Passing the PHR, SPHR, and GPHR Certification Exam

As most Human Resource professionals already know, becoming PHR, SPHR, or GPHR certified is highly recommended, but it’s no easy task. With pass rates steadily declining in years past, you might find yourself questioning whether or not pursuing HR certification is really worth it. As difficult as it may be, the benefits of certification out-weigh the risk of not passing, and there are many steps you can take to increase your chances of passing the exam. While not everyone has the time, money, or qualifications necessary to pass the PHR, SPHR, or GPHR certification exam, those who can take the steps necessary to get it done, should most likely consider it.

As you can see in the chart above, the percentage of certification hopefuls who pass the PHR, SPHR and GPHR exam has gone down fairly steadily in the past six years. Aside from a few large jumps in rates in the GPHR pass rates, and a slight increase in PHR pass rates in the last few years, it seems the only consistent trend is that year after year, fewer people are passing. Instead of using this as an excuse not to attempt to take the exam, perhaps it should just serve as evidence that it’s an extremely challenging feat, and in order to have any hope of passing it, you must prepare. It wouldn’t be impressive to have your PHR, SPHR, or GPHR certification if it was easy to do-now would it?

In order to ensure your success when taking any of the HR certification exams, there are many different steps you can take. Universities, both online and traditional, offer courses that, if you study hard and do well in, tend to significantly increase your chances of passing the exam. There are also many companies that offer online, at-home study systems and products, such as Society for Human Resource Management, which boasts on their site that “Professionals who use the Learning System to prepare for the PHR and SPHR exams consistently beat the national pass rate.” If you are qualified to take one of the exams, and you have the time and money to invest in a class or other learning system, then it seems, even with the risk of failing, the benefits of obtaining the certifications are well worth it.

So with everything considered, the many benefits of certification, versus the risk of not passing the exam, it seems that if you fall into the small category of people who are both experienced enough, and have the time and enthusiasm to put into the tedious and difficult certification process, then pursuing the process is still a worthwhile decision to make. While the risk of not passing is high, as long as you know this, and take the proper steps necessary in order to avoid failing, then the benefits you will receive from certification, make the risk of failing the exam less important. Think of it like a drive test, many people fail it the first time, but once you pass it, it can change your life in, oh, so many ways.


More Information about HR Certifications

Personal Benefits of Pursuing HR Certification

Personal Benefits of Pursuing HR Certification

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

As most HR professionals already know, there are numerous reasons to obtain HR certification. The obvious reasons are money and career motivated, which is reason enough in itself. What, if any, other reasons are there for HR certification? From commitment to your career, to a desire to better learn your craft, I will propose several… Read More

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