I had passed Professional Scrum Master(PSM I) certification in month of March and wish to share my experience to help aspiring candidates.
It took me 4-5 weeks of preparation to attain the confidence to pass this exam. In the month of December 2016 , I got into my first Agile project , based on Scrum.I could not stop myself reading more and more about Scrum, later, I stumbled upon various certification one can do in this field. At this point of time I had two options
I decided to go with PSM I certificate, most importantly because it did not have any prerequisites or mandatory training.
How to register for Exam: To take this exam one can register on Scrum.Org and buy the PSM I Certification Exam for 150$. Once the payment is processed, a password is emailed to you within 1 business day. This is not the login password for Scrum.org but the one you need to enter just before you begin the exam(it is very very long, don’t be surprised). The exam can be taken from any place with good internet connection.
After registration,I received the password through email within 5 minutes and sat for the exam on the same day.
Passing Score: The exam consists of 80 questions, mixture of multiple choice and true/false. PSM I is considered to be difficult in terms of high passing score. One needs to score minimum of 85% i.e at least 68/80 to pass the Exam.
Preparation: I self prepared for this exam, which is also an advantage of this exam because you need not attend any mandatory training.
- To start with, read official Scrum guide, a 17 page long book. When you first read it, you will find it quite easy, but since its very precise , you need to thoroughly understand every word of the guide. Read it and Re-read it for a minimum 3-4 times.Making notes always works for me, so I preferred noting down important points. Believe me, every time you read it, you will understand things better. In my case, each time I read the guide, I found a new point to remember.
- Once you have finished reading the guide, take the open assessment for PSM I available which has 30 questions to attempt, overall there are 40 random questions. So need to take this assessment many times. I scored 75% in my first attempt, pretty frustrating, since I was confident about the answers I chose.After this, I took the assessments daily till the day of exam(even if I got bored attempting same questions again and again). Come to a point where you can finish the assessment with 100 % in 5-8 mins.I got 4-5 questions from free assessment,in the actual Exam. I took other free assessments available on Scrum.org, but none other than ones for PSM and PSPO are actually helpful.
- One brilliant source of practice questions is that by Mikhail Lapshin. You can take up the quiz for free, any number of times. The quiz has 80 questions, and can be attempted in learning mode or real mode. I would suggest you to take it in real mode first, and later in learning mode. The quiz has questions inspired from actual exam, each with a clear explanation. Make sure you attempt it multiple times, do not just mug up the answer but understand why it is correct.Although questions from 2-3 topics are missing, but this quiz is extremely useful for preparation. Refer the guide time to time for clarity.
- Once I was done with the preparation, I wanted to be sure about how I have prepared and so bought the practice papers from Management Plaza. There are over all 3 actual exam like sample papers with around 250 questions, with explanation of each. It was a confidence booster for me and final touch to my preparation.Take the tests couple of times until you score minimum 95% every time.The Scrum Master training manual pdf available on their site, free of cost and it is good read in case you wish to and also covers topics like burn down charts.
- I don’t think we need to prepare anything other than this. There are no questions outside the guide, so read it until you can recall every bit of it.
I scored 97.5% in first attempt. I felt actual exam is a bit harder than any of the practice exams(may be because of anxiety and pressure of passing). I would just suggest you to prepare well and be confident. Read the questions properly(one can miss words like NO or NOT). For multiple choice questions, it is mentioned how many answers they expect you to choose.( example: select 2 options). Once you submit the exam, you will get a result report as below:
And now, can’t wait to show 🙂