What to Expect After the PHR/SPHR Exam - dummies

What to Expect After the PHR/SPHR Exam

By Sandra M. Reed

Congratulations. You clicked the finish button and completed the strenuous experience of taking the PHR or SPHR exam. However before you can leave, you have a few small tasks to do — most importantly receiving your score. Here’s what you need to do after you finish.

Completing the survey

Before you find out how you performed, you’ll be asked to complete a short survey, conducted by HRCI. The survey asks a few general questions, such as how you prepared for the exam. Don’t worry though because the answers aren’t scored. HRCI uses this information to help make recommendations to other students on the studying habits of successful exam takers, so be as honest and thoughtful as possible.

Getting your results

After the timer wheel stops spinning, your preliminary results report will tell you if you passed or failed. The screen will show “congratulations, you passed” or “did not pass.” You’ll receive a printout of the result while your official results will be sent via email or mail. You need a scaled score of at least 500 to pass either the PHR or SPHR exams.

  • If you passed: The official results that you’ll receive via email or mail shows a snapshot of how you did in each of the functional areas for use in future development activities. These reports won’t show your overall score. The reason that it doesn’t is because HRCI doesn’t want the score reports being misused. For example, if you scored 510 points and another candidate scored 520 points, those additional points don’t necessarily mean she is a better HR candidate than you.

    You should wait to use the initials after your name or communicate your exam results until you receive the formal score report from HRCI within four to six weeks of your test date. At that point, you can search the directory of certified professionals for your name at HR Certification Institute’s website.

  • If you didn’t pass: Your official score report will compare your individual result with the score you needed to pass. You’ll also see your overall performance, so that you know what areas need to be improved upon prior to retaking the test. If you didn’t pass, you must wait until the next exam window to test again.

Contesting your results

If you encountered a problem during your exam, such as a computer not working properly, you need to notify Prometric. A test administrator may be able to help you on-site, although you must report any escalated issues to Prometric within 72 hours of your test date.

If you fail the exam, you can contest the results with HRCI and ask for an exam review for a fee a $50. Doing so may be worthwhile if you failed the test only by a few points. You have up to two months after your test date to submit the review request and fees.