Passes PSM1 with 93.8% First Attempt (Experience Share + Tips)

Last post 07:43 pm January 14, 2019
by Mark Young
20 replies
04:19 pm June 18, 2016

First of all, I would like to thank everyone in the community by sharing their experiences which help others in exam preparation. Today I passed with 93.8% first attempt .

The exam is not that difficult however there were one liner questions and options given requires the understanding of what is being asked. I think you should target for 2-3 weeks maximum. Here I will agree with comments mentioned on this forum ( about Scrum Master Role. So please understand well about SM Role. Even I scored 83.3% in Coaching & Facilitation.

The exam interface was quite slow, it used to take a lot of time between two questions. I used to finish open exams on scrum within 5-10 minutes (30 question or 15 questions). Even on I used to finish 80 question in 30-35 minutes. However, here it took me almost 45 minutes just because of the exam interface. So be prepared.

I had basic knowledge about scrum framework and even not sure which certification to go choose from CSM or PSM1. But after reading few blogs I choose PSM1. I started preparing for PSM1 certification before 12 days and wanted to give exam asap.

My tips:

Read Scrum Guide few times. (5 times ideally or until you understand well enough)

Watch videos on about scrum here Gives you good understanding if you don't have much experience.

Start attending these tests only after your read above books couple of times at least.
Attend open assessment on until you score between 95% - 100%. Really good questions and really good help because it is completely free. Many Thanks to Mikhail Lapshin.

Attend PSM1, PSPO open assessment on ( I went through PSD as well however I don't think it is necessary for PSM1 exam)

Don't over do by reading more materials. It may confuse you.

I hope my experience above will help people who are planning to give the exam.

Best of Luck!

02:50 pm April 5, 2018

Thank you for your feedback Kuntesh! 

I am currently preparing to take the PSMI and it seems I am doing exactly what you did in terms of reading and mock test taking even before reading your post. So it's good to know that this level of preparation may lead to success on a first attempt. 

Thanks again!  

09:39 pm April 5, 2018

Just passed exam form the first attempt with similar score 92.5  total (83.3% in Coaching & Facilitation). I think this section is rather tricky because everyone is having problem with it.

I would agree that the interface is slow.

My 5 cents, during preparation I used, its 10$ for 1 month of practicing and mock exam.

Lots of questions from all the different sources were here in exam, like word-to-word questions... so to answer them was no-brainer, because you memorize everything during mock exams. But a few questions were rather challenging. Somehow I managed to nail most of them. I guess you just start thinking logically and apply common sense in such cases. I prepared lots of notes in advance, but oddly enough I didn't use them. Everything is my notes I remembered by heart, and for every "puzzling question" i could't find clear answer on the internet.

in this situation the best strategy to investigate your choices and look for the obvious "no way!" answers and exclude them. Then re-examine your choices.

I fount that you save a time if you practice a lot and know your answers immediately for the most questions.

Best of luck! and thanks to contributors :-)

01:02 pm April 7, 2018

Ella, my congratulations :) 

"My 5 cents, during preparation I used, its 10$ for 1 month of practicing and mock exam"

Agree, cheap and what is more important very useful mocks

"in this situation the best strategy to investigate your choices and look for the obvious "no way!" answers and exclude them. Then re-examine your choices."

perfect. this is really true. I guess I had maybe 10-15 such questions

02:25 pm April 20, 2018

Hello, All,

I've been studing for the test since last week: read the Scrum Guide many, many times, took my own notes and done the free mock tests (open assessments in and michael). I started getting very good grades in a row (more tham 95% in average in both) and decided to buy the password for the certification.

Then I read your tips in the forum, and went in as well. Harder mock tests, failed in the first one (40 test questions), barely passed in the second and third mocks. As you mentioned, `trickier` questions (attend x participate) , detailed questions not in the Scrum Guide (cone of uncertainty, scrum poker, technical debt, sucess metrics for PO, automated builds, scrum of scrums, integrated Increment) - though one can guess after a while.

Moreover, in the recent posts you mentioned the actual certification interface is slow. :-(

Consequently, I'm not confident anymore to go for the actual exam yet.

So, before I panic, would you please share some more advice for the preparation. For example:

- do you recommend me to dig dipper in the Nexus guide as well, in order to get more knowledge on Scaled Scrum?

- what do you think about Scrum - a Pocket  Guide (recommended reading by

- would you say that the actual exam is 'more` similar to the mocks in volkerdon? 


Thanks a lot for your help!



05:52 am April 21, 2018

Hi, Adriana

Regarding your questions:

1 - I think you have to read Nexus Guide 1-2 times. it is not required  to dig dipper to Nexus Guide in case you want to pass psm 1 or pspo 1.

2 - Scrum Pocket Guide is very good book. At least you will  not lose something if you read this book. I recommend you to read Scrum Pocket Guide 

3 - I don't  know about similarity, but at least too close to real. personally I am very satisfied  with about 70-80% were very close to real exams. so I recommend you to use this site.

this is my mind so if you do not agree , sorry. and of course good luck :)))

12:58 pm May 22, 2018

Hi, All,

  Very happy to share with you that I passed the exam (95% grade in the first attempt!) thanks for your tips and recommendations in this forum. 

  For Kuntesh Rathod, thanks for the tips about training for Scrum Master also by doing the other open assessments (PSPO, PSD), mastering in and not over-reading. 

  For ELLA WODZINSKA, thanks for the suggestion of investing (not spending!) USD 10,00 in It was really worth for me. In my opinion their questions are the more similar ones to the real exam. Thanks also for the tip to "look for the obvious "no way!" answers and exclude them."  Not so obvious if you only practice with the open assessments. Important tip for non-native speakers, like me. 

  And finally, thanks to Orkhan Efendiev for answering my previous questions. At that moment I was really panicking (could not find any other Brazilian which passed the test recently), so your answers gave me the confidence I needed to keep going, that I was in the right path. 

  And, sharing my personal experience: 

  1) I did the assessment from home, on a Friday EOD, and I made sure there were absolutely no distractions for me (no maid, no children, no husband, no phones (yes, I really turned them off for 1 hour!). 

  2) I was really afraid about the site performance issues that were mentioned in many forums, but I didn't have any (maybe because it was Friday!). My tip is: try to select a time for the real exam where there are (probably) less users logged in. 

  3) I finalized the test in 45min, so I had time to go over all my bookmarked questions. In order words: manage time. Practice the other assesments (open, quizzes, mock) much as possible to finalize early, very early. It can be tough, because in real life, after all hours studying and knowing that you have only one attempt to pass, it's really tempting to submit the test and get the final results asap. By taking time to carefully review your bookmarked questions, for sure you will improve your score.

I hope this helps.  



04:00 am May 24, 2018

 For ELLA WODZINSKA, thanks for the suggestion of investing (not spending!) USD 10,00 in It was really worth for me. In my opinion their questions are the more similar ones to the real exam. Thanks also for the tip to "look for the obvious "no way!" answers and exclude them."  Not so obvious if you only practice with the open assessments. Important tip for non-native speakers, like me. And finally, thanks to Orkhan Efendiev for answering my previous questions. At that moment I was really panicking (could not find any other Brazilian which passed the test recently), so your answers gave me the confidence I needed to keep going, that I was in the right path. 

Appreciated for your comments and congratulations :)


05:04 pm June 10, 2018

Hi Adriana and all,

Above you wrote that real exam on was slow. How do you think (or maybe somebody else), is it enough 45 seconds per question or maybe due to slow the user will have only 35-40 seconds per question?

04:23 am June 13, 2018

Hi Alfredo

I just cleared PSPO I yesterday with 88.8% score. I think you would have sufficient time to answer all the questions and come back to bookmarked questions if you have gone through the open assessment practice tests and those on other free practice sites mentioned above with attention and prepared well.

In my case, I was able to go through all the questions in first 30 mins of exam and then come back to bookmarked questions for review.

06:45 am August 2, 2018

For general info, this link - is no longer a 'free' test. The site has recently updated and you need to pay for the course etc. 

02:57 pm August 29, 2018

Hello Everyone, 

I cleared the PSM1 certification today with a score of 96.3%. It was my first attempt and I must confess I was really nervous before clicking that 'Start Assessment' button. I would like to thank people in this forum who have shared their experiences and preparation strategies which worked tremendously for me. I have been practicing scrum since many years as part of the Development team and that really helped me in understanding the concepts of the Scrum Guide. My prep strategy:

1.Invested a good 2 weeks of time for preparation.

2. Read, understood and revised concepts of the Scrum guide. I read it around 5 times.

3. Gave the open assessments for PSM1 until I was getting - 100%

4. Gave the open assessments for PSPO around 2-3 times

5. Practiced the Learning mode and real mode quizzes on many times. Really good questions, I must say. 

6.Purchased the mock tests from for 12$. A lot of their questions are really helpful and tricky and would clear a lot of your concepts which are not covered in the Open Assessments. 




09:02 am September 2, 2018

My congratulations, Arpita. Great result)))

11:42 am September 2, 2018

Hello all,

Just passed the PSM I exam with 97,5%. 

My main conclusion of this is that you don't need to have previous practical experience as Scrum Master. Currently I am working as Project Manager following PRINCE 2 methodology. This fact didn't impact my preparation for PSM I exam at all.

For this exam I studied for approximately 2 full weeks. My only previous experience with Agile and Scrum was from school where it was touched very lightly. 

To prepare for this exam I used lot of recommendations described in these forum posts. So million thanks to everyone who shared their experience and tips.

What actually I did:

  1. Read Scrum Guide (3 times, but very slow and repeating in my head all important details to understand them completely);
  2. Completed Open Assessments over and over until I got constant 100% (in the it was like no-brainer);
  3. Completed MLapshin training test (did it 4 times until got constant 95-100%);
  4. Bought Volkerdon mock exams for 12$. And without doubt I can say this was the key-factor of my successful result. All these tests guided me think in the way, that also this exam asks from you. 

Thank you all and hope this will encourage all people who also are going to pass this exam!

02:43 am September 6, 2018

Congrats Oskars, great result

08:58 am September 9, 2018

Hi All,

Just gave the exam and passed with 98.8% score in the first attempt : ). I was a  bit slow and thought I would not be able to finish the exam and fail as I had finished just 40 questions in 40 mins but then I powered thru it. 

First would like to thank everyone for all the tips and suggestions on how to go about the exam in the posts and messages above.

2-3 weeks is a good time to study and don't bank on searching for answers online during the exam, you will just end up wasting time.

What I did is the following:

1) Since I had no clue about scrum, first I went through the videos at Very useful to get an idea of what scrum is.

2) Read the Scrum Guide a couple of times.

3) Give the Open Assessment Test till you get 95% and above a couple of times.

4) Go through Mikhail Lapshin website for tips on PSM 1, give the LM and RM exams.

5) On buy (about 10 USD) the 'Scrum Master exam simulator - 340 questions from the SM exam'. These are basically the questions from Volkerdon Team.

The exam questions are not that straight forward, some may puzzle you. The best way is to eliminate the wrong answers and choose the best one for such questions.


All the best everyone!


05:00 am September 10, 2018

Congratulations, Varun. Great score )))

02:56 am September 12, 2018

Hi All and Wanda Coustas (,

It is available. I used this site for PSM 1 and PSPO 1 Preparation.

It is good.

Hi Kuntesh Rathod (,


Congratulations. All the best.


03:10 pm September 12, 2018

Hi everyone! Thanks for the invaluable tips.

I Just scored 95% in PSM I in my first attempt and would like to share my experience with those interested in taking the exam.

Since it is a $150, one-shot-only exam, many people tend to feel they need to prepare a lot before taking it. In my experience, if you really understand the Scrum Guide (every single sentence of it) and do the open assessments, you will be in a good shape to take the exam. Here's what I did:

For me, that was enough to feel confident in the test without overpreparing for it

Best of luck to all of you!

08:20 am December 4, 2018

Hello Everyone,

Just passed the PSM1 (87.5%) today first attempt and I am excited.

1st - Took a 2-day weekend class at the University in November.  It has been almost 3 weeks since the course.

2nd - Read the Scrum Guide last month and today.  The book below covers a lot and explains in great length what is the scrum guide and more.

3rd - Read "The Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali".  This book is awesome easy reading and very detailed.  It provided me with quizzes after each chapter as well as 5 mini test and one model assessment that mirrored the 80 questions. I took all of them in one day and re-read the scrum guide.

4th - Took the assessments at about four times until I got 100% (1.) 90%, (2.) 93.3% (3.) 100% (4.) 100% and then I took the exam.

Wishing everyone currently preparing the best of luck and to make sure to take a look at the book I suggested.





07:20 pm January 14, 2019

I just took and passed the PSM 1 with a 92.5% (74 out of 80 questions). A lot of the tips presented here I fully agree with but I will go over what I did to prepare for the exam:

Let me first start off with there are a lot of sites out there that provide study material and sample questions. BECAREFUL OF YOUR SOURCES. I checkout other sites that had sample question answers marked as correct that the Scrum guide clearly indicated were wrong, what affected me is I started looking at these sites and sample questions a few days before I was planning to take the exam. Thankfully I realized my mistake and refocused my energy.

  1. The Scrum Guide. You cannot pass the exam without knowing this. Read it over and over till you understand it. Then read it again!
  2. Open Assessments. provide a 30 question open assessment test. Take it as a gauge to see how you are doing in your scrum knowledge. Unfortunately, the questions sometimes repeat so it can become repetitive. But still keep using this. I actually did the open assessment, right before I took the certification...So I could get in the right frame of mind. Tip: Questions from the open assessment may also show up in the Exam. 
  3. Mikhail Lapshin’s blog - - Mikhail’s blog offered some good exam simulators (there is a learning mode and practice mode) for additional exam prep questions.

Don’t get sidetracked with other sites. The above reference material is more than enough to pass this exam.

Some people have mentioned that the exam takes time to load the questions. I did not face this issue when I took the assessment. However, be smart about taking your test:

  1. Try and take it around the same time you do your practice assessments.
  2. Use an environment free from distractions.
  3. Make sure your internet connection is solid (last thing you want to be doing is troubleshooting a network issue when you’re on the clock).
  4. Don’t waste time on questions, it is better you finish the exam and go back and review ones you are not sure about than trying to rush and finish the exam because you spent too much time on a question.
  5. Pace yourself.

The exam is more than just testing if you know definitions. In order to do well you need to understand the theory of scrum and how to put it into practice.