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CEP Institute Exam Prep Course

Comprehensive CEP exam preparation for Level 1, 2, and 3 candidates, revised for 2018; live demo available

The spring 2019 Prep Course will be available for purchase in approximately March 2019.

The NCEO's CEP Institute Exam Prep Course is a complete educational tool that combines the benefits of online learning with hundreds of sample practice questions. CEP candidates enrolled in our preparation course receive (1) access to our online learning environment with a multitude of sample questions, answers, and explanations, plus a stock plan glossary; (2) a final exam; (3) question review Webinars presented by leading experts; (4) a test tips Webinar; (5) a laminated CEP Institute Exam Reference Guide for use during the exam, also provided as a PDF download to use on your computer while studying; (6) private discussion forums; and (7) supplemental study documents.

In the CEPI's fall 2014 survey of students that passed its exams, a clear majority reported using the NCEO's Prep Course. Three-quarters of all new CEPs that passed the fall 2014 Level 3 exam were our Prep Course students. Our own surveys of CEP students who took our Prep Course found an average 80.2% pass rate in recent years, with 96.3% of participants stating the Prep Course was useful in studying for the exam. One service provider reports, "The CEP program is an important program to develop our internal expertise and establish a competitive difference." On average, the provider's employees who passed the CEPI exam logged into the Prep Course more often, took almost twice as many practice quizzes, viewed more Webinar replays, and were twice as likely to take our practice final exam than employees who failed the CEPI exam.

"I scored 97%. I was very surprised I scored so high. I think your Prep Course was extremely valuable in helping me do so well on the test!"
— Level 1 CEP exam candidate

"I think the Prep Course was put together really well and I don't believe that I would have passed had I not taken it. Thank you!"
— Level 2 CEP exam candidate

"I'm sorry I didn't use the Prep Course for the first two exams—my score on the Level 3 exam was the highest out of the three, and I'm sure that was the result of the Prep Course."
— CEP designee
This course is not currently open for registration.
Level 1 Prep CourseLevel 2 Prep CourseLevel 3 Prep Course
Over 100 Level 1 sample test questionsOver 100 Level 2 sample test questions, plus all Level 1 sample questionsOver 100 Level 3 sample test questions, plus all Levels 1 and 2 sample questions
Timed 100-question final examTimed 100-question final examTimed 70-question final exam
CEP Institute Exam Quick Reference GuideCEP Institute Exam Quick Reference GuideCEP Institute Exam Quick Reference Guide
Four live question review WebinarsFour live question review Webinars, plus Level 1 WebinarsFour live question review Webinars, plus Level 1 and 2 Webinars
Test tips WebinarTest tips WebinarTest tips Webinar
Access to discussion forumsAccess to discussion forumsAccess to discussion forums
Unlimited access to Webinar replays until exam dateUnlimited access to Webinar replays until exam dateUnlimited access to Webinar replays until exam date
Supplemental study documentsSupplemental study documentsSupplemental study documents

A New Selection and Ordering of Questions Every Time You Start a Quiz

The Prep Course features quizzes that randomly reshuffle the questions from the given level and topic every time you start taking a quiz. Then, with each subsequent series of 5 questions for that level and topic, you will see a new group of questions until you have seen them all. At that point, if you continue, the questions will be randomly reshuffled again. Thus, instead of facing the same quiz over and over again, you will see freshly generated selections of 5 questions.

Try a Live Demo

Try the new Prep Course out by going to and logging in with the username demo and the password user (both are case-sensitive). The demo version of the course presents you with what a Level 3 user would see (i.e., links for questions, etc., for all three levels). In the demo, you are limited to a single set of 5 questions for the Level 1 taxation quiz and cannot view Webinars.

Course Components

1. Hundreds of Sample Test Questions, Newly Updated

The CEP Institute Exams present considerable difficulties, even for experienced professionals. Working through challenging questions such as those in our Exam Prep Course is an essential preparation tool for the exam. For each CEP test level, we provide multiple-choice practice questions written by equity compensation experts, many of whom have written actual CEP exam questions and are CEPs themselves. The questions address the four subject areas the CEP Institute exam covers: Accounting; Taxation; Corporate and Securities Law; and Equity Plan Design, Analysis, and Administration. Students take quizzes online and instantly find out whether they have answered correctly. For each answer, students are given a reference to required CEP Institute study materials and an explanation of the correct answer. Your access to the sample questions lasts until the date of the next CEP exam. The questions, answers, and references are updated for each administration of the exam.

Because the CEP exams are cumulative, you should review the earlier levels as you study for Levels 2 or 3. Because of this, the NCEO's Prep Course automatically gives you access to all information from the earlier levels.

Along with the sample questions, the online Prep Course also includes an equity compensation glossary featuring a multitude of terms and definitions relevant to the equity compensation field.

2. Final Exam

We now provide a timed final exam to simulate the actual CEPI exam. The questions are drawn from the sample test questions described above, and their number and difficulty correspond to your CEPI exam level.

3. Question Review Webinars

Our Exam Prep Course also includes Webinars—PowerPoint presentations broadcast live over the Internet, accompanied by a telephone conference call. The Webinars review sample questions to help prepare you for the actual exam and also instruct you on the topic of the Webinar. All students will receive a link to the replay of the live broadcast, which can be viewed an unlimited number of times until the date of the next national exam. Students can download an MP3 file of the audio portion to play on their digital devices. The Webinars are managed by Achaessa James, CEP, of the NCEO. The total running time for the Webinars is four hours per level (four sessions of one hour each). The replays of the fall Webinars will be available until the live spring Webinars take place, so you can start watching Webinars immediately after enrolling in the Prep Course. See the sidebar at right for biographies of our Webinar presenters.

4. Test Tips Webinar

In addition to the topic-specific Webinars mentioned above, we provide a Webinar devoted to test-taking tips for all levels.

5. CEP Institute Exam Quick Reference Guide

Another component of our Exam Prep Course is a laminated, three-hole-punched Quick Reference Guide, which can be easily inserted into your binder for use during the open-book exam. The Reference Guide consists of four double-sided letter-sized pages and is packed with common definitions, formulas and the like, serving as a fast and easy reference both during study and during the actual CEP Institute exam. It is also provided as a PDF download within the Prep Course so you can refer to it on your computer or other digital device while studying.

6. Private Discussion Forums

The Prep Course includes a private discussion forum area where participants can pose questions that arise during exam preparation.

7. Supplemental Study Documents

The Prep Course includes several supplemental documents, such as a pyramid exercise example and a timeline worksheet to assist in working through questions.

Webinar Presenters

Achaessa James, CEP (webinar moderator, Level 1 Law and Administration presenter, and Level 2 Administration presenter)
Achaessa, a stock plan administrator and consultant since 1999, is the Product & Services Consultant for Solium's Private Markets Group, providing training and support on the Shareworks plan administration platform. She also is the NCEO's product manager for equity compensation programs and is responsible for the content and management of the NCEO's Prep Course.
Sarah Roberts, CEP (webinar moderator and Level 1 Taxation presenter)
Sarah is a senior equity plan consultant at Stock & Option Solutions. She has over 15 years of experience in equity plans, and more than 15 years of practice in finance and accounting.
Tim McCleskey, CEP (webinar moderator and Level 1 Accounting presenter)
Tim is an equity compensation consultant for Stock and Option Solutions. He has been a part of the People Solutions division for over seven years.
Cassandra Fedele, CEP (Level 2 Accounting presenter)
Cassandra is a financial reporting analyst with Solium and a Certified Equity Professional (CEP).
Lamont Walker, CEP (Level 2 Taxation presenter)
Lamont is currently the head of stock administration at Counsyl Inc. His 10 years of experience in stock plan administration includes both public and private companies.
Sandra L. Sussman, CEP (Level 2 Law presenter)
Sandra is an equity compensation expert with SAP. Her gateway into equity compensation was corporate law, and she has served the equity compensation community for almost 30 years, including 7 years as NASPP's executive director.
Ellie Kehmeier (Level 3 Taxation presenter)
Ellie is the managing director of the Steele Consulting LLC Silicon Valley office and has over 25 years' experience consulting on taxation in equity compensation.
Elizabeth Dodge, CEP (Level 3 Accounting presenter)
Elizabeth is a principal for Equity Plan Solutions, LLC (EPS), providing equity compensation consulting services to companies from startups to large public corporations. Previously, she was a vice president at Stock & Option Solutions, Inc.
Samantha Adams, CEP (L3 Corporate & Securities Law presenter)
Sam is a stock administrator and corporate paralegal at MuleSoft, Inc., a company building a platform to connect and integrate systems.
Mary Lee, CPA, CEP (Level 3 Administration presenter)
Mary Lee heads all things equity at Stripe. She has a degree in marketing and certificate in bean counting. She's found the perfect combination of spreadsheets, people, and numbers in equity. She has years of experience making equity easy for companies to administer and employees to understand.

Terms of Use

The price of the CEP Institute Exam Prep Course varies depending on your candidate level. Your access to the Prep Course questions, Webinars, and discussion forums will last until the date after the CEP Institute exam. The prices given here are per-user prices; your access cannot be shared with others. Discounted member prices are available only to NCEO members.

The CEP Exam Prep Course is not an independent training course on equity compensation but rather an exam preparation course for those who have registered with the CEPI to take a forthcoming exam. The Prep Course assumes that you have registered with the CEPI and have received the binder from it, and that you have bought your course texts.

Access to a Control Panel and Post-Exam Reports for Workplace Supervisors

If your firm buys the CEP Institute Exam Prep Course for a group of students, you can receive access to a private, password-protected control panel to monitor your students' activity in the Prep Course. After the exam, Scott Rodrick of the NCEO will compile and send you a more detailed report summarizing the activity of all students and showing the activity of each student in detail. For more information, please contact Eimear Elzy at