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 scenario-based situational judgment items that assess a candidate’s judgment and decision-making skills.
Knowledge ItemsThere are two categories of stand-alone knowledge-based items on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. Items in the first category, referred to as HR-specific knowledge Items (KIs), cover key concept topics associated with the 14 HR functional areas. Items in the second category, which are referred to as foundational knowledge items (FKIs), cover key concept topics that are considered foundational to the eight behavioral competencies. Examinees receive credit for selecting the single correct answer to a given question.Situational Judgment ItemsSituational judgment items (SJIs) assess candidates’ judgment and decision-making skills. Examinees are presented with realistic work-related scenarios and asked to choose the best of several possible strategies to resolve or address the issues described in each scenario. Although more than one strategy may be effective, examinees only receive credit for choosing the one best answer, as determined by a panel of experienced HR professionals.
Field-Test Questions Each exam contains 24 field-test items that are not counted as part of a candidate’s score. Field test items are used to gather data on a question’s effectiveness. Examinees’ answers to field-test items do not count toward any part of their exam scores and are only used for item development purposes. Field test items on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams are randomly mixed with scored exam items.Distribution of Items by Content and Item TypeThe distribution of items with respect to content and item type is essentially the same for both the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. As shown below, half of the items on each exam are allocated across the three behavioral competency clusters, and the other half are allocated across the three HR knowledge domains. The table below indicates that 40 percent of the items on each exam are situational judgment items, 10% are foundational knowledge items that test the key concepts of the nine behavioral competencies and 50% are knowledge items that test the 14 HR-specific HR functional areas.
Breakdown of Testing-Time:
Each section shows a countdown timer on the screen, and each section is separate and time-independent. Minutes do not rollover. For instance, if a candidate spends less time in the introduction, extra minutes are not rolled over to the exam portion.
Following each administration of the SHRM certification exams, in accordance with guidance from the SHRM Certification Commission, SHRM publishes the global exam pass rates for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP. These scores reflect the percentage of examinees across the world who have successfully earned their credentials by passing the relevant exams.
SHRM-CP Pass Rate
SHRM-SCP Pass Rate
Dec. 2018 - Feb. 2019
May - July 2018
Dec. 2017- Feb. 2018