Recently, I passed the Scrum Master Certification exam (PSM I). It was a result of hard work and lot of study about both Agile and Scrum concepts. I want to share my experience and give some tips for all people interested in this Certification.
The PSM I exam is provided by Scrum.org, the price is $150. And you have 80 questions to answer in 60 minutes. The passing score is 85%, you only can made 12 mistakes..
The process of registration is very simple. Register in Scrum.org and buy the exam. Scrum.org sends you an email with a password that you have to use when you want. It's no limit time of usage.
Scrum.org recommends you some resources to study. I will talk about that below.
Pros of PSM I exam
- You learn something really valuable, unlike some other certifications, that only force to memorize a large bunch of unrelated topics.
- It is provided by Scrum.org, the most valuable company that is directed by Ken Schwaber, Co-founder of Scrum.
- Scrum is growing a lot because projects are more and more complex, so this certification will be very important in the future.
Cons of PSM I exam
- It is hard to pass, the passing score is 85%.
- There is no single resource that covers 100% of the theory. Scrum.org recommends the Scrum Guide and Scrum Glossary, but the your experience using Scrum is the best resource. The problem appears when you are using Scrum in the wrong way.
- There are not a lot of eLearning websites. You may find 2 or 3.
How to prepare and pass the exam
The best way to prepare the PSM I exam is to learn completely the Scrum framework, and understand it. You have to ask yourself constantly "why?" when you read the Scrum Guide.
You do not need te be a master in Scrum to pass the exam certification. You have to read the references, get motivation to pass the exam, pass it, and then become a master using Scrum in your workday.
Tips and tricks
Memorize does not help at all. It has no sense if you try to pass the exam memorizing some key aspects of Scrum. You need to understand why Scrum has this principles and pillars.
You must read the Scrum Guide, when you finish reading, start again and again. It is very important to understand every chapter of this document.
You also can read the Scrum Glossary. It is a very useful overview of Scrum-related items.
I do not recommend to use Google to find answers. You only have 60 minutes for 80 questions. Probably you will ask very easy questions, but some questions needs really understand of Scrum process.
It is important to take the free assessment of the PSM I exam. It is a 15 minutes exam of 30 questions. I very recommend to take this test until you pass the exam with 100% score.
Be careful with this type of questions:
- Questions with NOT: It is really common to have questions like “which of the following is NOT a characteristic of…”.
- “Should vs. could”: Questions like "Product Owner could be part of the Development team" is true, but "Product Owner should be part of the Development team" is false. Is very common to made mistakes with this type of questions.
- “Attend vs. participate”: “Product Owner can attend the Daily Scrum” is true, while “Product Owner can participate in the Daily Scrum” is false.
There is not Sprint Zero or "Release" Sprints, there is always one product backlog and one product owner. There are no another roles in Scrum than those three standards. Only the developers must attend the daily. Probably you made this mistakes in your Scrum experience Scrum experience.
Answer all questions. There is no negative points.
Be focused and brave, if you have problems with one question, bookmark it and continue with another. Probably you will have time to revise all your questions if you are focused and well prepared.
PSM I preparation practice exam is a recommended resource to test your knowledge in Scrum. I had an in-company training with a person of Management Plaza, and it was very useful for me.
The Scrum Master training manual is a free alternative of Scrum Guide. I recommend to read both.
I enjoy a lot the experience of learning Scrum, participate in a training and getting the certification. I am sure it will be very important in my career. I hope this tips help and motivate you to take this exam and adopt Scrum in your organization.