am i as good as i think i am?

I’ve been yacking almost incessantly about the CMP exam for about 6 months now.  Well, I finally took the darn thing over the weekend, here at PCMA’s annual meeting.

I’m prohibited by CIC from discussing particulars, and I don’t think it would be right to do so anyway, but here are some general observations.

  1. It’s a weird test. The questions are pulled randomly from a ginormous pool of questions written by people who’ve passed the CMP exam in the past.  And, it feels like it – random, that is.  There were questions on this test about subjects no “normal” meeting planner will ever have to deal with.  But, because “it’s in the book“, it’s fair game.
  2. It’s a frustrating test. You think you’ve studied hard, you’ve learned everything there is to know, and yet, on a question whose answer should be obvious, you’re staring at two answers that could easily be right (based on your knowledge of meeting planning).  However, since the exam questions are written based on “the books”, there really is only one right answer (the one from “the book”).
  3. You don’t know how you did when it’s all done. I walked out of the exam room having absolutely no clue how I did.  And, we have to wait about 8 weeks to get the results, so this feeling gets to stick with me for a while.  I will say that I’ve spoken with many people who have passed the exam, and they all said exactly the same thing – “I had no idea how I did when I finished the exam.”  At least I’m not alone.

Having said all of that, I think it’s important to say that I DO still feel good about having taken the exam.  I’m glad I went through it.  Even if I don’t pass (but I will – gotta stay positive!) this time, I will still feel like preparing for the test was a worthwhile experience.

I’ll let you know how I did.  Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the results don’t take a full 8 weeks.

16 thoughts on “am i as good as i think i am?

  1. Sounds a lot like the CAE exam (Certified Association Executive). The test questions, not the knowledge of the professionals who are taking the test, is what matters. More than one question seems to be right and, sometimes, the “wrong” answer really ought to be the “right” answer.

    Don’t think about it for the next 8 weeks.

  2. Sadly, it really does take 8 weeks. :-(

    But I go back and forth on the immediate answer thing… I take so many goofy online tests and quizes that I wonder if I had to take an exam like the CMP one on a computer, knowing that I would get an immediate red light or green light after each question, how would I react? When I take my corporate compliance courses, I think “Green! I can still miss two questions and pass.” I’m definately not that old to be intimidated by a computer test (born in the 70s), but there is something calming about scantron.

    Best of luck to you! It certainly wasn’t an easy test, but like you, I’m glad I went through the experience. And remember, no one ever asks what your score was on the test, you just have to pass it! CMP is a binary status – you are or you aren’t! :-)

  3. David & Liz, thanks for your encouraging words. I certainly have more than enough to keep me busy for the next several weeks, so I promise I won’t dwell on when the results are coming. And, I’ll be sure to post, whether I passed or didn’t. There will be a lesson in it one way or another, right?

  4. WOW! Thank goodness I am not the only one that felt this way… I took that test last weekend down in Atlanta and while I aced every practice test I came in contact with… my actual test questions were written NOTHING like they were on the practice tests.

    So… did I pass, did I fail? Who knows at this point and I am actually hoping it takes 8 weeks to get my results so that I don’t have to face the possibility that I didn’t do as well as I think I did… b/c let’s face it – with many CMP’s already in my office and 2 teammates scheduled to take it in the summer… I really don’t want to admit if I didn’t pass! But, like you, I am using the old cliche “I think I can, I think I can” as my current life motto. Besides, I am not an association meeting planner and almost all of the questions seemed geared towards associations – at the end of the day… I will still be a meeting planner. It was a good experience while it lasted… although I don’t know if I will do it again. :-)

    I will say good luck to you and continue to pray for myself. I suppose that 8 week cut off will be here soon enough whether we like it or not… I haven’t felt this way since the dang SAT’s. Oh well, it is what it is!

  5. Krys, the good news is when you do become a CMP you may attend the Conclave and have direct input on the questions that are in the database from which the exam questions are pulled.

    Get involved and make a difference!

  6. I also had the same feeling when I finished the exam in 2007. I had to wait longer than the standard 8 weeks for the results, as they were changing the grading system or some other frustrating excuse. But, after time it was not at the top of my mind, and I went on about my usual activities.

    My job is not really as a meeting planner (I’m from the Expo side of things), but years of practical application (and 6 months of self-study) helped me get through the questions. I was surprised and thrilled to learn that I did pass, despite my many doubts.

    Just knowing that you did your best is the best thing you can think of right now. I wish the best for you!

  7. When I finished the test and walked out I felt like I had no clue whether I passed or not, so it is good to hear others felt the same way.

    I agree that the test questions were nothing like the practice questions and I studied so hard and so much material!! It was very frustrating. I just hope I passed! Having to wait eight weeks seems like torture!

  8. Krys
    CMP is not about what you think about yourself but what
    others think about you!!!
    CMP is based on two fundamental issues:
    Ethics and Professionalism
    When I gave my CMP, I had to answer at least 65%
    of the questions correctly.

    I too, thought about the so called “Book” you mention in the same way when I gave my CMP exam.

    At that time, we had, as our Maestra, Guru a dynamic CIC President, Mrs Mary Power.
    At my first Conclave, she sat down with me and
    expalined patiently the process

    Now after years (30) of doing meetings especially abroad, the so called book has become my “American Express Credit Card”… I “never leave home without it..”

    Trust me, you will soon learn the value of this book and put it to use with your meetings, of course adapting to your needs.
    CMP Book is a guideline and is a sound foundation to start.
    The rest is left upto your imagination and abillity to put thinks right.
    Good Luck, Cheers, Behroz

  9. I am finishing my CMP application now and have just signed up for my first study group. Thanks for the insight – it will help me prepare (apparenty for the unexpected).

  10. Krys, you are right on target! I too, took the exam at PCMA and share your same thoughts and frustrations. Did you also attend the CRAM session on Friday? The instructructors were great and brought a different perspective to the learning process. Good luck! We’ll know soon enough if we pass.

    PS, I’ll continue to pay close attention to your blog.

  11. The CAE and CMP exams are now a lot alike in that there is more than one possible right answer. I mentored CAE candidates for more than six years after I became a CAE and if there was one thing I passed along to them, it was how to tear the questions apart to get to the one, right answer.

    If it’s any consolation, I seldom meet anyone who says they came out of one of these exams and felt like they had aced it!

    Good luck and may hte 8 weeks pass by quickly.

  12. In my study group of 8 people, your feelings were the general consensus. And personally, I felt better about the “real” test than any of the practice tests I took until I walked out of the room and looked up a few questionable questions in The Book. After looking up three questions and realizing I answered from experience and not from The Book, I stopped worrying about it and left it to the fate of the “curve” (or however the passing scores are established).

    But, I will say that if you are preparing to take the summer exam and have an opportunity to partake in a study group in the months prior, DO IT! My chapter organizes an amazing study group that really helped keep me on track and refresh my test-taking skills and ability to decipher confusing questions. In addition, you can talk through concepts that you just don’t get in the book because that is not how it is done in real life. The best part is the camaraderie and networking that occurs – it makes the day of the test much less nerve-wracking.

    In conclusion (I feel as though I have written an essay!), I am glad I took the test, I am still wondering how I did and I wish everyone now studying the best of luck. (getting through the application is one of the most difficult parts!)

    • Brooke, I agree – study groups, study weekends, and online study tools are all valuable resources in preparing for this exam. I participated in one study weekend, took practice tests, and followed a study plan similar to the online study course offered by PCMA. All were helpful in giving me a sense of “readiness” for the exam that I definitely would not have had otherwise.

  13. Hi ,,
    I am a hospitality graduate student .. recently I have done paper was about Meeting planner .

    And I am thinking about take CMP exam ,, but it sounds very hard , and is it possible study by myself ? or i need study group ? or I can take course at school ??

    Where I can get test information ??

    Thanks a lot !!

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