.

caia level 2 curriculum breakdown

The curriculum is updated annually to reflect the latest industry and research developments.

Check out level 2 detailed curriculum here >>

Exam Format and Pass Rate

The CAIA Level 2 exam consists of:

  • 100 multiple-choice questions
  • 3 sets of constructed-response (essay) questions.

Check out the link on exam structure at the end of this post.

caia exam pass rate 2015 level 2

The pass rate was 67-68% in 2015. You can refer to this page for trend analysis.

CAIA Level 2 Study Time

The CAIA Association recommends that candidates devote 200 or more hours of study to preparation for this section. Candidates whom I know and who work in relevant industry studied for less than 150 hours.

Most people agree that Level 2 is substantially more difficult than Level 1. The lower pass rate in Level 2 also support this observation.

For Your Further Reading