My road to PSM III

Last post 01:25 pm December 11, 2018
by Juan Prieto
7 replies
10:06 am December 4, 2018

I've read a couple of posts here on the journey to obtain the PSM III certification. I'd like to expand that with my own path to the highest level of Scrum Master certification.

First of all, I'd like to underline, like the other posts, it is seriously difficult. Although I passed on the first try, it's relentless, it's rigorous. Because there around 35(ish) open question with a 2 hour time limit and 85% pass level, danger lies in answering the questions too elaborate. I noticed myself still having 10 questions unanswered with half an hour left. Although I would recommend not to watch the time progress too much, I do recommend practicing answering questions to the point as quickly as possible on forehand. This requires you to be very sure about your theoretical Scrum knowledge. And with the theoretical I mean Scrum according to the Scrum guide. 

That's where a different challenge lies; it's easy to answer questions from experience. Not that this is a bad thing; on the contrary. It helps clarify and visualize your answer. However, if the situation your describing is not handled according to the Scrum guide, the answer will probably be rated with an X. Therefore I can recommend to analyze your current work situation with the Scrum guide. Am I handling the challenges as the Scrum guide advizes (the guide only advizes, it does not dictate. Very important). I personaly learned a lot by doing so. Reading and remember (really mentally own this) the book Scrum - a Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheijen helped me a lot with this. This goes a little into the Scrum values, which clarified a lot for me. I could instanly adapt my, at that time, current assignment for the better with my new knowledge. 

Of course read. A lot. I read the blogs by Barry Overeem and Chris Verwijs a lot. Furthermore I read the following at least twice:

The Scrum Guide. To help me remember I've written it on paper three times.
Scrum - a Pocket Guide - Gunther Verheijen
Our iceberg is melting - John Kotter
Coaching Agile Teams - Lyssa Adkins
Software in 30 days - Ken Schwaber/Jeff Sutherland
Scrum Mastery - Geoff Watts
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni
The Leaders Guide to Radical Management - Stephen Denning

So yeah, it takes time to prepare. And that's not to be taken lightly. I firstly underestimated it a lot. Only after speaking to Barry Overeem and Laurens Bonnema I went the extra mile to prepare. So, if you guys are reading this, major thanks for the advice!

I hope my own short story helps you a bit. If you have any questions or I can help you prepare with my experience, feel free to contact me any time!

03:43 pm December 6, 2018

Congrats! I'm new to Scrum and just recently passed my PSM I exam (yesterday in fact!). I am looking forward to learning more and participating in this community...

05:40 pm December 6, 2018

Very useful post, especially the list of books. Thanks Sander.

01:32 pm December 7, 2018

hello, how long have you been preparing for PSM 3 after passed the PSM2 ?


08:56 am December 10, 2018

Hi Sander,

Thanks for sharing. As I know there is some essays in the PSM III exam.

What do they look like? Can you please share one example?



10:36 am December 10, 2018

hello, how long have you been preparing for PSM 3 after passed the PSM2 ?

About 4 months, but very rigorously. So imagine anywhere between 2 to 10 hours per week.

What do they look like? Can you please share one example?

 One of the Scrum events is the Sprint Review. How does the Sprint Review enable empiricism? What would the impact be if some members of the development team were not present? 

I found that one online, but it strikes the essence of the type of questions. Answering according to the Scrum Guide and going a little deeper in the Scrum values and TIA will answer this question. Answers like "it enables empiricism because everyone can learn and if they're not present they are not able to share their experience" is too short and limited to provide a clear, correct answer.

07:35 pm December 10, 2018

Huynh, please see this support article which goes into PSM III preparation in greater depth:

01:25 pm December 11, 2018

Very useful, thank you!