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PHR Exam Prep: Professional in Human Resources (2nd Edition) [Paperback]

by Cathy Lee Gibson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 16, 2007 0789736772 978-0789736772 2

PHR Exam Prep Second Edition

Professional in Human Resources


Cathy Lee Gibson, SPHR, MBA


COMPREHENSIVE Succeed with comprehensive learning and practice tests


  • Prepare with a comprehensive practice test
  • Analyze your test readiness and identify areas for further study with practice questions on each exam topic
  • Learn important test-taking strategies to maximize your score and diminish your anxiety
  • Score Higher on the PHR Exam!


We provide you with the proven study tools and expert insight that will help you score higher on your exam.


  • Focused exercises throughout the chapters reinforce your knowledge of test topics by allowing you to apply what you are learning.
  • Practice questions include detailed explanations of the answers so you can learn the material by understanding why an answer is correct.
  • Comprehensive discussion of all subject areas covered by the PHR.
  • A full-length practice test enables you to time yourself under exam circumstances so you know exactly what to expect on test day and can identify any areas in which you are struggling before you take the real exam.


“This book is an excellent resource for preparing for the PHR exam. I would not count on using it exclusively, but when combined with other available resources, it has much to offer in exam preparation. Not only does the book provide a great deal of human resources information, it also provides tips for studying and preparing, as well as many practice questions to let you know where you need extra effort. I know this book helped me in passing my exam.”

–J. Thompson, Longview, WA


The CD features an innovative test engine powered by MeasureUp, giving you an effective tool to assess your readiness for the exam. Key features include


  • Detailed explanations of correct and incorrect answers
  • Multiple test modes
  • Random questions and order of answers
  • Covers all PHR exam topics


Written by a Leading PHR Expert!

Cathy Lee Gibson (SPHR) is the Director of Human Resource Management Programs at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in New York City. Cathy has more than 20 years of progressively responsible generalist, specialist, and management experience in the field of human resources and has worked at small and large organizations, in educational settings and in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.


Cathy leads professional development programs for managers and human resources professionals on interviewing and performance management–and how to ensure that those functions have a more strategic impact on organizations.


Frequently Bought Together

PHR Exam Prep: Professional in Human Resources (2nd Edition) + PHR/SPHR Practice Test - 2012 Edition: 225-Question Practice Test + PHR / SPHR: Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide
Price for all three: $83.66

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Score higher on your PHR exam with the market's most comprehensive book, PHR Exam Prep: Professional in Human Resources. Written by a leading expert on the PHR exam, this is the only PHR-centric book with PHR-specific objectives. Each exam objective is thoroughly detailed, providing you with precisely the information you need to know to score higher on the exam. Also featured is the Exam Prep proven method of study, which includes Exam Alerts, tips, notes, sidebars, hundreds of PHR practice questions, relevant exercises, review breaks, a glossary, objective reference sheet, a practice exam CD-ROM, and a full practice exam in the book. You will be able to assess your exam readiness with the practice exam questions and you will develop effective study habits that will be tailored to your PHR exam preparation. Cut to the chase and find out exactly what you need to know in order to pass the exam with the PHR Exam Prep.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Cathy Lee Gibson (SPHR) is the Director of Human Resource Management Programs at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in New York City. Cathy has more than 20 years of progressively responsible generalist, specialist, and management experience in the field of human resources and has worked at small and large organizations, in educational settings, in for-profit, and in not-for-profit sectors. Cathy leads professional development programs for managers and human resources professionals on interviewing and performance management–and how to ensure that those functions have a more strategic impact on organizations. In that spirit, in 2004 Cathy wrote Performance Appraisals, for Silver Lining Publications, a division of Barnes & Noble. In 2006, Cathy also wrote Mission Driven Interviewing: Moving Beyond Behavior Based Questions for PTI Publishing. She has also co-authored online workshops titled “Effective Interviewing,” “Performance Management and Appraisal,” “Managing Performance,” and “Fundamentals of Compensation.” Cathy also spoke at the SHRM National Conference and Exposition in 2006 and 2007 and is slated to speak again in 2008. You can reach Cathy at Cathy@CathyLeeGibson.com

Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson IT Certification; 2 edition (December 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789736772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789736772
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My main study source-passed the PHR July 15, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my main study source for the PHR, being that I didn't have $600 to drop on the "Learning System". I passed with a 651 (got about 92% of the questions right).I don't believe there is any one study source that will give you everything you need--but if you spend time with this book, make yourself some flashcards and spend a good couple of months with them before the exam, you'll be 85% of the way there. It's really pretty inclusive.

I'd say get through this book, then take the HRCI practice exam to see what you need to research further. Using ONLY this book, I passed the practice exam with 86% of the questions right. Also, take every practice test you can get your hands on--search SHRM's HRCI message board for a bunch of good links. The tests may include terms/concepts with which you're not familiar and you can research those further.

Speaking of practice tests, I found the ones included in the book and CD-rom helpful--however, the other reviewers are right in that there are quite a few mistakes. One star off for that-might have given it 5 otherwise. However, for the most part they're obvious enough that you'll pick up on them and they're more annoying than likely to confuse you(e.g., question will ask you to identify "the one incorrect choice"; answer guide will say "the one CORRECT choice is...") Too bad more time wasn't spent on proofing instead of including last-minute tacky references to Hurricane Katrina (book was published towards the end of last year).

Good luck to all taking the exam in Dec-Jan--give yourself a good 3 1/2 -4 months to study and YOU CAN DO IT!!!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do not recommend February 1, 2010
By Deena
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just took the PHR exam (and passed) last week and wanted to review the books I used. I found this Pearson guide to be the least helpful of all the books. It was not organized well, went into too much detail on some things and left out other points and was just way too cumbersome for test prep. It's a big book with a lot of text and has much too much in it to make anyone feel confident in their preparation. While I absolutely believe you should use more than one source (3-4 is optimal), I would say this one didn't add anything for me. Skip it!

General PHR Prep Advice: Use the Ann Bogardus PHR/SPHR book as your primary PHR test prep book. The Kaplan test prep book is light on the content but drills down to the big things very simply. I recommend reading the sections in Kaplan along with Bogardus. Kaplan has a few practice tests that are helpful. I also recommend getting a straight forward HR text book-- something that explains HR terms/concepts/legislation, etc with out the slant of the exam itself. Finally, take practice tests to familiarize yourself with questioning and to drill down to things you need to keep learning. It's a ton of content and I think there is little chance of knowing it all, but by using a variety of sources, you can cover your bases better.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Prep Book July 5, 2006
The sample test was different than the true prep test, but it prepared you well. The PHR exam was easier than I expected. It was not as theoretical as the book. I would definitely read this book, do all the exercises. Bottom line - you have to study for the exam, at least 40 or 50 hours. My collegues that did not put in the hours did not pass the test... regardless of the study aids.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! April 16, 2006
This book is excellent, it hits all key points for the PHR Exam. It would be very useful for someone that does not have a HR degree or it has been a while since you graduated from college. Also, if you do have a HR degree and recently graduated from college, it is a great review tool. Even though I have a Bachelors in Business Administration, and recently graduated, I learned new information about HR! Plus, you cannot beat the price!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An economical choice January 30, 2008
This study guide was a good economical choice compared to the SHRM Certification Test Course, which retails for about $500.00. Since the exam cost me about $200.00, I took my chances and ordered this book and another that focused on both PHR and SPHR. I primarily used this book and I passed!
I am a Business Administration Major with an emphasis in Human Resources. This book was extremely useful as a review. I gave myself one month to prepare for the exam... I strongly recommend at least two. There is a lot of useful information contained in this book. The author suggests researching key terms and other subjects not explained in the book. I strongly recommend listening to her. I dug out my text books and utilized the internt.
My advice is to buy the book, give yourelf plenty of time to study, and focus on the employment laws mentioned in the book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Kelly
I bought this book and the SHRM Learning System to help me prepare for the test, which I passed. The Learning System came with six individual books for each module, and I was surprised how well this one book compared to the whole SHRM set. I was a little disappointed, however, with the practice test in the back and the CD software. I suppose it might be a nit-picky complaint, but some of the given answers did not match up with the question. For example, there is a question that asks for you to compute the average of a set of numbers. There is one answer given in the answer key that is wrong, and then the written explanation has yet a different answer. Then, when reading through the explanation they are explaining why a certain answer is the mode, not the mean that the question asked for. This also happened with the questions on the software. I couldn't understand why "two" was an incorrect answer to the question of how many full time or equivalent employees an executive exemption was responsible for when I realized that the question referred to "executive" but the answer referred to "administrative" exemptions. It could be awfully confusing to someone who isn't all that familiar with some of the topics. I know I was devistated for a few minutes that I apparently couldn't calculate a simple average until I caught the problem.

Long story short, it's a good investment for what, less than $40? It makes a great complement to other resources (as mentioned earlier, no one resource has it all) but just check and double-check yourself when taking the tests to make sure you're not learning something incorrectly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great prep. material.
I attend a prep. course, learn from another textbook besides this one.
These 3 different sources are all complementing each other. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ildiko Aczel
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study Tool
This is a great study guide for the PHR. It is also much less than the self study software offered by SHRM. It helped me passed the certification exam. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rita
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely recommend!
I used this to study for my test and its great! Lots of practice questions and a practice test, a cd, and loads of information. Very thorough.
Published 8 months ago by jwonser
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent study guide
Decent practice exam on the CD, although several practive exams would have beed ideal, but overall good book. Only minor complaints
Published 15 months ago by R. wells
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book I used to study for my PHR exam!!
I purchased this PHR study guide after I saw several positive reviews. I just took my exam on June 29, 2012 and passed it! This was the only reference/study guide I used. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Robin Flint
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Supplemental Guide
I did use the Anne Bogardus book as my first study guide. I did like the Exam alerts in this book. It kept me focused. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Elle Wesley
2.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of paper!
I was very disappointed in this publication. Poor organization of subjects, incomplete definitions, typos, etc. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Organized
I used this book to supplement a poorly written PHR Prep Book in terms of employment law that I had purchase. Read more
Published on February 27, 2012 by ALJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for passing the PHR
I used this book and the Anne Bogardus book to study for the PHR exam which I passed today. Yes, there are typos and poorly written grammatically challenged sentences which were a... Read more
Published on December 10, 2011 by Mayumi Zelechoski
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but not a keeper!
I just passed the PHR exam and wanted to share my thoughts on the study materials used.
Overall, this was a C+/B- resource. Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by Ginger
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