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.

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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 two 4-hour exams (Level I and Level II) 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 Level I and II Exams Overview

Exams at a Glance

  • The IBP Exams are administered on the same day, 3 times a year
  • The exams are delivered online and can be taken from home
  • Each exam is 4-hours long
  • Level I is offered in the morning ET
  • Level II is offered in the afternoon ET
  • Each exam is comprised of building financial models in Excel + 100 multiple choice questions and 2 short essays

Candidates must pass both the IBP Level I and Level II exams to obtain the IBP Credential. Each 4-hour exam is administered online and is monitored by an online proctor.

Both exams are administered on the same day, 3 times a year. Level I is offered in the morning and Level II is offered in the afternoon eastern standard time. Candidates must take each level on distinct exam days and can only register for Level II after they pass Level I.

Candidates should expect to spend a minimum of 200-250 hours of preparation for each level. Candidates will be required to construct and submit financial models in Excel and pitchbook slides in PowerPoint.  The exams also include 100 multiple choice questions and essays.

Exam Topics

IBP Exam Topics Document

The topics tested in the IBP Level I and Level II Exams 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

Level 1 Topics Level 2
20% Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis and Financial Reporting 10%
10% Excel and Powerpoint for Investment Banking n/a
20% Financial Statement Modeling 10%
20% Corporate Finance and Valuation Modeling 15%
10% M&A Process and Merger Analysis 25%
10% Leveraged Buyouts and LBO Modeling 25%
10% Effective Communication n/a
n/a Commercial Awareness 5%
n/a Ethics in Investment Banking 10%

Studying for the exam

Exam registration includes all study materials needed to successfully pass the Level I and Level II exams.

Both levels of the IBP Exam are rigorous and challenging. The IBP Institute recommends a minimum of 200-250 hours of study time for each exam. The exam registration fee includes all study materials needed to successfully pass both Level I and Level II as well as official practice questions.

To gauge readiness for the exams, the IBP Institute recommends taking the official practice questions included in the Level I and Level II registration 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
2015

32%

2016

27%

2017

31%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

Candidates receive exam results within 8 weeks of the exam date. Results will indicate if the candidate passed or did not pass as well as a decile performance across each topic category. 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. The IBP Institute does not disclose the passing score.

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The following shows registration and other exam deadlines for the June 16, 2018 IBP Exam. Click here to view deadlines for all currently-scheduled exams.

Deadlines for June 16, 2018 IBP Exam
DatesDescription
June 16, 2017Registration Opens, Early Pricing Begins
Jan 31, 2018Early Registration Ends, Standard Pricing Begins
Mar 31, 2018Standard Registration Ends, Late Pricing Begins
Apr 28, 2018Registration Closes & Last Day to Defer to Next Exam Date
May 4, 2018Final Confirmation Emailed
June 16, 2018IBP Exam Day
Aug 16, 2018Exam 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

Both IBP Level I and Level II are 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 Level I Level II
Candidates begin check-in process with online proctor 8:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.
ID confirmed through biometric analysis and photo ID 8:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.
Timed Exam begins. Candidates must remain in seat 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
Timed session ends. Candidates must remain connected until dismissed. 1:00 p.m. 8:00 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 Level I of the IBP
  2. Pass Level II of the IBP within 3 years after passing Level I
  3. Demonstrate at least one year of relevant work experience in the finance industry within 3 years of passing Level II
  4. Adhere to the IBP Institute Code of Ethics
  5. A bachelor's degree or equivalent education