Useful CMP and CGMP Exam Prep Study Strategies
I recently earned the CGMP (Certified Government Meeting Professional) designation and while everything is still fresh, I'd like to share some exam preparation tips that proved helpful. I used the same strategies that were useful when I passed the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) exam in 2016. The two exams are very different. For the CMP exam, you can choose the self-study route, an in-person study group, or an online study course. The CMP exam is computer-based taken at a Prometric testing site and you learn if you passed immediately. With the CGMP exam, you participate in a 3 day class and take a paper exam on the 4th day. You learn if you passed within a week after the exam.
The following tips are based on the strategies I used when preparing for both exams:
Know your learning style
Some people are visual learners, others learn better by listening. If you're unsure about your learning style, this quiz may help. Once you know your learning style, study accordingly. I’m a visual learner so I used colorful pens and highlighters when taking notes which made recalling information easier.
Focus on weak subjects
Through practice questions and review of topics, you should be able to determine areas where you don’t have a solid grasp. Focus on those, particularly if you’re short on study time. This approach helps you to use your time and energy efficiently.
Take advantage of apps and online tools
The PocketPrep app is awesome for CMP exam preparation. I chose the self-study route and used the PocketPrep app for practicing exam questions. With the app on my cell phone, it was super convenient to practice questions while waiting in line at the grocery store or right before going to bed. I also came across these online flash cards that I used when studying for the CGMP exam. I didn't use them extensively but found them useful to review before receiving the course book. You can also use Quizlet to make your own flashcards.
Try to manage anxiety
If exams or even studying, for that matter, are a source of anxiety for you, practice deep breathing. Normally, you’ll feel better with 5-10 deep breaths.
Develop a mantra or affirmation
Make up a positive affirmation about passing the exam and say it at least 10 times a day. A good one is "I easily recall all information required to pass the CMP/CGMP exam and I joyfully pass the exam. "
Go with information in the study materials vs. your own experience
In studying for both exams, there were times where my experience differed from the information in the study materials. For the purpose of the exam, go with the information in the study materials. The "book" way of doing certain things often may not hold up in the real world and that's ok. You don't have to change the way you do anything, just don't waste time trying to reconcile something in the study materials with your real life experience. Most simply put, for the purpose of the exam, the book is always right.
Get lots of sleep
I’m a notorious night owl and typically don’t require lots of sleep. However, the week or a few days before the exam, I tried to get a few hours more than my usual amount to make sure I was well-rested. Getting the adequate amount of sleep means we're more alert, can process information better and generally feel better.
Eat well and hydrate
While studying and in the days leading up to the exam day, I tried to drink lots of water and fill up on nutritious brain-friendly foods. I was also much more diligent with my vitamin regimen. I think more clearly when I'm properly hydrated and I feel better when I eat balanced meals. Our brains and bodies work best when we give them the proper fuel.
I hope you find these tips useful and Good Luck and Best Wishes with your exam preparation!
If you have study tips to share, please do so in the Comments section.
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