Advice for PSM III

Last post 03:46 pm July 19, 2018
by Filip Łukaszewski
7 replies
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07:13 pm May 27, 2018

Hi all. 

I am planning on working my way up to taking the PSM III assessment.  I was wondering if anyone knows if taking the Agile Leadership assessment and Scrum with Kanban assessment first will help me at all with the PSM III assessment or if I can leave them until last.  They are brand new so I am not sure if the PSM III will incorporate any learnings from them.  I have completed the PSM I and PSPO I assessments and am now working on completing the assessment for scaling Scrum.  After that I plan on doing PSM II and PSPO II.

Like I said...what would be the best order to do the remaining assessments in?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

06:06 pm May 30, 2018

The best advice I can give you for PSM II and III is to take a Professional Scrum Master course if you can.  The Scrum.org site also recommends some great books, which also helped me.  

Certainly preparing to take the other level I certifications can help, but that would be my third preference.  You won't get any Nexus or PSK questions on PSM II/III, but do need to know scaling concepts, so preparing for the SPS can help you square away your thinking around scaling concepts.

All the best!

12:14 am June 3, 2018

Thanks for the information :)

02:30 am July 11, 2018

Hi Rebecca,

I wrote an article for preparing for the PSM III and shared it here in the forums:

https://www.scrum.org/forum/scrum-forum/15903/preparing-psm-iii-assessm…

Hopefully you will find it useful.

08:58 am July 13, 2018

+1 Chris.

PSM III questions test your experience as a Scrum Master, understanding of the Scrum framework and your ability to be short and concise while answering the questions. Ability to be short, concise and to the point is very important. You get 90 minutes to answer 34 questions; a couple of them are MCQ but say you have to answer 30 questions in 85 minutes i.e. less than 3 minutes for each question.

Here are few things that helped me:

1. Reading Scrum guide as many times as possible to get the language right.

2. Reading the books mentioned - specifically, Scrum Pocket Guide by Gunther and Scrum Insights for Practitioners by Hiren Doshi.

3. Try explaining concepts like velocity, transparency, Scrum roles, empiricism by writing and timing yourself to two minutes.

4. Take the PSM class and pay attention to the questions around professinalism, timeboxing, quality, done/undone increment.

5. No matter what do not gold-plate the answers.

6. Take some time to go through all the questions first, so that you know how many MCQs and subjective questions you have to time them well.

7. Read the question twice, check for number of question marks. As many question marks, as many answers.

8. Keep Calm. 

03:48 pm July 13, 2018

What do you mean by "do not gold-plate the answers"?

09:32 pm July 14, 2018

I took gold-plating to mean 'writing more than what was asked for'.  There is no need to be verbose on the exam, just get right to the point and answer the question without adding in extra detail.  When I was practicing for the PSM III, I timed myself to answer a set of questions in less than 4 minutes.  Many questions on PSM III will need multiple answers - so of there are three question marks in the paragraph, make sure to have three answers.

I hear the term used with software, where a developer may add more to a task than needed, with diminishing returns, rather than focusing on the most important work to meet the Sprint Goal.

03:46 pm July 19, 2018

Thank you Chris.