I passed the PSM Exam! Here’s How I Did It!

Last post 12:32 am April 3, 2021
by Eric Naiburg
19 replies
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06:35 pm July 15, 2019

Hello Community,

I recently passed the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) exam. I want to share my experience and the list of resources I used to study. As most people know, you have 60 minutes to answer 80 questions and obtain 85% to pass. You will NOT have time to Google. You must pay attention to the wording (should, attend, participate, NOT) and how the questions are formulated. Also have a pen and paper ready to mark the questions for review.  

Here’s How I Did It!

Part 1Reading Materials:

Scrum Guide- every day for 4 weeks

Nexus Guide

Scrum Forum: https://www.scrum.org/forum/scrum-forum

Glossaries: Scrum Glossary, Professional Scrum Developer glossary

Barry Overeem blogs: https://www.barryovereem.com/the-scrum-master-as-a-facilitator/  and

http://www.barryovereem.com/the-scrum-master-as-an-impediment-remover/

Scrum Master Learning Path:  https://www.scrum.org/index.php/pathway/scrum-master (click on the arrow on the left to see the full menus)

Read about: Velocity, Scaling, Capacity, Leadership, Facilitation, Scrums of Scrums, Impediments, Servant Leader…  

 

Part 2  – YouTube:

Subscribe to the following channels and watch the videos:

Scrum.org’s channel

Agile Training Videos with Sally Elatta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQrsVfjbQZ4&list=PL03E1B79402FD4A8D

Agile Simulation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgn_oNmfTqg&list=PLBF7FCBE7E2ECF1FB

OpenViewVenture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxcNVrwkroU&list=PU5QekxPGzFFordHwXGpbvIw

Jack Notarangelo:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jack+Notarangelo+agile

iZenBridge Consultancy Pvt Ltd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDH-kmu6U0A

Crispagileacademy:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoMZoppaf0U

What is Scrum: An Introduction to the Scrum Framework?:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xudUyGsNfc&list=PLrAmH7eYObQ-ch8jrlG6FkQQwfn0vfl5W&index=7&t=5s

Mr. Mars Hawking: I read aloud The Scrum Guide (Agile) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA1rCq_ZZmA

Ajeet S. D. : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAOTrBsJsoU&list=PLJU_WTBl9dQk3S0wvbnChleHdnqmFaLNJ

The Sustainable PM: Project Management: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=The+Sustainable+PM%3A+Project+Management

How To Scale Scrum for Large Software Teams | The Nexus Framework from Scrum.org: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuc3NPsL844

MicroNugget:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n2Res_9c8w&list=PL0zOJ3MNgNgfSCM5a5JM6a3S4-tdM_vqM (not fully accurate so validate with the Scrum Guide)

Avoid Simplilearn – The video is outdated

 

Part 3 – Training on Lynda.com

  • Characteristics of a Great Scrum Master
  • Agile Software Development
  • Cert Prep: Certified Scrum Master
  • Cert Prep: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®
  • Agile Software Development: Scrum for Developers
  • Learning Jira Software 7.5-7.9
  • Scrum: Advanced
  • See my LinkedIn profile for the full list

Notable Trainers & People:

Kelley OConnell, Chris Croft, Doug Rose, Ken Schwaber and Eric Naiburg’

Michael Cohen’s blogs: https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog

Part 4  – Practice-mock tests- Assessments

Scrum Open: until I got 100% within a 10mins

Scrum Developer Open

Nexus Open

Product Owner Open

#1 Mikhail Lapshin: https://mlapshin.com/index.php/scrum-quizzes/

I took all the quizzes in LM and RM several times. I also read the explanations on the”Scrum Questions” page.

Whizlabs: https://www.whizlabs.com/professional-scrum-master-i/   (Free assessment only)

Volkerdon: https://www.volkerdon.com/users/checkout/auth (Free assessment only)

 

Remember:

Product owner (1 person): OWNS the product backlog (might let Dev Team update...at his/her discretion)

Development Team: OWNS the Sprint backlog and creates the increments

Daily Scrum: Development Team does not have to answer the 3 questions ( Per the Guide: The structure of the meeting is set by the Development Team and can be conducted in different ways if it focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal. Some Development Teams will use questions, some will be more discussion based. Here is an example of what might be used)

Scrum Master: Facilitates, Coaches, Serves, Serves and Serves, does not babysit!

Numbers: 3 roles, 4 events, 3 pillars, 3 artifacts, 5 values, 3-9 (Optimal Dev Team’s size)

Caution + Tips:

TIME: You must manage your time. That means answer the questions as quickly as possible- don’t ponder or daydream. If you can’t answer a question within a few seconds, mark it and move on.

Free assessments are great but the language/grammar can be confusing. So always validate with the Scrum Guide.

Now!!

If after reading, watching, you still don’t get it… Check these out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cGZAjm6DDQ

Please don’t be that guy 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGbsgs611MM

Good luck!

Beatrice

10:20 pm July 20, 2019

Thank you very much for your post

08:37 am July 24, 2019

Congratulations Beatrice, this post is really valuable to those that are wishing to pass their PSM exam.

08:52 am July 24, 2019

Hi Beatrice,

Thank you for your such valuable advice and detailed plan for cracking this exam. I followed it and passed today PSM1 exam with amazing score 97.5%. I would like to express my deep gratitude for your instruction sharing!

Cheers!

Roman. 

10:27 pm July 25, 2019

Great advice. I just started preparation, will follow your plan.

09:19 pm July 28, 2019

@Roman Kopachev: Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

Thank you all I hope this helps! 

Off to a new life! 

 

03:02 pm August 16, 2019

Thanks Beatrice!

 

Am following your path also in detail! Hoping to pass PSM 1 soon!

07:06 pm August 23, 2019

Beatrice,

Thank you so much for this great effort!

I'll be following your plan and will share this with others planning on taking the exam.

 

11:22 pm September 20, 2019

I just passed too! Thank you for the advice, it was helpful!! 

01:59 am September 23, 2019

Congrats!!    That's a lot of material!    I would say I'm half the resources you used so far but If you read on here most people just used the Scrum Guide!!! For the questions in the exam do they mention chose 2, or chose 3 etc... ?   I've notices on the open assessment they mention how many answers you must select, if you go on some online tests like Mikhail Lapshin it has a mix of both some questions just have the square boxes and some mentions how many you need to check which is much much easier.

06:46 am January 2, 2020

Hi Beatrice, thanks a lot for sharing these articles, webs, YT channels and so on. It helped me a lot passing the exam!

11:15 am June 1, 2020

Thanks Beatrice for sharing. I took the PSM 1 two days workshop last week and been studying for a week after that. Passed with score 88.8% at the first attempt today. Thanks so much! Gonna pursue PSM 2 a few months later. Good luck everyone :)

12:07 pm August 12, 2020

Thank you very much for your advice and recommendations, because I do not know how to write an exam. After all, I can't even write my literature review. That's why I'm turning to  for help. They are real professionals who help me quickly and efficiently. But on the exam, I do not think that they will help me. So your tips were very helpful. I will try to follow them and use all the sources you have advised.

03:19 am November 25, 2020

Hi Beatrice,

Thanks a lot for sharing your own learning path. I am nervous, but I will do my best effort in my first attempt.

 

Kind Regards.

 

07:17 pm December 2, 2020

I have been studying the Scrum Guide and taking the assessments on Scrum.org. Overall I get between 90-100% on each test for the past week. I take the test three times a day after reading the Scrum Guide. 

I feel very confident in the practice tests. My question is though are the practice questions the same as on the actual test or are they different questions that do not appear on the practice modules?

 

Thank you,

10:42 pm December 2, 2020

Hi Ashley, the questions on the assessment need a bit more reflection and expect all of them to be different.

07:26 pm December 3, 2020

Hello, Congratulations! Thanks for the advice and recommendations, I think that this will be useful to many people.

08:21 am April 1, 2021

hello and congratulations!

did you find anything about the scaled scrum and/or have any questions about Nexus guide?

Thanks

Flavia

09:19 pm April 2, 2021

Hi! I was also able to pass the PSM-I exam this week. It is possible that there are 1 or 2 questions about Scaled Scrum, so it is interesting to read the Nexus Guide and do the Nexus Open Assessments as well.

Good luck and good performance!

12:32 am April 3, 2021

Congratulations Breno.  There are not Nexus questions on the test, however there are core Scrum questions like how many Product Owners if you have multiple teams working on the same product or how would you divide up a larger amount of people... These are pretty much core Scrum of course knowing Nexus may help, but is not required.