Human Resources is an essential aspect of running any successful company. According to various surveys, studies, and statistical reports, human resources professionals can have a monumental impact on the productivity, satisfaction, and mental health of a company’s employees. 

However, accomplishing this requires qualified individuals that specialize in HR to effectively meet the needs of an organization.

This is where the Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) certification comes into play. Anyone with this designation can expertly contribute to an HR department while earning over $50,000 a year in a human resource management position. That’s why anyone interested in this career path should work on passing the aPHR exam— you can invest in your career while also investing in the health and wellness of your coworkers!Of course, passing the aPHR exam isn’t easy— but it can be made much easier if you know how to prepare for the test. Check out the following recommendations for the best aPHR study guides currently on the market.

1. HRCP APHR Exam Prep Course

human resource certification preparation

HRCP’s program is an excellent self study course that can be taken online or offline.

HRCP aPHR Certification Exam Details

Human Resource Certification Preparation (HRCP) offers access to an online and print version of their aPHR certification prep program. Hundreds of study pages, flashcards, and practice questions come included with this course. Plus, students gain easy access to 13 different practice exams that mimic the associate professional human resource exam perfectly. All of these can be taken online or purchased as printed materials. Thanks to that, students can easily pick a study format that best fits their learning style.

HRCP Features

  • 400+ Page Study Guide
  • 300+ Flashcards
  • 13 Practice Exams
  • Audio Reader
  • Sample Study Schedules

HRCP Pros and Cons

  • Print Version: HRCP’s full prep program can be purchased in print. This allows you to complete the entire course without going online once.
  • Audio Reader: HRCP’s audio reader allows you to turn any learning material into an audio lesson. This is a convenient way to study while doing mindless activities, like chores or commuting.
  • Sample Schedules: Are you interested in building your own schedule? If you want some inspiration, you can use or edit HRCP’s sample study schedules as a good starting point.
Bottom Line: HRCP is the best self-study course for the aPHR exam currently on the market. Definitely check them out if you want to quickly and easily prepare for a career in human resources operations!

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2. HRCI Learning Center aPHR Certification Exam Prep

hrci learning center aphr

HRCI’s major focus is helping you build a custom study bundle for the aPHR exam.

HRCI Exam Prep Course Details

The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) prep course focuses heavily on building your own course through different prep modules. Students can choose to add online lessons, practice exams, flashcards, print materials and more. Each can be purchased at full price individually or discounted as part of a bundle. That way you only have to study for the aPHR with materials that you like and that are effective at teaching you what you need to know.

HRCI Features

  • 1,500+ Digital Flashcards
  • Mobile Friendly
  • 13 Practice Exams
  • 1,000+ Practice Questions
  • Audio Lectures

HRCI Pros and Cons

  • Customization: Students can pick and choose what course materials they want to pay for when signing up for HRCI. This is one of the most versatile options currently available for human resources candidates.
  • Mobile Friendly: All course materials have full support for mobile devices. Anyone can complete this full program on their phone if they choose to, which makes it much easier to study on the go.
  • Paid Pass Guarantee: Anyone interested in a pass guarantee needs to pay an extra $250 to get it here. Otherwise, enrolling for one or two smaller packages won’t guarantee the test results you need to start your career.
Bottom Line: HRCI is the most versatile online option that can provide the best experience to the widest range of HR professionals. It will require some more research on your part, but that extra effort will be well rewarded.

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3. HR Cert Prep Pros aPHR Course Review

hr cert prep pros

HRT Cert Prep Pros offer extremely effective live classes that teach you everything you need to know about the aPHR exam.

HR Cert Prep Course Details

HRT Cert Prep Pros offers the best live aPHR classes currently available. Each class is taught by highly trained HR professionals with years of teaching experience. Plus, students can easily interact with their peers and learn from each other in addition to the teacher. HRT Cert Prep Pro also has a great tutoring program for students who prefer to learn through 1-on-1 interactions with teachers. Best of all, those who’ve completed this course report a 90+% success rate on the aPHR exam!

HR Cert Prep Pros Features

  • 6 Class Sessions
  • Live Online or In Person
  • 90% Pass Rate
  • Access to Instructors
  • Tutoring Options

HR Cert Prep Course Pros and Cons

  • Instructors: Each instructor is an experienced teacher with years of experience in human resources work. And with the ability to directly interact with these instructors, you can reap the benefits of their experience through each lesson.
  • Online or In Person: Classes can be either taken live online or in person (when safe) while preparing for the aPHR exam. This is one of the only online HR courses that offers this feature, so you should take note if that’s the way you prefer to study.
  • Expensive: This course is easily the most expensive one on this list. This is likely due to how much extra work a teacher needs to put into a live classroom— but rest assured, it’s well worth the tuition!
Bottom Line: Anyone interested in live learning should definitely check this course out as soon as possible. Don’t let the high price concern you, since the knowledge you’ll gain can be reinvested into your career.

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4. Distinctive HR aPHR Prep Course

distinctive hr

Distinctive HR uses a set of self study materials that build off of each other to prepare you for your exam.

Distinctive HR aPHR Course Details

Distinctive HR blends their materials in a way that allows each lesson to build off the previous one. Students will watch video lessons that are immediately reinforced by learning games and digital flashcards. They’re then asked to apply their new knowledge with a practice exam that is available at key milestones of the course. And since all of this can be accessed for a full year, you’ll have plenty of time to work through the substantial library included with this course.

Distinctive HR Features

  • 1 Year Course Access
  • 125 Page Study Guide
  • Training Games
  • 2+ Practice Tests
  • Learning Management System

Distinctive HR Pros and Cons

  • Learning Games: Distinctive HR makes learning fun by including a series of interactive games that teach you important HR practices. This is a unique feature rarely included with online courses that has a tremendous positive impact on student engagement.
  • Sample Tests: Samples tests that perfectly mimic the aPHR exam are included with this course. These allow you to prepare in a realistic test environment and relieve a lot of pre-test anxiety.
  • Limited Access: Students can only access course materials for up to 1 year after purchasing. This should be plenty of time, but some other courses don’t put you on a strict time limit.
Bottom Line: Distinctive HR is a good alternative self study program, but it doesn’t quite offer enough to provide a better value than something like HRCP.

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5. HR Review aPHR Study Guide

hr review aphr

HR Review is a cram course designed to teach you what you need to know as quickly as possible. If you’re short on time to prepare for your certification exam — or if you’re trying to prepare for a second attempt — this is worth your consideration.

HR Review Exam Prep Course Details

HR Review is a quick 6 lesson course designed to teach you what you need to know as quickly as possible. Students gain access to a set of course handouts paired up with each lesson and a workbook. They also can complete a series of practice exams and digital flashcards. Lessons are also available in audio format for those who prefer to learn on the go.

HR Review Features

  • MCQ’s
  • Videos
  • Flashcards
  • Apps
  • Continuing Education Credits
  • Pass Guarantee

HR Review Pros and Cons

  • Study Notes: Each lesson comes with a series of handouts that help you follow along with what the teacher is saying. This engages different parts of your brain to solidify the impact of each lesson in a short time.
  • Final Review Course: Anyone interested in some extra cramming can sign up for the 3 hour final review course. It won’t take long to finish, but it can provide that small boost you need to earn a passing score.
  • Limited Live Learning: Only the final review course has a live classroom option. If you’re interested in live instruction, you may prefer HR Cert Prep Pros instead.
Bottom Line: Anyone who wants to learn quickly without wasting any time should sign up for this course. However, one of our top picks like HRCP or HRCI can provide a more comprehensive study schedule that’s better for first-time takers.

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aPHR Certification Exam Prep Course FAQs

Q: How long does it take to study for aPHR?

A: The amount varies from person to person. However, most people generally recommend studying for at least 60 hours before the certification exam.

Q: What is the difference between aPHR and PHR?

A: The aPHR is for people just starting out in human resource development. More experienced human resource professionals can earn the PHR designation further down the line. Then they would advance to the Senior Professional Human Resource, or SPHR certification exam.

Q: How long is the aPHR good for?

A: Your aPHR certification is good for 3 years. After that you need to recertify by completing 45 PDUs or by retaking the aPHR exam.