In this video, learn about the exam format—situational judgment, knowledge, and field test—and duration.
- The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. Today you're taking the first step towards HR certification. Specifically, the SHRM-CP. The SHRM-CP is one of two new exams introduced by the Society For Human Resource Management. HR pros with this designation are typically involved in the day-to-day operations of the HR department, like implementing policies or processing new hire paperwork. If this sounds like how you work, the SHRM-CP is the right exam for you.
The SHRM Learning System is one of the main resources available for prepping for the newly accredited SHRM-CP. My goal here is to help you prepare for the exam by introducing you to the SHRM-CP and how it's structured and providing an overview of the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge. The SHRM-CP tests your understanding of HR operations and your ability to apply US laws to various business dilemmas.
To qualify to take the exam you need both a combination of experience and education. You are eligible if you meet one of seven criteria. One, you've earned a master's degree and have worked in HR for one year. Two, you've earned a master's degree in HR-related discipline and currently work in an HR role. Three, you've earned a bachelor's degree and have at least two years of HR experience.
Four, you've earned a bachelor's degree in an HR-related discipline and you have at least one year of HR experience. Five, you've earned a high school diploma and have at least four years of HR experience. Six, you've earned a high school diploma, have taken some college-level HR coursework and have at least three years of HR experience. And finally, you're a college student in your final year of a program that aligns to the SHRM's curriculum guidelines and you have 500 hours of internship or practical HR experience.
You can go to shrmcertification.org for a definition of HR experience and HR-related degrees. You should also visit the site and review the SHRM Certification Handbook for additional detail. Once you have determined that you meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to apply to take the test on the SHRM Certification website. You'll be asked to submit evidence of professional level HR experience at that time. Once you've successfully passed the audit, you will receive an authorization to test letter.
After receiving this letter, you may register to take the test during one of the two testing windows offered each year. Typically running from May to July or December through February. The SHRM-CP is a four hour test with 160 questions that covers eight functional areas identified by the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge. 95 questions are knowledge-based, and 65 questions are situational judgment questions.
There are also 30 field questions that are not scored. Take a look at the exercise file named SHRM-CP Exam Weighting for the percentage breakdown of each area. There are many approaches for preparing to the SHRM-CP exam. Try not to rely on any one source for preparation. Take as many full-length practice exams as you can and give yourself enough time to study. I followed this advice with every HR certification exam I've taken, and I've passed them all the first time.
I recommend you use this course as an introduction to the SHRM-CP to provide you with a foundation of the topics you'll need to review in-depth to be prepared. You can start off by taking the SHRM-CP practice test included in the exercise files. Then I'll take you through each behavioral competency and give a high-level overview of the functional areas you need to explore to prepare for the exam. You can also access free resources, like the Department of Labor website, to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that impact HR.
Getting certified is a game-changer. Employers see certified HR pros as people who are committed to continual learning and development, which is an attractive quality to many employers. So let's get started on your certification journey together.
Disclaimer: This course is not produced nor endorsed by SHRM®.
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