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PSM Test Failed

Last post 03:57 pm January 30, 2017
by Sivasubramaniam Venkatasubramaniam
27 replies
11:36 am January 14, 2014

I'm so depressed, I studied and studied, and work as a Scrum Master. Both times I got an 83% on the test.

What am I doing wrong?

03:46 pm January 14, 2014

You may need to spend some time with other Scrum Masters who can challenge your perspective. A training course might help, as might going through the content of these forums.

04:46 pm January 14, 2014


Did you follow all the tips here?

05:30 pm January 14, 2014

Hi Cece, first off lets not be too harsh here.

Two attempts and at 83% means your almost there with it and yes I know how your feeling.
Have you attended a course recently as for sure its time away from the environment, real study time?
This helped me as I was in the zone with people so as Ian points out, its that challenge that may be missing.
Don't give up on this now at this stage would be my advice, the exam is not easy even for people with experience.

This was my journey to PSM1 so know how you feel and how to make some progress from now.


10:59 am January 15, 2014

Hi Ian: I did take a Professional Scrum Master training class (certified by Scrum.Org) in July, and studied from that training class, and studied the Srum Guide (a lot), and took my first test inJuly and scored 83%. I also studied and reviewed everything I could and took it the second time yesterday, and scored the same 83%.

11:11 am January 15, 2014

Hi Cece,
did you do the open assessment in advance? It really helps to do it before the real assessment, at least until you score 100%.
Best, Ludwig

11:19 am January 15, 2014

Thanks Michael: I will follow your advice and try even harder and read the forums. I took practice test many times and scored 100% and studied the practice questions and Scrum.Org guide. I thinks its the subjective quetions I maybe missing.

I will keep trying...thanks for the support.

12:34 am January 17, 2014

You have taken training , studied and studied , practiced and experienced as SM still you have not reached the required score in PSM1.

It's not that you are not having knowledge on scrum. It's the confidence you need to have to crack the exam, it comes only by practicing in a simulated exam environment.

My suggestion to you is practice rigorously

09:01 am January 17, 2014

Allow me to share my thoughts as well....

A) I would suggest writing to and asking for feedback to where you could improve.
(I do not think this is automatically provided at he end if the assessment)

B) I would reach hit to the Instuctor for further guidance

C) Continue interacting with peers

Good luck in your journey and I hope some of this helps.

I truly believe you're almost there.

12:23 am January 22, 2014

Dont worry, my advise is to build a frame work about the knowledge since the scrum itself is a framework, there are so many little pieces around about scrum, but after you summarize them and put them into the framework, you will pass it; one method I used is to write down all the open assessment down in a paper, and do them again and again until I know why the wrong options are wrong and why the right ones are right, then you will gain a higher level in understanding the scrum.

08:42 am March 19, 2014

HI Cece

Did you succeed?

03:28 pm February 13, 2015

Hi Cece:

I had the same problem, and I had even taken the PSM class from Ken. My solution was to create a bunch of study questions and study the Scrum Guide and I passed it the second time easily. I then took my notes and created an online practice exam. I have been told it is very helpful. It is very affordable ($9.99 for one-week) and there are also some free practice questions. Fee free to check it out:
Good Luck

12:23 pm November 13, 2015

I totally understand how you feel. I took the test 3 times this week. The result is around 79%~82%. I don't have actual scrum working experience but I did study scrum guide and took open assessments. I got 100% correct on all the assessments. I mean some questions in the exam are more difficult than the open assessments. I just think It will be nice if the result can show us which question that we did wrong so we can concentrate on those particular questions.

12:32 am November 15, 2015

It is more likely for many of those prepare for PSM, to read through Scrum Guide and feel content that they "got" it.
Unless they challenge their understanding with plenty of questions, they will have superficial understanding on some areas such as Product Ownership, Work Ownership, Self Organization Vs Impediments that originate because that is out of their influence, Flexibility of Scrum Vs Optional techniques, and many more.

The Scrum Guide is very dense within those 16 pages with rich insightful content. Unfortunately, one needs the context, correlations, and thought provoking questions to "get" that.

Going through these forums on discussions, and looking for explanations from the experts such an ian mitchel, charles, and few more will bring lot of insights that are not just helpful with PSM but also will aid your job skills.

Currenlty, I am almost at the point of releasing a book that reveals Scrum with context and correlations using Active Learning technique. It is all-in-one guidance for Professional Scrum Master, PSM 1 aspirants, with comprehensive Scrum material, tips, and 250+ practice questions. It is out in next three weeks

04:41 am January 19, 2016

Where can I find your book?

01:15 am January 20, 2016

Dear Ben,

If you have enough knowledge of "Authentic" Scrum already, you only need to get familiar with test format and question. Scrum Open is the best mock exam for that.
So, you may not need the book.
As an additional checkpoint , please go through the tips on "How to pass PSM 1" here:…

After going through that, if you are convinced that you do need a book to prepare for PSM 1, please check it out at for a pdf version. Also available in other retailers in other formats

01:29 pm January 28, 2016

Hi friends,
I also did the test and got 83%, actually commented that the test has nothing to do with the open assesments, the questions are very confusing and even have to select up to three choices on several questions of the tests, that found in 15 assesment if similar questions come much, the other 65 questions are very confusing, realy is not easy the exam, I don´t understan how many here approve whith100%, please help us.

10:16 pm April 13, 2016

Did anyone ever clear in 1st attemp. I got 83% too. 83 seems to be the number where everyone gets stuck!!

05:32 pm April 15, 2016

I passed the test at the first attempt.
My advise is to read some books and blogs.
PSM I was my second certification, I've begun with PSPO which was more difficult (I think)...
I failed that one because I didn't know how the assessment will be.

This fail helped me to prepare myself and make another attempt. This one was the good.
A fail is never simple to manage, i was very angry about me.
Just reharse, learn, read, talk, move forward.

05:22 am May 4, 2016

Hi folks

I just passed the test at first try.

This was my self study process:

1. I read the Scrum Guide 4 times carefully (3 english, 1 my native language)
2. I read several books:

- A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (free). I think this is useful if you know the PMBOK and you are trying to "adapt" your knowledge to Scrum, but have some "wrong or off-dated practices " (e.g. says 6 weeks max, for Sprint) (

- The Scrum Master Training Manual (free). Short but practial book I liked it, but also have a wrong approach about "Done" definition; says that you can use a different definitions of "Done" for several Deveopment Teams working on a single project ( ).

- Software in 30 Days. Book by the all mighty Scrum creators.

3. I bought the Manament Plaza PSM I Simulated Exams, only the exams with no courses, I don't work for them in any shape or form, ok? I think this was very good practice for me, but they are based on their The Scrum Master Training Manual (mentioned free boo.k), therefore they are wrong about diferent definitions of "Done" for several Development Teams related questions, but still very useful.

4. In the M. Plaza simulated exams, I started with 80%, after 3 rounds of 250 questions aprox, I finished with 95%+ for each simulation.

5. I took the open test like 6 or 7 times for SM, PO and I got 100% every time (I guess my previous steps worked), I took the devoleper open exam too, getting around 70%-75% (I've been a developer).

6. I studied my wrong answers (with mentionded books, the official guide, and other internet sources)

This was a 1 month process, around 5 hours dedicated every day.

Excuse my English, good luck!

02:20 pm August 9, 2016

Took my PSM today fairly disappointed.

Overall I scored an 81.3% with the following breakdown:

Scrum Framework - 85%
Scrum Theory and Principle - 60%
Cross Functional and Self Organizing Teams - 92%
Coaching and Facilitation-100%

My preparation included a 3 days course offered by my employer which I found to be very helpful, along with reading the scrum guide and taking about 6-8 open assessments where I scored in the mid 90's consistently.

I don't recall much material covering principle in theory, and to me that reads as "situational dependency". Any recommendations on how to focus my are of study for those questions, or for that matter a couple of examples of what those questions actually are? The frustrating part is that it's not as though the questions are denoted as being a part of one section or another so it makes it much more difficult to focus on what is an obvious deficiency in my knowledge base.

02:48 pm August 9, 2016

I would you recommend that you re-read Scrum Guide as best source to describe Framework and Theory.

12:55 am August 11, 2016

Sorry to hear that. I cleared the test in first attempt.
Open tests are good but not sufficient.
Repeat the tests like this until you pass consistently

Refer to other threads for more tips. Good luck!

12:50 am August 15, 2016

Hello i have passed Scrum psm1 certificate

and this is all the materials i used:

1- Scrum Guide ( 16 page) i read it 3 or 4 times , take your time while reading it.
2- Srcum book 341 pages i read it and summurized parts of it , since i am french i had to double efforts.
3-i bought 3 exams ( 240 quesitons and those questions made me pass the exam), from management plaza and i paid 55$.
4- I took open assement ( 6o 7 times and i scored 100%).

i passed with 93% ..

Good luck for everyone .

hope this can help you .

09:43 pm December 7, 2016

This drove me nuts as well. Clock ticking away and you have to choose three items that are so similar, or even when it is one answer the answers are confusing and you start second guessing yourself. Hate being tricked on certain questions, put the right answer in and I will know it, don't put three very similar options to choose from. And I was getting 100% on my practice assessments and just got 75% on my formal test.

05:08 pm January 12, 2017

It's a wonderful forum.Clearec my PSM 1 certification today in first attempt .A!! Thanks to tips & details shared here.

06:49 pm January 19, 2017

Hello everyone,

I succed the certification with 94%.

Below you'll find my advises :

1- I read multiple times the Scrum Guide
2- I practiced the scrum assessments multiple times until have all time 100%
3- I read all interesting posts on the forum
4- I tested these tests and and my advise is to buy only the mplaza preparation is more complete.

I hope this, could help you in your study.

03:57 pm January 30, 2017

Almost every other member mentions about Mplaza practice exams. does that really help.