Since I took and passed my Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) I have had a lot of people reach out to me with questions about the test.
Becoming certified in your profession can gain you recognition, give you a competitive advantage, peer acceptance, personal achievement and possibly a salary increase. I wanted to get my CMP because there was a lot more I thought I could learn about the industry. I am a supplier not a planner so I wanted to think more like a planner to better know how to satisfy my clients needs.
I decided last summer that I was interested in becoming a CMP. I looked in to what you need and realized I had all of the credentials to become one. You need to have either 36 months of work experience, 24 months with a degree in hospitality or be a full time instructor. You also need to either have a hospitality internship or 25 CEU’s.
If you are interested in applying for your CMP start going to educational events right away. MPI, PCMA and IACC have events and educational days all of the time and that is where I received most of my credits from. Find something you are interested in learning about and take classes on it. As long as it pertains to this industry it will count.
I sent my application in August and received my acceptance in October. The application required a letter of recommendation and proof of your professional development.
I would recommend studying for at least six months for this exam so you are not spending all of your time studying however I started studying in October. I would also recommend taking the winter exam. A lot more people take that exam so you can find more study partners. Then will not be stuck inside all summer studying like if you were to take the July exam.
Purchase all four of the books that are recommended from the Convention Industry Council which is about $250 if you buy new.
I would recommend doing a study course which is provided by MPI or PCMA however they were both being revamped when I was studying so they didn’t provide one. PCMA has an online study tool which I purchased. This is a great tool to help you organize your studying. It will tell you which chapters to study together and you will answer questions at the end. When you are finished with all of the modules it will tell you which sections you should go over more.
The CIC book as well as the Professional Meeting Management book are the most important when studying. Read both cover to cover and answer the questions after each section. They also have keywords in each section. The ones you do not know make a flash card for so you can study when you have some down time. The International book will also have a few questions on the test but not many. Anything that has a list makes a good question so make flash cards.
Taking the Test
Remember you are being scored on what knowledge is in the materials. Not what happens in real life in this industry. When selecting an answer, it is what the book says not what happens in real life. Review the CIC blueprints to see what will be on the exam. The day before the test relax and do not even study. You need to be refreshed and ready for the exam. Cramming is not the way to go.
The CMP examination is computer based and is comprised of 165 multiple choice questions. The examination contains 150 operational questions (scored) and 15 unscored questions. You have 3.5 hours to complete the exam. I took the whole time to complete the exam.
At the end of the exam they will give you a pass or fail. It is a great achievement to receive your CMP and you will learn a tremendous amount while studying. If you have any questions about the CMP examination or tips on studying please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.