Passed PSM I on first try - My advice on how to prepare

Last post 04:05 am October 14, 2015
by Andrew Lishomwa
11 replies
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12:51 am September 14, 2015

Hello, I'm a MBA student with engineering experience. I did participate in daily scrum meetings during my first fulltime job, but I didn't know that it was SCRUM at that time. So past one week was my first time getting actually exposed to all about SCRUM. I took this exam because I have this particular fulltime job that wants SCRUM master experience PSM's standardized approach was more cost effective than CSM.

I studied for about 4-5 days. I received 90%. I personally believe that while having previous work experience in SCRUM will make the concepts more familiar, but does not guarantee passing the exam, so my advice to those new to SCRUM, don't be.

Here are the basic steps how I prepare.

1. Read official PSM scrum guide.
-Not many pages, but very concise and a good, easy read. I read it whenever I had a chance (while on the subway or while I'm at home). Becoming familiar with keywords and SCRUM framework are the keys for this step.

Feedback: Doing #1 alone will not let you pass the exam at all as the exam will not, almost all the cases, just ask you to define a keyword straight from the guide.

2. Try PSM I open assessment every single time whenever I had time and bored.
-At first, I think I received about 50-60%. I think I took the exam whenever I had time (at least 40-50 times) and I scored basically 100% every single time afterwards. Continue practicing it to the level where you can answer everything in 5 minutes and is indeed possible as the keywords and Q&As will be engraved in your head.

3. Try PSPO I Open assessment
-I couldn't try the Developer open as it was beyond the scope of PSM I exam (and I didn't have any idea what the keywords in Developer exam talked about), but PSPO I was actually very useful allowing me to understand about SCRUM more in depth. I would say that PSPO I is actually more closer to what the exam difficulty will be at.

4. Try sample exams and quizzes on Google.
-Many nice people in this forum already shared a lot of useful websites (especially free ones for price-sensitive people such as students like me), but there are a lot of resources on Google, so I strongly advise you to look it up.
There are also a lot of free videos available on Youtube and Google. I suggest trying to see SCRUM examples or real-life scenarios to help you visualize the framework.

5. Study optional practices such as burndown chart
-While not included in SCRUM guide as it is a framework, there are certain tools and concepts you optionally can apply to facilitate SCRUM process and a burndown chart is one of them.

Steps #1-5 are what I did for 3-4 days (while 100%ing PSM I open assessment and PSPO I open assessment as if breathing air whenever I have time). My last advice is when you read a question, think about what the words really mean in questions and compare the words to definitions shown in the SCRUM guide. There will be situations where A and B both sound the same, but if you think carefully, you start to see the difference.

Good luck, everyone.

03:03 am September 15, 2015

Congratulations on passing PSM I with an excellent score and having ground experience on Scrum.

Experience on the ground is more valuable than tons of readings.

05:03 am September 15, 2015

Hi Jongmu,

I join Ching-Pei Li in congratulations on passing the assessment.
I also recently got the PSM I and PSPO I certificates.

I would add to your advice the following:
1. Read the Nexus guide to know how to scale Scrum.
2. Find what the Cone of Uncertainty chart is.
3. Read some additional articles about Product Owner responsibilities.

I also tried googling some free mock Scrum tests, but did not succeed. So, I created a free mock version of PSM I exam myself: http://mlapshin.com/index.php/2015/09/14/psm-i-mock-quiz-is-ready/
It contains 80 questions and all explanations, so you can use it exactly as the free Scrum.org assessments.

The full set of my tips how to prepare to PSM I is in my blog: http://mlapshin.com/index.php/2015/09/08/psm-exam/

I hope you find my advice useful.

03:54 pm September 23, 2015

Mikhail,

I have some doubt about question:

Who is allowed to participate in the Daily Scrum?

In Your test the right answer is: DT.

I think SM also, because he or she teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box. Doesn't it mean that SM participate, when needed?

01:37 am September 24, 2015

As Per Scrum Guide:

1. The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. The Scrum Master teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box.

2. The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum

Scrum Master does not have to be at daily scrum to teach DT on daily scrum timebox. Daily scrum is only for DT. SM can be part of "daily scrum" if he/she is executing any items of sprint backlog.

06:17 am September 24, 2015

Thank You for Yor answer, but I'm still not sure in 100%.

I have found similar question on http://mplaza.pm/

Who can attend the Daily Scrum?

A) Any one
B) Only the Development Team members
C) Only the Development Team members and the Product Owner
D) Only the Scrum Team
E) Only the Development Team members and the Scrum Master

I've picked B) and it was incorrect. Here is their explonation:

Anyone “can attend” any meeting. Daily Scrum is only for the Development Team, so no one else is “required to attend”, and if they do, they are not supposed to “participate”; they just listen and watch.

03:36 pm September 24, 2015

There is no rule which allows non-Development Team members to attend and watch the Daily Scrum. Unfortunately, the question incorrectly implies that such a rule is provided for in the framework.

The rule is simply that Development Team members must participate in the Daily Scrum. No-one else is allowed to do so. Note that the Scrum Master should provide coaching guidance if needed but is not otherwise required or expected to be involved.

03:20 am September 25, 2015

Hello Jaroslaw,

I have passed through the same moments, while I choose some answers based on scrum guide or based knowledge of scrum org forums but they came out wrong. The problem is different places have different interpretation of scrum. One example will be Sprint 0. You can really try your knowledge on any site. But should be able to find out where the difference is.I think we have similar question in Open assessment and the answer is as below. Hope it helps you.

Who is required to attend the Daily Scrum?
Correct answer: A)
A) The Development Team.
B) The Scrum team.
C) The Development Team and Scrum Master.
D) The Development Team and Product Owner.
E) The Scrum Master and Product Owner.
Feedback:
Only the people doing the work described on the Sprint Backlog need to inspect and adapt at the Daily Scrum. If the Scrum Master or Product Owner is also on the Development Team, they will need to be at the Daily Scrum. Otherwise, the Scrum Master simply has to make sure the Development Team knows how to conduct a Daily Scrum and does so.

03:20 am September 25, 2015

Hello Jaroslaw,

I have passed through the same moments, while I choose some answers based on scrum guide or based knowledge of scrum org forums but they came out wrong. The problem is different places have different interpretation of scrum. One example will be Sprint 0. You can really try your knowledge on any site. But should be able to find out where the difference is.I think we have similar question in Open assessment and the answer is as below. Hope it helps you.

Who is required to attend the Daily Scrum?
Correct answer: A)
A) The Development Team.
B) The Scrum team.
C) The Development Team and Scrum Master.
D) The Development Team and Product Owner.
E) The Scrum Master and Product Owner.
Feedback:
Only the people doing the work described on the Sprint Backlog need to inspect and adapt at the Daily Scrum. If the Scrum Master or Product Owner is also on the Development Team, they will need to be at the Daily Scrum. Otherwise, the Scrum Master simply has to make sure the Development Team knows how to conduct a Daily Scrum and does so.

10:04 am September 28, 2015

Hi Jaroslaw,

The explanation of the question in the "Learning Mode" clearly states:

The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum. Other people could attend the meeting, but cannot participate.

So, only DT members could speak whereas others could only listen.

Recently I added a new quiz that helps to prepare for the questions on Scaled Scrum: http://mlapshin.com/index.php/2015/09/27/nexus-quiz/

All Scrum.org assessments contain questions about Scrum scaling. So, it is necessary to understand the principles and the best practices described in the Nexus guide to successfully pass any assessment including PSM I, PSPO I, etc.
I hope you will find my quiz useful.

12:25 pm October 3, 2015

Congrats!!

04:05 am October 14, 2015

Hi Mikhail,

I used your demo exam for part of my preparation and found it hugely useful in terms of being more like the real exam, timed and 80 questions and it did stretch me nicely.

Two suggestions I'd make, in one question you refer to the daily scrum as 'the' key inspect and adapt meeting where the guide calls it 'a' key inspect and adapt meeting so I'd possibly change that.

Also there's a part where you ask if it is required that the DT explain how they are going to achieve their tasks, although guide says they have to 'be able' to explain it does not explicitly state that they have to then do the explanation.

I'm going to stick up a post just now and recommend your resource to anyone who's seriously looking at the exam

Regards,

Andrew