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Study Tips for the PSM I

Last post 09:45 pm January 31, 2017
by Daniel Tousignant
134 replies
01:59 pm January 18, 2013

I feel like we need a thread for the study tips for the PSM I.

So, here are some links that should help folks prepare:………

I hope others will add more links and study tips.

03:42 am January 21, 2013

Here is a pretty good one form a non-native English speaker:…

08:05 pm January 28, 2013

Thanks for this guys, we just had a class go through. I expect that they all will be taking the test soon.

06:36 am January 29, 2013


Would a course material be shared on registering for the PSM-I assessment? OR is it purely based on scrum-guide/experiance/classroom courses?


10:49 am January 29, 2013


It is based primarily on the Scrum Guide, but also includes a few experience questions too, and no course materials will be shared upon registering for the PSM I assessment.

Remember, as said in the links above, if you're consistently making 100% on the Scrum Open, then you have a really great chance of passing the PSM I. Remember that the PSM I has fewer minutes(per question, if you average it out) as the Scrum Open. I encourage you to take it, and also remember that you can re-take the exam if you need to (though you do have to pay $100 for each attempt)

10:59 am February 13, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I just passed PSM I today by self study.

In addition to all resources already mentioned, I also found the following to be very very useful.…

The course is Scrum Fundamentals authored by David Starr.

Unfortunately Pluralsight does charge $29 a month for membership, but on the whole I've found that the quality of their library of courses to be worth the investment. The minimum commitment is just a single month.

I don't work for the company or have any other connection, I've just found it to be a great resource.

Hope that helps.

06:36 am November 14, 2013

Candidates taking either of the PSM exams should be aware that the Scrum Guide is of central importance, because it is *the* definitive expression of the framework. The words in the Guide have been chosen carefully. It's only a short document, but it's important to know it pretty much "inside out" before taking the exam. There's a deep meaning to the sentences, and there's usually a reason for why they are written the way they are. You should know not only *what* it says, but also *why* it says it.

Also, don't take the exam until you can consistently score 100% on the Open Assessment. For each question, you should not only be able to determine *which* answer is the best, but also *why* the others are wrong or less desirable as options.

11:13 am November 25, 2013


Thanks for the tips and reference sites. It was a helpful to clear PSM I.

04:52 am December 13, 2013

I found video clips in help me much on understanding Scrum in action.

03:13 pm January 8, 2014

Tran and others, (see post above this one)

I would recommend against using the link you mentioned. I watch some of the videos, and the terminology used there is very out of date and inconsistent with the Scrum Guide and how we talk about Scrum at As such, it will probably confuse people way more than help them to pass the PSM I.

02:13 pm March 31, 2014


I have been acting as a Scrum Master from sometime now. I tried the open assessment and have scored 100% but somehow I feel the questions in the assessment were TOO SIMPLE to be asked in PSM 1 assessment. Can someone comment on that?

What other material should I go through before taking a PSM 1 assessment?

Are there any preparatory test series available that I can use to assure (or have better chances) that I can clear PSM 1?

Last but one of the most important things - I am not able to find the test centers??? I see the assessment will be online but I am not able to find the test centers and how to book my slot?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks & Regards

12:50 pm April 1, 2014


You have to keep in mind that the questions in the open test "basic scrum knowledge" PSM is different.
Many people will point out you must know the scrum guide very well according to the guide and be able to expand that guide at any point.
People say use the open as a guide and are correct, if you cant hit 100% in the basic then your chances of passing PSM will be low. The test center for exams is at your own PC where ever you want.
If you take a course normally get one shot at the exam. That comes in the form of a voucher to use and has a two week limit on taking the exam.
If you didn't attend a course you can register and you normally receive a code within 24 hours, again this has a two week expiry on it. remember 80 questions in 60 minutes so you should know the guide inside out.
Good luck.


01:05 am April 2, 2014
01:02 pm April 3, 2014

Thanks Michael and Charles :)

04:59 pm April 6, 2014

One additional tip, in addition to the good ones above -- definitely make sure you know your Scrum Guide backward and forward. The guide changed significantly in 2011 and 2013, so make sure you are up to date with the *very latest* Scrum Guide. Scrum Guide here:

01:06 am April 12, 2014

Hey all! I just passed the PSM1 assessment (on my 2nd try) 88.8%; I scored an 80% on my first try. I only used online resources and didn't take a course.

The resources in this thread helped A TON!!! So a big "Thanks!" to you all who contributed!
Another thing I did was just sift through the entire forum archives for questions that previous users have asked. This also helped me a lot!

2 resources I don't think are listed in this thread that I also used:

+"Scrum Training Series" Videos by Micheal James -
I watched these almost 3 times in a row before attempting the exam. The videos are cheesy, but they really helped me to solidify my understanding of the Scrum Framework. Send him a tweet and a follow after you're done!

+"Scrum Training Manual" -

Read the Scrum Guide several times too!
***And Google whatever you don't know***

08:28 am April 20, 2014

Thanks to the entire team out here for the valuable directions and knowledge enhancement tips. I took the test and was able to clear it in first instance :)... Looking forward for help so that I can take PSM II Assessment soon :) :)

I received the following email from " Results <>":
Congratulations on passing the PSM I Assessment. You have demonstrated a fundamental understanding of the Scrum roles, events, artifacts, and the rules of the Scrum framework that bind them together as described in the Scrum Guide. This qualifies for certification as a Professional Scrum Master I.

A downloadable PSM I certificate and badge will be added to your account profile within the next hour. You can use these to represent your status and understanding of Scrum. We will also be adding your name to our list of Professional Scrum Master I located on the site.


Waiting for the time I receive the badge, and wondering where in my profile it will be listed.

Thanks again to all, especially to Charles Bradley & Michael.

Note for the aspirants, as mentioned by Charles and concurred by others if you are practicing scrum and you are thorough with Scrum Guide (on you do not need anything else to clear PSM I test.

Thanks & Regards,
Patralekh Satyam

10:31 am April 23, 2014

Hi Patralekh,

You can find your name in the list of PSM1 Certified professionals at…

11:37 am July 15, 2014

let's get started :)

01:45 pm August 12, 2014

I recently found time to read Gunther Verheyen's book, Scrum: A Pocket Guide

I think it is an excellent companion to the Scrum Guide, and also explains some very important additional concepts that are highly useful for the PSM I exam.

To help further convince you to read this book, it's important to note that Verheyen is an outstanding Scrum Trainer and also currently the director of our educational programs, including the assessments like PSM I. Learn from the master and you will benefit!

02:11 am August 13, 2014

This really helps. Thanks for all the tips and reference sites. Let me go through and take the test.

10:15 am September 11, 2014

Congratulations Patralekh, belated but nevertheless.

I have been consistently scoring 100% in open assessments and also socred well in other online assessments like etc.

other than going through the anything else i need to validate my readiness for the PSM1 exam ?

05:46 am September 18, 2014

Hello My friends,

I have a small confusion.
e.g we are developing a software using the SCRUM, who will be the Product Owner, the PO will be from our organization or he will be from the client organisation?
I am confused.


10:16 am September 18, 2014

Hello Shafeez,

The PO could be either of the two. Usually this role is accorded to one who OWNS the client requirements - internal or external.

In a regular world, it could also be the SDM or client SPOC.

03:35 am September 22, 2014

Hi All
I want to know what happens when the session expires coz of internet disconnection or any other issues while taking the test.
Has anyone faced this kind of a situation?


12:21 pm September 22, 2014

Hello Pragyan,

I faced that challenge and I kept hitting F5 till it brought me back to the test. Based on that I would not recommend closing the window.

In case you have done it, i would recommend reaching out to SCRUM.ORG. I have heard they create a secondary id/pswd in such cases.


01:42 pm September 22, 2014

Thanks Abhishek !

I saw some discussion on PO. I have a query regarding the role of PO. If the PO is not co-operating enough with the development team to explain things and suggest way out what should the scrum master do ? Should the scrum master inform the management and get the PO replaced?

03:08 pm September 22, 2014

it is imp to know in what sense the PO is not cooperating with dev team. is he pumping in more work that is realistically possible, well that is against the scrum policy. the dev team takes a final call on content and quantum of work. the scrum master can talk to the PO and ensure the compliance. failure to do so will affect team morale and team wont be able to organise themselves independently.

If the PO is not answering queries or if too much of flips, again the scrum master needs to ensure the 100% availability of PO and integrity of conversations given agile has less documentation.

but the PO is responsible for generating max value from prod so we need to understand his perspective as well.

06:23 am September 24, 2014


I have a little confusion. The Product Owner will be from our organization for he will be a client?


04:53 pm September 25, 2014

Hello Charles,

These above links are not working for me. could you please check them.


05:44 pm September 25, 2014

Looks like one of the blog authors took his whole site down, and that maybe Wordpress has redesigned their URL structure or something...

Here is the updated webgate link:

(I've got an email out to the other guy -- scrumorakel)

04:07 am October 8, 2014

I have been following the threads related to "How to pass PSM 1", I have started doing the tips given in those threads.
Reading Scrum Guide, Scrum Training Manual from Mgmt Plaza, Scrum Training Series" Videos, open assessment (multiple times, got 100% 2 times), forum, resources, other online resources.
1) Since I don't have practical experience, I am not comfortable on answering questions related to practical experience. How do I prepare myself to handle this area.

2)Also people were mentioning about different books, atleast 6 given below, which one should I buy & read, which can help me in clearing PSM I & other certifications like PSM II & PSPO as well.
1.Agile Software Development with Scrum [Schwaber & Beedle, 2001
2.Scrum - A Pocket Guide [Verheyen, 2013
3.Software in 30 days”
4.Successful Agile Software Development using Scrum and Essential Scrum.
5.Agile Project Management
6.A Lightweight Guide to the Theory and Practice of Scrum

Please help me, so that I can clear the exam in first attempt.

08:04 am October 8, 2014

You should try for practice assessments. Open assessments are not really indicative of our knowledge.

also a lot of questions in real exam are approach and situation based so make sure you have understood the concept otherwise it can get too close for comfort.

09:54 am October 9, 2014

Hi Abhishek Johri,
Thanks for your response. I will take
I believe I have understood the concepts, but I want to validate my understanding on real life scenarios/situations & the approach we should take before taking up the assessment. This will give me more confidence.
For that what should I do? taking tests from will do?

Also I haven't got response on which book should I select.


12:26 pm November 9, 2014

I found that studying the Scrum Guide extensively was key. I also have some free sample questions on my site for a couple of the more tricky questions. If you take my full practice exam a few times with the Scrum Guide open, then take it for real until you get a 95%, you should feel confident you can get an 85% on the real exam from

05:18 am November 11, 2014

Hi All,

i do have doubt on 'What does it mean to say that an event is timebox?'

some says 'The event must be completed in a certain time.' and somewhere it is ' The event is "boxed" to a maximum amount of time that it can take.'

Which is correct?

05:20 pm November 12, 2014

Posted By Mahendran Poologapandian on 11 Nov 2014 05:18 AM
Hi All,

i do have doubt on 'What does it mean to say that an event is timebox?'

some says 'The event must be completed in a certain time.' and somewhere it is ' The event is "boxed" to a maximum amount of time that it can take.'

Which is correct?


The answer is "The event is boxed to a maximum amount of time that it can take"

But to truly understand be aware that it may mean you didn't get to accomplish everything you set out to. This is why prioritization is important - concentrate time & effort on the most important things first, as you might not have time for the other items.
Sprint planning can take up to 8 hours for a 1 month sprint, or less for shorter sprints. However, it can not take 9 hours, as that is over the timebox.
Once the timebox is up - the sprint work begins, whether or not they have everything they needed from sprint planning. The timeboxes should give you enough to get started. If they don't, then maybe the purpose of each ceremony is not clear.

09:12 pm November 12, 2014

There is a fair amount of noise in this thread and some broken links that cannot be removed, so I created a page on my own web site to reflect the best advice I have seen on this thread and in other sources.

There is also a link at the bottom of the above page for study tips for the PSPO I exam.


12:52 am November 13, 2014

> Sprint planning can take up to 8 hours for a 1
> month sprint, or less for shorter sprints.
> However, it can not take 9 hours, as that is over the timebox. 

Another characteristic of timeboxing is that if the anticipated work is completed before the end of the timebox, the timebox itself cannot then be abbreviated.

For example, if an 8 hour Sprint Planning session completes in 7 hours then the length of the Sprint Planning timebox must still be 8 hours.

This doesn't mean that everyone has to sit around twiddling their thumbs for an hour. They are free to leave after the 7th hour and to engage in productive work. It just means that the clock is still ticking and up to one more hour is available should it be needed. In other words, the limits of a timebox *must* be respected regardless of whether any work remains undone or the team finish early.

This principle is important not only for discipline but also for establishing cadence. Sprints, for example, must be timeboxed to start and end at regular intervals.

01:30 pm December 4, 2014

Just passed the PSM I assessment.
Thanks for all the tips.

As Daniel Tousignant wrote: Scrum Guide is key.
Also useful was taking the Open assessment upto a score of 100% repeatedly in a short time.
My own tip is one valid for all assessments: Read the questions carefully and check how many answers are required.
Before I started I decided not to bookmark questions because of the time limit.

05:18 pm January 5, 2015

Just passed PSM I yesterday - self study. All the tools I used:
- Open Assessment - you need to be passing multiple times at 100%
- Scrum Guide - covers most of what's on the test and is the most current info
- Software in 30 Days - covers areas missing in the Guide like scaling Scrum and burn-sown charts, plus adds depth and context to the Guide
- Many years experience - this can be a hindrance also, I had some unlearning to do

Be careful with any other books. If they're old (e.g., Agile Software Development with Scrum), some of the ideas will be out of date. If they are by authors other than Ken, they may hurt more than help.

12:43 pm January 18, 2015

Hi all,
when taking test online on, I got followinf question:

Why does scrum use established time duration for events?
a) To ensure appropriate ammount of time is spent planning without allowong waste.
b) To ensure appropriate ammount of time is spent interacting without allowong waste.
c) To ensure appropriate ammount of time is spent executing without allowong waste.
d) To ensure appropriate ammount of time is spent providing status without allowong waste.

Correct answer is A.
Can someone, please explain to me why this is the only correct answer? Because, in my understanding, we have also timeboxed meetings for providig status (daily Scrum) and interacting (Sprint review). Maybe I do not have correct understanding of this.

09:12 am January 19, 2015


Did you go thru the PSM training or just the reading materials ?

02:31 am January 26, 2015

I attempted open assesment several timees and secured more than 95 % and even 100 % most of the times.
Also studided Scrum Guide and attended 2 day Scrum course organized in my company by a Scrum coach. But last week I failed on my first PSM 1 attempt securing less than 80 %. I am discouraged now.
The questions in open assesment are way simple than in real assesment, wherein almost 20 questions have more than one correct option which makes is more vulnurable fo inaccuracy.
One thing which I did not like is that there were more than 4 choices in many questions, which I have never seen anywhere in any kind of test. Having 5-6 options also consumes a lot of time.
Any kind of suggestion is much appreciated.....Thanks!

07:43 am February 27, 2015

I agree with Mohit.

I just took the test and got an 82.%%. I too studied and even paid for a subscription from which had great questions in their practice and Mock Exam all based on The Scrum Study Guide developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

I was getting high scores on all practice testing, I had read and reviewed the Study Guide many times and took notes from the material, my confidence was high and then I took the test. The test WAS NOTHING like anything I studied. The test had questions that drilled down into information that was very detailed and not covered in any material I read. Needless to say I probably did not get those right.

I did not expect an easy test but when you put the time in and study you do expect good results (really 82.5% is good, but not good enough).


08:10 pm February 27, 2015

First I would like to say a very big thank you for this forum, that is helping a lot to understand Scrum. I'm also in the same boat of trying to pass the test, I'm going through several blogs to understand in detail but I'm still not confident to take the test.
I did read scrum guide several times, scored Open assessment -100% many many times, working in agile past 3 years, but still not ready to take the test. I'm very skeptical to take any mock tests on other websites outside as I'm not sure whether they are right or wrong. But still did attempt few tests, the mock tests are giving me 100% but so scared to give a try after first failure a month and half back.

Folks who scored 100% or more than 85% can help us giving more tips to pass the test. Any help is deeply appreciated.

04:38 am March 2, 2015

So basically, studying the Scrum Guide and taking Open Assessments is not good enough to pass the PSM1.

08:08 am March 2, 2015

Thant is correct Zeki!

08:21 pm March 2, 2015

Passed PSM 1 today with 92%, thanks to all who contributed to this forum. Helped me a lot in fine-tuning my Scrum skills. With regards to my advice passing the exam, other than Open Assessment, Testtakeronline, reading this forum, I would recommend exam simulator. I find that their exam simulator has quality questions and the pool seems to be bigger. Also read on scaling scrums, release burn down charts.

04:38 pm March 6, 2015


Thank you for providing the exam simulator info. I can see how this site should help me pass the exam.

12:42 pm March 12, 2015

I spent 2 days studying for the exam and it was definitely too much.

I could have had the same result by:

1- Reading and understanding the Scrum guide in my native tongue and english.

2- Reading and understanding Scrum glossary in my native tongue and english.

3- Doing as many Scrum Open Assessments until I was scoring 100% everytime.

4- Doing as many Scrum Developer Open Assessments until I was scoring 100% everytime.

5- Doing as many Scrum on Scrum at Scale Open Assessments until I was scoring 100% everytime.

6- Doing as many Scrum Practitioner Open Assessments until I was scoring >85% everytime.

7- Doing the exam at until I was scoring >85% everytime

8- Doing the exam at until I was scoring >85% everytime.

9- Discussing the questions I wrongly answered in the forum.


A tip to do that:

Try justifying why the answers you've not chosen are not the best answers.

Good luck!