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Effective Study Strategies for HR Certification Exam Preparation


How long to study for HR certification

We all lead busy lives, and finding extra hours to study can be a challenge. When preparing for your HR certification exam, striking the right balance between studying enough to succeed without overwhelming yourself is key.

How many hours per day is optimal? Surprisingly, it may be less than you think. Aim for 20–30 minutes at a time working up to an hour if feasible. Avoid the temptation to study excessively—spending three or more hours a day can be inefficient and counterproductive, leading to burnout and neglect of other essential aspects of life.

To help you pass your exam, here are a few preparation strategies:

  1. Avoid Procrastination: Procrastination is a common challenge for many of us. To overcome it, be realistic about your time and energy constraints. Instead of viewing studying as a daunting task involving long hours of reading, break it down into manageable chunks.
  2. Plan Fun Activities After Study Sessions: Motivate yourself by planning enjoyable activities after short study sessions. This approach creates a positive incentive to stay focused and productive during your study time.
  3. Use Time-Efficient Study Methods: Focus on using the most effective and time-efficient study techniques. Below are seven strategies to help you study faster and more effectively:
  4. Follow a Study Schedule: A study schedule outlining what to cover each day is the best way to ensure you cover all of the necessary content prior to your exam day. (you can use one of our study schedules
  5. Create a Study Guide: Summarize key information in a study guide format as you read or listen.
    Identify the Best Time to Study: Incorporate study sessions into ideal moments, such first thing in the morning or right after dinner. 
  6. Motivate Yourself: Reward yourself with enjoyable activities to stay motivated and on track.
  7. Explain to Understand: Test your understanding by explaining concepts aloud without referring to materials.
  8. Test Yourself: Utilize flashcards and practice exams to assess your knowledge and focus on weak areas.
  9. Use Proven Materials: Access reputable study materials, flashcards, and practice tests, like those we offer.
  10. Review Before the Test: Refresh your knowledge by reviewing study guides and materials before the exam.

For expert assistance in preparing for your HR certification exam, consider leveraging resources from HRCP. Our materials are trusted by HR professionals worldwide, helping them pass their aPHR, PHR, SPHR (and international equivalents), SHRM-CP, and SHRM SCP exams. With structured study schedules and comprehensive exam-prep products, you can study effectively over a 6-12 week period and approach your exam confidently, without the need for last-minute cramming.