SHRM Certification Exam | Rare Techy


Exam Composition

The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams contain two types of multiple-choice questions: stand-alone knowledge-based items that assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of factual information, and situational judgment items that assess a candidate’s judgment and decision making. – Making skills.

Half of the items on each test are devoted to the three behavioral competency clusters (leadership, personal, and business), and the other half are devoted to the three HR knowledge domains (people, organization, and workplace). 40 percent of the items on each test are situational judgment items, 10% are basic knowledge items that test the core concepts of nine behavioral competencies, and 50% are knowledge items that test 14 HR-specific HR functional areas.

Knowledge Items: The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams have two sections of knowledge-based items. Items in the first category, known as HR-specific knowledge items (KIs), cover key conceptual topics related to 14 HR functional areas. Items in a second category, called fundamental knowledge items (FKIs), cover key conceptual topics considered to be fundamental to the eight behavioral skills. Test takers receive credit for selecting a single correct answer to a given question.

Situational Judgment Items: Situational Judgment Items (SJIs) assess candidates’ judgment and decision-making ability. Examinees are presented with realistic work-related situations and asked to select the best of several possible strategies to solve or resolve the problems described in each situation. Although more than one strategy may be effective, examinees will only receive credit for selecting the best answer, as determined by a panel of experienced HR professionals.

Field-Test Questions: Each exam consists of 24 field-test items that do not count as part of a candidate’s score. Field test items are used to collect data about the effectiveness of a question. Test takers’ answers to field-test items do not count toward any part of their test scores and are used only for item development purposes. Field test items on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams are randomly interspersed with scored test items.

Writing the exam

The SHRM certification exams are administered via computer, and both exams are divided into two 110-minute sections of 3 hours and 40 minutes to answer 134 multiple-choice questions. There are 80 stand-alone knowledge-based questions and 54 situational judgment items. The testing schedule is as follows:

  • Confidential reminder – 2 minutes
  • Introduction and Tutorial – 8 min
  • Exam Section 1 – Up to 1 Hour 50 Minutes*
  • Exam Section 2 – 1 Hour 50 Minutes
  • Survey – 5 minutes

* Candidates can take an optional 15 minute break. SHRM recommends taking a break only if necessary and taking a break before concluding Section 1 if there is time left in Section 1. Otherwise, take a break after starting Section 2. The clock will not stop during the optional interval.

Each section shows a countdown timer on the screen and each section is separate and time-independent. Minutes do not roll. If a candidate spends less time on the introduction, the extra minutes will not be transferred to the exam portion.

Exam statistics

Examinee performance on certification exams is measured against predetermined standards (or passing score standards) using methods common to leading testing programs. The SHRM-CP standard is a set of skills and knowledge expected of HR professionals performing functional roles. The SHRM-SCP standard is the competency and knowledge expected of HR professionals performing strategic work.

Passing scores for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams are reported as scale scores. The range of possible scores is 120 to 200. A maximum score of 200 will be awarded to all candidates who clear an exam.

After each administration of the SHRM certification exams, SHRM publishes global exam pass rates for SHRM, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP, according to guidance from the SHRM Certification Commission. These scores reflect the percentage of examinees worldwide who passed the relevant exams and successfully earned their credentials.

Examination period SHRM-CP pass rate SHRM-SCP Pass Rate
May – July 2022 65% 46%
December 2021 – February 2022 64% 44%
May – July 2021 67% 48%
December 2020 – February 2021 67% 51%


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