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Real exam questions vs...

Last post 08:24 pm June 20, 2018 by Curtis Slough
17 replies
05:30 am June 11, 2018


I have taken several open tests, and i am on 90% average. Once i get to 100% i will take the exam, as many have suggested here! :)

Many people here that have taken the exam say the questions are more complex than the open test. 

Can anyone give an example of this? A comolex question?!

It might be a niave of me, but why doesnt the open test provide questions of the same level of complexity than the real exam?

Thanks for taking the time to read!





08:49 pm June 11, 2018

Mike, many of the questions on the actual exam will be of the same level of complexity. However, there are questions that will be more complex and force you to think harder and prove you know Scrum. I cannot think of a good example since it's been a year and a half since I took it. I would not take the real exam until you consistently get 100% on the open assessment (take it at least 5-10 times at 100%) and have read the Scrum Guide 10 times through and through or more.

It might be a niave of me, but why doesnt the open test provide questions of the same level of complexity than the real exam?

The exam is hard. It is designed to make sure the ones who pass actually know Scrum and understand the complexity of the framework. The open assessment is a practice exam, it is designed to give you an idea of what to expect but you cannot expect it to give everything that you'll encounter in the real exam. That's like expecting to have all the answers before you begin. 

11:24 pm June 11, 2018

@Curtis,  thanks for your feedback! I will take your advice and keep going at the open assessments until I get that 100% average!

01:49 pm June 12, 2018

Sure thing. Also, search the forum for other tips on passing the exam. Just be careful about using external study resources that did not originate from Some of these have very wrong data that lead people down the wrong path. Good luck man!

06:14 pm June 12, 2018

+1 to Curtis on avoiding external study resources and practice exams that may confuse you more than help you.

There is one site that is very good though, since it bases its questions directly on Scrum Guide content.   Mikhail Lapshin's practice exams will help you immensely:

Good luck!

06:26 pm June 12, 2018

until I get that 100% average!

What should also happen simultaneously is the time you need to do the test should drop to just a few minutes. This is crucial during the real exam, as the questions will be "new", so you will actually need more time to carefully read them, and sometimes to go back to them again and again (after you have completed all questions once).

07:05 pm June 12, 2018

+1 for both Tim and Filip.

Another thing that helped is when you get to a place where you get 100% in under 5 minutes consistently from the Open Assessment, switch gears and look for the wrong answers. It gets easy after retaking it over and over and not read the questions fully because you've had it 10 times before and know the right answer. So when you're at that point, look for the answers that are wrong and make sure you fully understand why they are wrong. There are a lot of questions with answer choices that are very close to being correct but turn out to be wrong so you need to make sure you know both right and wrong answers.

11:34 pm June 12, 2018

I took the PSM1 today and passed but I had to study even though I am a 10+ year Agile vet. 

Not overly hard but they make you think. 

12:18 am June 13, 2018

Thanks, Filip & Curtis! 

I am already experiencing what you commented. There are several questions I am answering just from visual memory.

I will start with Mikhail Lapshin soon!

Another doubt I have, should reading and understanding the Scrum Guide ONLY be enough to pass the exam?

Several people have posted they had problems with "Coaching & Facilitation" in the exam. Where can I read up better on this?


Thanks again.

12:40 am June 13, 2018

This is another good site. cost $10 but you get 1 free assesment 40 questions. 4 mock exams 80 questions. I used it for a couple days helped a lot. Questions are very similar to PSM1. 

02:26 am June 13, 2018

funny you should mention that Mike, that was where I scored the lowest across the other criteria; even though I’ve coached people for nearly 12 years. Personally, I believe the Scrum Guide is sufficient for passing the PSM1 but you won’t get a super high score unless you have a good foundation of coaching others. That is when it is good to look into some other books on coaching in a Scrum and Agile environment. You can also look up blog posts and forums regarding coaching teams. There are some really great books out there for helping you along the journey as a Scrum Master. Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, Essential Scrum by Kenneth Rubin is also a great book. I’ve not purchased Scrum Mastery just yet but it is on my list. Essential Scrum is a great book and it goes into various coaching techniques. 

I remember the coaching questions were the ones that made me think a bit deeper and took longer to determine the best answer selection. Some of them are pretty obvious but others you’ll have several answers that can very easily be correct for the same question. For me, it’s hard to answer coaching questions because there is always 5 other questions that I need to ask about the situation in order to make the best decision. With that said, don’t look deeper into these questions, don’t assume anything else is involved if it is not stated within the question. I found a few questions where the answer I chose would have been correct if my assumption of a situation would have happened. Unfortunately, I had to answer strictly based off what the question asked and that info alone. That goes along with many different questions throughout the exam, make your answer choice based off the information given, not what you may assume.

My biggest encouragement is don’t fret too much about the exam. I know it’s not exactly cheap to pay for the exam but in relation to other certifications, it’s super cheap; even if you have to take it twice. Like I said in a previous comment, if you take it and fail the first time, you have a much better understanding of what to expect. Take a day or so and study the areas where you didn’t score so well and then retake the exam. It’s a challenging exam, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not impossible to pass. 

If you’re in the Dallas, TX area I’d be happy to meet up for a beer and help you out with studying if you’d like.

10:32 pm June 19, 2018

Hi. I didnt really want to start another post, but I have started the questions, and there are two that I dont quite understand.


Question 1 is:

In a scrum team only the product owner communicates with the stakeholders. there is no exception.



The correct answer is False.

So by deduction, since the scrum team has a PO, SM and Dev Team, any of the three can communicate with the stakeholders? Not only the PO!

I thought only the PO could communicate with stakeholders?


Question 2:

Scrum is not:

A. Based on empirical process

B. Founded on empirical process control theory

C. Designed for static requirements

D. A set of project management principles.


Correct answer is C. Which I agree with, but isnt D correct too?



11:42 pm June 19, 2018

Hi Mike, 

I agree with their answers because:

1 - this is absolutely normal situation when stakeholder is speaking (communicates)with for example SM or the Dev Team.  However the PO is responsible for product

2 - maybe scrum guru will not agree with me, but I guess a set of project management principles can't associate with Scrum

11:50 pm June 19, 2018

>> In a scrum team only the product owner communicates with the stakeholders. there is no exception

Think about the purpose of the Sprint Review - who is inspecting and adapting?  The Scrum Guide is clear about the stakeholders inspecting the Increment with the Development Team so there has to be communication, and collaborating with the entire Scrum Team on the most important Product Backlog items to work on next. 

Question 2:  That question is poorly written.  I only recommend the free assessments.

10:57 am June 20, 2018

Scrum is not:

C. Designed for static requirements

D. A set of project management principles.

C is clearly wrong. If you have static requirements, then you can probably "just" plan well, and skip whole agile thing whatsoever, not just Scrum. And you will be fine. Scrum Guide says: "Scrum (n): A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems" and if you have static requirements, then the problem is much less adaptive.

D therefore seems less wrong, and I more or less agree with it anyway. Scrum is a framework to make projects / product happen, and this is the ultimate goal of project management anyway

04:08 pm June 20, 2018

I think D is a very poorly worded answer choice but TECHNICALLY it is correct. Here's what the Scrum Guide says on Page 9:

Each Sprint may be considered a project with no more than a one-month horizon. Like projects, Sprints are used to accomplish something. Each Sprint has a goal of what is to be built, a design and flexible plan that will guide building it, the work, and the resultant product increment.

Since each Sprint can be considered a project, TECHNICALLY scrum is a set of project management principles (and yes I cringed as I typed that). I doubt you'll see an answer choice like this on the exam though.

07:10 pm June 20, 2018

Since each Sprint can be considered a project, TECHNICALLY scrum is a set of project management principles (and yes I cringed as I typed that). I doubt you'll see an answer choice like this on the exam though.

It’s very unlikely. Project management principles are just one lens through which the Scrum Framework might possibly be viewed. I don’t think there’s any way for Scrum to be satisfactorily defined in project management terms as per answer D.

08:24 pm June 20, 2018

First the fact that a college education isn't required, aside from that i like being the one solving problems and from what I've gathered so scrum seems like almost a philosophy the more i read into it and its fascinating.

Could not agree more.

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