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HR students excel on national test

For the fifth year in a row, business students from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have outperformed all other student groups in the country on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Assurance of Learning exam. 

Launched in 2011, the online exam assesses whether students completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resource management have the knowledge needed to be successful HR practitioners.

The UW-Eau Claire pass rate on the SHRM exam has been consistently 20-30 percent higher than the national pass rate, said Dr. Scott Lester, UW-Eau Claire professor of management.

"We have held this spot as the 'top cohort' since the exam’s inception," said Lester. "The fact that our students have done so well the past five years reflects positively on them and our HR degree program.”

The SHRM Assurance of Learning exam consists of 160 multiple-choice questions that address HR concepts, such as employment law, strategy, training and development, compensation and benefits, and workforce planning. Students who pass the 3.5-hour exam receive one of two certificates of learning: a proficiency certificate, indicating that the student has basic and essential HR knowledge, or an advanced certificate, which is awarded to students who possess comprehensive and integrated knowledge.

"Passing the exam is an achievement students can proudly list on their resumes," said Lester. "It's a mark of excellence that differentiates them from others in the job market."

SHRM is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in more than 160 countries, the organization serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. 

SHRM has more than 575 affiliate chapters throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the UW-Eau Claire student chapter and the Chippewa Valley professional chapter. For more information about the student chapter, contact Dr. Scott Lester, department of management and marketing, at