by By Michael J. Shapiro | September 01, 2009

0909SCBYThe Convention Industry Council has authorized CMP study groups in every state, but some of them are not so active these days. This year's group in Pittsburgh, for example, has dissolved. "Essentially, all of our students lost their funding and are delaying their tests until 2010," says region contact Ruth Gregg, CMP. She offers these tips for those without the structure of a group program.

Tap associations. Reach out to regional branches of industry associations, advises Gregg. "They may be willing to coordinate informal sessions or put you in touch with CMPs in the area."

Find friends.
"Think of it as a book club," says Gregg. "You're more likely to study if you are meeting with others on a regular basis."

Make flashcards. "Turn the time on the bus, in the airport, stuck in traffic into useful time," Gregg suggests. Write tricky points on Post-It notes, and leave them around the house.

Buy the books. Purchase and study all four of the reference books offered by the CIC. Says Gregg, "Given the investment a student is making, this is the wrong place to try to save money."