Written Exam

Exam Format

The written examination consists of two parts – each has approximately 100 multiple-choice questions. The time limit for each part of the exam is three hours. Part I tests your knowledge in the general environmental science area. All candidates are required to take this portion of the exam. Part II tests your knowledge in one of the specific practice areas: Air Quality; Waste Management; Water Quality; or Environmental Science, Management, and Policy. Only QEP applicants take this portion of the exam.

The exam is closed notes/books. It has been designed to measure the breadth of knowledge in the environmental field. Some calculations are required. However, they are minimal. A list of unit conversion factors that may be needed will be provided with the exam.

Preparing for the Exam

IPEP has published a free Examination Guide, which provides an overview of the subject matter on the exam, sample questions, and a recommended resource list. There are also more specific Body of Knowledge materials for each specialty test.

The current Body of Knowledge for all exams can be found here:

QEP Part One General Environmental Science Body of Knowledge
QEP Part Two/ESM&P Body of Knowledge
QEP Part Two/ Air Quality Body of Knowledge
QEP Part Two/Water Quality Body of Knowledge
QEP Part Two/Waste Management Body of Knowledge


The written test is a computer based exam.  It requires a QEP proctor to be present.   Candidates are permitted to take non-programmable calculators, which are silent, battery-operated, do not have paper tape printing capability, and do not have a full alphabetic keyboard. Examinees are not permitted to share calculators. Use of books, other materials, or scratch paper is prohibited, but you will be able to use the margins and any blank pages in the test booklet to work problems. The test is closed book. It is a good idea to get to the testing location at least thirty minutes before the scheduled testing time. This will permit you to develop the proper, relaxed mindset to take the examination. After you get to the testing site, present a current photo ID, sign in with the proctor, follow the proctor’s instructions, and relax.

Score Reporting

Your QEP/EPI exam results will usually be forwarded to you by first class mail within sixty days of the testing date. These results are confidential. To be recommended to the IPEP Trustees for QEP certification, you must receive a passing score on both parts of the examination. To be recommended to the IPEP Trustees for EPI certification, you must receive a passing score on Part I of the examination. A candidate failing a first examination may request one re-examination within two years without having to pay an additional filing fee. The candidate only has to re-take that portion of the exam not passed. A candidate failing for the second time must wait ten months before being re-tested and must submit a new application and filing fee, along with evidence of additional professional development. A waiting period of twenty-two months is required for each subsequent failure.