We all remember the battle of both staying up late and waking up early to study for endless exams. Add a full-time job as well as other responsibilities to the mix and it makes the stress of studying that much more daunting.

In the events and destination management industry there are numerous certifications one can obtain that exemplify their exceptional skills in the field such as Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP), and Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). All certifications are impressive feats and we are proud to have such an intelligent team eager to enhance their strengths and become certified. We currently have nine staff with CMP, DCMP, or CSEPs. We reached out to several of these certification holders to gather extensive studying tips to help you out if you plan to become certified in the future.

Get your highlighters out, it’s time to start taking notes!

Cara Pratt CMP, DCMP, Partner and Vice President of Business Development at CSI Boston, explains that joining a study group with like-minded individuals is incredibly beneficial as it allows for you to compare notes and alleviates the stress of studying alone when you can’t always motivate yourself. She also explained that sharing notes with individuals who have recently taken the test and passed was very valuable. Cara ends by explaining how she, ”read the books and highlighted only the items I didn’t know and then went back to those to make flash cards.”

Ainsley Onstott CMP, DCMP, Associate General Manager at CSI Boston, agreed with Cara’s points adding that also taking an online class was very profitable as sometimes, “with our busy schedules it is hard to hold yourself to on-own study time and it was helpful to hear other people ask questions that I may not have thought to ask!”

Micayla Diener CMP, CSEP, Associate Director of Sales at CSI Chicago, explained that flashcards really helped her along with reading all the materials in the book. She said that the tests in the text are great because they do follow the content that is addressed in the book and follows as a valuable guideline to how the exam will be structured. Lastly, she concurs that study groups are very useful and taking practice sample tests (that are not knock off versions) were a great studying tool.

Brittany Baugh CMP, DCMP, Senior Event Manager at CSI Nashville said she was, “fortunate to attend CMP study classes led by Carol Norfleet who actually used to be involved in writing questions for the exam! There were five, two-hour classes over the Spring, which were very helpful.” She also borrowed study materials from a fellow MPI member expressing the benefits of joining with others who have taken these exams to see what worked best for them. I think we will all appreciate her last pointer – study as though it was a college exam: highlight new or important info from the book during the classes, then after classes are complete, skim through the chapters beginning to end and copy down any highlighted notes that may not have been fully absorbed, and review these short notes several times. In addition, have a friend quiz you or try recording yourself reading the notes out loud and listen to them on repeat – who needs a Spotify playlist?

We hope these tips and practices above provided by our colleagues help you on your quest to become certified. Best of luck to you all!