How do I Choose the Best SPHR&Reg; Certification Study Guide?

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  • Written By: Susan Darby
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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When choosing the best Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification study guide, you can start at the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), which sets candidate eligibility requirements and administers the exam. The institute’s online assessment exam will measure your certification readiness and give you a sense of the style and types of questions you will be expected to answer on the official exam. The results can help you decide the best SPHR® certification study guide based on the coursework you need and the available instructional tools that match your learning style.

The HRCI provides official PHR®/SPHR® study guides as well as additional resources for a study plan. To earn SPHR® certification, the HRCI requires each candidate to meet strict HR-demonstrated experience and educational requirements before being eligible to take the exam. The computer based exam has 175 questions and lasts three hours. The best SPHR® certification study guide will include comprehensive material on all HR function areas such as business management, human resource development, risk management and workforce planning. Once certified, professionals must also stay current by taking a re-certification exam every three years.


SPHR® certification study guides offer a pre-test to measure one's professional areas of expertise and weaknesses and identify a learning style. From the results, you can create your own study plan by selecting the specific areas of coursework you need and the knowledge tools that match your preferences. For example, some people learn best working alone, reading and taking detailed notes; others learn through group discussion or by watching presentations. If you comprehend new information more easily in a group environment, you may want to choose a SPHR® certification study guide that offers classroom instruction or online discussion forums with other HR professionals preparing for the test. If you prefer to work alone without interruption, consider a SPHR® certification study guide with structured lesson plans or online prep classes and practice tests.

There isn't any one required preparation method for the SPHR®. The variety of available online SPHR® certification study guides range in price and in quality of learning tools. You may want to discuss options with other SPHR®-certified professionals for further guidance and counsel when deciding which study guide will be the wisest investment of time and money.


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