Exam Structure and Scoring

The exam in based on the CMP International Standards (CMP-IS) and each question is tied to one of the 9 domains in the CMP-IS.

All questions on the exam undergo an extensive review process by a group of meeting industry subject matter experts. These experts, as well as testing experts, ensure that the exam accurately measures a meeting professional’s level of knowledge.  Only questions that measure competency and skill are included on the exam.

Each time the exam is offered, it is a different exam comprised of a new selection of questions from the CMP Item Bank, a database of exam questions prepared by subject-matter experts, and experts in testing and assessment.

Exam Structure

  • Computer based
  • 165 multiple choice questions: 150 operational questions (scored) and 15 unscored questions (referred to as pre-test questions).  
  • Four possible answers
  • No trick questions
  • No “all of the above” or “none of the above”
  • Three and a half hours
  • Pass or Fail score
  • Offered only in the English language and translation into other languages is not available.

Pre-testing Exam Questions

Pre-test questions are newly written or revised questions. These questions are included on the exam in order for Events Industry Council to obtain statistics on the performance of each question. The pre-test questions are inserted randomly throughout, are not labeled as pre-test and do not contribute to a candidate’s score. Pre-testing allows Events Industry Council to remove any problematic questions and add only valid and reliable questions to the exam question bank.

Scoring the Exam

Your score is based only on the total number of correct answers you select; it is to your advantage to answer all questions. Candidates do not compete with one another and there is no limit to the number of candidates who can pass a given exam.

Score Reporting

For the CMP exam, there is one reported Pass or Fail score. Scores are determined by converting the number of questions answered correctly to a scaled score (see Scoring Methodology below) that ranges from approximately 20 to beyond 55. You need a total scaled score of at least 55 to pass the exam.

If you pass the CMP exam, your score report will indicate that you passed but will not provide a numerical score. By passing the exam, you have demonstrated subject matter mastery at or above a level determined by the CMP Board to represent the minimum to receive the CMP credential.

If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a score report with one reported scale score between 20 and 54. Your score tells you how far away you are from the passing score of 55. If you receive a numeric score, you did not demonstrate mastery of the knowledge required to become certified. Your numerical score is reported along with a diagnostic message for each of the 9 domains included in the exam.


The diagnostic messages are intended to help you identify areas of strength and weakness. Diagnostic sub-scores are offered to help focus unsuccessful candidates’ study for subsequent exams. The two CMP diagnostic messages are reported to failing candidates are as follows:
  • Below the level of minimum competence
  • At or above the level of minimum competence

Explaining “Scaled” Score

Before a question becomes operational on the exam it is pre-tested. This allows Prometric’s psychometricians to weigh the performance of each question and its level of difficulty. Individual questions are then given a weighted – or scaled – score based on its level of difficulty.  A scaled score is a transformed raw exam score (the number of exam questions answered correctly). To interpret any exam score, a uniform frame of reference is required. Scaled scores provide that frame of reference based on the standard adopted by the Events Industry Council regarding the level of knowledge necessary to pass without regard to the specific exam form or version taken. This explains why each exam may have a different number of questions per domain area. A scale score of at least 55 is required to pass. Please note that a scaled score is neither the number of questions you answered correctly nor the percentage of questions you answered correctly.

The passing score was established via a systematic procedure (Cut-Score Study) that employed the judgment of a representative group of Certified Meeting Professionals with the assistance of exam development experts from Prometric. This group of CMPs recommended to Events Industry Council a standard of what a minimally competent meeting professional needs to know about the tested content to obtain a passing score. The decision regarding the passing score was made by the Events Industry Council and was transferred through use of statistical procedures to the exam you were administered.