Ep 233 – Test Taking Strategies for HRCI and SHRM Exams

Looking for more resources as you work towards your HR certification? Join the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook or LinkedIn

Within our HR careers, having a certification is extremely important. Taking an exam to demonstrate your HR expertise by earning a certification is a great way to gain an HR knowledge foundation and demonstrate your HR expertise and stand out from others when you are in the job search process. Certification is a stepping stone in your career as well as a pathway to more work experiences and increased compensation which in turn leads to hopefully a more fulfilling career and life. 

Episode 331: Test Taking Strategies for HRCI and SHRM Exams 

And while preparing and studying for the exam is an important component, we often forget about preparing for the actual HR certification exam itself. And what what I mean by that is preparing to take your exam either in a testing center or via remote as well as having a clear strategy and plan to answer questions, selecting the best answer, and focusing on your overall HR certification exam game plan. 

In this special episode of the Workology Podcast, we’re hearing from three different test taking experts. They are weighing in on their best tips, suggestions, and insights into how to prepare to take your HR certification exam beyond study prep.

How Mindset Can Help you on HR Certification Exam Day with Katy Caseli 

I’ve been a proponent of positive affirmations as I use them in my every day life. Mindset is certainly important in everything we do but especially when it comes to handling your HR certification exam day.

Our first expert is Katy Caselli. Katy is a workforce development expert and author of the book Building Giants, a Proven System to Transform Your Workforce Through Effective Training. Founder and President of Building Giants, Katy has coached hundreds of employees through taking ACT WorkKeys tests, and will share tips for preparation, self-hypnosis and techniques on focus that you can use to ace your HR certification exams.

Having a positive attitude and proper mental preparation can go a long way. Katy shares with us positive affirmations and a self-hypnosis activity. Connect with Katy on LinkedIn

Mastering Memory for Your HRCI and SHRM Exams with Dr. Tere Linzey 

While having yourself in the right frame of mind is important, you also want to think about brain optimization which is  the practice of training one’s brain to develop optimal fundamental skills that are necessary for learning. Since that’s what we’re working on in order to study for and take HR certification exams, I’m pleased to have Dr. Tere Linzey with me today.

Our next interview with with Dr. Tere Linzey. She is a Licensed Educational Psychologist and the founder of BrainMatterZ, a program that helps improve auditory processing, executive functioning skills, attention/focus, and memory for learning. Dr. Linzey specializes in “Brain Optimization,” or the practice of training one’s brain to develop optimal fundamental skills that are necessary for learning. She specializes in helping students pass exams and hone their skills for test taking. 

Dr. Linzey talks with us about different types of memory keeping brain optimization in mind as well as ways to best prepare your brain for your HR certification exam. Connect with Dr. Tere on LinkedIn. 

Improving Your Learning for Your SHRM-SCP, SHRM-CP, SPHR, and PHR Exams with Marilyn Devonish

An area of test taking prep that I want to highlight is using neuroscience to improve your pass rate for the HR certification exam. There’s a lot of science behind why and how we learn, and how we can train our brains to be more confident and better at taking tests. I’m pleased to have NeuroSuccess™ Coach Marilyn Devonish with me today. 

Marilyn Devonish is a Certified PhotoReading™ Instructor, NLP Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, Freelance Writer, Flexible Working Implementation Management Consultant, and Certified Multi-Disciplinary Therapist. A Personal Trainer for Your Brain, she specializes in blending aspects of neuroscience with personal development to make accelerated performance more easily accessible to everyone.

Marilyn talks to us about imagineering and how this can help you ace your HR certification exam. Hear from her why a mental run through could be the difference maker for HR professionals in how they perform on their exams. Connect with Marilyn on LinkedIn. 


Your HR certification exam is a culmination of so many things in your career not to mention all your hard work studying, learning, and becoming comfortable with thousands of concepts, laws, topics, and terms that are part of the HR profession and industry. Test taking strategy, in my experience is something we often overlook which is why I wanted to highlight these tips for you today. We dive in deeper into test taking strategies into my Ace the HR Exam course offerings and in my upcoming book called Ace the HR Exam. 

It’s not enough to be familiar with HR terms, information, and perform well on practice exams, it takes the right mindset, test taking strategy, and preparing your entire self to perform at optimum levels come your exam testing day. 

In order for you to pass your exam, you need a well-rounded and thorough approach to preparing for your HR certification exam. I’d love to invite you to Join the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook or LinkedIn. Just go to Facebook.com and in the search box enter HR Certification Study Group. Its here I share more free resources like this podcast interview while allowing you to connect with thousands of HR professionals like you who are also preparing for their HRCI and SHRM certification exams. It’s also there you can learn more about our Ace the HR Exam course or you can visit www.acethehrexam.com. Best of luck as you prepare for your SHRM-SCP, SHRM-CP, PHR, and SPHR exams!


Looking for more resources as you work towards your HR certification? Join the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook or LinkedIn

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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