Examination Process

Last post 12:51 pm March 22, 2016
by Arunachalam Chidambaram
10 replies
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01:53 am March 3, 2014

Hello

I was trying to look up for information about the PSM 1 examination process, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Hence, hoping to get some responses on this forum :)

What is the process after purchasing the password? I understand I will receive an email and I need to take the assessment within 14 days of receiving the password. But is the examination online on the internet? If yes, how does it remain fair to ensure that people are not copying or seeking help while giving the exams?

I hope I am not missing something very basic which is already listed on the website somewhere. I have done my PMP wherein the rules are quite stringent since the examination is taken at some registered external agency.

Regards
Satish

04:01 am March 3, 2014

Hi Satish,
it is an online assessment and this is the link:

https://www.scrum.org/Assessments/Professional-Scrum-Master-Assessments…

Scrum.org does not spend the same effort as PMI to avoid cheating. As far as I understand it, the purpose of the test is to assess your Scrum knowledge easily without much effort.
Best, Ludwig

05:16 am March 3, 2014

Hi Ludwig

Thanks for the quick response.

You answered my query. But this is almost like an open-book examination. Surely, people with moral values may not cheat :) However, its quite easy to have some knowledgeable person beside you while giving the exams.

Somehow, I kinda lost interest after reading this. Things are often not valued when its easy to get, though that's just my personal opinion

Regards
Satish

02:07 pm March 3, 2014

Hi Satish,

You could have someone with you at the time of exam but doubt they would be with you when you are a scrum master for the journey onwards, which is where you could come unstuck.
Then you have the possibility someone holds the PSM that didn't cheat in the team and can smell a rat when strange things are said by the scrum master.
I guess the only person you would be cheating is yourself and that of your team and organization with the knowledge and value that Scrum gives people as a framework.

You have to keep in mind that even people with experience can fail the exams (PSM I and PSM II).
Is PSM valued? I certainly think so and have come across people with much more experience of the framework than I had, their version of scrum differs to what is actually scrum.
This is where understanding it reaps rewards as you can tell who does and who does not know it, irrespective of what they say or courses they say they have attended.
In order to make it work for the teams and the organization, you should understand it as a scrum master. The exam will test if you do know it at a basic level, and then the journey afterwards will really test you with the teams as some teams are very experienced and will play "spot the imposter".

Michael

01:21 am March 4, 2014

I think this is a case of Intrinsic Motivation v/s Extrinsic Motivation.
Personally, I value PSM more than CSM or ACP.

03:24 pm March 5, 2014

[Opinion]

I have taken various exams / assessments over the years. This, as a school / college student, as well as a Scrum practitioner. I have found that whenever a Professor has allowed for an "open book" or "cheat sheet" some things happen --
A) The Exam tends to be more difficult
B) The emphasis is more on how a student applies concepts
C) Expecting the student to memorize definitions / concepts wasn't the intention and didn't help

On the PSM I --
While many, including me, will confirm that some of the questions are on the Open assessment, there isn't anything conceptual I recall that needs memorization. The assessment is to help gauge your understanding of the framework.
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Moving on to the PSM II --
Although, this wasn't explicitly asked, an open book, etc. will not really help. The questions are essay based and really look to your understanding and application of the framework. You will not find answers to the questions asked in any particular text, as far as I could recall.
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I have certifications from the ScrumAlliance, Scrum.Org as well as PMI. Irrespective of this, what I think will matter is your continued journey into the path to agility and how you perform as a team member at your workplace.

I've never had anyone ask me whether I used a book / internet, etc. while taking the assessment (so far). Rather, I've had people approach me on Scenarios where they needed to bounce an idea. OR I've been faced with scenarios that some of the fundamentals of Scrum are being misinterpreted or are not understood.

I believe that a lot of what I have written may resonate with Bhuvan or Michael.

On value -- I do have my notions of value, but think this goes beyond the examination process. Apologies for the lengthy post, but if you did read this far, I hope some of this was of help.

12:51 am March 6, 2014

Hi Nitin, Bhuvan, Michael

Thanks indeed for sharing your views. What you say, does make sense. Of course, I am yet to start the AGILE journey so my thoughts may differ in some areas. But nevertheless, I do agree that open-book assessment will not help in scenario based questions. Some simple objective-based questions can be found in the book but not the questions which test the understanding of the concepts.

Ofcourse there will be people whose motive is not learning or improving. It could be just to get a certificate. They could cheat ..but then I am sure the gain would be short-lived 

Anyway, thanks for the responses.

12:44 pm March 6, 2014

Even though some call PSM as an open book assessment, I don't think one have enough time to refer to a book and answer the questions. At the end you may run out of time and may not be able to succeed.

When it comes to having someone helping you while you take the exam, do remember that Scrum is all about self-managing. So for me it doesn't make sense to keep an individual in a controlled environment like a Prometric Testing center to take a Scrum certification.

01:37 pm March 6, 2014

I suppose that the certifications effectively belong to the holder of a certain email account, i.e. whichever one is used to register at scrum.org for an exam. It's up to the holder of those accounts to proctor their usage, including when taking the tests.

I could register an email and scrum.org account for my dog, who died 20 years ago, and then take PSM I and II on his behalf. If successful, I expect his name would duly appear in the certification registers. All that means is that the holder of those accounts allowed successful tests to be taken.

As long as this level of assurance is understood and accepted, there isn't a problem.

06:03 pm March 17, 2014

Posted By Satish Nair on 03 Mar 2014 01:53 AM
.........But is the examination online on the internet? If yes, how does it remain fair to ensure that people are not copying or seeking help while giving the exams? ......

Scrum is based on trust. ;-)

12:51 pm March 22, 2016

Hello Satish

Thank you for raising this question.

I love the wisdom of Ludwig, Michael and few more on the responses.

I came from west part of world, especially from India :) and my brought up enforces me to ensure the credibility of exams.

I still expect the Scrum.org to add more exam check points in near future without compromising the online exam facility (some stuff like, remote proctor based exams). This way the corporate talent management team (recruitment team) could have more reliability on candidate certification (helps on selection process :p.

Thanking you
Arun