CPEP™ Exam/cpep-certification-examination/index
  • 01

    Exam Aims & Design

    CPEP™ exam aims at validating the candidates' potential and capacity to effectively perform an array of tasks across the entire spectrum of sub-domains within private equity and venture investing. CPEP™ exam is designed on standards from USPEC Standardized Knowledge Architecture for Practice Excellence. USPEC Body of Knowledge has been engineered to redefine the profession of private equity in the 21st century.

    CPEP™ exam test candidates on their knowledge of the state of the art principles, theories and generally accepted analysis and decision-making techniques, approaches, methods and practices. USPEC expects candidates appearing for the CPEP™ exam read the material contained in the USPEC Private Equity Handbook and maintain familiarity with the latest in Private equity theory and practice by reading journals and books, listening to podcasts of experts and participating in professional development programs and events.

  • 02

    Structure of Assessments

    USPEC assessment policy prescribes multi-stage evaluation to qualify candidates for the award of the CPEP™ charter. This has been done to ensure rigorous learning that stays with candidates and reduce the load of exam on them at the same time.

    All candidates require to complete three components of assessments - the first two being assignment-submissions. These assignments are based on simulations of real-life analysis and decision situations as typically faced by private equity professionals in real life. The assignment sheets are uploaded on the candidates’ myUSPEC dashboard, asking them to react and respond to the given problem/ prompt/ topic in the format prescribed. The criteria of scoring are described in each assignment sheet.

    While candidates can complete and submit the assignments within 365 days of when they open on the dashboard, the final component - the CPEP™ exam is to be taken on the ExamStrong™ portal on a pre-booked schedule.

    Assignment CPE1 Solution Submission on PE Deal Design & Execution 75
    Assignment CPE2 Solution Submission on PE Fund Management 75
    USPEC Exam - CPEX1921 Final 90 Minutes Online Exam (50 Multiple Choice questions of 3 marks each) 150
    TOTAL 300

    Note: Submission of Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 is mandatory to appear for your CPEP™ Exam.

  • 03

    Exam Curriculum

    CPEP™ exam feature questions drawn from a wide selection of private equity areas, a knowledge in which the USPEC body of knowledge defines as essential to have for individuals intending to be CPEP™. The framework and coverage of CPEP™ exam is accurately fleshed out in the USPEC Handbook of Private Equity, provided to every CPEP™ candidate. Candidates are expected to be exposed to business fundamentals and also the bare basics of accounting and finance for a faster and more in-depth learning of private equity.

    CPEP™ exam, in keeping with the IFIS™ framework, steer away from basic finance and accounting, and focus entirely on the mechanics and analytics of private equity. The following topics have been specifically assigned by USPEC in which the knowledge of candidates are tested:

    Knowledge Areas & Topics

    • Foundations of Private Equity
      • Private Equity Essentials
      • Venture Capital
      • Growth Equity
      • Buyouts
      • Alternative Strategies
    • Deal Mechanisms in Private Equity
      • Deal Sourcing & Due Diligence
      • Target valuation
      • Deal pricing Dynamics
      • Deal Structuring
      • Transaction Documentation
    • Managing PE Investments
      • Corporate Governance
      • Securing management Teams
      • Operational Value Creation
      • Responsible investment
      • Exit
    • Fund Management and the GP-LP Relationship
      • Fund Formation
      • Fundraising
      • LP portfolio management
      • Performance Reporting
      • Winding Down a Fund
    • The Evolution of Private Equity
      • LP Direct Investment
      • Listed Private Equity
      • Risk Management
      • Private Equity Secondaries
      • Evolution of Private Equity
  • 04

    Exam Questions Type

    A typical exam generally includes 50 multiple-choice questions, some of which are domain knowledge-based, while others are numeric or argument-based.

    Domain Knowledge-based Questions

    These fact-based questions directly test the candidates' ability to recollect concepts, principles, techniques, and generally accepted practices in contemporary Private Equity. Candidates' answers to these questions will reflect their awareness and comprehension of critical concepts and issues as covered in the USPEC body of knowledge.

    Numeric or Argument-based Questions:

    These are Numeric or Argument-based questions that directly test the candidates' ability to apply and execute their awareness and understanding of the concepts and principles in the practice of Private Equity in real-world scenarios at an advanced level. Candidates' answers to these questions will reflect their capacities for critical analysis and judgement in gauging decision challenges.

    Note: There is only one correct answer to domain knowledge-based and numeric or argument-based questions, and candidates are scored only if the correct option is selected.

  • 05

    Preparing for the Exam

    To ensure that all CPEP™ candidates develop themselves into the best young international professionals, USPEC advises they read extensively on the subject from as many sources as possible.

    It is critical that all CPEP™ candidates focus on widening their perspective of Private equity. Young professionals aspiring to break into and grow their careers in the Private equity space require to put in more efforts. While the CPEP™ Exam Preparation Material contains books and guidelines on how to study for the exam, additional research should be done to properly prepare for the exam. Private equity is an evolving discipline and will perhaps never become an exact science, making-containing the entire practice of Private equity into a single textbook impossible. USPEC has evolved its essential knowledge model in what is the world’s largest project on defining knowledge essentials for excellence in Private equity.

    USPEC has done its part to cover the extensive breadth of Private equity to assure that the CPEP™ charter makes an impact on the professional capabilities of the candidates. CPEP™ candidates are advised to use USPEC Handbook & Casebook on Private equity as the master references to prepare for their exam.

  • 06

    Qualifying for the CPEP™ Credential

    Usually, an examinee scoring 65%-70% in CPEP™ assessments qualify for the credential. However, an examinee's real, individual scores do not decide the recommendation for the award. Instead, a complex algorithm is used to make the program completion decisions which nullify those geographic and other environmental factors that have a potential to skew performance. Hence the pass/ qualification score may not always stay pegged between 65%-70%.

  • 07

    Online and Digitally-Proctored Exam

    CPEP™ exam is delivered on the world's most rigorous test-delivery standards laid down under the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) norms that also conform to leading edge Portable Custom Interaction Best Practices. Online testing, powered by ExamStrong™ , provides a secure way for you to complete the CPEP™ exam from any place. CPEP™ exam standards and best practices exceed the most stringent of universal testing, accreditation, and credentialing norms.

    Wired and walled by robust technology and process management policies, USPEC test-engines on ExamStrong™ ensure correct, zero-lag, cheat-deterrent and examinee-friendly conduct of exams.

USPEC Exam Policies

USPEC practices stringent policies that not only help maintain the sanctity and credibility of its internationally renowned examination but also ensure that a just, affirmative, healthy, objective and empathetic approach is pursued in evaluating applicants' fitness for the award of its prestigious credential. Examinees must agree to all the policies and procedures before they appear for the CPEP™ exam.

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Choose When And Where You Want To Take The CPEP™ Exam

Schedule your CPEP™ Exam

If you have registered for the CPEP™ exam, you can schedule your exam anytime within 365 days of the registration date. Please note, candidates can’t schedule the exam until the submissions are reviewed and accepted.

Contact us for opening your exam window, if it is already 120 days after the registration date, and you are not able to schedule your exam from myUSPEC Dashboard.

Run a system check

To ensure that your system meets the requirements, we recommend you take the mock exam 24 hours before you appear for your scheduled exam. Attempting the mock exam will also ensure you are familiar with the identification process and ensure a smooth exam experience.

System Requirements Must  Have
Display (Resolution) 1024 x 768 [Recommended]
Network Connection Strongly recommend using a wired network rather than a wireless network as it provides better exam delivery performance
Internet Connection Speed Minimum 1 Mbps
Web Browser(s) Latest Version of Google Chrome Only
Webcam Internal or an External Webcam must connected to the computer
Firewall(s) Corporate Firewalls (including VPNs) often cause this Exam Delivery method to fail. Please take your Exam in a setting without these Firewalls
Admin Rights Should have Admin Rights on your Laptop/Computer

Exam Guide

With the right preparation, candidates increase their chance of ensuring a smooth exam experience and successfully passing the exam. The guide provides all the necessary exam-related information including the exam-prep checklist.

Exam Guide

Ready for the exam? Here’s a checklist before you start!

Register for your CPEP™ Exam +
Schedule your exam +
Review USPEC exam policies +
Run a system check +
Attend and complete your examination+

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