The IBP Candidate Guide

Interested in learning more about the benefits of the IBP Credential? The IBP Candidate Guide is a great place to start. This one-stop guide covers the most relevant information for potential IBP candidates in one easy-to-navigate PDF.

Get the IBP Guide

About the IBP Program

The IBP Credential signals proficiency over a comprehensive investment banking body of knowledge.

Attaining the IBP credential is an impressive achievement signaling proficiency to employers over a comprehensive investment banking body of knowledge. To earn the IBP Credential, candidates must pass a 4-hour exam and demonstrate at least 1 year of professional full-time work experience in investment banking, corporate finance or other finance related field.

IBP Members currently work at top financial institutions including: logos logos

IBP Exam Overview

Exams at a Glance

  • The IBP Exam is administered in June, once a year
  • The exam is delivered online and can be taken from home
  • The exam is 4-hours long
  • The exam is offered in the morning ET
  • Requires building financial models in Excel + multiple choice questions and a short essay

Candidates must pass the IBP Exam to obtain the IBP Credential. The 4-hour exam is administered online and is monitored by an online proctor.

The exam is administered once a year in June in the morning eastern standard time.

Candidates should expect to spend a minimum of 200-250 hours of preparation for the IBP Exam. Candidates will be required to construct and submit financial models in Excel and pitchbook slides in PowerPoint.  The exam also includes multiple choice questions and one short essay.

Exam Topics

IBP Exam Topics Document

The topics tested in the IBP Exam represent the concepts and skills most applicable to the investment banking profession. The IBP Exam Topics Document is updated annually by the IBP Program Development Committee with input from industry practitioners.

View Exam Topics document

Topic Weight
Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis and Financial Reporting 20%
Excel and PowerPoint for Investment Banking 10%
Financial Statement Modeling 20%
Corporate Finance, Markets and Valuation Modeling 20%
M&A Process and Merger Analysis 10%
Leveraged Finance and LBO Analysis 10%
Effective Communication 10%

Studying for the exam

Exam registration includes a large sample question bank of official practice questions.

The IBP Exam are rigorous and challenging. The IBP Institute recommends a minimum of 200-250 hours of study time in order to reach a passing grade. The exam registration fee includes a large sample question bank of official practice questions.

To gauge readiness for the exams, the IBP Institute recommends taking these questions in a setting that mimics the test environment. Candidates should be targeting a score of 80% or higher on those questions. Learn More: Studying for the IBP Exam.

Results and Pass Rates

IBP Pilot Pass Rates
January June











Candidates receive exam results within 8 weeks of the exam date. Candidate scores are not disclosed.

The IBP Institute does not set a specific passing score for either exam in advance. The passing score is set after all exams are scored and the IBP Institute does not disclose the passing score.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The following shows registration and other exam deadlines for the June 22, 2019 IBP Exam. Click here to view deadlines for all currently-scheduled exams.

Deadlines for June 22, 2019 IBP Exam
June 22, 2018Registration Opens, Early Pricing Begins
Feb 7, 2019Early Registration Ends, Standard Pricing Begins
Mar 31, 2019Standard Registration Ends, Late Pricing Begins
May 15, 2019Registration Closes & Last Day to Defer to Next Exam Date
June 1, 2019Final Confirmation Emailed
June 22, 2019IBP Exam Day
Aug 15, 2019Exam Results Released

Exam Pricing

For details on exam pricing, enrollment fees and available exam dates, please visit the IBP Exam Pricing and Registration page.

Exam Technical Requirements

The IBP Exam is administered online through a live proctored, biometrically verified testing portal. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that their computer and testing environment meets the following IBP Testing Environment Criteria.

Candidates will be required to work through Excel models and other Excel worksheets in order to answer certain question sets.  As such, it is required that all candidates have a fully functioning webcam and a copy of Microsoft Office installed on the computer they will use to take the online exam. Read more: Technical Requirements.

Typical Exam Day Schedule

Activity (for example purposes only) Time (EST)
Candidates begin check-in process with online proctor 8:00 a.m.
ID confirmed through biometric analysis and photo ID 8:30 a.m.
Timed Exam begins. Candidates must remain in seat 9:00 a.m.
Timed session ends. Candidates must remain connected until dismissed. 1:00 p.m.

Credential Requirements

Anyone can sit for the IBP Exams regardless of their current employment or educational level. To earn the IBP credential, a candidate must meet the following criteria. Learn More: IBP Credential Requirements.

  1. Pass the IBP Exam
  2. Demonstrate at least one year of relevant work experience in the finance industry within 4 years of passing the IBP Exam
  3. Adhere to the IBP Institute Code of Ethics
  4. A bachelor's degree or equivalent education