How to prepare for the CIPP/E exam?

How to prepare for the CIPP/E exam?

There are many students who wonder how they can best prepare for the CIPP/E exam of IAPP. First of all, it is good to realize that the exam is not easy. It requires serious preparation to succeed.

Exam blueprint

The exam topics are elaborated in the Body of Knowlegde (here). In the official exam blueprint you can see on which subjects you can expect the most questions. You can download the blueprint here. If you look closely, you will see that the focus is on the second of the three components (European Data Protection Law and Regulation). This is really the legal regulation: the GDPR. The GDPR is central to the CIPP/E exam. About 40 and 60 questions are asked about this. Questions about practical applications in labor relations, surveillance, direct marketing and technology also play an important but minor role (12 to 25 questions). The exam contains the least questions (4 to 10) about the history of privacy legislation, European institutions and the legislative framework. It is smart to study these topics, but pay less attention to them than, for example, the GDPR.

Book, GDPR and CIPP/E exam questions

Almost all questions asked on the exam can be taken directly from the official textbook. That is the book by Eduardo Ustaran (editor), called: European Data Protection: Law and Practice and published by the IAPP. This thick book contains all the information you need, but is not always easy to read and contains many duplications. You learn smarter with a summary. On the internet you can find summaries with good search.

What you always have to do is study the GDRP. Download it in your own language and read the first 50 articles in any case. In it you will find the most important basic principles that are part of the CIPP/E exam. It is wise to remember the links between the different articles. You also have to know about what is in the most important articles. As additional study material you can read the opinions of the article 29 WP or editions of the EDPS, ICO and CNIL. Studying that material is not necessary to pass the exam.

What you also need to do is download the practice questions from the IAPP. These 30 practice questions give you a good idea of ​​the questions that you can expect on the exam. The exam consists not only of individual questions, but also of scenarios. These are long cases on which several questions are asked. The practice questions are generally much simpler than the questions that are asked on the exam. You could also purchase the additional study materials from the IAPP, but these are expansive and do not constitute a complete preparation for the exam.


The conclusion of the above is that it is difficult to pass the exam. In addition, there is little information about the exam and there are few opportunities to test your knowledge. has developed an online course to help you. In the course the most important topics are explained in videos. Many different questions are asked to test whether you have understood the material. Over 65 exam questions are included in this course, including various scenarios. Much attention is paid to the most important legal articles. Finally, you will receive a 30-page summary of the official textbook. All of this makes it a lot easier to pass the CIPP/E exam and become a privacy professional.

Good luck!

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