PROFESSIONAL SCRUM MASTER 1 (PSM I) Completed with 96.3%!!! || Preparation || Process || Tips and Tricks

Last post 04:31 am July 13, 2018
by Thomas Schaffer
5 replies
06:51 am March 21, 2018

Hello All,

I did appear PSM 1 certification during first week of Mar 2018 and I cleared it with 96.3% (77 points scored out of 80 maximum points) (a score of 85.0% or greater is needed to pass this test)

Before I share my experience, process and mention tips and tricks for PSM 1 – I would like provide some facts and figures on SCRUM.

(Please note: all facts and figures are from forums and used for reference representation only.)

  • 90% - Agile Teams Use SCRUM
  • +12M – using SCRUM Daily
  • Over 165,000 Professional Scrum Certified
  • One SCRUM Guide (19 pages)

Now I am sure that by reading above facts and figures – you must be inspired for this certification - then read on. I got great insight from various posts on the forum and wanted to share something back with ecosystem.



1.    Read SCRUM guide like EAT.SLEEP.REPEAT. I almost read SCRUM guide for more than 4-5 times. It is very short & crisp, carefully written and each word/sentence has meaning And trust me each time you read it, you will come to know something new.

2.    Once you read SCRUM Guide thoroughly then go for “OPEN ASSESSMENTS” provided at of SCRUM and Product Owner (Developers and Nexus assessment is optional, I didn’t face any questions on it but it is good for knowledge). “OPEN ASSESSMENTS” will give you feel of what kind of questions being asked in actual assessment. In “OPEN ASSESSMENTS” – when you start it selects random questions from large pool of questions and you will feel slight variation each time in questions selection. Make sure you take this multiple times till you get 100%. Again Do this also like EAT.SLEEP.REPEAT. 5-10% of questions come from this.

3.    Mikhail Lapshin assessment – both Learning mode and Real mode – I found very useful and they are actually same, doesn’t deviate from SCRUM Guide. This assessment gives actual feel of exam, 80 questions and 60 mins. “OPEN ASSESSMENTS” only gives kind of flavor of questions you will get in final assessment but 30 questions assessment and 80 questions assessment has lot of difference. Make sure you take this multiple times till you get 100%.

4.    You can use “Scrum Quiz (PSM1)” app (offered by Baretto – Email ID: too for practice, very well helpful and can be taken from mobile phones.

5.    scrum glossary is also useful.

6.    I read book Called Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide - by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali. This is useful and elaborate more what is given in SCRUm Guide. Can be referred once.

7.    For me, it took around 2 weeks of time for total preparation but one week is enough if you spend 2-4 hrs a day.

8.    Video - 2017 Scrum Guide Update with Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland this is nice. You get to chance to see parents of SCRUM talking on SCRUM Guide update release.



1.    First you need to sign-up/Register if you are not already registered.

2.    Go to Certification section and click on “PROFESSIONAL SCRUM MASTER”, select PSM 1 assessment.

3.    Click on “Buy PSM 1 assessment” and complete payment for the same. Currently it is charged at 150$. You can use Credit/Debit card. Also, you can use Paypal as another option. Skip this step if you already purchased or got sponsored vouchers/password.

4.    Within few minutes, you will receive password for assessment on your registered email ID.

5.    click “Start Assessment”, this can be taken from anywhere. Just make sure you have laptop/computer with good internet connectivity. suggest that you take this assessment from home or personal network as corporate network has firewall or restricted access may create issues during assessment. But I did it from corporate network but I didn’t face any issue during my assessment.

6.    Answer multiple choice questions. Read question completely before looking at answer.


Tips & Tricks:

1.    Don't take final/actual exam until you are consistently getting 100% on the open assessments and 100% on the others as I mentioned above.

2.    This is open book test and you can take from anywhere, meaning you can do GOOGLE online or in the Scrum Guide to find the answers. But be careful. You have only 60 mins for total 80 questions. Meaning less than 1 min for each question. You can’t be dependent on anything else rather than your knowledge.

3.    These are so many book available, good for knowledge but it is not needed for PSM 1 certification. SCRUM guide is enough

4.    During exam, if you can’t answer any question within 20-25 seconds, bookmark it and move on. There could be lengthy questions further on. You can use remaining time for bookmarked questions. Believe me you are well prepared, you will have 20 min balance after completing all 80 questions.

5.    You don't need to read the recommended books in the knowledge areas link.

6.    Paid Online courses for preparation like mPlaza not really needed. Don’t spend on it.

And now you are ready for PSM 1, go for it. ALL THE BEST!!!!!!



06:57 pm March 26, 2018

Thank you for this! Great tips.



02:01 am March 28, 2018

Tips & Tricks:

3.    These are so many book available, good for knowledge but it is not needed for PSM 1 certification. SCRUM guide is enough

5.    You don't need to read the recommended books in the knowledge areas link.

I still think we should encourage newcomers to read the recommended books (and gain practical experience as well), otherwise the whole exercise becomes one of memorizing the 16-page scrum guide and drilling to pass the 80-question exam.

03:55 pm March 28, 2018

Thanks for the tips, I'll follow them!

09:43 am July 11, 2018

Hi, regarding PSM I certification questions - do I need to practice SM, PO and Dev open assessments or just SM? What subject areas are in the PSM I exam? (PO, nexus, SM..)

Thank you,

04:31 am July 13, 2018

Hi Milica. I guess it will be enough to use SM and PO open assessment to prepare for PSM 1. But I highly recommend you to use also different exam simulators to prepare for PSM 1 . Personally I've used volkerdon. But of course this is up to you. 

Regarding subject areas, you have to prepare by this subjects:

Scrum Framework

Scrum Theory and Principles

Coaching facilitation

Cross functional, self-organising team

Regarding nexus,  in my exam there were not any nexus question.