It's not difficult to pass PSM 1

Last post 07:37 pm September 13, 2019
by David Roberts
28 replies
04:34 am March 26, 2017

I cleared the exam yesterday and I wanted to share my take on  - "How I cleared the exam!" 

Well, I got 89%. I might have been a little slow in reading the questions/options and ended up not having enough time to review few flagged answers. 

But yes, I cleared the exam at the first go. 

It all started here - - and It's free. When you sign up, you will start receiving an email per day  from Kane Mar with a link to short videos which are less than 5 minutes. 

Here's how I prepared for the exam. 

1. Printed out the Scrum guide
    a. Read the Scrum Guide on the train while heading to work. 
    b. Tried Scrum open assessment and no doubt, didn't pass!
    c. Read the guide again, this time managed to get close to 90%.
    d. Learnt which questions I was going wrong from feedback which you get after completing Scrum open assessment.
    c. While looking for free study material, got hold of this book -" The Scrum Master Training Manual" by Nader K. Rad and Frank Turley ( Management Plaza). it's free           and just 35 pages. 
    f. Tried Open Scrum assessment and got 100%. After which I was consistently hitting a 100% 
    g. Tried Open PO assessment (15 Qs) and got 70% which made me realise that I was not ready yet So,
    h. Read Scrum Guide again and got 100% consistently in Open PO assessment as well. 

Read the Scrum guide like 6 times before I took the exam and yes, I didn't buy any other material to practice. 

You may have to unlearn few things that you know about Scrum and Please don't read multiple books this will only help you get confused. You just need to understand Scrum Guide. 

Hope this helps anyone taking the exam. 


05:17 pm March 27, 2017

Congratulations Pradeep.

Can you state that you were able to answer questions on scaled scrum or should we assume that you did not get any questions on scaled scrum/Nexus?. You did not mention that you read the Nexus guide from

A lot of people talk about Mplaza question sets. Is it really necessary to be sure of a pass?. After all, the more tests, the better the confidence but if the test questions don't quite mimic the real test in language and complexity, then it might not be worthwhile.


06:04 am March 29, 2017

Thanks Cecil.

I didn't read Nexus guide and I can't comment if there were questions on scaled scrum in the assessment. The way I thought before taking the exam was - " It's Scrum Level 1 assessment and really shouldn't have questions outside of scrum guide".

Scaled scrum is an intermediate-level assessment and I don't think should include questions from Nexus guide in PSM 1 (Level 1).  

Well, For PSM 1 assessment - Scrum Guide and Open assessment are good. 

Few questions would show up in the exam where you can save some time and utilize it on another question. 

More practice will definitely help you get quicker in the exam. 



03:38 pm March 30, 2017

I have been attempting the Scrum practitioner test of 15 questions and I repeatedly get 86.7%. I am not able to figure out what answers are incorrect and I am looking for some help. If anybody is willing to take a look and let me know what is incorrect. There are 2 that are presumably wrong. I have saved the screen shots.

06:50 pm March 30, 2017

Happy to help !

06:52 pm March 31, 2017

Thanks Manvender. How do I get in touch to send the file with screenshots.

11:36 pm April 2, 2017

I passed the PSM 1 my first time with 100%

The initial drive came from a three day "training" by my employer.  As I challenged the Agile Coach about the material being presented, I found issues with what was being sold.  There was no mention of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development or The Scrum Guide.

Soon after, I found and read The Scrum Guide.  I read it several times, challenging myself to understand the "why" of each of the roles, events, artifacts, and the rules.  I would ask myself, "What benefits would be lost if XYZ were removed from the framework?"

Much as the Manifesto came after Scrum, I found it and invested the similar effort into understanding it.  The history provided at that site was beneficial.  It was a common sense set of values and principles very easily consumed.

The Open Assessments were a great test of my knowledge.  If I missed a question, I reviewed the applicable areas of The Scrum Guide and took time to further evaluate my understanding.  Other sources seemed to contradict or diminish the simple beauty that was the power of the Scrum framework.

Of course each person has their own journey to enlightenment.  I wish y'all well.  My hope is that true appreciation and understanding can flourish, so that I can see the improvement in the people and organizations around me.

04:49 pm April 3, 2017

I passed PSM 1 with 99% (1 answer was incorrect). I read and re-read Scrum Guide multiple times. After a first couple of reads, I gave the The test helped reveal that I should be reading the Scrum Guide more closely which I did and then attempted the PSM 1 Open Assessment. I did not get 100% which made me look for more resources. From this forum I came across a book: Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide by M.M Soukath Ali. I bought this over Amazon and gave it a few days to read. It helped as it slowed down my pace a bit, letting the concepts sink in better. Moreover the qns after every page or so, helped in active learning. Its full fledged assessment at the end also helped challenge the understanding of concepts. I read the Scrum Guide again after this book and tried PSM Open assessment and now I scored 100%. I checked myself over a couple of days giving PSM Open assessments and consistently got 100%. Thinking I might not be covering well inspite of getting 100% in PSM Open Assessment, I gave the PSPO Open assessment and Nexus Open assesment. I did well in PSPO (got 2 wrong) but rather poorly in Nexus. I didnt try Nexus again. I also tried the Developer Open assessment and did very poorly there but I can for sure say that its not needed for PSM 1 exam. Even Nexus is not needed but it will not harm if you give the test once just so that you are aware of some concepts. PSPO Open assessment is not a must have but doing it once will help in building the confidence. I did not use any other resources other than the ones mentioned above. I will suggest going through some other resources (which are very quick read) towards the end will help revise the concepts -

Best of luck in passing PSM 1 certifications for those who are planning to do it.

10:13 pm April 4, 2017

I also found it useful to read the Scrum and Developer glossary. Filter for them under Resources.

04:13 am April 6, 2017

HI ,

I followed all the post and got only 9 out of 15 from srum practioner exam.. I have already failed once in PSm and does not want to leave any stone unattended. Can you please go thru the below link and let me know the questions I have gone wrong.. pl

05:57 am July 5, 2017

I put together a handbook for quick reference - Hope it can be of any help !


06:55 pm February 6, 2019

80 questions for one hour assessment are too much; I read the Scrum Guide many times and done test assessment with 100% score, but the real exam must be extendend at least at 90'!!

09:41 pm February 8, 2019

All due respect Daniele, it's not too much. The exam is designed to test whether you know the content. At least half of the questions can be done in less than 20-30 seconds. The exam is not designed to be easy to pass, that's what the CSM is for. 

02:39 pm February 11, 2019

@Curtis Slough I should be agree with Daniele Mancin - the exam should be 20 - 30 minutes longer for the ones that are not English native speakers.

08:51 pm February 11, 2019

Hello Carmen,

Thank you for your feedback. With over 190,000 professionals holding the PSM I credential (most of whom are non-native English speakers), we can assure you the assessment was designed to consider different mother tongues.

All of our professional assessments are available in English only, and unfortunately we are unable to alter this. With the amount of question refinement we do to ensure a high-quality assessment, it's not scaleable to maintain translations in other languages. We have been contacted with some similar inquiries, however, to maintain consistent and non-biased certification results, we must have all users assessed on the same terms, regardless of native language. The majority of our clientele are from countries where English is not the first language, and many of them have been able to overcome the language barrier by following our suggestions below.

For preparation, we strongly recommend that you follow as many steps as possible on our Ways to Learn About Scrum page.

To maximize your understanding of the Scrum framework, we suggest that you first study the Scrum Guide in your native language. Once you feel confident in your knowledge, please then review the English version of the guide, so you can become more familiar with the vocabulary and other terms which may be seen on the assessment. You can evaluate your level of basic comprehension by taking the practice Open Assessments.

We strongly recommend taking the Scrum Open Assessment until you are able to consistently achieve a score of 95% or higher. Some of these questions (or similar variations) may appear on the certification assessments, so it is a good way to practice the basic concepts. Please be aware, however, that the Scrum Open Assessment is a study tool, and will not have the same level of difficulty as the professional-level assessments.

Again, we are sorry that we are unable to offer the assessment in other languages, but we hope you will find our resources helpful in your preparation.

08:25 pm March 23, 2019

I very recently took the PSM 1 exam and passed with a 86.3. Yeah, it was by the skin of my teeth but I'm satisfied. I was surprised to see so many questions on material not covered by the Scrum Guide. I think the hardest part was going through the exam and not answering questions based on what my (at the time) current organization was doing.I should mention that I am a disabled combat veteran with multiple disabilities to include a Traumatic Brain Injury, but here's what worked for me:

Download the Scrum Guide. Read it repeatedly. Whenever you're ready, get a set of note cards and create five categories. I chose Theory, Artifacts, Events, Team and anything I felt doesn't fall clearly into the first four categories I listed. Write as many notes on items that you're unclear on as possible. As the exam is timed, it's a lot faster to find information on cards than it is to open a browser window, google it, etc. There are a few decent free practice exams online as well. Take them a few times and write down the questions you got wrong. Google the answers if they don't offer practice mode that tells you the correct answers. I will say that even the best free practice exams don't offer questions on material not covered in the scrum guide, though. 

I honestly don't know where I would have found the questions on material not found in the scrum guide. No classes were offered anywhere near me and I didn't have the bandwidth to travel to where they might be. For that reason, I feel lucky to have passed. 

09:21 am March 26, 2019

Congrats, Scott, that's a massive achievement given the circumstances. Well done!

02:33 pm April 2, 2019

Hi, sorry but is not enough.

I've tried 3 times (paying 135€ each time), my best score was 83,8 (1,2 point far from the score) and because of the SCRUM.ORG policies I really don't know which were the wrong answers.

The other thing is, taking all the open assessments, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developer and Nexus (of course reading Scrum Guide and Nexus Guide)  and passing all of them with 100 scores, is not enough also... Of course, the 2 days training looks like it is not mandatory but... to be honest... I'm not so sure about it.

If any of you have another suggestion, I'm open to hearing about it, but I'm really thinking seriously coz after investing 405€ and not being able to see the wrong questions... not sure about this procedure.



12:48 pm April 3, 2019

Sorry to hear about that, Daniel. 

I'd recommend you maintain your focus. PSM1 requires a right understanding of the Scrum Guide, and all your answers should come in agreement with it. In other words, make sure your answers derive from the Scrum Guide rather than your previous knowledge (or perhaps "application" of Scrum)

It is of course painful and demoralizing, not to mention costly, to keep failing. But try to understand where you fail and learn from that.

What I'm saying is, look at the "Summary of Results by Section" area in the email that comes once you completed the assessment (you'll have 3 emails to check). You'll see a few (4 shown to me) subject areas, and a "Percentage Scored" next to each. Anything less than 90% must be studied and understood.

And surely, if there are variations for one subject area in your 3 attempts (say, for "Scrum Framework", you scored 88% the first time, 60% the second time and 75% the third time), then I'd say that is quite conclusive: you need to study AND understand more. If, conversely, the data shows that you consistenly achieve good results in some areas (using the same example, you consistently scored over 90% in "Scrum Framework", as in 91% on first attempt, 93% in second, and 91% in third), then focus on the other ones.

Good luck!

03:49 pm April 3, 2019

Hi Daniel,

I understand it can be very disheartening after 3 attempts. I will suggest that you take help external resources such as Mikhail Lapshin's website etc. I attempted all these exams until I started getting 100% on all under 20 min. Only after that I was confident to register and appear for the exam. Scrum guide is the bible, no other text can replace it (I found mplaza guide incorrect at places at the time). There are gaps that you will have to fill. I read it more than 10 times. After 5th reading, i was able to see through the gaps. If you want to study some more I will suggest Gunther Verheyen's Pocket Guide, or his blogs on Scrum.

One day before real deal - I attempted scrum open 5 times, Mikhail Lapshin's twice. Read scrum guide once - one hour time. 

On the finale day, I attempted the Scrum open one last time and then went on to appear for real deal, on a Sunday morning, away from home and disturbances of the world. Please see that you at least have 10-15 minutes for revision. I did that and changed answers for at least 5 questions. That could have been turning point for me.

I will suggest that you keep your tempo up. All the best! I am sure you will crack it.


04:57 am April 4, 2019

Sorry to hear how demoralising you've found it Daniel.

I've passed the PSM 1 on my second attempt, at 96%. Here's how I prepared for it:

  1. I took some time to feel demoralised. In the privacy of my home I blamed, my colleagues and myself. Then used this emotion to fuel my desire to get that certification for the next steps.
  2. Studied the information linked to from the Suggested Reading and Learning Path pages.
  3. Took the open assessments for the PSM 1 and PSPO 1, studying again in between until I was consistently getting over 95% in both.
  4. Found a suitable quiet location with reliable internet, bought my exam and sat it.

Good luck and may the Scrum be with you!

01:42 pm April 4, 2019


I passed my PSM 1 couple weeks ago in first try.

Tips from me read scrum guide couple times and go ahead take assessment that is offered by  also do some practice exams that is offered by many platform but the key to pass this exam is scrum guide.  

Good luck


03:18 pm April 4, 2019

Hi Everyone, 

Happy to say that I passed the PSM 1 exam on the first try and wanted to share how I prepared for it.

First of all I wanted to mention that I thought the real exam was more difficult than the assessment as it was more situational based, while the open assessment was more basic. But understanding the scrum guide and not only memorizing it was enough to pass it. 

- I strongly recommend (like every one else) to keep on doing the open assessment for both Scrum Open and Product Owner until you keep on getting 100% in less than 10 minutes. This will save you time on the real exam.

- Keep on repeating Mikhail Lapshins free assessment as well until you keep on getting 100% in a short amount of time

- Create flash cards with questions based on the scrum guide. So that each sentence in the scrum guide basically becomes a question with an answer. This will help you understand the material better and memorize the importance of each section.

I did not take a scrum course, nor did I read any extra material as the scrum guide itself has everything you need to know. First I tired reading some other material as well but realized this only made me confused. 

While doing the exam I marked the questions that I had some difficulties with and went back to them later on. I spent approximately 35 minutes to answer every question (marking the ones I was not sure about) and then I had more than enough time to go back to the ones that I was not sure about, reflect on the content in the scrum guide and my flash cards.

I hope this help! 

Good luck!


08:26 am June 12, 2019

Happy to say that I have passed PSM I exam with 92.5%.

Though I have passed the exam but I am really furious to know what what all questions went wrong, probably just to keep my concept corrected but I understand as per Scrum policies we cant get that detailed feedback.

Many thanks to all of you as these forums really helped me to prepare and cover all the based to clear final exam.



01:38 pm June 12, 2019

Congratulations Sharad.  If we sent everyone the questions that they got wrong, there would be NO value in the test because everyone would have the questions.  But I do understand your desire to have them.  This is in-line with industry standards that have been set for testing and certification bodies including Project Management Institute (PMI), as well as Microsoft, and The College Board SAT Testing, for example. 

10:10 pm August 27, 2019

Hi all, I am planning to give PSM tonight. I have gone through Scrum Guide and able to get 95%+ in open assessment, question banks and Mikhails. But reading this thread has given me some doubts.


About what % of significantly differently questions are outside the common resources? Like questions, which one can answer only from there experience in scrum and not from sources.



08:58 am August 28, 2019

Found it useful.

02:09 pm September 12, 2019

I passed PSM 1 with 95% thank to all the comments on this forum. A few tip I have that might be helpful:

- Try to use a table to outline responsibilities of PO, Dev Team and Scrum Master across different scrum events. That way you can immediately look back at each role's responsibility in split second in case you forget during the exam

- I purchased the Volkerdon mock exams but I don't think they are 100% necessary to pass the exam. Some of the questions are more related to the Nexus concept which is not part of PSM1; there are also a large amount of qs overlap between the 4/5 mocks I purchased, which I thought was a bit stupid. Having said that it was only after passing all the purchased mocks that I felt like I was ready for the exam

- Do not be fooled by people who said they have only spent 1 week or 2 studying and passed the exam; it took me 2 months to have the concept formed in my brain and to be able to answer qs WITHOUT looking at any materials 

- A lot of people complained about slow interface. I booked a meeting room at my office and did the exam during lunch hour on a weekday and it was perfectly fine; I completed all qs within 30 mins (with a lot of uncertainty) and was able to spend the rest of the time flipping through notes to finalize my answers

- Lastly, unless you are aiming at 100%, there will be qs that you are uncertain of, so don't panic but just do well in those straight forward ones, remember this is a multiple choice exam so you can always screen through the answers and eliminate those that are obviously wrong!

07:13 pm September 13, 2019

Just took and passed the test. 100% on first try. I think about 50% of the questions are "gimmies" assuming someone has some experience with Scrum. Probably 20-40% beyond that requires an understanding of the Scrum Guide. The last bit dives into development and leadership theory beyond scrum.


The test is well worded and deductive reasoning can rule out a lot of bad answers. One question presented an answer set that could be deduced through pure logic. I enjoyed that one. :-)