The HRCI certification exam is a combination of knowledge that needs to be comprehended, problem solving skills that can be applied in real life scenarios and evaluation of combining things for making critical decisions. Each level of exam has different levels of percentage of each subject and there are HRCI practice tests papers that can help.
Preparing for the test:
There is no test preparation offered by HRCI. One needs to be preparing for the exam based on their experience and study the reference materials for the subjects of the level of certification. A good self-study is enough to prepare for the exam.
Applying for the exam
Before applying for the exam, check if you are eligible for that particular certification.
Though the exams are available year long, the earlier you apply, you can prepare accordingly. Once you apply for the test, you can take the test as early as 14 days after approval of the application form and before 180 days after the approval. Then you can schedule the exam and start preparing.
You need to give your complete name and correct email address where you get the confirmation email about the approval of your application.
How to prepare?
As the test includes having HR experience, you first need to overcome the limited HR experience. The more information about the real life practices you have, the better it is to answer the questions. There will certainly be a difference in specialist and generalist type of experience.
Time is the factor to prepare and answer the questions.
Below is a list of preparation resources that are not endorsed by HRCI but can help.
The first step is to align you to know about of HR, its framework, practices and implementations. HRCI has a HRBoK which you can refer to get an over view of the profession and insight into policies, practices etc. This book is divided in to 6 areas that are specialized in subjects like Human Resource Development, Compensation and Benefits, Workforce Planning and Employment, Risk Management and Employee and Labor Relations. Understanding each of these concepts will give you an insight of how HR functions.
Most of the question in the exam is derived from the practices that are generally done in HR functions. So, you need to prepare a lot on real life scenarios and know where you lack expertise to help you develop your knowledge. You can use the HRCI practice testspapers of HRCI to check your understanding and knowledge.
Keep a constant check on how your study plan is progressing. You can shadow a colleague or a manager at your work place to improve on your skills and these could be formal or informal ways of learning.