CAIA Study Materials

My employer will cover exam fees but not 3rd party study materials. I’m thinking about using the CAIA materials rather than a 3rd party. I noticed they currently have the book “CAIA Level 1: An Introduction to Core Topics in Alternative Investments, 2nd Edition” listed as the recommended reading. Anyone know how long they’ve been on the 2nd Edition? I believe it was used for the 2013 exams as well right? Just wondering if I can go used or if it’s updated each year?

“CAIA Level 1: An Introduction to Core Topics in Alternative Investments, 2nd Edition” was first used for the CAIA exams in 2013. It will not change for the 2014 exams.

It is a great textbook. I used it for my preparation for the September exam. However, it doesn’t offer any practice questions. So, you will need to have access to a question bank such as Schweser’s. CAIAA only offers 50 sample questions, which is not enough in my opinion. Good luck!

Thanks for the replies! That’s a good idea on the question bank. Now I have to decide if it’d be better to get the CAIA textbook plus Schweser QBank or just get the Schweser package that includes the QBank and skip out on the CAIA book.

I did the latter for both exams. Never got a CAIA textbook and passed both.


You might miss a couple of points by using Schweser, but being focussed on the important issues outwieghs this by far.

After investing several hours in clarficiation of this question, I finally decided for Schweser becoz of the following:

  • Industry standard
  • On-Time delivery (no past failures*)
  • General positive opinion
  • Books more detailed (online samples compared) (probably this is why they way more pages)

Just placed the order for the preimum package.

First thought of ordering UpperMark, but as I read about delivery failures* (sorry, this should NOT happen!), a analysis for their website (out of date), etc., gave little more points to Schweser. I also analized their client manager’s activity on AF, which is alos low (last post some months back). All soft factors, but they complete the puzzle.

So, let’s do it!

This is my first professional certification exam… Since I do not have a relevant work exp… CAIA is whole new thing to me… Just wanted to know how would you rate the L1 difficulty for a starter? Books to be referred? Any other tips or tricks would be helpful… Thank you

Franzino: I too was pretty new to the curriculum when I started and was my first professional exam so I know how you feel. I passed L1 first time with Uppermark materials. Even though I bought the CAIA core text I bearly used it.

Get the UM books and the testbank (essential) - flashcards are useful too for quick testing. I did have issues with books arriving late however I was in the first group to take the completely new curriculum so that could explain it. Still caused me a few headaches…that aside, I found the books easy to work through.

I went through the books, testing myself along the way then hammered the testbank as early as I could to get familiar with testing scenarios and uncover weak areas. The CAIA website has practice exams so make sure you sit that too. Basically take as many questions as you can. Uppermark has a final review exam too, which is good to take. I didn’t bother with the online lectures…

Make sure you’re aceing Ethics aswell - some people get caught out because they think it’s common sense - but you have to get familiar with how the questions are asked. Its up to 20% of the exam and you can set yourself up for a decent score if you’re scoring well on that section.



No Schweser for CAIA?

Guys, I am selling Upper Mark premium suite (inc. testbank, books, video) - half price. Anyone interested?


I am interested can you contact me on ?

Can I buy March’s Level 1 if I plan to take it in September? Will the materials be the same?

Yes. There is no change in the material.

Good to be back on AF! Before I tackle CFA L2 again ( sad), I’m going to try and bang out CAIA L2. I’m almost done with the Advanced Core Topics book and plan on hitting UpperMark test bank again like L1. Do you think I need to go buy and read the “Core and Integrated Topics 2014” books, which I think is just case studies? I think it might just be nice to have but would like to know what you guys think, especially those who passed L2 already. Thanks! Go Team!

L2 had questions that made a lot of references to case studies.

Aren’t the case studies covered by the Schweser notes? Did the Schweser notes prepare you well for the level II exam?

I am using the textbook to prepare, which has twice as many pages as the Schweser notes. I am getting a little concerned about time.

Hi there, I’m interested in taking CAIA Level 1 exam in September, but would like to start studying as soon as possible. Is it okay to buy the current Schweser Study material for the March exam now, or do we expect major changes for the September version? Thanks!