Passed PSM1 - Some Thoughts

Last post 09:10 am January 19, 2015
by Babi Babi
6 replies
03:40 pm October 20, 2014

I passed my PSM1 Exam on 15-Oct-14 with 97.5% marks. I have benefited immensely from the different posts on this forum and I believe it is my duty and a privilege to share my thoughts about how to prepare for this exam.

1. As has been emphasized in various posts on this forum, read and internalize the Scrum Guide. Every concept explained in Scrum Guide needs to be understood well. As an example, you should know whether a particular concept applies to Scrum Team or the Development Team.

2. For understanding the Scrum Guide I created a strategy which worked very well for me. The Scrum Guide has 18 major topics (or headings). Starting from the top (“Definition of Scrum”), break down each topic into multiple logical sub-topics and write all the sub-topics down on a piece of paper, one in each row. As an example the topic on Sprint Review can be broken down into 4 sub-topics - "Sprint Review Definition", "Duration of Sprint Review and Scrum Master's Role", "Elements of Sprint Review" and "Goal of Sprint Review". This is just an example and you can break down each topic into one or more sub-topics based on your understanding. In my case I broke down the Guide into 40 sub topics. Now every day pick a sub-topic at random from the list and see if you know and understand it well. If you know the topic well put a tick against the topic for that day otherwise put a cross. Then pick another sub-topic at random and repeat the procedure. Keep doing this until you have covered all the sub-topics. The next day do the same exercise again. I emphasize that the topics should be picked at random and not serially. The day you have all ticks and no crosses, you are ready for the exam.

3. Do Open Assessment multiple times until you are consistently scoring 100%. Additionally do the Open Assessment for Developer until you are consistently scoring 100% in this as well.

4. I found the videos on highly informative and enjoyable. These videos are short and cover all the basic concepts of Scrum in an easy to understand manner.

5. Go through all the posts on this forum related to PSM1 exam. The posts are highly informative and almost all the tricky questions have been discussed in these forums

6. Don't use TestTakerOnline. It’s a waste of time and money. It’s based on older version of Scrum Guide and this caused a lot of problems for me. Also I found the Scrum Master Training Manual by Mgmt. Plaza more confusing than helpful and at times at odds with the Scrum Guide. I would advise not to use it.

7. I found the format of the real exam very satisfactory. The user interface was good and there was an option to bookmark questions and revisit bookmarked questions. About 15 questions were from Open Assessment.
In the end I want to take the opportunity to thank all the Scrum Experts who have taken time out to answer different questions on this forum. Your valuable inputs have played a prominent part in helping us clear the examination. We all value your guidance immensely and hope we will continue to benefit from your experience.

I hope this will prove helpful to those who are preparing for PSM1 Exam. I wish you all the best for the exam.


06:59 pm October 20, 2014

Congrats Vimal!! Thanks also for taking the time for a thoughtful post to help others. Your generosity is noble!

07:03 pm October 20, 2014

Hello All,

I cleared PSM1 exam with 92.3% on 17th Oct 2014. Thanks for all your inputs and advise which helped me a lot. For those who are planning to appear for PSM1, i strongly recommend to read the in and out of Scrum Guide minimum 5 to 6 times. Testaker online gives us some confidence while taking assessments in that.
Please do write to me in case if you feel i can be of any help. (
Regards, SailajaPrakash

01:51 pm October 21, 2014

Thank you Charles.

09:40 am October 29, 2014

Hello guys, I passed my PSM1 Exam on 29-Oct-14 with 90% marks. So, I'm happy to have my PSM 1 at my first try.
I wish to thanking everybody for the different posts on this forum that helped me to succed today.
Indeed to do the topics and sub-topics of Scrum Guide is very good thing for don't forget.

Christophe Colaianni

03:14 pm October 31, 2014

I passed on the first try with a 91.3%. This is an interesting exam. I'm a Technical Manager of several Scrum Teams, but I wanted to be more able to engage and enable the team with REAL education; not just what I think based on observation. The "trick" to the test is not just studying, learning, and knowing. It's about experiencing. Many questions are designed to leverage the former but force you to crawl inside the question and sort of act it out in your mind. But you don't have too much time to dwell on that mind's eye. It's almost like applying something in the virtual sense. Much different than just knowing your stuff.

My approach was to also NOT bookmark a question and circle back. I was intent on fully understanding the question the first time. It is not an easy exam by any means.

09:09 am January 19, 2015


Did you go thru the PSM training or just the reading materials ?