Phr/Sphr Certification

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Recruiter in Hightstown, New Jersey

72 months ago

I need some details about the PHR/SPHR certification. Has sombody cleared the exam just through reading some certification books available in the market? Is it necessary to buy the whole package from the SHRM website?

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Sandra Rivera in Cleveland, Ohio

72 months ago

I am currently taking the preparation class for the PHR/SPHR examination. You do need those books because after each section in the module there are test questions. This class is very benefitfull because you read the module and then you discuss it in class. Also, the class has 100% pass rate so my suggestion would be to get the books and find a prep. class.

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colin connor in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

I took the test in june. SPHR, with no previous test experience.

I found that reviewing the practice questions was best. REviewing the material was good, but knowing the types of questions was optimal. You can take a course throught SHRP-the local HR chapter.

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Recruiter in Hightstown, New Jersey

71 months ago

colin connor in Chicago, Illinois said: I took the test in june. SPHR, with no previous test experience.

I found that reviewing the practice questions was best. REviewing the material was good, but knowing the types of questions was optimal. You can take a course throught SHRP-the local HR chapter.

Thanks!! What is the website for that?

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Janice Bates in Las Vegas, Nevada

71 months ago

Hi:

I took it at a local university. My instructor was an HR Manager for a pharmaceutical company and she had owned her own consulting firm for about 15 years. She was a wealth of information.

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lclark in STATEWIDE

71 months ago

I took the PHR Exam this past June. I graduated from college in May and immediately signed up for the prep class prior to graduation. The class and materials were very very helpful. The questions from the study material are not on the quiz, however, the way the questions are worded will be on the test. I had a class on every saturday from 9-12 and it was the best thing ever. You should also find a partner to help review the information with as well because it helps to retain the information. You should look at your local SHRM chapter and they should be able to provide you with more details and informstion regarding the prep classes. I think the next test windowm is in December so you should try to find the information rather quickly. Also, that study material can be very costly, so try to purchase one off of e-bay or something first!

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Recruiter in Hightstown, New Jersey

71 months ago

Thanks for the reply!!

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Recruiter in Hightstown, New Jersey

71 months ago

Thanks!

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Recruiter in Hightstown, New Jersey

71 months ago

Thank you sooo much!!

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Janice Bates in Las Vegas, Nevada

71 months ago

Abha in Edison, New Jersey said: Thanks for the reply. How long is the class? also is it online?

My class was 3 months long at the univeristy .

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Abha in Edison, New Jersey

71 months ago

How much was the fee?

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Janice Bates in Las Vegas, Nevada

71 months ago

$675.00. My employer paid for it.

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Abha in Edison, New Jersey

71 months ago

Thanks for the prompt reply!! Here they are charging $1400( with the examination fee)

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Carolyn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

69 months ago

I just took the PHR exam last Saturday (Dec 6, 2008). I prepared by going through the SHRM self study program - be sure to allow yourself enough time to work your way through all six modules. The online assessments following each module and review tests were the best practice - but, everyone is different. The test was difficult - one of the hardest I have ever taken, but I did PASS! Best of luck to you!

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Abha in Hightstown, New Jersey

69 months ago

What was the most dificult part? Is it better to take the course in the college? Do you have any working experience in HR?

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eroomk in Granite Bay, California

68 months ago

I am scheduled to sit for the phr exam 1/15/09. I was feeling good about my learning progress and using the certgear's sample exams until I read how much individuals have been studying per day and all of the materials used.

Has anybody used the certgear sample exams? How do they match up with the actual exam questions? Any input would be appreciated!

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eroomk in Granite Bay, California

68 months ago

I wish you the best of luck! I passed my 1/15/09 test and am waiting for the "official" notice.

I have to say this test was not easy for me. What I found is that of the 4 multiple choice 2 are really accurate and correct you just need to pick the most correct. And that depends on the body that did the pre-testing validity. My biggest challenge when I started to study is knowing the acronyms and abbreviations. Each company and business seems to use their own lingo and the PHR certification exam expects you to know the BOK in the standard format. I was provided with 4 hours to take 225 questions. Of the 225 questions only 200 were weighted. 25 questions were for no points or score. I used all of my time. The test took me 3 hours and 53 minutes. The first 20 questions I had to answer, but mark so I could go back and review the answer because I didn't feel confident. By the time I got to the 225th question I was on a rhythm and looped back. I would say I ended up changing 8 out of 10 of my initial answers. This test requires HR BOK (book of knowledge) in addition to real world practical experience and a good vocabulary so you know what words were derived from latin terms, etc. During my studying I had to look up many words because they are not commonly used. I never purchased the learning system, and never attended any certification preparation courses. I just built a strategy around my self study and used the Anne Bodgarus book. This is an excellent book and everything you need to know for the exam is in the book.
The book comes with a CD that has assessment tests and flash cards. I feel with my work experience and HR knowledge I know the content well, but when I took the first sample test I was shocked at how low I scored. My next posting will give my strategy on study and testing that worked for me.

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eroomk in Granite Bay, California

68 months ago

As you probably figured out, here is the breakdown:

Here is the breakdown:

Workforce Planning & Employment - 52 Questions
Employee & Labor Relations - 44 Questions
HR Development - 34 Questions
Total Rewards - 32 Questions
Strategic Management - 24 Questions
Risk Management - 14 Questions

I read Anne Bodgarus's book cover to cover. Each chapter has a summary, exam essentials, key terms and review questions. It is very important you spend extra time on these sections of the book and really get familiar with the content - especially key terms. Many of the questions in the exam can throw you off in that they are written like which training method is the least likely to...etc. Pay the $70.00 for the certgear.com downloadable practice exams. The $70.00 gives you a pre and post test results. Take this because it will give you a strong indication of what areas you need to focus studying on. Then 2 days before the 30th take your second exam and fine tune those areas. Remember Risk has the fewest questions on the cert exam so if you miss 3 or 4 that is a big percentage of that section which will be weighted overall and could potentially impact you. Continue to take as many assessment tests as you can. Keep notes of the ones you get wrong so you can go back to Anne's book and get a full understanding of why you missed the question. This exam was written for the experienced HR person so a good degree is the correct answer with real practical application of rules and laws. I hope this helps. Best of luck.

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BenE. in Huntsville, Alabama

68 months ago

I took and passed the exam yesterday. Anyone can email me at runninghobo160 at aol.com, and I would be more than happy to give any tips or advice.

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RWire

68 months ago

I see that a lot of the responses are from those that passed. I took mine today and did not pass. I have taken the course, have the study material and have a substantial amount of experience in HR. I asked if I studied the material would I be able to pass..she said "Yes'...I have spent 4 solid weeks of studying on my own and 40 hours of classroom only to find that the test required more information then was contained in the SHRM Study Material. Big Disappointment in the instructor and material. I will retake the test but with my eyes open this time. I would like to hear some comments from others who were not successful.

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BenE. in Huntsville, Alabama

68 months ago

I spent 12 weeks studying. I did not use the SHRM system. There are two differences.

I have written an account of my study "process" that may be helpful.

www.associatedcontent.com/subject/article/study+phr+exam

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eroomk in Granite Bay, California

68 months ago

I read your conclusion Ben. I must say you are right. I did take several HR courses and had the course books available to me, but I didn't reference them that much. The Anne Bodgarus book captured it all. This exam is meant to pass if you have experience in HR. I went in thinking if I don't pass, I am ok with that because it means the bar requires me to study more in order to get over it.

Rwire you will pass the exam if you have practical experience. Some of the questions were written with two possible answers, but the most correct answer would be made if you have experience. Best of luck to you.

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BenE. in Huntsville, Alabama

68 months ago

My main study material was the Anne Bogardus book. I really wanted to email her just to say, "Thanks for writing an awesome book," but I don't know how to find her email address. Maybe she'll take my payment for the book as a pat on the back. :-)

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eroomk in Granite Bay, California

68 months ago

If you find her contact information, please post it. Anne's end of chapter summary and sample questions were very insightful and helpful towards passing the PHR.

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Tashana in Columbus, Ohio

68 months ago

RWire said: I see that a lot of the responses are from those that passed. I took mine today and did not pass. I have taken the course, have the study material and have a substantial amount of experience in HR. I asked if I studied the material would I be able to pass..she said "Yes'...I have spent 4 solid weeks of studying on my own and 40 hours of classroom only to find that the test required more information then was contained in the SHRM Study Material. Big Disappointment in the instructor and material. I will retake the test but with my eyes open this time. I would like to hear some comments from others who were not successful.

I'm really sorry to hear that you didn't pass, but very relieved to know that I'm on the right track. I have the learning system, but I'm also using certgear which mirrors a lot of the questions that are in the SHRM. I'm taking the test on Friday and though I feed confident I'm being very realistic. I too have several years of HR experience and though they tell you that is enough, if you haven't had all of that experience in every level of the HR body of knowledge, you are still kind of "in the dark".

I'll report back on Friday. I'm taking it at 8 am. Ouch...

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

Hi there!

I'm just curious, I took the PHR today 1/29/09 and failed! I was so disappointed as I have been studying with several resources since last April. I must have memorized ALL the supreme court cases and read them in detail and not ONE mention of them on my exam, not one! I noticed other things missing as well. I used a 225 PHR Test simulator and flash cards and a Book. I studied all the divisions. I can retake it in May. Did you find your test comprehensive to your materials?

Thanks!
Tolemap

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Kirsten Moore in Granite Bay, California

67 months ago

Tolemap
This exam was not easy. I found the content of the exam I took was a direct match to Anne Bodgarus PHR/SPHR certification Preparation book. I also ran through every practice exam I could get my hands on so I would have the feel of how questions were structured. Certgear's PHR practice exams were very helpful. I was able to narrow down my weakest areas and focus my studies on them. There are six knowledge areas. Each is weighted, and you are scored a percentage on those. The the percentage is averaged out between all six areas of knowledge for your result. So, in the case of Occupational Health Safety and Security you cannot miss too many because it has a significant impact. There are only 14 possible questions in the whole exam on this area. Together with the required number of years HR experience, you can pass this exam with strategic adjustments to your study plan. You can do this! Good luck.

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Natalia in Minneapolis, Minnesota

67 months ago

Just took the PHR this morning and passed.

A few thoughts about the test:
• I too took the SHRM-classes at the University of MN and while the instructor was incredibly knowledgeable, I didn't think the class related at all to the test questions.
• I read online that with the PHR it focused on your knowledge of literal definitions – I didn’t see this to be the case at all. The test presents you with working situations (i.e. ULP’s and what steps are taken once one is filed)
• As some one who does miserably with multiple choice questions (they all look the same to me), it was very nice to be able to cross out answers that did not belong (most, very obvious) –questions are a bit more manageable when you have two possible answers as opposed to 4. Use it!
• Looking back I would have just been more diligent about practicing the SHRM online questions/module reviews/practice test and opted to buy the practice test on HRCI’s site and 86’ed the class.

For those sitting for the exam in the near future – Good Luck!

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

Kirsten Moore in Granite Bay, California said: Tolemap
This exam was not easy. I found the content of the exam I took was a direct match to Anne Bodgarus PHR/SPHR certification Preparation book. I also ran through every practice exam I could get my hands on so I would have the feel of how questions were structured. Certgear's PHR practice exams were very helpful. I was able to narrow down my weakest areas and focus my studies on them. There are six knowledge areas. Each is weighted, and you are scored a percentage on those. The the percentage is averaged out between all six areas of knowledge for your result. So, in the case of Occupational Health Safety and Security you cannot miss too many because it has a significant impact. There are only 14 possible questions in the whole exam on this area. Together with the required number of years HR experience, you can pass this exam with strategic adjustments to your study plan. You can do this! Good luck.

Thank you for your response - I am going to adjust studying and soon as I the results come in, I'll know where I'm at. Yes, the test being a weighted one is very significant...However, I thought I had covered ALL the areas! Well, now I'll know!

Thanks again!

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Rob in Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

I passed the SPHR exam on 1-28-09, after failing last year 1/30/08 so don't give up. I have 15yrs HR Mgmt. experience.

What it took to pass:
I highly recommend using the SHRM Learning System! Keep in mind the same language will be used on the exam.
I started studying in Oct. 2008 using the SHRM Learning System. On average it took 1.5 weeks to read one module. I did not study daily & took time out Thanksgiving/Xmas. I finished reading all the modules (took detailed notes) the first week in Jan. 2009. I used two-5 subject note books taking notes. After reading the modules, I assessed my knowledge by taking the SHRM Pretest. I scored 71%. I was disaapointed until I realized it had been several months since I read the other modules, so I actually retained some of the information.
I studied DAILY for 3 weeks straight prior to the exam and completed ALL of the SHRM Learning System tests; pretest, module review test, bonus one test, bonus two test, post test, and final review (1,000+ questions in all.) If I guest the answer correctly or got the answer wrong on the, I alway click the explanation and took notes.
I also used SPHR Exam Prep: Senior Professional in Human Resources (2nd Edition) by Larry Phillips as a REFENCE ONLY. it help b/c it allowed me to use one point of reference for quick look back versus use all 6 modules.
However, as I took the SHRM test, if I didn't score at least 80%, I went back to the SHRM modules to review.
Good Luck

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Rob in Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

After failing last year 1/30/08 so don't give up. I passed on 1-28-09.

I expalined in my previous blog how I passed. Now I need to state why I know I failed in Jan. 2008:
For the same reason OPRAH confussed as to why she gained her weight back. I was COCKY. There were several factor that lead to my failure...
Because I had 14 yrs of Mgmt experience focused on Strategic Mgmt. I thought it would be easy.
I have MBA, BS and BA degrees
I used a borrowed 2006 Learning System for the 2008 exam w/out taking any of the SHRM Learning System test.
I primarily used the SPHR Exam Prep: Senior Professional in Human Resources (2nd Edition) by Larry Phillips- taking the test questions.
I studied periodically for 3 months; got serious the week of the exam.
I STRONGLY recommend that you take the exam seriously and consider which level of exam is for you.
The SPHR exam DID NOT test anything specifically; no Supreme case by name, no laws by name, no processes (Strategic Planning, ADDIE, Project Mgmt), no discriminations laws by name (Title VII, EEO, AA, OFCCP.)
The majority of the ques were one to three sentence scenarios, and situations.
There were some, but not many definitions.
I realized after the test that you have to study everything, know the meaning behind everything, know all the definitions in addition to seriously using some of your experience knowledge to think about how to best answer the questions.
USE the SHRM Learning System becasue the language was the same, the questions on the exam were set-up indentical to the Learning System questions.
Complete all 1,000+
Good Luck

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

Thanks for your reply - I'm wondering now, based on your description of the SPHR exam, if that's what I tested on as it described my exam to a T! No Supreme court cases, no title Vll, very few descriptions and very scenario based - As the test wore on, I was horrified to NOT see what I had studied so hard for! I sat for the PHR exam. I honestly just don't see HOW they could or would make that kind of mistake as this whole process is so controlled. However, I am going to inquire.

Thanks!

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iceberg in Wasilla, Alaska

67 months ago

I passed the SPHR this last week and like everyone on here, found it hard. I studied for about 3 months and focused the last three weeks. I read the SHRM booklets at least four times. To use one of their terms, I experienced increasing returns. I read the booklets fast at first, then focused each subsequent time. Regarding the test itself, I targeted to finish in 3 hours, then used the final hour to review. I didn't feel confident until I did the review. Best of luck to everyone.

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Dharmaguyy in Orlando, Florida

67 months ago

I took the test today and passed! I was very surprised how similar the questions were to the Learning System. I've read that taking a variety of practice tests, ie. Certgear, the Strategic HR website, and the two HRCI tests would help but they were actually more difficult. Here was my study method: Read a module and make your own note cards (helps retention and review). Read the next module and EVERYDAY review the previous module (I looked at the note card when I woke up and then again when I went to bed everyday for 3 months)... and so on. Review, review review. Taking the Learning System practice tests over and over again (both the PHR and SPHR) will teach you "how" to take the test. By breaking the questions down, asking yoursdlf what your really being tested on and crossing off disstractors and wrong answers you should be ok.

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

Thank you! I am going to try again, with your method. Is your system the 2008/2009? In 2002 I took the Villa Nova University HR Management course and they used the SHRM learning modules.

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Abha in Piscataway, New Jersey

67 months ago

Congratulations!! Did you take any HR certification course?

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flr

67 months ago

No matter if you're taking the PHR or SPHR, I recommend that you use the SHRM Learning System year 2007 or later, also with the learning system you can use the CD to get the updates for the years following the version of your booklets. Know the meaning behind the meaning if you're taking the SPHR exam, and I heard if you're taking the PHR know the definitions/meaning of the terms/cases versus studying the specific exec orders, laws and regulations. Also for the SHPR exam really focus on how the union system function, HRD and HRM process (the reason for the process, not memoraizing the steps.)

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

Thank you for your reply - I have written HRCI and requested an audit of my particular test (PHR) as there was not one supreme case or definition amongst other things. That perplexed me as I studied with several components of various publications. I am looking to purchase the 2008 learning system based on several recommendations. However, I am still concerned as it seems my test had all the earmarks of the SPHR and not the PHR.

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

I also took the PHR exam recently (1/29/09) and failed! I was SO disappointed as I've been studying and reviewing since last April with a heavy concentration in CertGears simulation test, and Kaplans study guide along with HRCP flashcards. I saw not ONE supreme court case and very few if any definitions. Mostly, one to three line scenario based questions, which my understanding is, is what the SPHR exam is comprised of. I accept full responsibility if I missed the boat. However, I have requested an audit to make sure that I was really administered the PHR exam and not the SPHR. What were your questions like?

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flr

67 months ago

YOU CAN DO IT ;-)
I passed the SPHR exam this year. In my opinion the SHRM Learning System better prepares the persons sitting for the PHR exam, preparing you to test for the foundations. Although the booklets do prepare for the SPHR, Mgmt. experience in strategic planning (big picture) is what expected. I believe the goal of both knowledge based test (PHR/SPHR) is to ensure that persons understand the premise behind the compentencies without definiately asking the question such as; what is Title VII or what is Adverse Impact. Read ALL the modules & taking notes (read your notes again) and take ALL the test questions on the CD. SET the CD Module for the PHR mode to eliminate the SPHR questions. HINT: Even if you get the answer correct, read all the explanations for each test question on the CD, this will give you more knowledge of the premise behind the question. You will be practicing/studying igonore the timed meter on the test.
Good Luck

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Roger in San Francisco, California

67 months ago

What I used to study was the SHRM learning system and phrsphrtraining.com exam simulation program. I wanted to practice as many questions as a could. It was tough even finding anyone who offered questions. I read the SHRM and took all the phrsphrtraining sample tests and passed! Good Luck!

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JP in Jacksonville, Florida

67 months ago

I just took the PHR exam on Friday, Jan 30, 2009. I Passed, but was curious if anyone has received a Pass the day of the exam, then a fail after the review of the test. Just worried that my pass will turn into a fail. I'm a worry whart... by nature... Unitl I see it in writing, I don't belive it. Good and bad I know.. or is that the inherit characteristic of a HR Professional *fingers crossed* LOL..

Good Luck to you all - and I Highly recommend the SHRM Learning System (Curent version for your testing window due to changes in our HR world) I had the web based vs with the books.. I studied a long time and took all the tests and even went back and retook them.. also use the flip cards and definitions library!

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KL in Flower Mound, Texas

67 months ago

I just took the PHR exam, and I am relieved to say I passed! I haven't received my official results, so like the previous poster, I hope it is not a common occurence to receive a "fail" after you get a "pass" from the testing center.

I used the Anne Bogardus PHR/SPHR book and CD as my primary resource, and then 1 week before the exam downloaded the Certgear exam prep. I would agree that reading the Bogardus book cover to cover, and utilizing the chapter exams and the practice tests on the CD, in addition to the flash cards, is the primary reason I passed.( I also made sure I understood every term in the glossary!_The Certgear exam download is also very beneficial, as the PHR exam was worded in a similar manner.

The test is really about application of principals. If you just study the laws and regulations, without understanding the application of the knowledge, it will be a very hard test to pass.

I wish you all the best of luck...I finished the exam in 2 hours, but then took one hour to review. I am curious to receive the breakdown on my results.

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Kathy in Boston, Massachusetts

67 months ago

Tashana in Columbus, Ohio said: Okay, I'm getting ready to take the SPHR on Friday, Jan 30. This is my 2nd time and I've been studying like mad. I've only been using the learning system and I just purchased the PHR/SPHR study guide by Anne Bogardus. I'm finding that a lot of information that is in her book, is not in the learning system, so I use them both equally to study. I'm nervous as all get out, but I have over 7 years of experience in HR and for the past 3 weeks I've really been studying like crazy. I'll let you know if I pass. I do not fashion myself a good test taker, but I have taken into account all of the test taking tips and I will definitely getting a good nights sleep the night before. I have taken Friday off, even though my test is at 8 in the morning. Wish me well. I will be sure to report what I've learned. I AM SO NERVOUS....

Did you pass, I failed it twice, and I met someone who failed it for a 5th time. It is a grueling and tricky exam.

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tolemap@cox.net in Escondido, California

67 months ago

Yes, it is grueling, I failed it 3 times as of Jan. 29th and I am so exasperated. However, as the test parameters have changed significantly, I'll just need to change mine as far as studying goes. I've used Certgears simulated test, Kaplans certification guide and HRCP's flashcards. My main problem was that I geared up this time for all the laws and terms. There was not ONE supreme court case on my exam and very few terms!

Best of luck, please let the forum know if you passed!

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eroomk in Roseville, California

67 months ago

Kathy,

I hope you passed. Please let us know. Again, I highly recommend the Anne Bodgarous book. The end of the chapter summaries captures much of what you need to know. Her flashcards are very helpful as many of them correlated with my exam questions. Certgear tests were also very helpful for me because again, it covered different aspects of the exam I took.

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MichelleK in Gilbert, Arizona

67 months ago

I passed the SPHR in 1999 with my first sitting -- in "those" days, it was a pencil/paper test and it took 6 weeks to receive the results by mail. I was so convinced that I did NOT pass it, that I would not open the results for 2 weeks. I will not sugar coat it, the test was difficult. Many of the questions are behaviorally based; experience in most dimensions of HR is helpful and important. I had had about 10 years' background in HR and management by that time.
Because of my experience w/ the test, I've made sure that when it was time to recertify that I had acquired the necesseary credits through education, training, experience so that I would never have to take the exam again.

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Angela in Peachtree City, Georgia

67 months ago

Rob in Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia said: After failing last year 1/30/08 so don't give up. I passed on 1-28-09.

I expalined in my previous blog how I passed. Now I need to state why I know I failed in Jan. 2008:
For the same reason OPRAH confussed as to why she gained her weight back. I was COCKY. There were several factor that lead to my failure...
Because I had 14 yrs of Mgmt experience focused on Strategic Mgmt. I thought it would be easy.
I have MBA, BS and BA degrees
I used a borrowed 2006 Learning System for the 2008 exam w/out taking any of the SHRM Learning System test.
I primarily used the SPHR Exam Prep: Senior Professional in Human Resources (2nd Edition) by Larry Phillips- taking the test questions.
I studied periodically for 3 months; got serious the week of the exam.
I STRONGLY recommend that you take the exam seriously and consider which level of exam is for you.
The SPHR exam DID NOT test anything specifically; no Supreme case by name, no laws by name, no processes (Strategic Planning, ADDIE, Project Mgmt), no discriminations laws by name (Title VII, EEO, AA, OFCCP.)
The majority of the ques were one to three sentence scenarios, and situations.
There were some, but not many definitions.
I realized after the test that you have to study everything, know the meaning behind everything, know all the definitions in addition to seriously using some of your experience knowledge to think about how to best answer the questions.
USE the SHRM Learning System becasue the language was the same, the questions on the exam were set-up indentical to the Learning System questions.
Complete all 1,000+
Good Luck

I would like to purchase your modules. I live in the Atlanta, GA area.
Please email me @ angelam090@yahoo.com

Angela Moore

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Tara in Houston in Houston, Texas

66 months ago

I have borrowed SHRM learning system, version 2004, from a friend. Is it alright to use this version for May/June 2009 PHR exam?

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JD in Jacksonville, Florida

66 months ago

I received a pass at the testing center for the PHR and received my passing score in the mail.. so if you received a passing score at the center,,, I'm sure you can safly assume you did pass.. (re posting from test on 01/30/2009

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