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My Journey to SHRM Certification

The very thought of working in HR function is exciting. It provides you with an opportunity for being a growth enabler for your fellow workers. An HR professional who has credible certification/degree is looked upon in more favourable light and thought to be more reliable. HR is a domain where knowledge and experience go hand in hand.

When I decided to take SHRM Certification I knew I was taking on a challenging task ahead. I found I was eligible for the SHRM-SCP, as it required an HR Professional involved in developing strategies, leading the HR function, fostering influence in the community, analysing performance metrics, and aligning HR strategies to organizational goals. I was already doing most of these activities.

So there began my Journey of attaining SHRM-SCP. My experiences of what is required to clear the test are listed below:

  1. Starting the journey
    1. Have a strong belief on yourself.
    2. Understand it may not reflect what you are doing in your present role.
    3. Know that SHRM designs the exam based on best-practice procedures.
    4. Remember this is not an exam based on comparative scores; everyone taking their test should meet the knowledge and competency standards.  
    5. Decide what resources are required, like LMS provided by SHRM, Professional classes conducted, other books available based on SHRM exam pattern.
    6. Join the study groups, if possible.
    7. Have the latest LMS, if possible.
  1. Treading the path
    1. Commit to a daily quota of time for studies.
    2. Remember that you need consistency, discipline and patience in preparing for this exam.
    3. Let it be a continuous Learning process.
    4. Cover entire syllabus.
    5. When reading the study material, try to be neutral of what you are presently practicing.
    6. Highlight important text. It helped me when I marked the points deemed important in green and points I was not clear about in red.
    7. Attempt practice questions at the end of each chapter/topic.
    8. Understand the pattern of solutions.
    9. Read explanation for all questions, whether right or wrong.
    10. Practice more questions.
    11. Think in terms of real-life scenarios and develop your situational judgment (SJ). 
    12. Read the SJT as a story. It helps in retaining the learning’s.
    13. Use flashcards. They are helpful in direct/knowledge questions.
    14. Discuss the problems with others to know their views about solutions.
    15. The situational judgement questions were easy for me to understand when I put myself in the role/situation question was related to. That also helped me in selecting the correct option.
    16. Do not cram. It doesn’t work. Instead pace yourself.
  1. Final run
    1. Attempt mock test/trial runs/practice test.
    2. Evaluate the results to find the areas you need to focus on more.
    3. In longer SJT, try to break the information in parts and look for key words. Don’t get distracted and try to find the exact question you need to answer.
    4. In multipart questions (many questions from one situation/problem) try to highlight the text portions relevant to each question.
    5. Be focused as the exam date approaches.
    6. Don’t get overwhelmed by the exam pressure. Think of it as just an exam and not a life-death situation.
    7. Take your time to read questions properly and think about your answers. You have plenty of time for attempting the test.
    8. No shortcuts, please.

The exam is difficult, no doubt, but with the right preparation you can clear it. At the beginning of your preparation visualise the goal and take daily steps reaching there.

I enjoyed my journey and am surely reaping the benefits of extensive learning I have had. I feel I can contribute meaningfully to the development of the HR function in my organisation. And that is why we get certified, isn’t it?

Good luck.


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