This is week seven (imagine that!) of twelve total weeks in my PHR study series. If you’d like to read the other articles in this series, they are located here.
This week I probably studied less than I have the entire time I have been preparing for the PHR exam. With the various holidays coming up, I was very busy, and I had already said that I might not study much. Last week, I pushed myself hard and covered all of the relevant material in the PHR Study Guide. That left me free to catch up on other miscellaneous parts of my PHR preparation. I took the time to take several short practice tests on the different sections. I enjoyed seeing questions and thinking to myself, “I wouldn’t have known that one last week, but I know it now since I studied the topic!” I can also plainly see there are still holes in my human resources knowledge, but there are fewer gaps than when I started. I did study the Total Rewards section a bit, but not nearly as much as last week.
A New Resource
Last week, I mentioned a new Website that I had found for human resources professionals (HR Guru). This week I have a similar site, but it is a little different. HRM Today was created as a social network for human resource professionals. The site was created by Lance Haun, Jenn Barnes, and Laurie Reuttimann. The two basic parts of HRM Today are the social networking site and the main page. The main page displays HR blogs submitted by contributors.
These three human resources experts are also bloggers (the blogs are linked through their respective names). They have all proven themselves to be popular as solo contributors to the human resources profession, and they are now combining forces to change the face of HR for the future. It is definitely worth a look!
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Last week I went over this information, but it won’t hurt to give it again as a reminder. This week I studied Total Rewards. Total Rewards makes up about 16% of the total PHR exam weight. In the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) PHR practice test, I scored a 58% on this section.
My Take on the Material
As I said before, I didn’t really study the Total Rewards side of human resources (benefits, compensation, salaries, wages, etc.) much this week. I worked to catch up on some of the computer-based practice exams that came with my copy of the SPHR & PHR Study Guide that I purchased from Amazon. I am now almost completely caught up on the practice exams, and it feels good to be on target to complete my PHR studies by the exam date. I have heard it often, and I repeat it often, but the PHR- and SPHR-certified human resources professionals that I speak with almost always say that practicing the questions is one of the best ways to study.
I have noticed that as I have been spending more and more time studying PHR test questions, I have been able to see some of the little nuances in the questions that I would have otherwise missed. Also, the questions that ask things like “What is the most likely…? What is the best method for…? Which of the following is not…?” are easier to handle when you get into a thorough examination of the questions and possible answers. My scores started rising when I started paying attention to the minute details involved.
Hey! I Knew Something!
I’m sure that all of you have learned something new at one time or another (heck, you’re reading, right?). The experience of using that new knowledge, skill, or ability to your benefit is a great feeling. Last week I was speaking with someone about something going on in their career, and I was able to give some friendly advice based on what I have learned during my PHR study sessions. It really felt great to be able to use my PHR study efforts to help someone in need! I have never been as confident in my human resources knowledge as I am now.
Next week starts my leap into the thrilling PHR exam topic of Labor Relations. Labor Relations makes up more than a fifth of the total PHR exam score, so I will be breaking it into two weeks to get my brain fully wrapped around the topic. When I was at Athens State University, one of my favorite human resources classes was Labor Relations Management, so I’m hoping that I can recall some of that information while I am studying!