PHR certification classes can help one to prep for either the PHR/SPHR exam. The exam is held every six months and costs between four hundred and three hundred and fifty dollars to take. Needless to say, careful preparation pays off both monetarily and time wise. In order to increase the chances of passing the test the first time around, one should look into PHR certifications classes.
However, one must keep in mind that not every PHR certification class is created equal. Some HR/PHR certification classes are held online, some are held in person, and some combine the best (or worst) of both worlds by doing both. Some are more costly than others. Before one signs up for a PHR certification class, one must do some research. Below are 5 useful tips to help facilitate further research.
Tip #1- Look into HR Certification Coursework Books and Sites. Motivated, busy individuals may not need to take a “true” HR certification test in order to adequately prepare for the PHR and/or SPHR exam. There are many options available online and for purchase, from practice tests to daily study tips. The danger in preparing this way, however, is the lack of peer pressure and a set training schedule. However, the upside is (usually) a much lower cost. Be sure to buy recent guides with positive reviews, as there is nothing worse than throwing money and time into a useless program. Ideally, the product will have reviews from those who have already taken (and hopefully passed) their test. Read through these reviews carefully, as they may give a few helpful study hints in addition to telling whether the product helped to prepare them for the test or not. A word of caution, however—be sure to find reviews off multiple sites to gain multiple perspectives and to find out whether some reviews are paid bogus or are, in fact, helpful and written by honest individuals.
Tip #2- Buy two PHR/SPHR Practice Tests. Take one before taking a PHR/SPHR certification course or coursework book. This practice test will give a good idea as to how the real test will be formatted, and will also serve as a benchmark. It will also help to make the wording and time limit seem more familiar. Save the other practice test for after taking a HR certification test, whether online or off. The new test will serve to measure how much the course helped to improve one’s skills, and will hopefully serve to boost the test-takers confidence. Analysis will tell the test taker where to spend time for last-minute cramming sessions before the real certification test.
Tip #3- Compare Programs, Reviews, and Credentials. Just as in the HR Certification Coursework tip, be sure to check multiple reviews before signing up for a certification test. Be sure the program worked for other test takers. Additionally, check the teacher’s credentials, what the program covers, the duration of the classes, and when the classes end. Again, not all programs are created equally. Some will go more in depth, while others will simply gloss over important details. Online classes are more likely to be lower quality, as unqualified professionals can simply write fake bios and market their program. However, in-person classes also have their fair share of frauds. Be careful out there. Trust your gut.
Tip #4- Check out the HRCI’s .Org Website. Seriously, check it out. The site contains general information about the test, as well as how both the SPHR and PHR tests are broken down each year. This information should be constantly referred to as one is preparing and studying to take their exam.
Tip #5- Join or Start a Study Group. This group can be in online forums, or simply include networking with one’s friends. No matter what a study group is comprised of, it is an extremely helpful resource. It allows others to collaborate and share helpful information. Be sure to invite professionals who have already passed the test (preferably recently) to share how they prepared. Also, share software and study guides in the study group. This allows the whole group to learn more while spending less money. Also, if the group decides to take a specific program, ask if the program can give out a group discount.