Frequently Asked Questions
Please select a topic below to help you find the answer to your question.

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Who is eligible for the exam?
Undergraduate students and graduate students, with a bachelor's or master's, in HR or HR-related degree programs are eligible to take the exam beginning as early as one year before graduation and up to one year after graduation. The registration web site will require the applicant to provide information on a variety of areas, including but not limited to the degree program sought, the university the student attends and the number of HR-specific courses in the major area of study or concentration. Any applicant who meets the eligibility requirements will be given a registration number and information about selecting a test-taking site.

If you are a traditional student or a non-traditional student entering the HR profession for the first time even though you have work experience in a field other than HR, the SHRM Assurance of Learning® Assessment is the exam you should take. The SHRM Assurance of Learning® Assessment provides a universally recognized benchmark for traditional and non-traditional students with little to no HR work experience to achieve in lieu of certifications.

If you are a seasoned HR professional with exempt-level experience in HR, even though you are also a student in an HR or HR-related bachelors or master’s degree program, you are not eligible to take the SHRM Assurance of Learning® Assessment. Instead, seasoned HR professionals who are also students should consult eligibility requirements for professional certification exams. Beginning January 5, 2015, SHRM will begin offering competency-based certifications to individuals working in any HR position. Seasoned HR professionals with either exempt-level or non-exempt level experience should consider taking the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), depending on eligibility requirements met. Information on the new SHRM certifications is available on

800-283-7476, ext. 3926
+1-703-548-3440, ext. 3926

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What is the application fee?
There is a non-refundable application fee for non-SHRM members of $75.00. There is no application fee for SHRM members.

What is the cost of the exam?
  • $150 for SHRM members.
  • $225 (non-member) which includes the $75 non-refundable application fee.
What if I am taking the exam outside of the United States?
For individuals taking the exam at a test center outside of the United States, there is a subsidy fee for certain countries: $99.00. The charts below indicate the countries for this fee. This fee is in addition to the exam fee of $150 for members and $225 for nonmembers.


  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Cocos Islands
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • VietNam

  • Europe, Africa and Middle East

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Bosnia And Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Cote D'Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guinea
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic Of Monaco
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uzbekistan
  • West Bank
  • Yemen
  • Yugoslavia
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

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    Why take the assessment?
    Student benefits: Shows employers the student has acquired the minimum knowledge required to be a successful HR professional.

    University benefits: Helps universities meet the accrediting body’s assurance of learning requirements, by showing that the HR degree program teaches what it states it will teach. (Free technical manual available.)

    Employer benefits: Employers know that student applicants have taken an additional step to ensure that their degree adequately prepares them for their career in HR. (free employers guide available).

    Certificate of learning
    The examinee will receive one of two certificates:

    Proficient: Students at this level possess the basic/essential knowledge required to perform HR responsibilities.

    Advanced: Students at this level possess the comprehensive and integrated knowledge required to perform HR responsibilities.

    Application process
    One exam window at a time is open for applications. Please use the online application (if you are taking the exam outside the United States, use the pdf application. Please refer to the list of countries in this FAQ.) Once you complete the online application, you will receive two automated emails: 1) a receipt/acknowledgment of the application and payment; and 2) your authorization to test (ATT) letter, with instructions on how to contact Prometric to schedule your exam date, location and time.

    Results Report
    Students will receive one of two notices upon completing the exam at the test site. If you answer enough questions correctly, you will receive a notice that you passed the exam. If we are unable to determine whether or not the number of questions you answered correctly equates to a passing result, you will receive a To Be Determined notice that states we are unable to determine your results based on your answers, and after additional analysis, you will receive your official results. While you complete the brief survey at the conclusion of the exam, this time is used by the system to calculate your results. Then, either the pass notice or the additional analysis notice will appear on the screen.

    The formal results will be sent via regular mail within approximately six (6) but not later than eight (8) weeks after the test window closes. If you pass the exam, the Certificate of Learning will be sent with the official results document (see section below about the Certificate of Learning).

    The time lag between the close of the test window and issuing the formal results reports allows SHRM to review all results and make adjustments based on information during this review period. If you receive the notice that states additional analysis is required to determine your results, this determination will be made during the time between the close of the test window and the time your official results report is mailed. The official results report will state if you passed or if you did not pass as a result of the additional analysis period.

    Your official results report will be mailed to your primary address on record. If you do not receive your official results report, please contact the SHRM Assurance of Learning Assessment office at any time between 8 weeks after the exam window closes and 3 months after the exam window closes. There will be a charge of $20.00 for requests received after 3 months (use this form to request a duplicate results report and/or certificate).

    When will I receive my exam results?
    The formal notification letter with the exam results will be sent via regular mail within approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks after the test window closes, to the mailing address on record at SHRM. If you pass the exam, the Certificate of Learning will be sent with the official notification letter.

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    What are the application periods?
    Only one test window is open to apply for the exam at a time. One cannot apply in advance for other test windows.

    The application period closes at midnight Eastern U.S. time on the date indicated for the close of application period, as SHRM Global Headquarters is located in Virginia.


    March 15 – April 15 November 16, 2014 - March 5, 2015 January 1, 2014 - April 15, 2016
    July 15 - August 15 April 16, 2015- July 5, 2015 April 16, 2014 - August 15, 2016
    October 15 - November 15 August 16, 2015- October 5, 2015 August 16, 2014 - December 31, 2016

    * If your graduation date falls within this range of dates, you are eligible to take the exam during the associated exam window. If it does not, select an exam window that corresponds with your graduation date, and register for that exam.


    March 15 – April 15 November 16, 2015 - March 5, 2016 January 1, 2015 - April 15, 2017
    July 15 - August 15 April 16, 2016- July 5, 2016 April 16, 2015 - August 15, 2017
    October 15 - November 15 August 16, 2016- October 5, 2016 August 16, 2015 - December 31, 2017

    * If your graduation date falls within this range of dates, you are eligible to take the exam during the associated exam window. If it does not, select an exam window that corresponds with your graduation date, and register for that exam window during the associated application period.

    I am a do I apply and pay?
    Apply online and in this process, individuals must provide information regarding their HR program and courses taken. Payment is online with a credit card. Applicants outside the United States must complete the pdf application and email it to

    If for any reason an applicant receives a message stating he or she is ineligible to take the exam, the applicant must contact the Assessment staff at or +1-800-283-7476 x3926 (EXAM) or 703-548-3440 x3926 (EXAM).

    I am a university do I apply and pay?
    University administrators may elect to purchase exams in volume and may select from a variety of ranges (please see below). These prices reflect the rates for universities that purchase exams on behalf of their students. The rate is fixed, regardless of student’s SHRM membership status.

    Universities may pay be credit card or check. Please see the pdf application bulk order form on the website to purchase exam seats. (Please note the deadlines for each exam window, on the bulk order form).

    1-4 exams $150 per seat
    5-24 exams $145 per seat
    25-49 exams $140 per seat
    50-74 exams $135 per seat
    75-99 exams $130 per seat
    100+ exams $125 per seat

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    Where can I take the exam?
    You may take your exam at any Prometric Testing Center (PTC) located in the United States, U.S. territories, Canada or internationally. The most up-to-date list of centers is available online at When scheduling an appointment, verify the test center address and obtain travel directions.

    *Special Note: If you are unfamiliar with the location of the test center, we strongly suggest you conduct a “trial run” prior to the date of your exam appointment. If you arrive late on exam day, you may not be allowed to take the exam.

    Do not bring any other individual, including children or pets, with you to the test site. The only exception to this rule is:  service animals are permitted.

    How do I schedule my exam appointment?
    Once an individual applies and pays, SHRM sends an electronic Authorization to Test letter (ATT letter) to the individual with the information to schedule for a test location. You may then schedule your exam appointment either online or by phone with Prometric. We encourage you to schedule your exam appointment online. It is a faster and more efficient method.

    You may take the exam only once during a testing window. If you need to reschedule your exam appointment and do not do so prior to your exam appointment according to the guidelines OR if you miss your exam appointment, you forfeit all fees.

    Please note that once you apply for the SHRM Assurance of Learning® Assessment, and have received your Authorization to Test (ATT ) letter from SHRM, it is your responsibility to contact Prometric to schedule your exam date, location and time. It is strongly recommended that you schedule the exam date with Prometric promptly, or risk not being able to take the exam at the test site and date that you prefer, because the available exam seats fill up quickly. If you miss scheduling your exam date with Prometric for the exam window for which you registered, then you will have to apply again for another exam window, and again pay the application fee.

    What if I lose my Authorization to Test (ATT) letter?
    Please write to if you need a copy of your ATT letter.  Please write early in a business day, to allow staff time to reply.

    Will I receive a confirmation of my scheduled exam appointment?
    After you schedule your exam appointment via phone or online with Prometric, you will receive an automated e-mail detailing the exam appointment information. It will include a confirmation number issued by Prometric. You must retain this confirmation number; it differs from your User ID number and is required to re-confirm, reschedule or cancel an exam appointment.

    Test Day
    We cannot emphasize how important it is to be on time for the exam. Consequently, we strongly encourage--and recommend—that you arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam appointment.

    Timing: A brief computer tutorial will be provided before the exam begins and a brief survey concludes the exam. Three-and-a-half hours, including the brief tutorial and exit survey, are allotted to complete the exam.

    NOTE:  SHRM looked at three years’ worth of data regarding how long it takes students to complete the exam and in most cases it was far less than 3 hours, but we’re giving  you 3-1/2 hours, just in case….


    Can I transfer my exam registration to another testing window?
    No. It is not possible to transfer your registration from one test window to another. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this policy.

    Can I cancel or move my appointment to another day in the same test window?
    There are two processes and fees that accompany both:
    1. Canceling your exam registration with SHRM.
    2. Canceling or moving your exam appointment with Prometric to another day in the same test window.
    If you choose to cancel taking the exam, cancel a scheduled appointment to take the exam or move an appointment to take the exam, please note that there are limitations regarding timing, and there are associated fees from both SHRM and Prometric. Please read the information below carefully.

    SHRM Cancellation Policy
    Cancellations are possible only during the application period for each test window. Cancellations processed before the application period closes are subject to a $75 administrative fee. The $75 fee is deducted from the fee paid upon registration. One example: if you paid SHRM $150 to apply to take the exam, the $75.00 fee will be deducted before issuing the refund. $150 minus $75 equals a $75.00 refund.

    When can I cancel my exam registration with SHRM?

    If you are unable to take the exam, or decide you do not want to take the exam, you must submit your request before application period closes for each test window. Submit your cancellation request in writing and e-mail it to before the application period for the test window for which you are registered closes. Cancellations will be assessed a $75 administrative fee as noted above.

    What if I want to cancel my registration but the application window has already closed?

    Cancellations received after the application period closes for each test window are nonrefundable. If you cancel your registration after the application period closes you forfeit your entire registration fee.

    Prometric Cancellation/Move Policy
    This policy, and associated fees, applies to both cancelling and moving your exam appointment with Prometric.

    1 30 or more days before Test date None
    2 5-29 days before scheduled Test date $50 per cancellation/move (to be collected by Prometric from the Candidate)
    3 a) less than 5 days before Test date, or
    b) fails to appear for a scheduled Test, or
    c) presents himself/herself more than fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start time for taking the Test and is refused admission
    The full Candidate Testing Fee for the cancelled/moved Test. If there is a difference between the Candidate Testing Fee and Test Delivery Fee, Client shall be entitled to the remainder.

    What if I need to cancel or move my exam appointment with Prometric to another test day within the test window?
    You may cancel or move your exam appointment by contacting Prometric directly and making the request by 12:00 noon, local time, no less than five (5) calendar days prior to the day of your scheduled exam appointment. A fee will be assessed (see matrix above). Saturday and Sunday do NOT count as business days at Prometric, even if the test site is open. You must provide your Prometric confirmation number (not your User ID/SHRM account number) when canceling or moving your exam appointment.

    You may move your exam appointment to another day only once within the same testing window. Please note it may not be possible to move your exam appointment with Prometric if the request is made too late in the testing window because the test centers' schedules may be full. Generally the last two weeks of the testing window are the busiest.

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    How to Prepare
    Completing coursework toward an HR or HR-related degree program is the primary method of preparation for the SHRM Assurance of Learning Assessment. Examinees should review the content areas on the exam to make sure their degree program covered all or most of the content areas tested on the exam. Click here to see content areas on the exam.

    Preparation Materials: SHRM recommends that examinees create an individual study plan based on coursework studied throughout the HR degree program, and then fill in the gaps by taking advantage of the study materials SHRM has created:

    Practice Tests
    Practice Tests help examinees determine which content areas tested on the exam might need additional focus. Four Practice Tests are available through the SHRMStore. Each Practice Test has 80 questions and may be purchased individually, or all four Practice Tests may be purchased in a bundle at a greatly reduced price.
    • Individual test, Member: $35
    • Individual test, Nonmember: $40
    • Bundle of all four tests, Member: $99
    • Bundle of all four tests, Nonmember: $135
    Taking a Practice Test provides a preview of what to expect on the exam: an examinee can determine knowledge gaps that can be strengthened through additional study. After taking the Practice Test(s) to identify gaps in knowledge, SHRM suggests using the Study Guide and Review Materials to supplement topics studied in an HR degree program.

    Purchase Practice Tests here.

    Note: The Practice Tests are available only as e-documents. Orders for Practice Tests are filled Monday - Friday (9am - 5pm), Eastern time. Practice Tests are sent via e-mail from Orders placed Friday - Sunday will be fulfilled the following Monday.

    Study Guide SHRM Assurance of Learning® Assessment Study Guide
    • Member: $45
    • Nonmember: $55
    Note: The 2015 Study Guide supersedes all earlier versions of the Study Guide.

    SHRM has created a Study Guide available through the SHRMStore with a sample exam of 160 questions. The sample exam helps examinees acquaint themselves with the style of questions on the exam. The examinee may wish to use this sample exam when nearing the end of the study period, but before taking the Assessment, to better assess readiness for the Assessment exam. .Sources used as the basis for individual questions on the Assessment and rationales for correct answers are in the Study Guide. Test-taking tips highlight important information to consider prior to taking the Assessment. By using the list of sources, the examinee may supplement texts, research and websites studied as part of a degree program. The sources listed in the Study Guide are the ones item writers use to create the actual test questions.

    Purchase the Study Guide here.

    Universities: To purchase the Study Guide at bulk discounts, please call the SHRMStore at 1- 800-444-5006, option 1.

    Please be aware that other exam preparation materials may be developed by non-SHRM sources; however, SHRM only can confirm the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the preparation materials created by SHRM and available exclusively through SHRM.

    Review Materials
    Review Materials cover the six (6) overarching content areas tested on the exam. They include a syllabus for a 45-hour study plan (equivalent to a 3-credit course), six power point slide decks with teaching notes, detailed study aids that accompany each module and a comprehensive spreadsheet that highlights additional resources to complement a comprehensive study plan. Each of the six individual modules may be purchased as a stand-alone module, but it is most economical to purchase the bundle of all 6 modules. Many examinees use these materials as self-study.
    • Individual Module, Member: $40
    • Individual Module, Nonmember: $50
    • Bundle of Six Modules, Member: $99
    • Bundle of Six Modules, Nonmember: $135
    Note: The Review Materials are available only as e-documents. Orders for Review Materials are filled Monday - Friday (9am - 5pm), Eastern time. Review Materials are sent via e-mail, from SHRM Academics. Orders placed Friday - Sunday will be fulfilled the following Monday.

    Purchase Review Materials here.

    Universities who want to conduct a formal review course can buy one copy of the Review Materials for each student in the class, for a discounted price.

    Please note: All SHRM study tools are intended to help examinees better prepare to take the Assessment; however, the materials do not "teach the test." SHRM makes no warranty that use of SHRM preparation materials guarantees an examinee will pass the Assurance of Learning® Assessment.

    Can I take the Assessment internationally?
    If you plan to take the exam at a test center outside of the United States or Canada, please e-mail before registering. The Assessment staff may need to manually register you because there is a subsidy charged for certain country test locations outside of the United States.


    LaKetha D. Towers
    Master of Arts in HR Management
    Webster University

    “The achievement of the Certificate of Learning means that my decision to enter into the Human Resource field and further my education was well worth it. I'm looking forward to a promising career in Human Resources. I'm also looking forward to passing additional professional certifications. This process helps to prepare me for those exams.”

    Emil Antony
    Management and Organizational Behavior Concentration: Human Resources
    Benedictine University

    “The study guide was very beneficial with assisting me to pass the exam. It had questions that related to the exam, which allowed me to practice for the SHRM Assurance of Learning exam.  It gave me a realistic overview of what the exam was going to look like.”

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    What should I expect on exam day?
    We cannot emphasize how important it is to be on time for the exam. We strongly recommend that you arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam appointment.
    • If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your exam appointment, you may not be admitted. Late admission will be at the discretion of the test center staff.
    • If you are late to your exam appointment and not permitted to test, you will be considered a "No Show" and will forfeit all fees.

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    What is the special accommodations policy?
    Examinees with disabilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (or the Canadian/Australian equivalent) who need special arrangements to help them take the exam may request an accommodation. To make such a request, individuals must submit a completed Accommodation Request form (available by e-mailing and have an appropriate licensed professional complete the Documentation of Disability-Related Needs section. The Accommodation Request form, fully completed by the individual and licensed professional, must be received by SHRM, via e-mail to, no later than 30 days before the individual’s scheduled test date. Upon approval, SHRM will provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations related to the testing process (e.g., extra exam time, using a reader, etc.). The information provided and any documentation regarding the disability and the need for accommodation in testing will be treated with strict confidentiality; the need for the accommodation will only be shared by SHRM with the testing center to facilitate the provision of the accommodation at the testing site. If the examinee has documentation from his or her university that confirms any accommodation granted by the university for similar requests for accommodation and those requests were granted by the university, that paperwork can be submitted in lieu of having an appropriate licensed professional complete the Document of Disability- Related Needs section of the form.

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    What if I still have questions?
    If you have questions about your exam appointment or test centers, please contact Prometric as follows:

    • Domestic appointments: 1-800-467-9582.
    • International appointments: contact the Regional Contact Center designated for the country in which you wish to test.
    For all other questions, please contact the SHRM Assurance of Learning® Assessment staff at or toll-free at 1-800-283-7476, extension 3926, or +1-703-548-3440, extension 3926.