PSM Test Failed

Last post 02:57 pm November 3, 2017
by Reinhard Meissner
48 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.

02:18 am March 13, 2017

Any idea whether the questions are the same the second time around?

11:54 am March 14, 2017

Hi Guys,


Don't get disheartened with your result. I did take the exam 10 days back and passed it in first attempt. As I don't have scrum experience and I haven't taken any exam for quite a while so my confidence level was not much high while appearing for exam. So, to increase my chances, I did the following things:

1. I read Scrum guide 6 times out of which last and second last time reading was one day prior to exam and two days prior to exam. Initial readings were to learn the concepts and last two were readings were to revise those concepts which I forgot.

2. I read Ken Schawer's Agile Software Development with Scrum 2-3 times. (But If found it more useful in understanding scrum in terms of examples of implementation)

3. I took lot of tests - 5-8 times Mikhail lapshin's assessment. I attempted it in both real mode and learning mode.(Always attempt Learning mode just after real mode to check all the incorrect answers)

4. I took 10-15 times Scrum open assessment, 10 times Scrum PO, 5 times scrum Nexus, 5 times, scrum developer assessments.

5. I read nexus Guide 2-3 times

6. I took paid tests of scrum institute. They provided learning videos and assessments with explanations. (Videos were imp to me as I don't have hands on experience of scrum)

7. I paid to agileprojectmanagementlearning to as well for tests.

8. I took paid assessments of Management Plaza too. But these I took in last 2 days only.


The reason I bought so many paid assessments was that I was out of touch and out of confidence of appearing to exam.

Here are my suggestions:

1) Every word of Scrum official guide is important and can be asked, so read it properly. Take free assessments as many times as you can.

2) Other things for preparation are not mandatory as they depend on preparation techniques. e.g. Tests, Videos, etc. depends on the best way you decide.

3) Before appearing for exam, calm down your mind and give it with full confidence.


01:32 pm March 14, 2017

Don't loose heart. 83% means you are almost there. I would suggest you to keep doing open assessment until you get 100% at least 5 times in a row.  

10:14 am March 17, 2017

 think the best advice has not yet been given: focus yourself on the values (manifesto) and principles of agile first and then on the pillars of Scrum (transparancy, adaptation, inspection). Approach every question from that perspective: are any of the possible answers strongly related to the manifesto, principles or pillars? Especially the less black and white questions are probing your understanding of the underlying principles.

04:07 am March 20, 2017

I recommend MPLAZA for preparation for the PSM1 exam. There preparation courses are almost to the tea on what was covered on the PSM1 exam. I made a passing of 94 on the exam on 3/17/17. Read the Scrum Guide over and over. Read the Scrum Training Manual over and over, Take the 3 simulated exams as much as possible over and over and over and study the descriptions the simulated exams give you at the end of each exam questions on the simulated exams. It brings everything full circle. KUDOS MPLAZA. The course is $50.00 but well worth it.

03:30 pm March 27, 2017

Below are some of the tips based on my experience:

1. Try to understand the content of the Scrum guide. This will be your foundation and most of the questions will be extracted from here. It may not be word per word, so it is very important that you understood what the material is trying to convey, not just memorize the words.

2. As what others mentioned here, try the mock exams over and over again until you get 90 to 100%. This will help you build confidence. Below are the mock exams that I used to practice:

3. Take note of those items that you failed to answer correctly and review them.

4. During the exam proper (actual exam), since its open notes, organize those materials that you'd like to refer to when needed.

5. When you take the exam, go to a quiet room where no one can distract you.

I took the exam last 02/20/2017 and got a 90% on the first take.  Good luck!

07:43 pm March 27, 2017

My experience was that I had to take the PSM I assessment twice, with a 76%, then 86%. I hadn't taken any formal training, though I had practical experience, and did the open assessments several times.

Taking related Scrum public courses (PSD and PSPO) and passing their assessments really helped to cement my understanding of the SM role. Though they are complementary, these are great courses in their own right covering specifics for those roles while reinforcing the core Scrum concepts.

As others have said, the Scrum guide is really the basis of the assessments, but it is extremely concentrated knowledge. Much or all of what you'll find asked in the assessments is in the guide, but you have to look for it and really understand the guide, and dig a little deeper behind the words and into the implications and way of thinking.

I think they are all good assessments, meant to be tough. And given it's a random set of questions, you may just luck out with a slew of similar questions you can answer, or a bunch that you may have a gap in knowledge in.

I'm starting on the PST route which requires getting 95% on the PSM I, so I had to retake it, getting 98%. I credit that to the courses and assessments.

Cheers and good luck!

04:59 am May 26, 2017

I just passed the exam at my first attempt tonight!

Score: 74 points scored (or 92.5%) out of 80

Resources I have used:

  1. The Scrum Guide
  2. The Nexus Guide
  3. Scrum Open
  4. MPlaza Training Package
  5. Mikhail Lapshin's Online Quiz
  6. Mohammed's article on LinkedIn - I bought his book

I recommend #1-5 & the reason:

  1. The Scrum Guide - the official guide. I read it at least 5 times.
  2. The Nexus Guide - I read it roughly twice, no related questions in the exam. Just look at the Definition of Done for multiple Development Teams.
  3. Scrum Open - I did it 5 times, for the last try and second last try I got 100%.
  4. MPlaza Training Package - Worth purchasing
  5. Mikhail Lapshin's Online Quiz - love it, definitely use it, it's free! And Mikhail is definitely willing to help - just my observation
  6. Mohammed's article on LinkedIn - I feel like he was just promoting his book, I purchased it, you don't need to, I didn't even finish it. And only "burndown chart" was in the exam, his example questions are somehow confusing. Some people raised questions under his post on LinkedIn, he didn't even respond.

I do NOT recommend reading through or studying the questions other people raised on the forum.

I posted the details on my blog: How I passed PSM I at my first attempt

Hope this helps!

Best wishes!

12:16 pm May 26, 2017

Hello All,

Greetings of the day. Sharing my experiences of clearing PSM I on my second try.

I have worked almost a year as an Agile Tester for a client plus 3 and half years as a Functional/Manual tester, before moving to my current (non-technical) role of Technical Writer/Reviewer at TCS. Still, I have maintained a good deal of curiosity to learn about Scrum and Agile methodologies.

I took up PSM I exam on 7th April, 2017 but got 82% (66/80). Failed!

I read Scrum guide again and again, took up Scrum Open assessments almost everyday without fail. I would recommend, taking up "" and "" for testing your knowledge of the Scrum guide and the Scrum framework.

Then, sat for my 2nd attempt on 3rd May, 2017 and passed with 86% (69/80). Questions are tricky and require an in-depth understanding of the Scrum framework.

Practice as many MCQs as you can, before attempting the final test.



Tejaswi Mahadeepa


10:00 pm May 30, 2017

I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who did not pass the first or second attempt at the PSMI Assessment working toward certification.  The tasks I completed in order to help with the assessment were quite exhaustive, including the instructor led class and relevant materials. 

In conclusion, I see that most of you have failed with a 82-83% failure rate, including myself, which I find to be quite coincidental.  Are we missing something in the preparation steps provided by others including

08:00 pm June 6, 2017

Two books I found particularly helpful for preparing for PSM I, are:

Scrum and XP from the trenches - Henrik Kniberg
Scrum, a pocket guide - Gunther Verheyen

02:11 pm June 9, 2017

I gave Exam today and got 84%. It is so depressing as well as annoying when you are so close but not there.
The exam questions are more on the practical side rather than on theory you read so far.
Any guidance on how to get practical knowledge as i am not in an organization where Scrum is implemented (Not seeing it get implemented in near future).

12:33 am June 11, 2017

Mohit Dwivedi. Sorry you came so close, but don't despair. Some great views on the practical side you can find in the books from Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber:

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Agile Project Management with Scrum (Developer Best Practices)

Also, there are some great videos on this site, as well as on some youtube channels.

For example:

Good luck.

03:55 am June 17, 2017

I'm feeling the same. Got 82.5% both times, we need to study harder I guess :/ but not everything is on us, the exam takes at least 4 or 5 seconds to load each question!!!! That's not fair at all

04:51 pm June 19, 2017

Hello Carolina,

Thank you for your feedback.

As indicated in our support article, and in our email to you addressing your concerns, even with a secure connection, please bear in mind that normal loading time for assessment questions can take up to 5-10 seconds. This is because each answer is saved individually each time you navigate to a different question.

The questions were designed to be answered in 30 seconds each (roughly 40 minutes for the full assessment), but we added the extra buffer time to account for page loading, extra time for non-native English speakers, and to give users the opportunity to review their answers before submitting the assessment for grading. 

I hope we were able to answer any questions you may have had. 

09:17 am July 5, 2017

The only possible way to clear is to understand each and every minutest concept involved in the guide.

Read scrum guide multiple times (5-times) and solve MCQs as many as possible.

When I started the exam I had the plans such as I relaxed the muscles for an hour before the exam, kept really quiet around for an exact one hour and choose a time to start when I see myself fully ready and confident.

Keep room aerated, keep a glass of water, every 10 - 20 questions remove eyes from screen for just 3 sec. These small steps will help you increase your chances by 10%.

You will see 15-20 questions straight from scrum guide. So you should be able to answer them within 1-2sec. This will save your time.

Good Luck All

07:10 am September 18, 2017

Hello All, Are we referring to PSM 1 or any further level of certification here.


05:17 pm October 22, 2017


I did pass the exam from the first time , it s clear this certifications should be prepared as well , but focus on the guide ans the meaining of each word in it you will pass...

04:02 pm October 25, 2017

Hello did the exam twice, got 81% first time and 98% second time. What helped are as follows:

1.Set a target of 1 week

Read the scrum guide like 5 times      open asessment like 6 times     like 5 times            like 5 times $10 for 1 week access) like 6 times. Has many similar questions to exam 

Good luck

01:06 pm November 2, 2017

Hello Guys, I am new here. I am just wondering if you happen to have a reviewer for PSM1 certification? 

06:37 am November 3, 2017

Hi there.

I passed the exam yesterday , first attempt, 96%.

In addition to all the other tricks and hints on how to successfully pass the exam I used the audio version of the scrum guide. If you are like me someone that would better learn from listening to teachers/professors rather than "lonely" going through all the literature then the audio scrum guide can be extremely helpful.

I listened to it entirely 3 times, having my eyes closed and giving it 100% attention. Try to listen to each single word.

This did not replace any other study mentioned in this blog but for me it was the key to passing the exam.

Try out!