HR Leads Business

Jun 17, 2020 | Clare Chiappetta

3 Tips for Taking Your HRCI Certification Exam Online

David Dacorro was ready to head to a testing center and take his Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®) exam. Unfortunately, testing centers across the U.S were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. HRCI partnered with PearsonVue and began using OnVue, their online proctoring platform.

The online exam content and delivery system are the same — the platform, feel and functionality, as well as the navigation tools. When Dacorro was notified there was an alternate exam opportunity, he was excited to take the online exam from the comfort of his home.

Dacorro admitted that he felt a little nervous about taking the exam online, but didn’t let nerves stand in the way of achieving his goals. “It’s a matter of being prepared and knowing what to expect,” he says. “HRCI provided great instructions on what to do prior to the exam.”

Being prepared paid off — Dacorro is the first person to pass the GPHR™ exam online. We asked Dacorro to share his advice for passing the online exam. 

Verifying Your Identity

Make sure you read all the exam instructions ahead of time so you know what to expect from the verification and set-up process. Taking the exam online differs from taking the exam in person. For online exams, you will need to verify your identity using the process outlined by Pearson VUE. HRCI has also provided a detailed list of Frequently Asked Questions

Dacorro suggests keeping your smartphone handy before the exam begins. OnVue, PearsonVUE’s online delivery system, requires candidates to take and submit photos of your exam space prior to launching your exam. You will also need to submit photos of your government-issued license or passport for identity verification. Be aware that your webcam will be on and an image of yourself on the screen during the exam will be visible at all times.  

Set Yourself Up for Success

Taking the exam at home, you want to ensure you have complied with a proper test space. Your office or home setting must be walled, have a closed door and be free from disruptions. 

Communicating with the rest of your household is critical. If you have roommates, a spouse or children, make sure they know that you need three and a half hours of quiet time. If you have pets, make sure they’re situated with food and water so they don’t present a distraction. 

“If you’re taking it in the morning, wake up an hour early to get ready,” Dacorro suggests. Even though you don’t have to budget travel time, this gives you time to eat, hydrate and mentally prepare yourself for the exam. 

When taking the exam at a testing center, you usually have one break to use the restroom or stretch your legs. That isn’t the case with the online exam, Dacorro points out. You will be sitting at your laptop for the duration of the exam. Please take precautions to prevent the need for bathroom breaks and be sure your workspace is comfortable for the duration of the exam. 

Confirm Your Computer’s Compatibility 

When taking the exam in person, the testing center computers are equipped with the technology required for the exam, Dacorro points out. When you take the exam online, you use your own personal computer. “A week prior, download the software and check to make sure it’s compatible with your laptop,” Dacorro suggests. If it isn't, you may have to make arrangements to access a computer that is compatible. 

Certain adware you have running on your laptop could affect the testing software, too. It may use a popup to confirm your consent before running the program, Dacorro says. “Your firewall could prevent the software from functioning,” he says. “This could delay taking the exam.” Disable firewalls and pop-up blockers before trying to run the software to prevent technical hiccups the day of the exam. “All you should have to worry about on exam day is passing your exam,” Dacorro says.