Skip to main content

Passed PSM with 95% - some suggestions

Last post 03:51 pm March 3, 2016 by Steven Zachary
3 replies
10:08 am February 29, 2016

I passed PSM today with 95%. Just sharing experience which may help you.

Exam study material
I read only scrum guide, for 3-4 times. I took care to read between lines & understand what each line means. I think it is best if you stick to this as main study material.

I didn’t refer any other material. I found the freely available "scrum training material" full of discrepancies & I think it’s best be avoided. You can refer other materials when scrum guide is not clear – but follow the guide when there is ambiguity.

Open assessment & the Mikhail Lapshin mock test ( : Take them till you are getting 100% score consistently. I saw some question repeated as it is in main exam. Tons of other mock test in net, but I think you should take them carefully as many of them are misleading.

Exam Prep
Take care of time. If you spend too much time on 1 question, you may not have sufficient time left at end. Instead you can always bookmark a doubtful case & revisit at end if you have time.

Though it's a open book exam, you will not have time to open book/net for consultation in case you are in doubt. Don't try it & waste time - at least not untill you have finished answering all questions.

Exam content

I found 80% questions you can answer from scrum guide – however, rest are tricky and guide won’t have direct answers. It will require your interpretations. In such cases, do not try to follow what you are doing in real life (Real life PO or SM often doesn’t follow the guidelines). Think what you yourself will do in such case/role as per scrum philosophy & answer accordingly.

I got questions on burndown/burnup charts (2-3). They are not part of guide,so you should read about them from a good source

I got some questions on PO role which are not direct. Take the Product owner open assessment test, that will give you some idea.

Similarly, some SM role questions are not direct. For example, we know SM is a "facilitator". How much he facilitates? What is scope of such facilitation?

There was multiple question on multi-team environment. Scrum guide doesn’t talk about multi-team env, but you can still use the same philosophy & answer. Reading Nexus guide once is good idea

That's my 2 cents. At end, if you read scrum guide well & understood the philosophy, you shouldn't face difficulty clearing it. I read peoples's feedback where they said they failed despite memorizing entire guide & getting 100% in mocks consistently. I can't give warranty, but my strong believe is the key for passing is not "memorizing" the guide - but digesting the concept & philosophy by heart.

06:44 pm March 1, 2016

Excellent feedback. I will note that the Scrum Guide does mention several concepts around when multiple teams (scaling) work together on the same product. That's probably what those questions were about.

01:41 am March 2, 2016

Posted By Charles Bradley on 01 Mar 2016 06:44 PM
Excellent feedback. I will note that the Scrum Guide does mention several concepts around when multiple teams (scaling) work together on the same product. That's probably what those questions were about.

You are right Charles, guide does mention some team level concepts & that should be sufficient to answer PSM I questions.

Problem may arise, however, if people take cue from real life "scaled" framework they are using. Fortunately or unfortunately, "Scaled Agile" spectrum is wide open with multiple frameworks who differ not only in mere implementation details - but philosophically as well, in terms of roles & rules of engagement.

I am a long time SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) practitioner & in charge of rolling it out in our department. SAFe differs significantly with Nexus in many areas. While taking exam, I consciously put my SAFe concepts aside.

03:50 pm March 3, 2016

Great post, I appreciate the focus on what worked in terms of study approaches, focus areas...etc.

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.