The Top Tip for Taking the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) Exam
 

By Jen Poyer, CSEP

This simple exercise is one of the most important tools for preparing to take the CSEP exam. I urge you to take a few minutes, grab a piece of scrap paper and pen, and follow the directions below. Read all directions completely before writing anything down on the paper. At the end, you will have a score to determine how well you did.

1. Write your first name in the upper left corner of the paper.
2. Write your last name in the upper right corner of the paper.
3. If your last name begins with a letter from A to M, circle your first name.
4. If your last name begins with a letter from N to Z, circle your last name.
5. Write today's date somewhere in the left column of the paper.
6. Write your birthdate somewhere in the right column of the paper.
7. If your birthdate is in a month from January to June, draw a SINGLE line under your birthdate.
8. If your birthdate is in a month from July to December, draw a DOUBLE line under your birthdate.
9. Add the DATE of your birthday to the DATE of today's date and put the number in the center of the top of the paper.
10. Write the word “score” in capital letters in the lower right corner of the paper.
11. Draw a box around it.
12. If your first name is in the upper left corner of the paper, give yourself 100 points.
13. If your first name is in the upper right corner of the paper, subtract -100 points.
14. Add the number in the center of the top of the paper to your score.
15. If there is any writing on the page before you have read this statement for the first time, give yourself a zero. Go back and read the statement at the top of the article telling you to read all directions completely before writing anything down.

I remember preparing to start the new school year as a child, and being told a story by my father about this very exercise. This moral of the story was to use the skills you have and follow directions to achieve success.

In our busy lives, many of us would blow by the initial statement and start following the list of directions, avoiding wasting precious time to reap the benefits as quickly as possible. If you had taken two minutes to read all of the directions, you would have realized that the last item on the exam undermined all of the work that had just been done.

I share this with you because one of the biggest keys to success when taking the CSEP exam is simply to follow the directions. Answer the questions in the most direct manner possible.

Some additional quick tips: Some questions have multiple parts—be sure that you answer each part. Read through all of the questions first so that you know what is coming and can plan your answers accordingly.

We are thrilled to announce that in addition to our standard Jan. 15-30 testing period, we will be able to offer a satellite testing location onsite at The Special Event in Nashville, Tenn. The 4.5-hour exam will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, beginning at 9 a.m. To register for this special testing location, simply complete the CSEP application online at csep.ises.com by December 1, 2013. 

Name: Jen Poyer, CSEP, Chair, ISES Certification Committee
Company: Catalina Island Conservancy
Address: 125 Claressa Ave.
Avalon, CA 90704
Phone: 310/510-2595
Web: www.catalinaconservancy.org
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