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Failed in PSM 1 Need Your Advice

Last post 11:54 am November 15, 2022 by Ryan Kent
11 replies
05:52 am October 17, 2017

Hello All ,

i failed yesterday in the PSM 1 

and that is my results 

Scrum Framework - Rules and roles of Scrum per the Scrum Guide.82%

Scrum Theory and Principles 75%

Cross-functional, self-organizing Teams 71%

Coaching & Facilitation 100%

i have been in IT industry for a long time but we are using waterfall model  ,

so that's my first experince with scrum ,

could anyone advice me how to improve the above results and succeed in PSM 1?

Thanks a lot 

05:30 am October 18, 2017

let me tell you for the fact that you do not need anything other than Scrum Guide, don't mind boggle yourself by getting into too many details in too many books. According to my experience do the following,

1. Take Open Scrum, PO, Dev & Scaled multiple times everyday until you start getting 100%

2.  Take Mikhail's PSM I and Scaled test multiple times until you start getting 100% (

3. Take Mikhail's PSM I Real mode multiple time until you start getting 100% within 20-30 min, I could get 100% inside 10 min.

4. Read Scrum Guide.

That's all is needed, in main assessment you just need time management, by 1-2-3 you will get that.

Let me know how did it go.

07:20 am October 18, 2017

Dear  Ankit 

thank you so much for your replay 

1- i just toke the open assessment for basic scrum cause i felt that the other exams is not covered in the scrum guide

2- i toke Mikhail's PSM I learning mode and i got 100 % in 25 minutes 

,the main question is how can i cover the area's that made me failed based on the exam results ,

thank you so much again 




04:13 pm October 18, 2017

If you take the open assessments on this website over and over, you will find that the questions change and should cover most if not all the problems you had. 

How many times have you read the Scrum Guide?  (If less than 5 times, better get back into it)

Pay very close attention to the wording of the questions. A lot of times it is a single word that can be the difference in passing a question and ultimately the exam. 

I didn't take the open assessments available on other websites. I focused on the tools on I took the Scrum, Nexus, and the PO open assessments. The Nexus and PO I only took a couple times each and it was mainly to increase my knowledge of scrum in general. I took the Scrum open probably 50 times. 

I read the Scrum guide 10 times over and in fact I read it about once every other week right now. Other than that, I had notes from the PSM training class that I did. 

A lot of people have trouble because of the wording of the questions, they get very tricky. Use the bookmark feature for all questions that you have any doubt, select your best guess and move on t get through the exam and then go back through the bookmarked questions. 

Laslty, it helps to be in a calm room. Low lighting, cup of coffee or tea, maybe a candle going or something. It helps reduce your stress, which considering the test is really stressful, that's helpful. 

Good luck and don't fret too much, you'll do better the second time. 

05:34 pm October 18, 2017

Hi Ahmed,

The best way to pass the PSM I is to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of the Scrum Framework and how to apply Scrum in basic situations. The open assessment from is a good way to test your knowledge of very basic Scrum concepts, but it's not necessarily a learning tool.

Attending either the Professional Scrum Foundations or Professional Scrum Master course from is the best way to learn Scrum and prepare for the PSM I. If attending a course is not an option for you, I recommend picking up a copy of Gunther Verheyen's Scrum: A Pocket Guide. Not only will it help you better prepare for the PSM I, but it will give you a better understanding of the whys behind Scrum so you can better apply it in the real world.

07:55 am October 19, 2017

It is unfortunate that you could not score enough.

From you marks, it appears that you are not sure how the development team is organized and how the work is accomplished so that there is a balance between creativity, flexibility, and productivity.

My recommendation is to use this set back as an opportunity to learn Scrum in detail.

The best resource to understand the Scrum is the book Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide It is, in a way 'The Scrum Guide illustrated.'

I also recommend not to give up on PSM and settle for easy certificate. PSM is worth the effort.

Scrum On!

08:45 am October 19, 2017

Hi, I just passed the PSM1 certification this morning (answered 72 out of 80 questions correctly) and I am really pleased. However it was not a walk in the park and I hope I am able to help you with some pointers. 

I agree with the others that a solid understanding of the Scrum framework and how to apply it is essential but the key tools for me were the Scrum Guide (read it thoroughly a few times), the open assessments but also found that having worked in scrum team helped in the elimination process with some of the questions that required me to choose multiple answer. 

My advice is; ensure you read and understand the Scrum guide especially the sections you didn't do well in and take the open assessments a many times as you can.

In the actual exams do pay attention to the wordings of the questions and read the answers carefully. Answer all questions but book mark any answers you're not sure about - this allows you to work through all 80 questions as quickly as you can, then come back to the ones you were unsure of and give your answers a bit more thought.

Good luck on your next attempt.

10:46 pm November 7, 2022

I attempted the assessment today and unfortunately got only 83.8% which makes me really pissed off. 

I took the scrum open assessment multiple times before the main assessment and was able to get 100% everytime and also finished it within 5 mins.

I was also able to get 100% in the Mickhail Lapshin real mode tests and was able to complete them in 10-15mins.

Only thing that I might have missed from the above suggestions is that I read the Scrum guide only twice.

My experience with the main assessment is that time management is important. I personally bookmarked few questions for which I didn't have time to come back and think through it. Also I went to take on the assessment immediately after multiple mock-ups which I feel should have exhausted my brain a bit from being super cool during the test.

All the above suggestions will help but also you need to be very swift during the assessment as you will definitely encounter 10-15 challenging questions which will make you think for a while to choose the right answers.

10:18 pm November 10, 2022

I think the practice assessments were much easier than the actual assessment.  There were a couple of things that helped me:

  • I was watching Agile for Humans YouTube videos almost daily for about 6 months (I stopped when I became too busy.
  • Reading the changes between the 2017 and 2020 Scrum Guide was helpful.
  • I reviewed these videos a couple of times:…
  • I have gone through the Scrum Guide and noted things that stood out a number of times before I became too busy this year.  However, I did it 2 times more in the past week.
  • Not sure how much this helped, but I read "Fixing Your Scrum" by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller early this year.
  • I think reading "Zombie Scrum" could be useful.  I am getting that book soon.
  • If possible, being around a Scrum Team really helps.  I learned a lot from seeing a number of anti-patterns and attempting to nudge the Scrum Master to utilize the Scrum Framework.  Although direct experience would have helped more.

10:27 am November 15, 2022

Hi Ahmed,

I quite agree with Ankit. PSM I test your knowledge about the Scrum Framework in its entirety. Further to the above, you need to read the Scrum and Nexus Guide as many times as possible understanding it thoroughly. I read the Scrum Guide daily at some stage. There are some good training materials also on Udemy which you can leverage on as well.

The exam will test PBL ordering, monitoring progress towards product goal, Burn Down Chart, Comulative Flow Diagram and what they are used for. The exam will test who does what, who is responsible for what in the Scrum team (Scrum Accountabilities), time box, Scrum Pillars, Values, Artifacts etc. Just read the guides.

Books are good but in my opinion however at this stage, I do not think you need a book to pass PSMI if you understand the Scrum and Nexus guide properly as in properly. Take the Scrum Open Assessment until you are able to consistently achieve a score of 95% or higher. Do not rush to retake the exam, take your time till when you are sure that you are ready and confident enough.

Best of luck.

11:48 am November 15, 2022

I also make an attempt for assessment and i get 67 out 80 points so 1 point was missing to pass. Hopefully i will get back to it stronger (and my manager will allow my company to pay for  assessment) :') 

11:54 am November 15, 2022

Great breakdown Joseph. If I could add to this to reinforce the point, you need to approach the exam questions from the perspective of the Scrum framework as defined by the Scrum Guide. Be careful not to think about how teams may have implemented Scrum at their organizations, or how others may suggest Scrum should operate. Let the Scrum Guide be your guide.

Also watch out for building confidence in being able to rapidly get the practice exam questions right. The set of example questions is fairly small, and memorization starts to kick in. The real exam questions are likely to be worded differently, and offer answers that could be similar to each other requiring you to consider each and select the best answer based off of what you have learned from the Scrum Guide. When using the practice exams, I would also suggest slowing down and thinking out loud to yourself about why you are selecting that answer, and then reviewing the answer notes afterwards to reinforce the concepts.

All the best in your next attempt!

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