Level I CAIA® Exam Day Preparation Tips

By: Kaplan Schweser
December 14, 2020
A conceptual graphic warning to be prepared by using the Level I CAIA exam day preparation tips

If you’re preparing to sit for Level I of the CAIA® examination, you’re likely starting to feel a bit of anxiety. That’s completely normal. The best way to alleviate that anxiety is to prepare a game plan and know what to expect on and after the exam day. We’ve put together this list of five crucial tips to help you go into your exam feeling prepared for success. 

Don’t be surprised by the commute or avoid it altogether.

If you are going to take the exam in person, determine the route you will take to travel to the exam location in advance, and plan to get there early. Nothing can set you up for a bad exam worse than the frustration that comes from racing to arrive to the exam on time. Be aware of any traffic or road construction that might pose a problem at the time of day you will be traveling.

Know what to expect on the Level I CAIA® exam.

All topics will be covered on the exam, but not all individual Learning Objectives (LOs) can, or will, be covered. The guideline topic area weights for the current exam can be reviewed in CAIA Association’s most current Candidate Handbook.

The Level I CAIA examination will be 100% multiple choice. Keep in mind that CAIA Association will do its best to develop tricky answer choices intended to pull your attention away from the correct answer. Read each question and answer thoroughly, and answer each question carefully, before moving on.

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Be ready to do some number crunching.

CAIA Association has stated that up to 30% of exam questions will require a calculation. Therefore, you need to be ready to calculate correct answers and provide interpretations for those answers. CAIA Association will not provide a formula list on the exam. At a minimum, make sure you know the formulas associated with LOs that use the command word “calculate.” Note, however, that equations presented in LOs without the “calculate” command word may also appear on the exam. Thus, we recommend being comfortable with all equations that appear in SchweserNotes.

Guess if you must.

Don’t leave a single question unanswered. Guessing is not a strategy that will help you solve the exam on its own. But you should attempt to answer every question, even if that means you have to guess on some. There are no points deducted for wrong answers. But a question left unanswered will get you a guaranteed zero points for that question.

Take the test!

There’s a chance you don’t feel fully prepared. Take the test anyway. You’ve already paid for the right to take the exam. You’ve invested at least some time into preparing for it. You might as well give it a shot to at least gain insight from the experience.

After completing the exam, each candidate will be sent an email stating their pass/fail status within about three weeks of the close of the testing window. You can also log into the CAIA Association website after the grading period to receive your results.

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