PHR Study Guide 2019-2020

What comes with Trivium Test Prep’s PHR Study Guide?

You probably think this is a typical study guide. However, Trivium Test Prep’s unofficial PHR Study Guide 2019-2020:  PHR Certification Preparation and Practice Test Prep Questions for the Professional in Human Resources Exam isn't like other study guides. Because we know you value your time, our unofficial study guide includes a quick yet full review of everything on the test with real examples, graphics, and information. Trivium Test Prep’s NEW PHR Study Guide 2019-2020 gives you the edge you need to score higher and pass the first time.

Best of all, Trivium Test Prep’s PHR Study Guide 2019-2020 offers you:

  • A full review of what you need to know for the PHR exam

  • PHR practice questions for you to practice and improve and worked through practice problems with explanations

  • Test tips and strategies to help you score higher

  • Real world examples

Our PHR prep book covers all the material that will be on your exam, including:

  • Business Management and Strategy

  • Workforce Planning and Employment

  • Total Rewards: Compensation and Benefits

  • Training and Development

  • Employee and Labor Relations

  • Risk Management

… and also comes with a FULL PHR practice test, so that you will be ready on test day.

But before you buy PHR Study Guide 2019-2020, you may find yourself wondering, what is the PHR (and SPHR)? What are the eligibility requirements for the PHR (and SPHR)? What is on the PHR (and SPHR)? How is the PHR (and SPHR) scored and administered? We are the PHR experts, and we are happy to answer all your questions below!

Some Frequently Asked Questions about the PHR…

What is the PHR (and SPHR)?

The HR Certification Institute (HRCI):

The internationally recognized HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers these exams, having certified
over 130,000 HR professionals around the world. Certification by the HRCI is a globally recognized
demonstration of professional achievement.

The different types of certification exams available from HRCI include Professional in Human
Resources (PHR®), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®), Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®), and more. This study guide focuses on preparing candidates for PHR® and SPHR® certifications.

PHR® Certification

PHR® certification is appropriate for department-oriented HR professionals who execute specific
HR duties, implement HR programs, and report to more senior HR professionals. Certification
requires knowledge of applicable employment laws and regulations, and mastery of the technical
aspects of HR.

SPHR® Certification

SPHR® certification is appropriate for HR professionals in management roles with a strategic,
organizational perspective. SPHR® candidates already have a deep knowledge of all HR functions;
they manage the HR department, design programs, and collaborate with organizational leaders.

What are the eligibility requirements for the PHR (and SPHR)?

Both certifications have different basic requirements:

  • PHR®

    • A master’s degree with a minimum of one year of experience in an exempt-level (professional) HR position, OR

    • A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of experience in an exempt-level (professional) HR position, OR

    • A minimum of four years of experience in an exempt-level (professional) HR position with at least a high school diploma

  • SPHR®

    • At least four years of experience in an exempt-level (professional) HR position with a master’s degree at minimum, OR

    • A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of experience in an exempt-level (professional) HR position, OR

    • A minimum of seven years of experience in an exempt-level (professional) HR position with at least a high school diploma

What is on the PHR (and SPHR)?

Both certifications cover the same content; however the tests differ slightly in their emphasis on that content. HRCI designs each certification exam based on knowledge determined by HR practitioners around the world. HR tasks and the knowledge needed to perform them are extensively researched and grouped into functional areas, detailed below. The book will review this content to prepare you for the exam.

  • PHR®

    • Business Management and Strategy (11%)

    • Workforce Planning and Employment (24%)

    • Human Resource Development (18%)

    • Compensation and Benefits (19%)

    • Employee and Labor Relations (20%)

    • Risk Management (8%)

  • SPHR®

    • Business Management and Strategy (30%)

    • Workforce Planning and Employment (17%)

    • Human Resource Development (19%)

    • Compensation and Benefits (13%)

    • Employee and Labor Relations (14%)

    • Risk Management (7%)

How is the PHR (and SPHR) scored and administered?

The PHR® and SPHR® exams are computer-based, three-hour exams. Each exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions, of which 150 are scored and twenty-five are pre-test, unscored questions. Each question lists four possible answer choices. Only one answer choice is correct. You will receive a preliminary score immediately after you complete the computer-based exam.

HRCI will send your official results and score to you within two to four weeks. You will need a scaled score of at least 500 to pass.

Be sure to register for an exam by the established deadlines listed at www.hrci.org.  


Wow, that is a lot of information to take in about the PHR. Now you might find yourself wondering, what are my next steps? Why should I use Trivium Test Prep’s PHR study material?

Trivium Test Prep is an independent test prep study guide company that produces and prints all of our books right here in the USA. Our dedicated professionals know how people think and learn, and have created our test prep products based on what research has shown to be the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to prepare for the exam. Unlike other study guides that are stamped out in a generic fashion, our study materials are specifically tailored for your exact needs.

Where can I buy PHR Study Guide 2019-2020?

You can find PHR Study Guide 2019-2020  for purchase on Amazon. Just click the link next to our book, the image of our book itself, or the link we provided in the sentence above!

So…how else can I prepare for the PHR?

To help you prepare for your PHR test, we have developed a list of 35 test taking tips that have been shown to be very helpful for students of all ages and backgrounds when taking standardized tests. They cover everything. from what to do the night before the big day, to what to eat for breakfast, to thoughts on how to handle your caffeine to tips you can use during the actual exam.

Our first set of tips focus on what you can do the night before to help you prepare for the day of your PHR exam.

1. Study hard for the PHR with our PHR practice test in the days before the exam but take it easy the night before and do something relaxing rather than studying and cramming. This will help decrease anxiety, allow you to get a better night’s sleep, and be more mentally fresh during the big exam. Watch a light-hearted movie, read a favorite book, or take a walk, for example.

2. Pack your bag or lay out your essentials the night before. Make sure to include at least two forms of ID, your admission ticket or confirmation, pencils, a high protein, easy to eat snack, bottled water, and any necessary medications. You will be less stressed the morning of, and less likely to forget anything important.

3. Map out your route to the test center the night before. If you are driving, take traffic into account, especially if you are driving during rush hour.  If you really want to be thorough you can visit where the exam is going to be beforehand, so you know exactly where you are going the day of the test. Use your phone or the internet to check for traffic updates before leaving, in case you need to take an alternate route.

4. Spend the hour before bed avoiding television, your computer, cell phone, or social media. The bright screens and overload of data can keep your brain buzzing come bedtime.

Once you’ve taken all the necessary steps you can to be prepared for exam day, our next group of tips will help you concentrate on how to get your best night’s sleep, which is critical to being sharp and alert during your PHR exam.

5. Make sure you give yourself your usual amount of sleep, preferably at least 7-8 hours. You may find you need even more sleep. Pay attention to how much you sleep in the days before the exam, and how many hours it takes for you to feel refreshed. This will allow you to be as sharp as possible during the PHR test and make fewer simple mistakes.

6. Set your alarm early enough that you have plenty of time to have a well-balanced breakfast and avoid rushing in the morning to get ready. Rushing tends to get your sympathetic nervous system going and you risk being mentally fatigued by the time you start taking your PHR.

7. Don’t use sedatives like Benadryl or NyQuil to fall asleep. These medications often remain in your body long after you have taken them, meaning you will still be drowsy during the exam and potentially up to 24 hours after taking them.

8. With all the extra adrenaline flowing through your bloodstream the night before a big test, it is not uncommon to feel more anxiety than usual. Focus on thinking positive thoughts, which will decrease this anxiety, help you relax and fall asleep. One way to stay positive is to imagine a happy or fun story or scene. If you have a negative thought or find yourself returning to the exam, acknowledge this thought and let it “drift away” while you continue to fixate on the story or images you have in your mind until you finally fall asleep.

Now that you’re ready to get a full night’s sleep, here are some great tips to help you get through the morning and those critical hours before the big exam.

9. Don't forget to take any vitamins or medications you would usually take in the mornings before you leave for the test center. It is important that you keep your body – and schedule – as normal as possible to ensure you are calm and collected come test-taking time.

10. Dress in loose, comfortable clothes and wear layers. Also, wear comfortable and breathable shoes. Although you will be seated, you don't want tight, restrictive clothing to serve as a distraction. Also consider wearing natural fabrics such as cotton, which help wick away body moisture and let the skin “breathe.”

11. Many testing locations keep their air conditioner on high. You want to remember to bring a sweater or jacket in case the test center is too cold, as you never know how hot or cold the testing location could be. Remember, while you can always adjust for heat by removing layers, if you’re cold, you’re cold.  

12. Eat a breakfast with protein, fiber and good fats, such as eggs, avocado, oatmeal, whole-grain toast, berries, or nuts - all of which keep you full longer and your brain healthy. A breakfast burrito with a whole grain-tortilla, eggs, beans, spinach and salsa would be an ideal and delicious example. While whole grains can be a great part of a balanced meal, make sure to avoid a breakfast high in simple carbs such as yogurt (Greek yogurt is an exception, because of its high protein content), cereal, or high sugar fruits such as bananas, which can cause your blood sugar to rise and then crash during the exam. This crash can lead to mistakes towards the end of the exam, and once you crash, you might tend to really want the exam to be over, meaning you will be less thorough than you normally would be in your best state of mind.

13. Use caffeine as you normally would, and as sparingly as possible. Coffee, energy drinks, tea, chocolate and many soft drinks all contain caffeine. Therefore, be smart about what you put into your body. Just as with high carb or high sugar drinks and foods, many people tend to crash 3 to 4 hours after ingesting caffeinated products. Some products, such as coffee, also increase an individual’s need to use the restroom, something you want to avoid when you’re in the middle of a timed test like the PHR. Carefully consider how caffeinated products affect you, and how long your test is before you decide to consume caffeinated products. However, if you are a habitual coffee drinker, for example, you want to consider the cons of avoiding caffeine. In a coffee drinker’s case, taking your exam without any caffeine could result in you not being in your peak mental state, and your score could seriously suffer.

14. Bring an energizing snack to leave in your bag that doesn’t require refrigeration and isn’t messy or difficult to eat. Some good examples include protein bars or almonds. Although stress from the test may tempt you, don't rely on sweets with fast carbohydrates from a vending machine at the test center. Remember, foods like these will cause you to crash and lose focus during your exam. Bring water, not sugary soda or sports drinks. The only time you should consider using fast carbs is when you know you only have 30-45 minutes left and you need a quick boost of energy to power through it. Keep in mind, however, that many exams do not permit eating during testing, so keep into consideration when your break times are, how long they are, and at what point during the test they occur.

15. If you find that you have extra time and have made flashcards or a “cheat sheet” while studying, go through the high yield subjects, as well as ones you might be struggling with, before the PHR. Reviewing these subjects will help store them in your short-term memory and you will be more likely to retrieve them during the test. Once you feel as if you know an answer, remove that card from the deck or cross off that section so you can concentrate on the remaining difficult subjects. If a friend or family member is around, consider asking them to help you by acting as the quizzer.

16. Consider asking a friend or family member to take you to the testing location so you can continue to review your materials, not stress about transportation, and receive the extra moral support they can provide. Don’t wait until the morning of to ask, however, and have a backup plan prepared in case your ride falls through.

17. Aim to get to the test center at least 15-30 minutes early. This gives you time to adjust for several negative scenarios, such as bad traffic, a train, getting lost, lack of parking, or running into issues with your registration, for example.

18. Bring at least two pens and two pencils with good erasers, a calculator with new batteries and any other resources that your instructor allows you to take into the exam room. Make sure you clear any materials you are bringing in with the instructor first – you don’t want to be removed from the exam or have your exam forfeited because you broke an easy to avoid rule.

19. Bring a watch to the test so that you can better pace yourself. In the days leading up to the PHR, consider using the watch to help time yourself so you grow accustomed to the amount of time it takes you to answer a question – as well as the amount of time you can realistically spend on a problem. If you use a digital watch, make sure it is permitted in the testing room.

20. Consider packing helpful healthcare products you might need in the case of an emergency, such as pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Remember that even if you don't think you need them, you are taking a long test and are likely to feel stressed, even if you are well prepared. This stress can result in a tension headache or tense muscles that may be distracting during the exam.

21. If you can't study or review your materials because you're at the testing location, waiting for the exam to begin, or simply because of nerves, try meditating or focusing on your breathing. Going into the exam feeling calm and collected will help you pace yourself and remember important information.

22. Even if you don’t feel like it, use the restroom before entering the exam room. You don't want to waste time worrying about your bodily needs during the test. Furthermore, you can splash water on your face to help perk yourself up.

Once you’re ready for the big moment – exam time itself – you’re going to need to stay focused and choose your answers quickly and wisely. Our final exam tips cover what you can do while you are taking the PHR test itself to raise your score.

23. Multiple studies have shown that individuals work harder and do better work when they’re slightly cold. While you don’t want to be uncomfortably cold – remember, always bring a jacket, just in case – being slightly cold will keep you alert and awake. If you find yourself growing warm, take off your jacket or other layers to get to that optimal temperature.

24. Don't pay attention to others around you. Don’t worry if someone seems to be going through the test much faster or slower than you. If someone around you is being loud or disruptive, asked to be moved or see if there are noise-cancelling headphones or other options available for you to use.

25. Go with your gut when choosing an answer. Statistically, the answer that comes to mind first is often the right one. This is assuming you studied the material, of course, which we hope you have done if you read through one of our books!

26. For true or false questions: if you genuinely don't know the answer, mark it true. In most tests, there are typically more true answers than false answers.

27. For multiple choice questions, read ALL the answer choices before marking an answer, even if you think you know the answer when you come across it. You may find your original “right” answer isn’t necessarily the best option.

28. Look for key words: in multiple choice exams, particularly those that require you to read through a text, the questions typically contain key words. These key words can help the test taker choose the correct answer or confuse you if you don’t recognize them. Common keywords are: most, during, after, initially, and first. Be sure you identify them before you read the available answers. Identifying the key words makes a huge difference in your chances of passing the PHR.

29. Narrow answers down by using the process of elimination: after you understand the question, read each answer. If you don’t know the answer right away, use the process of elimination to narrow down the answer choices. It is easy to identify at least one answer that isn’t correct. Continue to narrow down the choices before choosing the answer you believe best fits the question. By following this process, you increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. If the exam is on physical paper, you can put an “X” next to the incorrect answers to help your brain separate right and wrong answers. If your exam is on a computer and scratch paper is permitted, consider writing out the letters or numbers associated with the answer choices, such as A, B, C, or D, and then cross them off manually to ensure you select the correct answer.

30. Don't stay on a problem that you are stuck on, especially when time is a factor. Mark it, skip it and come back to it later once you’ve finished all the easier problems. Not only will this prevent you from wasting time, you may also find that you are able to approach the problem differently after some time away from it. If you are still stuck, return to: 1) Using the process of elimination, and 2) Going with your gut to choose your final answer.

31. If wrong answers are penalized, consider skipping over them unless you feel relatively sure you might have the right answer. There is no point in wasting additional time on a question that will negatively impact your score.

32. Consider taking a mini-break if you are feeling overwhelmed. Put down your pencil, close your eyes, and take two or three deep, slow breaths. If you are permitted a certain amount of break time, go wash your face, drink some water, or do a quick powerwalk through a hall or open space to get your blood flowing again.

33. If you have time left when you are finished, look over your test. Make sure that you have answered all the questions. Remember, your first answer is probably the correct answer, so only change an answer if you know for a fact that you misread or misinterpreted the question.

34. If you manually bubbled in answers, make sure that any wrong answers are fully erased and that your bubbles are dark, neat and full. Whether on a computer or on paper, take this opportunity to make sure that your personal information on the exam is correct and neatly printed. Sometimes the little things, such as an out of place bubble, have the potential to negatively impact your score.

35. Don't worry if others finish before or after you. Go at your own pace and focus on the test in front of you.

We hope that these test-taking tips will help you do your best on exam day. For tips specific to the PHR test, make sure you carefully read through our study guide on your exam. Our books include sidebars with helpful tips and facts relevant to your test. You’ll also want to read through your exam creator’s website to make sure that you bring everything necessary for your exam and study all relevant material. Finally, continue to check out our website, triviumtestprep.com for updated study materials!

Just a note:

The HRCI was not involved in the creation or production of this product, is not in any way affiliated with Trivium Test Prep, and does not sponsor or endorse this product.