HR Certification Institute
Exam Preparation

Preparation Resources

Exam Preparation

The HR Certification Institute does not require or recommend any one particular preparation method, school or organization.

Our exams are based on generally accepted HR principles. Preparing for a certification exam is not about memorization of information. Be critical and ask questions to ensure that you understand the material you are studying.

Start by asking the question: How do you learn best? Organize your preparation according to your learning style. Investing more time on preparation often pays off. Certified HR Professionals who are more prepared are more likely to be successful.

Use a variety of resources while preparing for the exam. There is no single best preparation method. Using multiple resources ensures that you understand the generally accepted HR principles. Below are resources that candidates have most frequently recommended as materials that have helped them to be successful.

Bodies of Knowledge (BoK)

Review the Body of Knowledge for the exam you plan to take. The content includes the specific tasks and knowledge statements covered on the exam.

  • Assess yourself against the BoK
  • Establish a learning plan based on your online assessment


Read and review "must read" books through popular retailers like SHRMStore, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble for HR professionals by authors such as:
  • Bennis
  • Handy
  • Hofstede

  • Mintzberg
  • Ohmae
  • Porter
  • Prahalad

  • Schein
  • Senge
  • Ulrich

Certification Resource Guides

The Official HRCI Certification Guides provide an excellent resource for understanding the HR certification process and strategies for how to prepare for the exam.
  • Available to purchase here
  • Includes sample exam questions, answers and explanations

Courses/Certificate Programs

Based on the Bodies of Knowledge, check with universities, training centers, professional associations and consulting firms in your area for courses on the specific HR topics about which you need additional knowledge. You can do this by searching online for providers of certification preparation courses.

Credential Readiness Assessment (CRA)

For HRMP + HRBP Only - Learn about your strengths and areas for improvement
  • Familiarize yourself with the exam format
  • Update your learning plan

Experiential Learning

  • Shadow or interview HR colleagues in areas where you could improve
  • Create informal/formal mentoring relationships
  • Refer to the Bodies of Knowledge to guide you in these conversations


Follow “must read” online resources such as:

Keep up-to-date on human resources by reading materials/content/research developed by HR professional associations


SHRM has developed preparation materials for all of the HR Certification Institute's credentials.The SHRM Learning System® has been designed by subject matter experts and developed to meet the needs of HR professionals throughout the world.These programs consist of learning modules based on the HR Certification Institute’s Bodies of Knowledge for each exam.

Social Media Networks

Search for social network groups in your area on LinkedIn or Facebook. Connect with us socially:
Globally- Connect with others who are currently GPHR, HRBP or HRMP certified and get familiar with the format of the questions through systematic question challenges. Join the group here

Study Groups

Local professional association groups such as SHRM, CUPA-HR, and ASHHRA chapters are great resources to connect and exchange knowledge with other HR professionals. Additionally, your local chambers of commerce are excellent resources for preparation.