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PSM 1 : Failed with 66/80 = 82.5%:(

Last post 08:50 pm December 16, 2021 by Bahman Keybakhi
11 replies
04:30 pm September 20, 2014

Hi All,

I've recently given my PSM 1 exam and 'Failed' by 66/80 = 82.5%.

Although, i've given the Open Assessment for PSM and PSD and scored 100% (both) for atleast 20 times throughout the entire week, read through the Scrum Master Training Manual (mgmtplaza), also scored approx 95% in their Sample Tests, still wondering where i've lacked and where i need to improve.

Also, i've read through the Forums regularly for the queries which the Experts have answered.

Looks like i need to study more from Examination Perspective, and re-read both the PDF's again.
Any other source of information to be referred?

Am planning to re-appear for the same by next month with more detailed preparations.

Experts, Any other inputs?


03:53 pm September 22, 2014


> read through the Scrum Master Training Manual (mgmtplaza),
This probably sent you astray.

Tell us about your background in Scrum. Do you have any other certs? Been through training? Done Scrum in real life? If so, what roles?

Did you eliminate all distractions (cell phone, other people, etc) during your test? You got feedback on the subject areas, so what did that say?

If you can tell us a little bit more about your background, it might help us to give more efficient advice for you.

02:00 am September 23, 2014

Hello Charles,

Thanks for your Prompt reply, really appreciate.

I've worked in Scrum during 2007-2008 as a Test Engineer (Development Team).

I've done my PRINCE2 Foundation + Practitioner Certification, along with ITIL V3.

I'd ensured that all distractions were far away, was enclosed in a room and gave the Examination late midnight (around 01:00 PM IST).

Feedback was related to Development Team where i lacked(at the end of result), though i've given PSD Open Assessment a couple of times.

Background : 10+ Years of Software Testing, was working as a PM on a same project from last 4.5 Years.

Have started reading through the same PDF's again, and thinking of giving open assessments again.

Will give the PSM 1 in the First Week of next month.


02:28 am September 23, 2014

Hi Charles,

About your comment - "Do you have any other certs?" l am just curious to understand is there any other scrum master certifications available which is as good as PSM.

04:21 am September 23, 2014

@ Jeetendra:

the one thing that helped me most to pass my PSM I exam was reading every single word in the Scrum Guide while reflecting
- why they used which wording
- what they wanted to emphasize
- how the current sentence correlated to the whole document, ordering and reordering all sentences by roles, events and artifacts.

Although I don't have much experience in agile practices, this gave me a deeper understanding of Scrum than I would ever have imagined and it helped me to pass my PSM I exam with 96%.
Though all other advice in this forum for preparing for the exam is abolutely valuable (especially participating in the forum), this was, what helped me the most.


The most common other Scrum Master certification is the CSM (by Scrum Alliance). The opinions are divided, which certification is best. As I didn't take a course or a Scrum-Alliance-exam, I can't tell, which exam is more difficult. But most sources I've asked before taking the PSM I said that provides the most significant certifications.
Also, I found this post quite helpful for the comparison of CSM and PSM:…

01:32 pm September 23, 2014

CSM requires about a $1200 course, and I can tell you that the PSM I exam is *much* more rigorous than the CSM exam. (I've taken both)

In my biased(because I'm a trainer) opinion, there is no first level SM cert better than PSM I, and there are no credible level 1 SM certs in existence outside of PSM I and CSM. There are some "pretenders" and "fraudsters" out there, but they are not even remotely credible.

In terms of studying, I'd recommend the "Scrum Pocket Guide" for your next study aid. Continue to do all of the other things you were doing... and remember, you only missed it by a question or two.

It might also help to know of questions you struggled with (that you can recall, or that maybe you took some notes about).

01:34 pm September 23, 2014

+1 to AnotherDotCom's advice... truly try to "internalize" the Scrum Guide, and always answer questions from that perspective. Do some research on what self organization and servant leadership means in a Scrum team context (google searches will probably do it)

12:30 am September 24, 2014

Thank you so much Charles and Anotherdotcom.

07:37 am October 12, 2014

Yesterday I failed this exam with 67 points - so I missed only 1 point.

Scrum Framework - 96.7%
Scrum Theory and Principles - 87.1%
Cross-functional, self-organizing Teams - 66.7%
Coaching & Facilitation - 42.9%

Scrum Guide - readed
Open Assessments - done many times with 100%.

I know what you will write - what about course? - no I didn't take it.
I have feeling that this exam is very hard to pass without taking this special course. And I also have some doubts if this is not intentionally.

03:49 am October 15, 2014

I know what you will write - what about course? - no I didn't take it.
I have feeling that this exam is very hard to pass without taking this special course. And I also have some doubts if this is not intentionally.

I didn't take courses and I passed the exam with 96% first time and I know several people in the same situation.

I'm not part of, but I don't think the assessments are there to buy courses.
The evidence is that courses are not mandatory, and this is a major difference between ScrumAlliance certificates.

08:03 am October 16, 2014

Hi Bartosz,

for me it's the same as with Olivier: no courses, additionally very few Scrum-experience, exam passed with 96% first time after 6 weeks of self-study and participation in this forum.

I'm also not part of and it's really an unjustified accusation to say the exam was so hard to get more courses sold.
And in this post no one told Jeetendra to take a course. So why do you say "I know what you will write - what about course?"?

07:56 pm December 16, 2021

@ Anke Maerz

"the one thing that helped me most to pass my PSM I exam was reading every single word in the Scrum Guide while reflecting..."

This approach has been advocated and promoted by Mikhail Lapshin and it works very well. Though to share this with all here.

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