Test Preparation Clues


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Test Preparation Clues

  1. 1. Test Preparation Clues SHRM Certification Class
  2. 2. The Test <ul><li>There are 2 levels of certification: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PHR (Professional in Human Resources) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>While both exams assess functional areas of HR, they differ in both focus and cognitive level of questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PHR questions tend to be at an operational/technical level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SPHR questions tend to be either strategic and/or policy level. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Test <ul><li>The exams are multiple choice and consist of 225 questions (200 scored questions and 25 pre-test questions that are randomly distributed) </li></ul><ul><li>Each question has four possible answers, only one of which is correct or “the best possible answer.” </li></ul><ul><li>The answer to each question can be independently derived from the answers to other questions </li></ul><ul><li>Four hours are allotted to complete the exam. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Test <ul><li>Questions on the exam represent the functional areas of HR, each with a different weight. PHR SPHR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Management 12% 26% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workforce Planning 26% 16% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HR Development 15% 13% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comp and Benefits 20% 16% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee & Labor Relations 21% 24% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health, Safety & Security 6% 5% </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. HRCI <ul><li>HRCI estimates that on average, people invest between 40 and 60 hours of study to prepare for the exam. </li></ul><ul><li>The exam will run for a maximum of four hours but you will be in the testing center for a maximum of five hours, depending on how long you need to complete the exam. </li></ul>
  6. 6. HRCI <ul><li>Logistics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a test run to the exam center. Leave plenty of time to get to the testing center so you arrive prior to the scheduled start of the exam. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get your things ready ahead of time. Make sure you have the admissions ticket, government issued photo ID, your glasses (if you need them) and anything else you will need in the test center. You may not bring calculators and other assistive devices into the test center. Remember a sweater? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. HRCI Test Taking Tips <ul><li>Trust your first impression. There is 1 correct answer to each question. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t over-analyze. Don’t read too much into the question. No one is trying to “trick” you. </li></ul><ul><li>If uncertain, leave the answer blank and return to it later. It is also possible that a subsequent question will “trigger” information to help you answer that question. </li></ul>
  8. 8. HRCI Test Taking Tips <ul><li>Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you are stumped, move on and come back later. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for the “best possible answer.” Don’t ask yourself, “How would I handle this?” or “How would we handle this?” The best possible answer is based on the body of knowledge, not how any particular firm does things. </li></ul>
  9. 9. HRCI Test Taking Tips <ul><li>Eliminate obvious distractors. For most questions, there are 2 distractors that can usually be eliminated before you seriously consider the other answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to identify the answer before reading the choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Use “educated” guesses. If you have to, guess between the 2 remaining choices. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Your Peers <ul><li>[email_address] Test timelines and on-line chat group. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that 25 questions are for future exams and won’t be scored. If you see something that you are not familiar with, try not to over-think and don’t let it shake your confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep telling yourself, “I know the material and I am going to pass.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Your Peers <ul><li>“The more questions I answered in practice, the more prepared I felt.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Look for clues in the question. A question might ask something and the word “finance” is in the question. One of the 4 answers has budget in it. You want to look at the content but it might be a clue when you are struggling between 2 choices.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Your Peers <ul><li>“Pace yourself. Don’t spend too much time on any 1 answer. Don’t be surprised if you feel exhausted after the test is over.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Read the question without paying too much attention to the grammar. The answer may not fit grammatically.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Go with your gut when there are 2 best answers. Generally, your first answer is the best one!” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Your Peers <ul><li>“Don’t worry about the dates of the laws, etc. no one will ask.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Your Peers <ul><li>“Don’t over analyze. If you start thinking too much about the possibilities, you will become frustrated.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Don’t let one or two answers get you down. Get in the flow and when you don’t know an answer, move on!” </li></ul><ul><li>“Read the questions in entirety. I found myself skimming the questions and missed important information.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. What Does Greg Say? <ul><li>The test is a “negative” test, that is, you start with no points and are awarded points for correct answers. This also means that you are not penalized for incorrect answers and that guessing will not hurt you. </li></ul><ul><li>Whenever there is a conflict between your practices and the body of knowledge, the body of knowledge will always win. This is a test of the body of knowledge, not how you do things. </li></ul>
  16. 16. What Does Greg Say? <ul><li>Read the question carefully and ask yourself, “What are they asking me?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you see a question that looks familiar, you might anticipate the answer, mark it and move on. Don’t assume you know the answer until you have read the entire question. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid jumping to conclusions. Questions are often provided with distractors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch out for qualifiers: if, not, all, none or except or words that modify the question. Make sure you understand the modification before answering. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. What Does Greg Say? <ul><li>Among the four possible answers, 2 are always suspect and can be eliminated from consideration. By doing that first, you will have an easier time concentrating on the best answer from the remaining 2 choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Skip questions that you do not know or do not understand. Concentrate your efforts, initially, on answering all of the questions you DO know (remember, it’s all about right answers). Once you have answered the ones you know, you will have plenty of time to review the confusing ones and guess if you need to. </li></ul>
  18. 18. What Does Greg Say? <ul><li>Never change an answer without a VERY good reason. In general, change an answer only if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You discover that you did not read the question correctly the first time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find new of additional information in a subsequent question that helps you get a better understanding of what you are being asked. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Questions??