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PSM1 my journey

Last post 06:44 pm December 27, 2017 by Oluwatosin Balogun
10 replies
06:30 am January 6, 2014

Hi all at scrum,

I thought i would put together how my journey was to PSM and how it was for me.
This will give anyone taking PSM an insight to it.

I moved to a company that uses scrum so had no real scrum experience.
Only what was banded around on e-mails, so no real knowledge as such.

My main reasons I chose to do a course were as follows

1. Scrum is used in a lot of companies to make a difference, so wanted to find out how.
2. Just what is raw scrum? Not just "scrum" that people call scrum "scrum-ish"
3. I didnt just want something that does not add any value or ROI, I wanted something to build on.

Having observed some things I really wanted to do a course, I wanted raw scrum, the real deal.
A big differenciator for me was the way it is used scrum vs scrummish in organizations.
For some reasons it starts as raw with all good intent but gets dilhuted along the way.
Why or how, I have yet to get to the bottom of but in time may have some answers or thoughts.

So by now we have understood why I wanted to, and the how i was going to do it.
Taking a course, you will study for two days raw scrum, as it was my plan.
Coming together in a group gave me time away from the office to immerse myself.
It was great to be in a class with people that could share experiences with, after
all scrum experiences differ from organization to organization.
This is gold dust to have for any potential new candidate seeking to learn scrum
If you dont have practical experience its going to be difficult, make no mistake.

Two days of study and discussion and exercises passed and having done a lot of courses
I can say that I feel that the course worked for me, I could not have done this self study.
My goals were achieved as I now knew what was raw scrum, not least the role of SM.
A role with no real weight but a lot of responsibility from end to end.
A role that you take part as SM in some ways but a member of development team in other ways.
A role that certainly isnt for the faint hearted.

I studied the scrum guide and took the open exam many times, averaging 95-100% on the open.
On the Forums I read of other peoples experiences and questions they faced.
This gave ne confidence, now if you do a course, some courses offer certification included.
One attempt to take it, the flip side is it only has a two week time on it so must take the exam
within two weeks of getting it, remember this.
So if you have no experience and do a course really only have two weeks to cram and sit the exam.
The exam is 80 questions in 60 minutes, so you really do not have a lot of time to play with.
No concessions are given between self study or course takers, the exam is what it is for everyone.

My first attempt at the exam I failed by one mark, the exam is a tough exam for new people into scrum.
On a plus to know 84% of something new is great, but really wont make you feel any better.
If you fail, ask for feedback from scrum or you wont progress in your learning.
You will not see the wrong answers just like you do in the open, its pass or fail.
The feedback is not in the form of the questions and answers you got wrong, but areas that you were weak in.
Of course there are the forums but if you do post something make it has substance if its a PSM question.
I went away hell bent on a second time pass with more study, more open and expanding the guide more.
I resat my exam and passed and if I'm honest was no easier the second time around for an exposure to resit.
Dont expect the same question set, its isnt going to happen so you must know your stuff.

Some tips on how to get the best out of the forums and PSM prep.
Study the scrum guide, have the ability to expand anything in it (Its a Framework not an all inclusive).
There are some very experienced people on here if you are really struggling use the forums.
You will see lots of can you tell me the answer to Q1-Qx, an answer without knowledge behind it is no use.
Do you want to be a SM or just someone who can pass the exam knowing questions?
Take the open, and keep taking the open and keep taking the open.
Everyone is different and their study methods, be it self learn or course.
Everyone has different levels some are experienced SM, some with no experience as SM.
No concessions for experience or no experience, course of self study.
If you do fail, dont give up its a long way to go jut just call time, especially if your so close.
I have no endorsment to anyone, it's merely an insight into how I found PSM with no experience and how I got there. Without any doubt before I contemplate PSM2 I will gain a few years of practical experience.

Am I glad I took PSM, for me yes as its one of the toughest exams out there at present and shows when you take it, good luck on your quests to be SM and the route to PSM qualification.
Will take a note to thank Ian who gave me some guidance me on a question i did struggle with, shows what experience we have in the forums here.


07:30 am January 6, 2014

Hi Michael,

thanks for writing.
You just put it right.....
I did not pass the first time and it took a while to get "behind the scene", meaning, knowing what they are up to with the questions.

I am very confident to pass the test at second attempt.

Best for now

06:46 am January 8, 2014

My advice, from the point of view of someone that does not work with scrum yet and only studied for the exam:

- Read the Guide;
- Take Open Assessement;
- Participate in the Forum. This is the best way to get a bit of the experience from people that live scrum every day.

03:43 am May 8, 2014

Hi Michael,

As Fabio very correctly mentioned that Scrum has different flavours, now its upon you which one you like.

For example, in Scrum Alliance they teach that a S.M has no Management role where as teach that a S.M has a Management role. As he is the one who remove impediments :)

If you preparing for PSM or exams or scrum implementations than it best advised that you stick to there scrum structure, as now these days fusion of scrum is coming in market.

Best check what you want than compare then execute the core of scrum remain intact. Keep on constant change. Anything which is constant / fixed in not scrum :)


11:51 am March 1, 2016

hi all, I saw the fee for PSM1 is $150. What is the fee for second attempt ???

05:07 pm March 3, 2016

This is exactly why someone needs to focus on creating a AG-BOK. I believe the PMI is the only one close to attempting this.

01:50 am March 28, 2016

Is there a time limit in which PSM 1 exam must be attented after registeration?

10:55 am March 28, 2016

Hello Abhinav,

Thank you for your interest in! Please kindly note that Professional-Level Assessment passwords no longer have expiration dates.

You may also find answers to other frequently asked questions at our Support Center here:

Enjoy your day!

04:36 pm June 11, 2017

Good afternoon, I'm sorry to bother you, but I wanted to ask you for advice, I've examined Scrum Master and I suspended with 58 questions ok.


I downloaded the Mplaza books and did the tests on the web but even so, when examining the questions are many assumptions and questions that I have not seen in the guide of Scrum nor in English nor in Spanish. I have to say that all tests approved with 95% of passed.


The only thing that occurs to me is that being logged in with the company email is different from the exam. Thanks for your time

06:02 am December 21, 2017

Thanks Michael. This is useful & gives me confidence to take up the exam.

05:42 pm December 26, 2017

Hi guys,

I just completed the PSM 1 assessment and I scored 98.8%. This was my first and only attempt, thank God! I used the following materials in no particular order:

- The scrum Guide  (read it multiple times, can't really saw how many but just read it until you fully understand every detail in the material).

- Scrum Narrative and PSM EXam Guide : (Very good book guys, I bought the paper back, it helped me understand the details of the compressed information contained in the scrum guide). You can check it out using this link:…;

- PSM1 Preparation practice Exams (I practised all the model exams until I was scoring about 98 -100% in all of them). 

-  Scrum Open Assessments (Uncountable times, until I was consistently scoring 100% in about 5 to 7 mins) 

-  Free Mlasphin quiz in real mode : (Mutliple times unitl I was consistently scoring 100%)

Some points to take note of :

- The exam is not that difficult

- I did not read the nexus guide and I did not find any nexus question in my assessment

- Preparation is key

- I have no real life scrum experience 

All the best guys.

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