Uspec Certification Examinations/cpep-certification-examination/index
  • 01

    Exam Aims & Design

    CPEP™ exam aims at validating the participants' 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 participants 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 that individuals being assessed for their CPEP™ program 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 participants for the certification and the award of the CPEP™ program. This has been done to ensure rigorous learning that stays with participants and reduce the load of exam on them at the same time.

    All participants 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 participants’ 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 participants can complete and submit the assignments within 365 days of when they open on the dashboard, the final component - the CPEP™ certification 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™ participant. Participants 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 participants 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 a mix of 50 Type 1 and Type 2 questions. The number of questions may change without notice.


    These questions directly test the participants' ability to correctly and precisely recollect concepts, principles, techniques, and generally accepted practices in contemporary Private equity. The answers to TYPE 1 questions will reflect participants' awareness and comprehension of critical concepts and issues as covered in the USPEC body of knowledge. TYPE 1 Questions are facts based with the answer options being clear statements either clearly correct, or incorrect. There is only one CORRECT answer to TYPE 1 questions, and participants are scored only if the correct option is selected.


    Questions directly test the examinees' ability to apply and execute their awareness and understanding of the concepts and principles in the practice of Private equity. The answers to TYPE 2 questions will reflect participants' capacities for critical analysis and judgement in gauging decision challenges. Questions will test examinees' abilities to devise approaches, plans and methods to resolve challenges with accountability and a high degree of effectiveness. There is only one CORRECT answer to TYPE 2 questions, and participants are scored only if the correct option is selected.

  • 05

    Preparing for the Exam

    To ensure that all CPEP™ participants 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™ participants 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™ program makes an impact on the professional capabilities of the participants. CPEP™ participants 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.

Online Exam Facility In 180+ Countries

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

Schedule your CPEP™ Exam

If you have registered for CPEP™ exam, you will receive a USPEC support email informing you about the opening of the exam scheduling window. You can conveniently plan your exam online utilizing the credentials shared by USPEC and schedule your exam anytime within 365 days after the date of fee payment.

Contact us for opening your exam window, if it is already 120 days after your payment, and you have not received the exam scheduling link.

Run a system check

To avoid delays and added stress during your exam, you’re required to test the compatibility of the ExamStrong™ application prior to the start of your exam. The system test will take just a few minutes to complete.

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

Certification Exam Guide

The Guide provides all the necessary information for the candidates regarding exam registering for the exam, scheduling, scoring, cancelling, reapplying, and many more.

Certification Exam Guide

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

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

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