SHRM CP Practice Exam Review

The Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM CP) is a computer-based exam designed to test the knowledge and skills of HR professionals based on a set of guidelines as defined by the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge™.

The SHRM BoCK™ is the result of a program of research that led to the identification of eight key behavior competencies and one technical competency necessary for HR professionals to achieve success, or the SHRM Competency Model.

Who should take the SHRM CP Exam?

Entry-level and medium-level career HR professionals seeking to advance their career and show employers within the global business community that they have the necessary competencies and knowledge required to succeed within an HR position should obtain this credential. This includes those professionals that deliver HR services or perform operational HR functions.

SHRM CP Exam Review

SHRM CP Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to take the SHRM CP exam, you must meet the following education and work requirements:

  • Less than a Bachelor’s Degree in an HR-Related Program / 3 Years in an HR Role
  • Less than a Bachelor’s Degree in a Non-HR Program / 4 Years in an HR Role
  • Bachelor’s Degree in an HR-Related Program / 1 Year in HR Role
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a Non-HR Program / 2 Years in an HR Role
  • Graduate Degree in an HR-Related Program / Currently in an HR Role
  • Graduate Degree in a Non-HR Program / 1 Year in an HR Role

Additional requirements apply:

  • More than 1,000 hours worked in an HR role within one calendar year (one year of experience).
  • HR experience can be exempt or non-exempt and can be classified either directly or indirectly.

Note that SHRM membership is not required to obtain SHRM certification.


What is the meaning of the SHRM CP?


SHRM-CP stands for Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional.


What is the meaning of the SHRM CP?


SHRM-CP stands for Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional.


What is the pass rate for the SHRM CP exam?


The SHRM-CP pass rate is currently 70%.


What is a passing score for the SHRM exam?


The scoring system for calculating your SHRM exam score is different than the system used to present the score. 130 of the 160 questions are used to determine your score, which is reported to the candidate on a scale of 120-200. 200 is the passing score.


What is the SHRM-CP exam for?


The SHRM-PC exam is for HR professionals who perform operational functions, deliver services, and serve as a point of contact for staff.


How do you sign up for the SHRM-CP exam?


You can sign up for the SHRM-CP exam by visiting


How much does it cost to take the SHRM-CP exam?


The exam fee for the SHRM-CP exam is $300 with an application processing fee of $50.


Is the SHRM-CP exam all multiple choice?


The SHRM-CP exam contains two types of multiple choice questions: knowledge-based and scenario-based.


How long do you have to take the SHRM-CP exam?


Test-takers are given 4 hours to complete the SHRM-CP exam.

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Registering for and Taking the SHRM CP Exam

The SHRM certification exam is a 4-hour long computer-based examination. You will be given a total of 160 questions to test your proficiency as an HR professional; 95 of these questions will be knowledge items, with the remaining 65 being situational judgment items.

To register for the exam, check registration deadlines on the SHRM website. Typically, there are two windows to take the examination annually, in Spring (May 1 to July 15) and Winter (December 1 to February 15).

Exam Fees include a non-refundable $50 application fee. For SHRM members, the fee is $300. For nonmembers, the fee is $400.

SHRM CP Competencies

For the purpose of the SHRM CP examination, a competency is defined as “a group of highly interrelated knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs).” These collectively define the requirements an HR professional must meet in order to effectively perform within their role. This exam has one technical competency that reflects the technical knowledge an HR professional needs in their position and eight behavioral competencies that reflect how an HR professional applies aforementioned technical knowledge to job-related behaviors.

SHRM CP: Behavioral Competencies

Behavioral competencies define the behaviors and attributes an HR professional must portray in order to effectively perform in their role. This competency is divided into three clusters, which are further broken down into relevant sub-competencies:

  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal
  • Business

SHRM CP Leadership Cluster

Leadership and Navigation

The leadership and navigation competency outlines how the HR professional navigates the organization, defines and supports the organization’s vision, manages HR initiatives that support organizational objectives and inspires colleagues to pursue the organization’s strategic vision.

Key Concepts

  • Leadership and motivation theories
  • People management, influence, persuasion and trust- and relationship-building techniques

Ethical Practice

The ethical practice competency outlines how the HR professional demonstrates personal and professional integrity and cultivates an environment that reflects the organization’s ethical values.

Key Concepts

  • Ethical business, anonymity, confidentiality and privacy principles, policies and practices
  • Codes of conduct

SHRM CP: Interpersonal Cluster

Relationship Management

The relationship management competency outlines how the HR professional effectively networks, builds and maintains relationships both within and outside of the organization, participates as an effective team member, manages and resolves conflict and reaches mutually acceptable agreements both within and outside of the organization.

Key Concepts

  • Types of conflict
  • Conflict resolution styles and techniques
  • Negotiation, tactics, strategies and styles


The communication competency outlines how the HR professional develops and delivers messages to a variety of audiences, effectively communicates organizational information and actively listens to and understands the views and concerns of others.

Key Concepts

  • Elements of communication
  • General and specialized situations communication techniques
  • Communications media

Global and Cultural Effectiveness

The global and cultural effectiveness competency outlines how the HR professional operates in a diverse workplace and global environment and advocates for a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Key Concepts

  • Cultural intelligence, norms, values and dimensions
  • Techniques for bridging individual differences and perceptions
  • Best practices for managing globally diverse workforces

SHRM CP: Business Cluster

Business Acumen

The business acumen competency outlines how the HR professional maintains business and competitive awareness, uses business metrics and principles to inform business decisions and aligns the HR departments with the organization’s strategic direction.

Key Concepts

  • Business terms , concepts, intelligence techniques and tools
  • Analyzing and interpreting business documents
  • Financial analysis and methods for assessing business health


The consultation competency outlines how the HR professional evaluates business challenges and identifies opportunities, implements and supports HR solutions and initiatives to meet business needs, leads and supports organizational changes, implements and provides high-quality customer interaction.

Key Concepts

  • Organizational change management theories, models and processes
  • Effective consulting techniques, processes and models
  • Key components of successful client interactions

Critical Evaluation

The critical evaluation competency outlines how the HR professional advocates the importance and utility of data, gathers data to inform organizational decisions, analyzes data and uses the results for evidence-based decision making.

Key Concepts

  • Survey and assessment tools
  • Basic concepts in statistics and measurement
  • Interpretation of data and charts

SHRM CP: HR Expertise (HR Knowledge)

The HR expertise competency measures how well the HR professional can take what they know and effectively apply it within an HR role. This competency consists of three knowledge domains which are further broken down into 15 HR functional areas:

SHRM CP Knowledge Domain #1: People

Functional Area #1 – HR Strategic Planning

How the HR professional develops, implements and manages a strategic direction to achieve organizational success.

Functional Area #2 – Talent Acquisition

How the HR professional builds and maintains a workforce that meets the needs of the organization.

Functional Area #3 – Employee Engagement and Retention

How the HR professional develops a thriving workforce.

Functional Area #4 – Learning and Development

How the HR professional enhances the workforce in order to meet the organization’s business needs.

Functional Area #5 – Total Rewards

How the HR professional designs and implements compensation systems and benefits packages to attract and retain employees.

SHRM CP Knowledge Domain #2: Organization

Functional Area #6 – Structure of the HR Function

How the HR professional delivers HR-related services that drive organizational effectiveness.

Functional Area #7 – Organizational Effectiveness and Development

How the HR professional maintains the overall structures and functionality of the organization.

Functional Area #8 – Workforce Management

How the HR professional assists the organization in meeting its talent needs and closing critical gaps in competencies.

Functional Area #9 – Employee and Labor Relations

How the HR professional communicates information between the organization and its employees regarding the terms and conditions of employments.

Functional Area #10 – Technology Management

How the HR professional incorporates and regulated the use of technologies in the workplace.

SHRM CP Knowledge Domain #3: Workplace

Functional Area #11 – HR in the Global Context

How the HR professional manages global workforces to achieve organizational objectives.

Functional Area #12 – Diversity and Inclusion

How the HR professional creates opportunities for all employees for contribute to the success of the organization.

Functional Area #13 – Risk Management

How the HR professional identifies, assesses and prioritizes risks, and applies resources to control the impact of those risks.

Functional Area #14 – Corporate Social Responsibility

How the HR professional promotes and supports the organization’s commitment to ethical and sustainable operation.

Functional Area #15 – U.S. Employment Law and Regulations

How the HR professional understands and applies relevant laws and regulations relating to employment.

Preparing for the SHRM CP Exam

As you review and prepare to take the SHRM CP examination, begin with a practice test to familiarize yourself with your strengths and weaknesses. From there, build a study guide that caters to your specific needs to set yourself up up for success. Mometrix has created both of these resources for you to review the competencies, sub-competencies and functional areas you will need to have mastery of come test day.