Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® Examination - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have questions about the Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)®Exam? The FAQs below provide some helpful information for those interested in writing the PRK.
 
If you have a question and don't find your answer below, contact Director of Accreditation and Education Lorianne Weston - lweston@cprs.ca.

(1) Do I need to be a CPRS member in order to do the exam?
Answer: You are not required to be a member of CPRS to write the PRK exam and you can write it any time you feel is appropriate for you at one of the two annual exam sessions. 

(2) Am I able to take the exam even though I am a student who will graduate in a few months from a PR program?
Answer: The PRK tests your knowledge of PR fundamentals, critical thinking and writing skills, so you will need to make your own determination about the extent to which you have developed this knowledge and your potential to achieve a passing grade or higher. However, exam results have demonstrated a higher success rate for those who are about to complete or who have already completed their PR study program.  
 
(3) What is the cost to write the exam?
Answer: The exam fee is $150 plus tax. The Exam Readiness Package is optional and the fee is $100 plus tax.
 
(4) How do I apply and what is the deadline?
Answer: The PRK exam application form is posted on the CPRS website at http://www.cprs.ca/education/needtoknow.aspx#app . The exam is offered two times per year in May and September.

(5) Do I need to have completed a post-secondary Public Relations program to write the exam?
Answer: As the PRK exam tests knowledge of public relations and communication management concepts and  fundamentals, as well as critical thinking, judgment and writing skills, an in-depth understanding of these areas is advisable. Your knowledge and skills may be acquired through education, work experience or a combination.  We leave it to the individual to determine their own level of readiness for the PRK exam.

(6) Will a Public Relations post-graduate diploma program prepare me to write the exam?
Answer: Graduates from Canadian post-graduate diploma or certificate public relations programs, especially those who have completed their internships or co-ops are ideal candidates to write the PRK.  Our data indicates that those who have completed their internships and have some experience in the field do particularly well on the exam.
 
(7) Does CPRS have a study guide I can consult to help me prepare to write the PRK exam?
Answer: The Study Guide, part of our Readiness Program, provides exam writers with a helpful resource.  It contains sample questions, a reading list, and examples of exam answers. The Readiness Program includes the Study Guide, the CPRS Style Guide, an exam preparation webinar and a moderated online forum.
 
(8) Why isn’t my post-graduate certificate in public relations sufficient proof that I have the required knowledge?
Answer: The PRK exam was created in consultation with an industry advisory committee representing employers from PR agencies, corporations, and government who encouraged CPRS to develop a benchmarking tool to use when assessing potential new hires.  These employers face the daunting task of trying to distinguish credentials of job applicants with a variety of educational backgrounds.  Some have completed public relations studies through a full-time university undergraduate degree, some via a three-year or post-graduate certificate at a college, some as part-time students, and others through online courses. The PRK exam provides a national benchmark to evaluate skills, competencies and workplace readiness.
 
(9) Is the PRK exam recognized by the marketplace?  Will it give me an advantage?

Answer: The PRK exam was first introduced in January 2013.  It was offered in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 at multiple locations.  With each PRK exam session, recognition is growing.  CPRS supports this effort via the dedicated volunteer members of the National Council on Education.