Exam Information

Understanding Your Results Report

The first section of your results report contains:

Exam Name:

Exam Date:

Candidate (Your) Name:

Exam Results:


The exam results will say either Pass if you passed the exam or Did Not Pass if you did not pass the exam.

If you did not pass the exam the next section of your results report will contain:

Range of Possible Scores:

Passing Score:

Your Score:

HRCI reports results using scaled scores, which is typical in testing programs. A scaled score is the result of a transformation applied to the raw score. HRCI transforms all exams to the same scaled score. The score will fall between a range of 100 and 700, and the passing score is set to 500. This allows all exams to have the same parameters or be on the same scale.


If your result was Did Not Pass, the “Your Score” number will fall between 100 and 499. The closer your score is to 500, the closer you were to passing the exam.


The next section in the results report if you did not pass is “An Explanation of Exam Scoring.” This section explains how HRCI uses scaled scores in more detail.


The next section on both the Pass and Did Not Pass results reports provides a chart reflecting your performance on each of the exam’s Functional Areas. Each exam has an Exam Content Outline that includes Functional Areas, Responsibilities, and Knowledge Statements. HRCI exams are organized by Functional Area, and each Functional Area has a weighting. The weighting indicates the percentage each Functional Area contributes to the exam total. If you were to add each Functional Area’s weight the total will equal 100%. This allows you to see how much each Functional Area contributes to the total exam.


On your report, your performance on each Functional Area will be indicated by shading of the Functional Area bar. The closer your shading is to the highest possible score the more items you answered correctly in that Functional Area. Evaluating each Functional Area bar within the chart will provide an indication of your strengths and weaknesses across the Functional Areas.


If you did not pass the exam and plan to retake the exam, the chart allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. The Functional Areas are broken down further in the Exam Content Outline. This information should help you prepare for retaking the examination.


If you passed the exam, knowing your areas of strengths and weakness provides you with possible areas for future professional or personal development.


HRCI exams are designed to differentiate examinees based on their Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) from those without the KSAs. The examinees who demonstrate a high level of KSAs should pass the exam and the examinees who demonstrate a low level of KSAs will not pass. HRCI exams are designed to determine pass/did not pass decisions based on the total score of the exam. Though we provide information on your strengths and weaknesses for each Functional Area, pass/did not pass decisions are made based on achieving a scaled score at or above 500 on the entire exam.

An explanation of candidate performance levels on each of the exam topic areas is also provided. This performance level information is not an official domain score and should not be interpreted as such. The information is provided only as a guide for future study should an unsuccessful candidate wish to test again.

Next Steps

Retaking the Exam

Candidates who were unsuccessful on an exam (and did not purchase optional Second Chance Insurance) and wish to take the same exam type again may reapply immediately after the unsuccessful attempt but must wait 90 calendar days between exam attempts. All exam eligibility requirements and fees apply to this exam re-application. An exam appointment may be scheduled as soon as the application is approved. However, the earliest that the exam may be taken is on day 91 (or the first day after the 90-day waiting period) from the date that the re-application is approved. Once approved, a candidate will have 180 calendar days to schedule and take the exam. Candidates who were unsuccessful on an exam and wish to take a different HRCI exam type may apply immediately for the new exam. All exam eligibility requirements and fees apply to this new exam application. Candidates will not be able to take the same exam more than three (3) times in a consecutive 365-day period.

Maintaining Your Certification

Earning a certification from HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) is a long-term commitment to yourself, your career and the HR profession. Recertification is required to maintain your certification and demonstrates your ongoing commitment to professional development in the HR field. Recertification, required every three years, is accomplished by completing professional development activities or retaking the exam.


Recertification can be earned in the following categories:

Please refer to the Recertification Handbook and other resources including free webinars on the Recertification Resources page.


*While some exams may be translated into additional languages, score reports are only issued in English.