[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-25-02 AT 10:23AM (CST)[/font][p][font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 10-25-02 AT 10:21 AM (CST)[/font]

Okay, I did it -- signed up to take the certification exam this December. Now, of course, I am wondering if perhaps I was a bit hasty. I am one course shy of receiving my HR Certificate from UM/College Park, and have a 4.0 GPA. I have worked in HR for over three years, as a Generalist in a not-for-profit. For a small company we have numerous HR related issues. I constantly attend seminars and trainings. I have encountered many many difficult situations and have made lots of decisions that proved beneficial to the company and workforce. I subscribe fully to the "Running With the Big Dogs" concept for strategic HR.

Question: How many of you current PHR/SPHR (S) took courses specifically to prepare for the exam? Is it likely that one can pass the exam without that kind of preparation? Those who may have taken the exam without qualifying (yet)what would you have done differently? Just want opinions/thoughts from you all.


  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I did the PHR first (about 7 years ago) and then did the SPHR after that. I was certified with both the first time I sat through them. I didn't attend any classes or study-groups or anything, but I did spend some time beforehand reading through recent editions of college textbooks, making notes to myself etc. (this was of more help for the PHR as that tended to be heavier on the regulation-type things whereas the SPHR was more strategic and problem-solving). I found that my on-the-job experiences translated well to the SPHR exam and so I was not overwhelmed by any of the questions. As I continually keep current and am constantly in learning mode I found I was very prepared.

    I think whatever "study" habits you are most comfortable with, will work best. I have colleagues who took classes for $800 and participated in study groups as this is what worked best for THEIR style of learning.

    Good luck!!! :)
  • I would have to agree that to best prepare for this exam you should choose the method that best suits you - whether that's by yourself, in a class, or with a group of HR friends. To prepare myself for the SPHR exam I signed up for a prep course at a local university and bought the SHRM learning system. I knew that if I didn't have a designated time and place to study and tests that would be scored by someone else along the way, I might not have prepared as well as I should have. Please understand that you should not rely on the SHRM learning system books alone - the information in these books include just the baseline of what will be tested. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Read and explore other textbooks and get your hands on as much information relating to current HR topics as possible. Also, get yourself a copy of the HRCI guide - it has a good sample test that will give you an idea of the way the questions are asked and the type of things you will need to know. FYI - in my prep class there were 5 students. All of us took the SPHR test, and 4 of us passed.
  • I have had my SPHR for several years and was just as apprehensive as you appear the first time I started this process.

    While I agree that supplemental materials are a real asset, SHRM's Learning Guides proved to be most benefical for me. They provided a solid outline as well as offered specific information that proved importatn during the exam.

    Remember, if you understand the concepts rather than just memorizing details, you will do much better.
  • How can I get a hold of the HRCI Guide?
  • You can get to the HRCI site through the SHRM site. You can order the materials there. I test December 7th for SPHR.
    I am taking the class version. I won't know until after the test if it was the right thing to do. But, I know that I need to have some external motivation and a class does that.
    We have a woman in our class that did the self study and did not pass so now she is in class with us. She says she likes it much better and feels better prepared.

    I wish you good luck!!!
  • Hi,

    You most definitely should purchase the study materials. You might want to network with some of your fellow HR people in your area to help share the cost
    which is approx. $600. Not only are they excellent study materials, but you
    will use them as references. The PHR is more detailed/practice oriented, and the SPHR is more theory. Both are challenging. I took the SPHR and missed by 6points, so I'm retaking the test. It's 2.5 hours. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me. [email][/email]
  • The first time I took the test, I missed by 2 points. The test day was one day after my husband had his heart surgery. I scheduled a retest and passed with lots of room to spare. I did purchase the study modules and before I retested, I attended a prep course offered through the local SHRM association.

    The best advice I can give is to slow down and really read every word of the questions. I speed read and missing one little word can change the entire question.
Sign In or Register to comment.