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

    Exam Aims & Design

    CPEP™ exam aims to assess the candidates' potential and ability to effectively perform an array of tasks across the entire spectrum of sub-domains within private equity and venture investing. The exam is based on IFIS™ Knowledge Architecture for Practice Excellence standards and the CPEP™ body of knowledge.

    CPEP™ exam evaluates candidates on their knowledge of the principles, theories, and generally accepted analysis and decision-making techniques, approaches, methods, and practices in private equity and venture investing. Candidates are expected to read the USPEC Private Equity Handbook and stay updated with the latest practices by reading journals and books, listening to experts' podcasts, 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.

    All candidates are required to complete three components of assessments, the first two of which are assignment submissions. These assignments are based on simulations of real-life analysis and decision situations typically faced by private equity professionals. The submissions must conform to the prescribed format and can only be completed on the candidates' myUSPEC dashboard.

    While candidates have up to 365 days after registration to complete and submit the assignments on their myUSPEC dashboard, the final component—the CPEP™ exam—must be taken on the ExamStrong portal at 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 the CPEP™ Exam.

  • 03

    Exam Curriculum

    The CPEP™ exam covers a broad range of private equity topics, which the CPEP™ body of knowledge deems essential for candidates aspiring to become CPEP™ Charterholders. The framework and coverage of the CPEP™ exam are accurately fleshed out in the USPEC Handbook of Private Equity, which is provided to every CPEP™ candidate. Candidates are expected to have a basic understanding of business fundamentals, accounting, and finance to facilitate their learning of private equity in a more efficient and in-depth manner.

    The CPEP™ exam adheres to the IFIS™ framework, which focuses exclusively on the mechanics and analysis of private equity and avoids basic accounting and finance concepts. USPEC has designated the following topics as the areas in which candidates' knowledge will be assessed:

    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 CPEP™ 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 judgment 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 all CPEP™ candidates achieve their full potential and become top-notch professionals in the industry, USPEC strongly recommends that they engage in extensive reading on the subject from a variety of sources and 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 the USPEC Handbook & Casebook on Private Equity as the master references to prepare for their exam.

  • 06

    Qualifying for the CPEP™ Credential

    Usually, a candidate scoring 65%- 70% in the exam qualifies for the CPEP™ Charter. However, a candidate’s individual scores do not decide the recommendation for the award. Instead, a complex algorithm is used to make the program completion decisions, nullifying geographic and other environmental factors that can potentially skew performance. Hence, the pass/ qualification score may not always stay pegged between 65%- 70%.

  • 07

    Online and Digitally Proctored Exam

    The CPEP™ exam is held to the highest standards in test delivery, using Question and Test Interoperability norms and Portable Custom Interaction Best Practices. The exam can be taken online through the secure ExamStrong platform from a private (personal) space, ensuring compliance with rigorous testing and credentialing standards. The USPEC test engines on ExamStrong are fortified by robust technology and process management policies, ensuring the exam is conducted in a fair, zero-lag, cheat-deterrent, and candidate-friendly environment.

    We recommend candidates to take the mock exam 24 hours before they appear for their scheduled exam to ensure that their system meets the requirements. Attempting the mock exam will also ensure the candidates 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 be 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

USPEC Exam Policies and Processes

USPEC’s stringent policies maintain the integrity and credibility of the CPEP™ program and ensure that a just and objective approach is pursued in evaluating a candidate’s fitness for the award of the CPEP™ Charter. It is the responsibility of the candidate to thoroughly understand and comply with all the policies and procedures prior to scheduling and appearing for the CPEP™ exam.

  • Exam Scheduling

    Once registered, candidates will have 365 days to prepare, study, and take the exam. To secure the preferred exam schedule, they must schedule the examination at least 30 days before the expiration of the 365-day period.

  • ID Policy

    When scheduling the exam, it is mandatory to provide details of two valid (non-expired) Government-issued identification documents. Both IDs must be current and valid on the exam day.

  • Exam Conduct

    USPEC places the highest priority on ensuring that exams are conducted fairly and recognizes the importance of maintaining an environment conducive to the success of all exam takers and is committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

Read the policies and processes to stay informed Private Equity Industry

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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