Tuesday, January 27, 2009

But I don't want to study!

What's that you say, aren't I done with school? Didn't I graduate already? Why yes, to both of those questions. Then what the heck am I doing studying? Why have a been a loser since Friday by staying in to study? Why, I have my Professional in Human Resources (PHR) exam tomorrow. There are 6 areas in which I need to be proficient, 2 of which make up almost 50% of the test. So I need to have those 2 sections down. I'm also regretting being such a swindler negotiator during my undergrad years. I talked not only myself, but also my class out of many projects and exams. I once told my professor, "I honestly haven't studied for my compensation exam. I really don't want to study (this is 2 hours before the exam and just after I had taken a different exam with him). I'm just not prepared to do it. However, I have been to class every day, I've turned in all my assignments, I have an A in the class currently, is there any way I can just take the class average on the exam?" Guess what? He said yes. I also got an A in the class. In the same class I turned a major class project into an extra credit assignment. In my benefits class the next semester I think the professor just gave up on us halfway through. He dropped the 3rd of the 4 exams, and told us that we could keep our current grade or we could take the final to try to improve our grade. Well I had a high C or low B (can't remember anymore), was a graduating senior with a ton of projects to finish so OF COURSE I agreed to this deal. His only mistake was telling everyone about this deal because then we only showed up to class to work on other things, and I admit to learning NOTHING the last month and a half of class. Because of my compensation and benefits actions and the fact that I just plain hated these two subjects, I completly SUCK at these two areas. Which is fine. It won't ever really hurt me in my career because generally there is a compensation and a benefits person within a company. That's what is so great about HR, there are so many areas that you can work in. However, my lack of knowledge in these areas are going to kill me on this exam. Comp or should I say, Total Rewards, makes up 16% of the test and I will have 36 questions covering this topic. I'm scared to death. On the practice tests I've yet to hit passing (73%) so my other areas are just going to have to carry me. Which means I have to know a million and one employement laws in and out (another thing I haven't had to really know since college thanks to google). I'm not talking the major ones - ADA (now ADAA, but not for my exam), FMLA, ADEA, Equal Pay Act, Civil Rights Act, Title VII, ect. I have to know the cases that determined disparate treatment/impact, what case led to the determination that same-sex harrassment is covered under Title VII, and which case stated that ADEA does not protect younger workers, even if they are over the age of 40, from workplace decisions that favor older workers. If you know any of these answers off the top of you head, I'll send you a cookie!

So once again my brain is a huge garbled mess. I'm TERRIBLE at taking "standardized tests." I actually stink at tests in general (explains why I talk myself out of them) and the fact that this test is expensive to take puts even more pressure on me. The national passing rate for this time last year was only 61% which was down from 63% the previous years. The highest pass rate was 5 years ago and was 67%. While these are slightly daunting statistics I think it also shows the importance of the certification. It's like the MBA or PhD (that might be the SPHR actually) of the HR world. It shows that you know your HR shit and have taken the time to show that you are a professional in this field.

So wish me luck tomorrow at noon. I'll find out if I pass or not immediately after I take the exam, but won't get my score until much later. I have to get a 73% to pass the exam, which I know I can do. I don't think I've ever gotten a 73% on exams since I made the mistake of taking Physics my senior year of high school. So I should be in the clear. Today I have to finish reviewing 2 more modules, take about a million practice exams and hope I do better than a 73% on all of them!

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