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SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Certification
Exam Preparation
What job titles are considered HR roles?
HR experience may be classified directly, as working in an HR role, or indirectly, by consulting, educating, or researching HR practices linked specifically
to human resource management. If you have specific questions about your experience or which certification is right for you, review the eligibility
requirements or contact for additional assistance.
Could I use the SHRM-CP certification in Spain?
Yes, the certification is globally recognized and both the exam and the SHRM Learning System are available in Spanish. To receive more information
please click here.
If I earn the SHRM-CP, when can I earn my SHRM-SCP?
If you meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the SHRM-SCP exam you can apply for the SHRM-SCP exam. Learn more about the eligibility requirements.
What is the difference between SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP?
The SHRM-CP credential is designed for HR professionals who are engaged primarily in operational roles—implementing policies, serving as the
HR point of contact for staff and stakeholders, and/or performing day-to-day HR functions. If this is your focus, the SHRM-CP is likely your best
The SHRM-SCP certification is designed for HR professionals at a senior level who operate primarily in a strategic role—developing policies and
strategies, overseeing the execution of HR operations, analyzing performance metrics, and/or contributing to the alignment of HR strategies to
organizational goals. Learn more about Selecting the Right Exam.
How is the SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP different from PHR/SPHR?
The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications are different from the HRCI credentials in several ways. Ultimately, the difference lies in focus and backing.
Focus–SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications are behavioral competency-based and focused not only on affirming an HR professionals knowledge of HR
policy and practice, but also their ability to apply that knowledge in the work place. This is what makes it a powerful tool for employers.
Backing–SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications are the only credentials backed by SHRM, which means you have the power of the SHRM brand behind you (an
organization with over 7 decades of serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of Human Resource management). When people
see the SHRM name after your title they know they’re dealing with a level of expertise that can be matched by no other.
As a SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential holder, you have just taken your expertise to the next level.
What is the passing score for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam?
The passing score and all candidate results on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are reported as scaled scores. The range of possible scores for the SHRM-CP
and SHRM-SCP exams is 120 to 200; all candidates who pass the exam receive the maximum score of 200. The number of questions that have to be answered
correctly varies depending on which form of the CP or SCP examination a candidate takes. The passing score is equal to a scale score of 200.
If I just barely miss the SHRM-SCP, do I get the SHRM-CP based on my score?
No. The SHRM-SCP and SHRM-CP exams are two separate and different exams. If a candidate does not pass the SHRM-SCP exam they do not earn a SHRM-CP
Do you get a break during the four hours of testing?
No breaks are scheduled during the exam. Candidates who have to leave the testing room to take a break will not be given extra time on the exam. Candidates
may not leave the testing facility during a break. Learn more about taking the exam by downloading the SHRM Certification Handbook.
How soon do you know if you passed or not?
Candidates will get a preliminary result immediately after the test. Official scores will come about 3-4 weeks after the close of the testing window.
If I don’t pass the exam, how long do I have to retake the exam?
Candidates who are unsuccessful on the exam may take it again during a future exam window. (Testing in the same window is not permitted.) Candidates
who wish to retest are required to apply as a new candidate, which includes remittance of the full examination fee. There is no limit to the number
of times a candidate can reapply and test.
What is the recertification process?
Earn 60 professional development credits (PDCs) within a 3-year recertification period that ends on the last day of the credential holder’s birth month.
OR Retake the certification exam at the end of the 3-year recertification period. If you plan on retaking the exam to renew your certification
please contact for additional assistance. Learn more about the recertification process at
How long should I commit to studying? How many hours a day?
While your study efforts will be dependent on your knowledge of the content, we generally recommend that you study a minimum of 60 hours to adequately
prepare for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam. Your time could be reduced if you feel comfortable with a particular area. One of the unique tools within
the Learning System is a SmartStudy tool that provides you with a detailed plan to study based on your current experience and knowledge since your
time will vary based on those factors. Refer to slide 14 of the webinar to see our panel’s response to this question.
Is the SHRM Learning System included in the price of the instructor-led course or do I have to buy the self-study version if I want these tools?
Yes, each of the learning options our panel discussed utilize the SHRM Learning System. The Instructor-Led participants received the additional guidance
of a qualified instructor in a structured classroom environment and the ability to network with peers.
When you purchase the SHRM Learning System, is there a time limit to take exam?
You have access to the online tools for 18 months, which covers three test windows. It is strongly encouraged to use the most current version of materials
to ensure you are focusing your studies on the content which will be on the exam.
If I’m going to study on my own, where do I begin and how do I pace myself?
The SHRM Learning System includes a SmartStudy tool that allows students to create a detailed plan to study based on their current experience and knowledge
as the time will vary based on those factors. The tool highlights the average time per week to study, identifies areas to work on and provides
a checklist of learning activities to prioritize studying.
Where can I get the self-study materials?
You can purchase the SHRM Learning System at You will receive access to the online materials within 24 hours. If
you choose to purchase the print materials, they will be shipped for arrival within 5-7 days.
Can you suggest book materials for someone who doesn’t want to focus studies on online tools?
We understand that some people are more of a tactile learner, so we provide the SHRM Learning System reading materials in print format for an additional
cost. You can also review the resources used to develop the BoCK at Although you may prefer to study
the printed materials, we highly recommend utilizing the practice questions within the online learning center so that you are comfortable with
the computer-based testing you will experience during the exam.
My employer won’t help pay for my certification – what alternative funding options are available?
 Member discount: Become a new SHRM member and save.
 Quantity discount: Gather a group of friends and co-workers who are looking for training. By ordering together in groups of 2 or more, you’ll save
a minimum of $70 per person.
 Tuition reimbursement: While some companies will not reimburse for training materials, they may offer tuition reimbursement.
 SHRM scholarships: SHRM offers various scholarships for professional development and certification. For more information visit
Are the practice questions like the actual exam questions?
The SHRM Learning System and the Certification Exams include both Knowledge and Situational Judgment questions. The formatting is similar, however
they are developed by two separate entities so will not be exactly the same.
How long after studying the program should I wait to take the exam?
We recommend that you ensure your study plan provides time for you to take the post-test and then close any identified knowledge gaps prior to your
exam. In addition to that, you will want to balance the retention of information leading up to your exam. Therefore we do not recommend a large
gap in time between studying and sitting for the exam. Ultimately, your schedule should account for this.
Is it possible to prepare for the SHRM-SCP using only the BoCK?
The SHRM BoCK was developed to identify the behavioral and technical competencies which are the foundation to effective HR job performance. It does
not teach or thoroughly explain the concepts.
What percentage should I get in the LS questions before I’m “ready” for the exam?
You should strive for 80%, but be careful that you’re not answering the questions correctly from memory. One way to ensure you truly understand the
concepts is to take the other level’s post-test – you will receive a unique set of questions on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP tests.
Can the SHRM Learning System be shared?
No, the SHRM Learning System is licensed to an individual user and cannot be transferred or shared.
Are there any other type of resources to practice test questions?
There are sample exam questions available in the certification handbook, within the SHRM Learning
System and on
For more information on SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Certification Exam and Preparation, visit