Hello Scrum.org Forum Members,
Just want to share my experience on the successful journey to take PSM I. I just finished the assessment passing with 90% score and I what to share and help those in the forum who is in the pursuit of it.
Before mentioning the steps I have a few remarks:
- A little bit about my profile. I am very experienced in managing software projects with traditional approach and I had my former team and some vendors working with agile principles and Scrum in quite a few initiatives. So I am familiar with software project environment and I think it helps to figure out some of the tricky questions.
- However I had briefing and general understanding of Scrum before diving on it.
- I had full-time schedule to study. I did not studied full-time but I dedicated several times to focus on it during the last 3 weeks.
- I started studying before choosing which certification to take CSM or PSM I. I read people saying both were ok, however when I found out that CSM required a training and since I wanted to study on my own I chose PSM I because i think the most important in a certification is the process of learning. Besides that for me it seems that PSM I is more challenging.
Here is what I did (I know everybody creates its own methods of study but I hope it may help):
1. I bought a book I found interesting about Scrum “The Elements of Scrum” based on amazon user review. I have to say I did it before seeing the scrum.org resource and what books they suggest. Anyway it is a very good book that includes additional content about supporting practices like: TDD, XP, refactoring, etc. Things that are good to be aware of.
2. I created a process of reading the book every day (I had time). After finishing each chapter I summarized the most important concepts in a PPT. It helped to memorize and master the concepts.
3. After I finished the book I created a mind map summarizing what was the most important concepts. Very good method to organized and group ideas.
4. I repeated the steps 2 and 3 with the Scrum Guide which is I must read.
5. Then I read “Scrum Training Plaza” from Management Plaza. Very good material especially because they have additional test available that includes new questions. Just have one remark in the Sample Exam 1 and 2 there is a wrong answer. You will figure it out when you check the answers. If you don’t you haven’t studied enough.
6. Then a started taking the open assessment. I took it 5 times. First time I scored 86.5%, second time 96.7% and then 100% on and on. Every time I took it I save the results page in EverNote so I could analyze my mistakes.
7. I did the developer assessment twice. I got 63.3% in the first attempted and 93.3. I wasn’t worried about that because there were too many specific development stuff I supposed that wouldn’t be required in the PSM. In my case it proved to be right. But it´s important to take it and learn a little bit about code coverage and other
8. And then after studying and review content in the pass days again and again until I felt confident enough I did the exam today and passed.
About the exam:
- I answered all questions after 45 minutes. In order to do that you should be mastering the open exam so the questions that you already know will help you speed things up.
- I bookmarked 16 questions to review at the end and those 15 minutes I used precisely for that. I had to rush a little bit but that was really important.
- I would say that there is something between 20% to 30% of tricky questions, some I hadn’t seeing before. In my case many came at the beginning. My advice is to use the bookmark and check them later. Don’t get stuck otherwise it will make you more worried about time.
- At the end I counted 6 questions I wasn’t really sure what the correct answer was. That would give me a 92.5% if all of them were wrong. So I thought I had done my best and just had 1 minute remaining. It was time to press the “Finish button”.
At the end I actually answered 8 questions incorrectly and got 90%. Not bad at all!
PS: Another interesting source of information is http://scrumtrainingseries.com/
it is an animated presentation with audio in very good quality and that presents the concepts in a very interesting way. I watch some of the presentations today. Use it when you get tired of reading again and again.
Hope it helps those who are on the way to get this certification. Most important in my opinion is the process of REALLY learning and mastering the key concepts. So take your time to study, take courses and do everything necessary to make you feel comfortable with key concepts of Scrum.