Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

CAIA® FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions -  General

  1. What products do you offer?
    Kaplan Schweser offers the following selection of products designed to fully prepare candidates for the September 2014 CAIA® exam. All products listed below are available for both levels:
  • Weekly Online Program
  • SchweserNotes™
  • SchweserPro™ QBank
  • Flashcards
  • Schweser's QuickSheet
  • InstructorLink™
  • Final Review Pack which includes:
    • Schweser's Secret Sauce®
    • Final Review Workshop (4-hour online review session)
    • Final Review Exam

Combinations of these products are also offered in efficient study solutions. Please view our September 2014 CAIA® Product Brochure for more detailed information on our products.

  1. Can I return the materials if I don't like them?
    Please view our return policy.
     
  2. When will Kaplan Schweser products be available?
    You can check for product availability updates for Level I and Level II. If you have questions, please contact us for more information.
     
  3. How are the SchweserNotes™ organized?
    The SchweserNotes™ are organized by Topic and by Learning Objective (LO). The curriculum is presented in LO order, making studying for the exam a simple process: read the LO to determine the specific knowledge to be gained; read the comprehensive explanation immediately following the LO; and test yourself using Concept Checker questions. The practice exams included with the study notes will help you assess your exam readiness and identify areas of weakness.
     
  4. Can I watch the Weekly Online Program anytime I want or do I have to show up for the live session?
    All online seminars will be available on-demand for your review, meaning you can watch any session at your leisure. However, if you wish to ask questions during the presentation, you will need to attend the live sessions. You can, of course, watch a previous session and then submit questions during Instructor-Led Office Hours.
     
  5. How do I contact you if I find an error in the Kaplan Schweser products?
    To report potential errors, please use our online errata reporting tool. We respond to all errata submissions that identify actual errors, and we generally respond to other inquires as well.
     
  6. Are changes/amendments to the Kaplan Schweser products posted on your website?
    Yes. Once you are logged in under the CAIA section on our website, click "Updates/Errata" and then click on the Errata Reporting link.
  1. What is the CAIA program all about?
    The Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM designation was started in 2002 and is gaining momentum. Over 3,300 candidates registered to take the September 2012 exam. The designation covers alternative investments such as real assets, private equity, commodities, managed futures, hedge funds, and structured products. The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association® (CAIAA) is the governing body of the CAIA exam; therefore it is in charge of determining candidates' eligibility, administering and grading the exams, and deciding who is awarded the designation.
     
  2. What are the CAIA program requirements?
    You must have a U.S. bachelor's degree (or equivalent) and possess over one year of professional experience in the financial industry or possess a minimum of four years' professional experience in the financial industry. In addition, you must provide two professional references, complete the online CAIA Membership Agreement, submit annual membership dues, and pass both levels of the CAIA exam.
     
  3. What is the timeline for completing the CAIA program?
    The Level I and Level II exams are each offered in September and March. This exam schedule gives candidates the opportunity to complete the entire CAIA program in a single year. Candidates must successfully complete both exams in order to be eligible for membership in the CAIA Association. Candidates cannot take the Level I and Level II exams in the same exam period.
     
  4. What are the fees involved for the CAIA program?
CAIA Exam Registration Fees—Standard
 Early RegistrationRegistration
DatesApr. 1 – May 13, 2014May 14 – Aug. 5, 2014
Program Enrollment Fee *$400
Level I Exam Registration Fee **$1,150$1,250
Total$1,550$1,650
* The Program Enrollment Fee is one-time-only fee for new candidates.
Level II Exam Registration Fee **$1,150$1,250
Total$1,150$1,250
** Exam Retakes - the cost to retake either exam (Level I or II) is $450

 

CAIA Exam Registration Fees—AIMA / CISDM Member Companies ***
 Early RegistrationRegistration
DatesApr. 1 – May 13, 2014May 14 – Aug. 5, 2014
Program Enrollment Fee *$400
Level I Exam Registration Fee **$865$950
Total$1,265$1,350
* The Program Enrollment Fee is one-time-only fee for new candidates.
Level II Exam Registration Fee **$865$950
Total$865$950
** Exam Retakes - the cost to retake either exam (Level I or II) is $450

 

  1. When can I take the exam?
    Exam windows for each level are held in March and September of each year.
     
  2. When do I register for the exam?
    Registration for the March exams is open mid-October through the end of January, while registration for the September exams is open early April through late July. Early registration periods take place during the first six weeks of registration. During this time, candidates will receive 10% off their registration fees. Registration is exam-specific and cannot be transferred to future exam sessions.
     
  3. How do I register for the exam?
    There is a registration section on the CAIA Association's webpage where you will register for the exam. You are required to create an account before you are allowed to register. Visit the CAIA exam registration section of the CAIA Association's website.
     
  4. Can I register and pay for both levels at once?
    No, you will pay an enrollment fee up front, which will cover both exams, but after that you must register and pay for each exam level separately.
     
  5. Where do I take the exam?
    The CAIA exams are administered by computer at proctored test centers around the world. After registering for an exam, candidates are required to schedule an appointment with a testing center. Visit the exam location section of the CAIA Association's website to find a test center near you.
     
  6. How do I schedule an exam appointment?
    After registering for a CAIA exam, you will receive a confirmation email from CAIAA that will explain how to schedule your exam appointment. You will be asked to choose a testing center from a list of available sites, as well as a specific date and time within the two-week exam period for which you are registered.
     
  7. What is the format of the exams?
    The Level I exam lasts 4 hours and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. The Level II exam lasts 4 hours and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and three sets of constructed-response (essay-type) questions.
     
  8. What topics are covered in the curriculum?
    For Level I, topics include professional standards and ethics, alpha drivers and beta drivers, real assets, hedge funds, commodities and managed futures, private equity, and credit derivatives. For Level II, topics include professional standards and ethics; private equity; commodities and managed futures; real assets; hedge funds; structured products; asset allocation and portfolio management; risk and risk management; manager selection, due diligence, and regulation; and research issues and current topics.
     
  9. When will I receive my exam results?
    Level I exam results are usually distributed within three weeks of the closing of the exam window. Level II exam results are usually distributed within six weeks of the closing of the exam window.
     
  10. What score must I receive to pass the exams?
    The CAIAA exam committee uses 70% of the total points as the initial benchmark so that candidates who earn 70% or more of the total points pass the exam. Because the Association compares a candidate's score against the average exam score, there is the potential for a curve. The curve effectively moves the passing score below 70%.
     
  11. What are the pass rates of the exams?
    These percentages are fluid and change from exam to exam. In the September 2013 exam window, the Level I exam pass rate was 68%, and the Level II exam pass rate was 62%. These stated percentages include only those candidates who sit for exams.
     
  12. What is the CAIA Association's contact information?

CAIA Association
29 South Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002

Phone: 413.253.7373
Fax: 413.253.4494
Email: info@caia.org
​Web: www.caia.org

 

***  The fees and dues listed for the AIMA and CISDM are only applicable to members of the Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets (CISDM) and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).

  1. How long should I study for the exam?
    Past candidate surveys show that the average study time is at least 200 hours of study for each level of the exam.  
     
  2. Do I need to read the CAIA Association's recommended readings, or can I just use your notes?
    Our SchweserNotes™ are written to be a comprehensive guide of the recommended readings for the CAIA exam. The decision on whether or not to read the original texts is up to you, and often depends on your own academic background, strengths, and weaknesses.
     
  3. What calculators are allowed for the CAIA exam?
    The CAIA Association® allows candidates to use the TI Business Analyst Plus II (including the TI Business Analyst II Professional) or the HP 12C (including the HP 12C Platinum). No other calculators will be allowed in the exam room.
  1. I cannot get into the session. How can I verify that I have everything needed to access the CAIA video webcasts?
    You can test your system's connection and compatibility with the video webcast system. This page will test your connection to the internet to verify that you have the proper connection speed to run the audio and video of the webcasts.
     
  2. What are the general requirements for viewing a Kaplan Schweser Webcast?
    Stream57 is the technology used for delivering our Online Classes (webcasts), including the Weekly Online Program and the Final Review Workshop. The following are the System Requirements required to run the CAIA video webcasts:
Operating SystemProcessorRAM
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
(with Service Pack 2)
Windows 2000
At least 500Mhz Intel
Pentium/Celeron Family or
AMD K6/Athlon/Duron
Family or compatible
256 MB RAM
SoftwareConnectivityDisplay
Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10
Windows Media Player 9.0+
Adobe Acrobat 6.0+
Flash Player 8.0+
or
Shockwave Player 10.0+
Java 6.0+
Broadband (cable/DSL/T-1),
Download speed 500K +
800 x 600
minimum

1024 x 768
recommended

 

  1. How do I submit a Technical Support request?
    Please visit our Tech Support page to submit an electronic request, or for more information.

1. What is VitalSource®?

VitalSource® is the preferred and most used e-textbook platform in higher education today, and the VitalSource Bookshelf® is the most advanced eBook software in the world. With VitalSource®, you get three-way access to your books: download, online, and mobile. Notes and highlights automatically stay in sync no matter where you take them (mobile requires online synch). In the library, at the computer lab, or even in a clinical setting, you can access your books when you need them—whether you brought your laptop or not.

2. What products are available as eBooks?
SchweserNotes (Levels I and II), Schweser’s Secret Sauce®, and Schweser’s QuickSheet are available as VitalSource® eBooks. The eBook provides access to your study materials in a digital format for use on a personal computer, Apple® mobile device (including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®), Android™ mobile device, and the Kindle Fire.

3. How many devices will I be able to use my eBooks on?
When you purchase the eBook versions of SchweserNotes, Secret Sauce®, or QuickSheet, you will get access to view them online. You can also access and download them on up to two personal computers and up to two mobile devices.

4. What are the features of the VitalSource® eBooks?
Features of the SchweserNotes eBooks, Secret Sauce® eBook, and QuickSheet eBook include:

  • Electronic notes and highlighting: When you make notes and highlight sections, the changes are stored on the VitalSource® server, meaning they will be available if you access the eBook from another computer or device. Additionally, notes and highlights can be automatically synchronized between the web version of your products and your downloaded version (this requires that the computer containing your downloaded file be online). You can also share your notes and highlighted content.
  • Ability to export notes: You can copy/paste curriculum text and export your notes to a text file.
  • Advanced search function: You can search either a single volume of the SchweserNotes or every volume of the SchweserNotes for your exam level.
  • Flexible print options:  You can print up to two pages at a time.

5. How do I access eBook products on my desktop or laptop computer?
When you purchase an eBook product, you will receive an email with installation instructions and a unique registration code to activate your eBook. With a compatible browser, you will be able to access your eBooks via the Internet at online.vitalsource.com or from a file you directly download.

Bookshelf Online Browser Support Policy

Download the VitalSource Bookshelf

6. How do I access eBook products on my mobile device?
The eBook version provides access to the curriculum in digital format for use on a personal computer, Apple® mobile device (including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®), Android mobile device, and the Kindle Fire, eliminating shipping and customs fees. When you purchase an eBook product, and it is assigned to your account, you will receive installation instructions and a unique registration code to activate your eBook.

7. How long will I have access to my eBook?
You will have access to your eBooks through VitalSource® for 1 year (online) from the date of your code redemption and 2 years access for downloaded material.

8. Are there any limitations to the VitalSource® mobile apps?
Yes, there are some limitations to the mobile apps in comparison to the desktop version. Please see the important notes regarding your eBooks on mobile devices.

  • The functionality of the mobile device app is limited in comparison to the personal computer version of the VitalSource Bookshelf® software. For example, notes and highlights are viewable, but users cannot make new notes from the app at this time. The app does, however, have search capabilities.
  • The eBooks are not optimized for mobile devices and, therefore, the text on mobile phones is very small. The app has zoom capability, but at the expense of easy navigation.
  • Use of the app will not affect your ability to download the eBook onto a personal computer. Students can download their SchweserNotes, Secret Sauce®, or QuickSheet to a maximum of two compatible mobile devices, in addition to two personal computers. Additionally, candidates can access the online version of the eBook through online.vitalsource.com from any compatible Internet browser.
  • The app itself installs very quickly, but individual SchweserNotes books may take several minutes to download because of the large file sizes.
  • Users can only download their materials when WiFi access is available.

9. Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties?
For immediate answers to common technical support issues, please review the VitalSource Video Tutorials for the answers to several common questions.

If you require further assistance, visit VitalSource Technical Support or contact the VitalSource Support line. They will connect you with a VitalSource Bookshelf® expert who specializes in your exact question. The U.S.-based support center is open 24/7 to accommodate your schedule.

  • In the United States and Canada, please call 1.855.200.4146.
  • In the United Kingdom, please call 0808 2340361.
  • Submit a Bookshelf Customer Service Request or general Bookshelf Feedback using the VitalSource Support Web Form.
  • Live Chat is available in all areas by clicking the Need Help? Chat With Us pop-up at the bottom of the VitalSource Technical Support page.

10. What are the system requirements for eBooks?

  • PC: Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 (32/64 bit)
    • Microsoft .Net 4.5
    • DirectX 10 compatible graphics card
    • Internet Connection for registration and downloading of eBook
  • Mac: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Internet Connection for registration and downloading of eBook
  • Apple: iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch using iOS 6.0 or greater
  • Android: Android 2.2–4.4
  • Kindle Fire: Kindle Fire 1, 2, HD, or HDX model