Exam Options and Fees

You have the option of taking your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam in-person at an authorized testing center or from home through live remote proctoring.

Once you complete the SHRM certification application process, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter with instructions on how to schedule your exam date and delivery option.

Schedule Your Exam Sample Questions

Same Exam, Two Options.

Both testing options offer the same exam with the same level of service and support from our test administration partner, Prometric.

In-Person Testing

Select a testing center near you and travel there on exam day.

Take your exam on a PC in a controlled location with staff assistance available as needed.

Test center staff are responsible for the testing environment and technology.

Remote Testing

Test at an indoors location of your choice with 24/7 live proctoring.

Before selecting this option, confirm your ability to test:

Review the environmental and system requirements in the ProProctor User Guide.

Run a System Readiness Check on the computer on which you will take the exam.

Read the Remote Proctoring FAQs.

Note: All exam takers are required to adhere to all Prometric testing rules and the requirements detailed in the SHRM Certification Handbook.

Exam Windows

The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams are offered during two windows each year. Applications must be received by the standard deadline for each window.

Spring Testing Window: May 1 - July 15, 2022

Applications Accepted Early-Bird Deadline Standard Deadline
January 4, 2022 March 31, 2022 May 13, 2022

Exam application deadlines close at 11:59 PM, ET.

Winter Testing Window: Dec. 1, 2022 - Feb. 15, 2023

Applications Accepted Early-Bird Deadline Standard Deadline
June 1, 2022 October 14, 2022 December 15, 2022

Exam Fees

Fee Type SHRM Member Price Nonmember Price
Early-Bird Exam Fee $300 $400
Standard Exam Fee $375 $475
Student Exam Fee
Student Eligibility Requirements
$149 $209
Corporate Exam Fee
Team Certification Requirements
$270 $270
Military Exam Fee
Military Eligibility Requirements
$270 $270
Transfer Exam Fee $100
Subject to additional $53 exam cancellation fee when applicable.
$100
Subject to additional $53 exam cancellation fee when applicable.
Retest Exam Fee Full exam fee Full exam fee
Rescore Exam Fee $50 $50

See Payments and Refunds for the refund policy and additional information.

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 scenario-based situational judgment items that assess a candidate's judgment and decision-making skills.

Half of the items on each exam are allocated across the three behavioral competency clusters (Leadership, Interpersonal and Business), and the other half are allocated across the three HR knowledge domains (People, Organization and Workplace). Forty 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.

Knowledge Items: There 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 Items: Situational 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.

Taking the Exam

The SHRM Certification exams are delivered by computer, and candidates for both exams have 3 hours and 40 minutes divided into two 110-minute sections to answer a total of 134 multiple-choice questions. There are 80 stand-alone knowledge-based questions, and 54 are scenario-based situational judgment items. The testing schedule is as follows:

  • Confidentiality Reminder – 2 minutes
  • Introduction and tutorial – 8 minutes
  • Exam Section 1 – Up to 1 hour and 50 minutes *
  • Exam Section 2 – Up to 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Survey – 5 minutes

* Candidates may take one optional 15-minute break. SHRM recommends the candidate take a break only if needed and before ending Section 1 if time remains in Section 1. Otherwise, take a break after Section 2 starts. The clock will not stop during the optional break.

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

Exam Statistics

Examinee performance on the certification exams is measured against pre-determined standards (or passing score standards) using methods that are common for prominent testing programs. The SHRM-CP standard is the expected level of competency and knowledge for HR professionals who perform operational work. The SHRM-SCP standard is the expected level of competency and knowledge for HR professionals who perform strategic work.

The passing scores for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams are reported as scaled scores. The range of possible scores is 120 to 200. All candidates who pass one of the exams receive a maximum score of 200.

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.

Exam Period SHRM-CP Pass Rate SHRM-SCP Pass Rate
May - July 2022 65% 46%
Dec. 2021 - Feb 2022​ 64% 44%
May - July 2021 67% 48%
Dec. 2020 - Feb 2021 67% 51%

Exam Application Audits

SHRM will randomly audit a percentage of applications during each testing window. Candidates will be responsible for providing the requested supporting documentation to verify their years of HR experience and degree obtained (if applicable). SHRM’s practice is not to contact employers or educational institutions to obtain verification documentation on the candidate’s behalf. Failure to comply with the audit, and/or falsification or misrepresentation of requested information, will result in denial of the application and/or revocation of the authorization to test. Candidates subject to audit will be notified by e-mail and will have 10 business days to respond. Once selected for audit, candidates will be required to satisfy the audit requirements before being able to continue with the certification process. Failure to comply with the audit will result in forfeiting all fees. Additionally, a candidate who does not comply with the audit will be subject to audit if reapplying for a future testing window.

For questions or technical support, please contact shrmcertification@shrm.org or 1-800-283-7476, option #3 or 1-703-548-3440, option #3.

Payment Methods

The SHRM certification program accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, money order, checks, ACHs and wire transfers. Prepaid debit cards and purchase orders are not accepted.

Payments must be in U.S. currency and made payable to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). ACHs and wire transfers should be sent to the specific bank account designated by SHRM. If payment (and refunds) are made by wire, there are associated fees. All payments should be accompanied by proper documentation.

ACH/Wire: Please contact: certification@shrm.org, 1-800-283-7476, option 3 (U.S. only) or 1-703-548-3440, option 3 (International)

For information on volume pricing call 1-703-535-6496 or e-mail CorporateCertifications@shrm.org


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