Citizens depend on parks and recreation to improve their quality of life, promote community, and encourage wellness. Becoming a certified park and recreation professional shows the community that you are dedicated to service, education, and professional excellence. Begin your path toward certification with a study tips for CPRP/CPRE exam from park and recreation professionals just like you that are not certified.
Study tips for the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) Exam:
- “Schedule time to study and prepare. Our lives all get busy so you need to prioritize your test prep and review. The CPRP Study Guide is extremely valuable to give you an overview of what may be covered on the exam.” Jessica Schalkowski, CPRP
- “The thing that I feel helped me the most in studying for the CPRP exam is that I first got the study guide and read and reviewed it, then I signed up for a one day workshop through IPRA. The class was very helpful and encouraging.” Cheryl A. Thompson, CPRP, MA
- “My main focus for studying consisted of the CPRP Study Guide. I took it section by section and would then complete the practice questions at the end of the chapter. I also decided that I would take the practice exam both before and after I read the book so I would know what I needed to focus on more. After reading it twice, I reached out to others in the field for opinions of the tests. I received some great study suggestions from others on the NRPA Linkedin site. I also attended the CPRP workshop at the NRPA Conference which was great. I was very pleased with the workshop and the interaction that was provided amongst all instructors and members attending.” Jay Tryon, CPRP
- “To prepare myself for the CPRP examination, I took advice from other professionals in other states, as to which information on the exams was significant in their memory. By diversifying my scope of study through their perspectives, I did not limit myself in my preparations based on my career experiences. I utilized collegiate textbooks, the CRPP Study Guide, and also information sources borrowed from complementary professions, including, but not limited to: Risk and Safety, Maintenance, and Personnel. I additionally registered for the pre-conference workshop, ‘Choose the Path to Certification (Certified Park and Recreation Professional), offered in Atlanta at the NRPA Congress and Expo.’ The workshop provided effective one-on-one interaction with certified and non-certified professionals from all over the United States to discuss the exam topics in detail.” Christie Mills, CPRP
- “I attended the study session at the 2011 Congress and that was immensely helpful. The study guide that NRPA produces was also a great tool to assist me in my studying. I highly recommend attending a study session if one is available in your area. Also, taking time to relax the night before was very helpful to keep me focused on the material.” Mark Spencer, CPRP
- “I studied with a colleague. It was really helpful to ask each other random questions as well as those provided in the sample test. We were able to work them out together to understand the information more fully. In addition, it was helpful to participate in the study workshop at NRPA. The folks leading the workshop helped to relieve some of the “test anxiety” some folks feel!” Trevor Gregg, CPRP
Study tips for the Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) Exam:
- “I found studying for the CPRE exam to be as simple as looking back on my 20+ years in the Parks and Recreation industry. I balanced my study time between updating myself on current trends and reviewing the responsibilities of various positions I have held in my career.” Darin Budak CPRE, CSFM
- “Go into it confident and excited for the challenge. Remind yourself ‘I know this stuff; I do this every day. My department relies on ME to solve these types of problems’." Eric Lee Hothem, CPRE
- “Many of my colleagues were reluctant to take the exam for fear of not knowing what to expect. I found that the exam reaffirmed what I have learned and the knowledge I have gained over the years in our industry.” Greg Petry, CPRE
- “The CPRE exam requires a great understanding of the elements P&R administrators deal with on a daily basis. My best advice to anyone taking the exam is to take your time, read the question very thoroughly and completely understand what type of answer you are looking for.” Jim Pryor CPRE
- “The exam questions seemed to be a fair measure of expected competencies for upper management professionals in the field of Parks and Recreation. Exam questions covered areas such as finance, HR, operations, communications and planning.” Mike Perry, CPRE
- “To prepare for the CPRE Exam, I reviewed the areas of executive competencies that would be covered, and spent some time thinking about any areas where I might need some review… If I am the executive having to make decisions to represent a community’s best interests, think about what context and competencies do I need to engage to do that?” Teresa Penbrooke, MAOM, CPRE
- “As a parks and recreation professional with 35 years in the field, I felt a sense of responsibility to continue learning and challenge myself with the Certified Park and Recreation Executive exam. The study guide resource that was recommended, Management of Park and Recreation Agencies, is incredibly insightful. The book is a “how to road map organizational success” because it has the framework of how to successfully operate parks and recreation as a business. It also focuses on being professionally committed to our vocation and dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for others. I hope my experience with the CPRE exam serves as a catalyst for additional members of the Oakland County Parks and Recreation staff and fellow professionals to become certified in their field of interest. Professional certification will go a long way to position OCPRC to reach its collective goal of national accreditation and Gold Medal Award status for our agency.” Daniel J. Stencil, CPRE
- “To prepare the CPRE exam I read the Management of Parks and Recreation Agencies book. It was a great preparation tool but more importantly it was a great read. The book is very well written and a very good reference tool. Even if you are not studying for the exam, you should read the book. I am glad that I read it and it help me enormously to prepare for the test.” Dirk Richwine, CPRE
- “I would review some of the information from the CPRP examination study guide, while also understanding various topics like managing capital projects, code of conduct, planning implementation and cost recovery. Finally I would recommend going through the test answering the questions you know, then managing your time while going back through some of the more extensive questions”. Michael Kies, CPRE, MBA
- “I find certification tests to be a way to gauge my strengths and weaknesses, while affirming my ability to perform my job effectively. To study for this it is important to review your policy manuals and current research on the field, steps that will help you to perform your job more effectively and ensure that you are prepared for the test.” Patty DeForrest, CPRE
Helpful General Study Tips:
- Log onto NRPA Connect to discuss successful strategies with your peers.
- Join the NRPA LinkedIn Group to connect with current certified park and recreation professionals.
- Check with your state association/society (or surrounding states) for study sessions.
- Review the CPRP Study Guide and Management of Park & Recreation Agencies to determine your knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Challenge your knowledge – take the CPRP Practice Exam online and get immediate results, providing areas for concentration.
Limited Time Offers:
- Receive an e-voucher for 20% off NRPA CPRP study materials when you submit your application to take the CPRP exam!
- NRPA Members! Submit your CPRE exam application and receive “Management of Park & Recreation Agencies” textbook for $50 (retail value $65)!