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.
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:
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.
The curriculum is updated annually to reflect the latest industry and research developments.
The CAIA Level 2 exam consists of:
Check out the link on exam structure at the end of this post.
The pass rate was 67-68% in 2015. You can refer to this page for trend analysis.
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.