Passed with 90%
I just passed the PSM exam today, and I thought I’d share how I passed it.
I currently work as a Technical BA, but in my current and previous roles, I sometimes find myself acting as the SM, so I thought I’d get the certification.
I made a decision last week (29th Match) to sit the exam, and I read the scrum guide on the same day. It took about two hours to complete.
I booked the exam and bought the PSM 1 Preparation Exam Practice the next day.
Between the 30th and 31st, I took the practice test (three of them), and I got 67%, 59% and 70%. I focused on the answers to the questions I failed, and the explanations were helpful. Next, I took the open assessment multiple times until I scored 100%, I think I tried it four times.
Yesterday, I took all the test again and got 87%, 87% and 90%.
Today, I went through the scrum guide again, and I would recommend this – it was helpful.
Immediately after going through the guide, I took one of the practice tests, and I got 92%.
Although my plan was to sit the PSM exam tomorrow, I felt confident and took it after the test and I got 90%.
P.S – I wasn’t sure of buying the PSM 1 Preparation Exam Practice and I thought I could pass the exam without it, but I was wrong. I wouldn’t have passed the exam on my first try without it.
Hope this was helpful and good luck to those sitting their PSM 1 exam soon.
Thought I'd also sit the PSPO I exam.
I prepared for two days with the PSPO I exam practice and Scrum Open assessment, and I got 88% - Not the best score, but I'm glad I passed.
I didn't sit the exam until I was comfortably getting above 95% in each of the simulated exam and 100% in the open assessment.
Reading the scrum guide again would probably have got me better results, so I would advise anyone taking this exam to go through the scrum guide again before sitting the PSPO I.
Again, good luck to those taking their exams soon!
How I passed the PSMI with 98,75% score (79 out of 80 points)?
This is the first article I have ever written, so keep your fingers crossed for me. However, I thought to myself that I passed the exam for The Professional Scrum Master level I (PSM I), I passed it with a very good result (I answered only one question wrong) so I would like to share how I achieved it, the more that I heard that many people had a problem with this exam and took it several times.
- The cost of PSM I is $150 USD. Assessment passwords are valid for one attempt, do not expire and remain valid until used,
- the certificate is valid indefinitely
- to pass the test, you must answer correctly at least 85% of the questions
- the grades are sent by e-mail immediately after the exam and the certificate is available on the scrum.org profile
more information you can find on this page https://www.scrum.org/professional-scrum-master-i-certification
How to prepare for the exam?
At first, you think it is not difficult. A simple diagram, only 3 roles, 3 artefacts, 5 events (some give 6, including Sprint Retrospective among the other five - Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, The Sprint), 3 Pillars, 5 Scrum Values. But as with any topic (see the Dunning-Kruger effect chart), the more you bite into it, the more complicated it becomes. Until you come to this cool moment where everything starts to come together and becomes clear. The same is with the SCRUM Framework.
So how do you go about it?
It is important to prepare for the exam in English from the very beginning. Why?
First of all, because the exam can only be passed in this language, so you get used to certain statements and phrases from the beginning.
Moreover, some statements are difficult to translate into another language: e.g. in Polish, attend and participate means the same, and in English and in the sense of SCRUM, it does not mean the same (more on this subject below, point 3).
Thirdly, it is English - American, so if you are not a native speaker, you might not have come across some phrases before.
In addition, you can install the "Google Translate" extension to translate your question during the exam. However, it is not a perfect translation. I used this option once during the exam. If you haven't used this extension, test it beforehand.
2. SCRUM GUIDE
I will not be original here, but in fact, the Scrum Guide should be read several times, several times with understanding and each time in a different way.
At the beginning, we read cover to cover to get to know the topic more or less. Do not be deceived by the small number of pages, in the scrum guide every word has a meaning and may appear in the exam in various contexts.
When reading, it is worth having a SCUM diagram in front of you to imagine which place you are in, what roles are now active, responsible, what artefacts we are talking about, etc.
Then I read the Scrum guide, e.g. from the Scrum Master's point of view (i.e. in addition to the chapter "The Scrum Master", I also read about it in other parts of the text), then, for example, artefacts, etc. Despite the fact that the scrum guide is divided into sections some information important for the exam are in another section of the scrum guide.
Once again, I returned to the scrum guide, looking for answers to specific questions that I encountered, for example, on the scrum.org forum and other quizzes that are available on the Internet.
2a. Open assessments on scrum.org and Mikhail Lapshin quizzes
If you already feel that you know what the SCRUM Framework is and how it works, I suggest you start practicing the questions.
Online tests should be done on the websites:
There are also many other test and quiz websites that you can easily find. It is also worth visiting. Unfortunately, the answers are given there are often incorrect, so they need to be verified, which is of course also a good way to learn.
Coming back to the two pages above:
Scrum.org open assessment consists of 30 questions randomly selected from a larger pool. So this means that the questions change every time we take a test. However, the number of questions is limited, so if you do the test several times at some point, the questions will repeat. The open assessment simulates the original exam. Of course, there are fewer questions and less time to complete the test, but it's worth seeing what the actual exam looks like.
Both tests should be done until 100% of the questions are answered correctly. Scrum org, if only because these questions are repeated on the test (of course, there are also questions on the actual exam that you will not come across when doing an open assessment).
Mikhail Lapshin test will simply help you understand certain specific situations. It is worth reading the explanations for the answers and understanding them.
While practising, I adopted a strategy that I did the test twice. I returned to the questions in which I made a mistake to understand where this error came from, why the answer should be different. It was often a typical mistake where I did not notice, for example, a denial (NOT). But sometimes you had to think twice and go back to the scrum guide. It didn't take long, because there were few of these questions and after reading the explanations and understanding the answer, I answered the question correctly again.
There is also a blog on Mikhail Lapshin's website where people are asked to relate to questions they encountered in an exam or while working in the SCRUM environment.
I like that there is also an explanation for each question. I personally trust that the answers on Mikhail Lapshin's website are correct. Why am I mentioning this? Because, as I wrote earlier, you can find many quizzes with incorrect answers on the internet.
2b. OTHER QUESTIONS and TESTS
There are many websites with questions to prepare for the PSMI exam. These are e.g .:
It is worth checking there because you can come across something new. But there are also a lot of common questions that are found in Open Assessment.
I was looking for difficult questions with which I had not dealt with before. Questions are often answered. But NOTE, as I have already mentioned - these answers are not always correct. If you are not convinced of the answer to the question, very good. This is an opportunity to practice and understand. Go back to the scrum guide.
So when you come across a question where something does not suit you, you have to spend some time looking for the answer, first of all go back to the SCRUM guide and try to find the answer yourself, understand the problem.
If you are convinced that your answer is right but a different answer is repeated on other pages, then consider why it is so. Often it is a single word such as "all, always". Scrum is a framework so it is quite flexible. However, it happens otherwise. Eg "The Sprint Backlog is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Development Team plans to accomplish during the Sprint, and it belongs solely to the Development Team."
Once you know what to look for and begin to understand the rules, you will be answering other questions correctly.
This is the most time-consuming part of the preparation for the exam, but it also gives the most effects and the knowledge thus acquired remains, so you can use it later in practice.
2c. SIMPLE QUESTIONS, mind map
There are always easy questions on the exam, such as: how many members does ScrumTeam, who is part of the Scrum Team, Time Boxes, etc. So let's prepare a mind map with this information. You will probably remember it quickly when preparing for the exam, but it is worth having such a poster or a note, so as not to stress about it during the exam.
3. Other source materials and other remarks
From my point of view, there is no need to overdo the amount of material read before the exam. Of course, in order to get acquainted with the topic, it is worth looking for interesting content on the Internet, browsing the scrum.org blog and forum, see what others are struggling with (because the theory is a theory, but practice often gives a different picture), but it may also lead to a situation that the more I read, the more questions and doubts I have. But this is the PSM I exam, so the basic knowledge is tested. In my opinion, the experience of others may be useful once we work in a SCRUM environment.
I recommend also reading the Glossary of Scrum Terms.
In addition, while studying, pay attention to such terminology, statements and problems as:
Scrum is a framework (NOT methodology) within which complex products in complex environments are developed;
The Scrum framework consists of Scrum Teams and their associated roles, events, artefacts, and
rules. Each component within the framework serves a specific purpose and is essential to Scrum’s
success and usage. The rules of Scrum bind together the events, roles, and artefacts, governing the
relationships and interaction between them.
Scrum is founded on the empirical process control theory or empiricism.
The purpose of a Sprint is to have a working increment of product done before the Sprint Review;
Sprints contain and consist of the Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, the development work, the Sprint
Review, and the Sprint Retrospective.
The maximum length of a Sprint should not be so long that the risk is unacceptable to the Product Owner or so long that other business events can’t be readily synchronized with the development work, and no more than one calendar month;
Once a Sprint begins, its duration is fixed and cannot be shortened or lengthened.
The next Sprint begins immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint;
During the Sprint:
No changes are made that would endanger the Sprint Goal;
Quality goals do not decrease; and,
Scope may be clarified and re-negotiated between the Product Owner and Development Team as more is learned.
Cancel a Sprint - It's done by the Product Owner, when the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete.
3. value, priority, risks, and dependencies
4. Non-functional features// non-functional requirements are about the way functional features work, not about our goals for Sprints.
Some of them can be added to the Product Backlog e.g. something related to performance of a certain part of the software.
Some of them can be added to the Definition of Done e.g. security, scalability, maintainability
Ensure every Increment meets them.
5. Just enough: The Product Backlog has "just enough" detail. Provides just enough information to enable the developers to design the product. But it's not so high-level that it can tolerate all changes.
6. formal meetings and formal opportunities:
Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective are "formal opportunities for inspecting and adapting", and are considered "feedback loops".
"Formal meeting", which means a meeting where people approve something and exchange signatures. In that sense, none of the events is formal meetings.
8. A cross-functional team is one that has all types of expertise that is required to develop the product. Note that this is about the team as a whole, not individual team members.
9. High priority process improvement. To ensure continuous improvement, the Sprint Backlog rather than the Product Backlog includes at least one high priority process improvement identified in the previous Sprint Retrospective meeting.
10. Potentially releasable. Scrum requires an Increment to be releasable. Usable for end-users = potentially shippable = potentially releasable = Done based on the Definition of Done
The product increment should be usable and potentially releasable at the end of every Sprint, but it
does not have to be released
The performance of the project is measured at least once per Sprint (by the Product Owner),
and the Sprint performance is measured daily (by the Development Team).
12. Multiple teams are working on a project
When there are n teams in one project, there are:
1 Product Backlog
n Sprint Backlogs each Sprint
one or more Definitions of Done, as long as they are compatible with each other, Scrum Teams must mutually define the definition of “Done.”
1 integrated Increment each Sprint
1 Product Owner
n Scrum Master roles which can be occupied by 1 or more Scrum Masters
Sprint - Maximum 1 month
Daily Scrum - 15 minutes
Sprint Planning - 8 hours in a one-month Sprint, and normally shorter proportionally for shorter Sprints
Sprint Review - 4 hours in a one-month Sprint, and normally shorter proportionally for shorter Sprints
Sprint Retrospective - 3 hours in a one-month Sprint, and normally shorter proportionally for shorter Sprints
14. Sprint Goal
During Sprint Planning the Scrum Team crafts/prepare a Sprint Goal.
15. Definition of Done
If the definition of “done” for an increment is part of the conventions, standards or guidelines of the development organization, all Scrum Teams must follow it as a minimum. If “done” for an increment is not a convention of the development organization, the Development Team of the Scrum Team must define a definition of “done” appropriate for the product.
If there are multiple Scrum Teams working on the system or product release, the development teams on all of the Scrum Teams must mutually define the definition of “Done.”
16. The input to the Sprint Planning is
the Product Backlog,
the latest product Increment,
the projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint,
and past performance of the Development Team.
17. Sprint Planning answers the following:
What can be delivered in the Increment resulting from the upcoming Sprint?
How will the work needed to deliver the Increment be achieved?
18. Daily Scrums
eliminate other meetings,
identify impediments to development for removal,
highlight and promote quick decision-making,
improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge.
19. The result of the Sprint Review is
a revised Product Backlog that
defines the probable Product Backlog items for the next Sprint.
20. The purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to:
Inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools;
Identify and order the major items that went well and potential improvements; and,
Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Scrum Team does its work.
21. The following may be done in the Sprint Retrospective meeting:
Discuss the Definition of Done
Discuss the relationship with the customer and the way user acceptance testing is done
Discuss the timeboxed duration of Sprints
Discuss tools used to communicate with remote team members
Discuss techniques used to facilitate the Sprint Retrospective meeting
Methods of communication.
The way the Scrum Team does Sprint Planning.
Skills needed to improve the Development Team’s ability to deliver.
Identifying high priority process improvements for the next Sprint.
How the team collaborates.
22. Product Backlog Refinement is the act of:
order to items in the Product Backlog.
23. Difference between attending and participate e.g. Daily Scrum is for the Developers; only they "participate" (=talk). Others can "attend" (=watch).
24. Terms such as always, never
Scrum framework compatible is:
Every Sprint should produce a done increment (does not have to be released)
Done = potentially shippable / releasable
Change is always welcome
Rely on empiricism
Foster collaboration and self-organization
Control and reduce risk using Scrum
Be transparent – make information accessible for everyone
Incompatible with SCRUM framework:
Release Sprints doesn‘t exist!!
NO!! Sprint zero, hardening Sprint, release Sprint, integration Sprint
NO!! Project and Product Manager in Scrum Team
nothing should be baselined in Scrum
Scrum Masters don't order people, they teach and convince people to do the right thing
Scrum is a framework not methodology
4. Before and during the exam
before the exam:
- when paying for the exam, check whether you have made a personal data error
- prepare a piece of paper and a pen/pencil (it's best to also have a spare if it suddenly writes out)
- prepare yourself a mind map with basic information such as roles, figures, time box, etc.
- have alternative access to the Internet (the exam cannot be interrupted)
- install and test the Google Translate extension
- take the exam when the US is sleeping :)
- be well-rested
- make sure it is quiet and you will not be distracted while taking the exam
- use the toilet before starting the test ;-)
during the exam:
- elimination is a good method when you don't know the answer. Sometimes you eliminate a certain answer right away (e.g. when the question includes a role that does not exist), it is easier to choose from fewer
- write down the questions that are difficult and come back to them at the end of the exam. Do not stay with them too long, because you will be stressed that time is passing and you are standing still. You can come back to the questions. At the end of the test, there is an option to skip to a specific question and luckily you don't need to click back.
- it is worth having an open link to the scrum guide from this website https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html
It is good to find on it and the left navigation panel is useful
- If you do not know the translation of the question, run the Google Translate extension and return to English after answering the question (I used this option once during my exam)
- pay attention to negatives in the questions (NOT)
- pay attention to how many correct answers there are
- read the questions carefully
Moreover, if you want to learn more about the SCRUM practice, I recommend attending Meet Ups because it's nice to hear how it actually works.
I recommend reading the scrum.org forum.
It is not necessary to pass the exam, however.
I believe that what I wrote here will help you pass your exam. I wish you success!
I will be grateful for comments, remarks, and of course for sharing.
Maybe you also have experience with this exam and would like to add something? I am happy to get any feedback.
PS. If any of you reading this text works in a company (preferably in Berlin) where you work in accordance with the SCRUM framework and would like to give me the opportunity to verify my knowledge in practice (e.g. through an internship), please contact me :) I believe that knowledge theoretical only becomes important when it is put into practice. "Just do it" is a great slogan, despite the history of its creation :) do you know this story??
This is great @ewal!
Going to take the test in two days time.
@Thomas anything to add? I looked on LinkedIn and it looks like you passed your cert. I found a lot of older test prep suggestions and I am a little skeptical of them since there were 2020 changes.
Hi Leslie, You are right to be skeptical about older test prep materials. Scrum.org exams are based off of the 2020 Scrum Guide, and not all non-Scrum.org exams align. You may also find some other exams are a mix of versions (partially updated) and some are not aligned to Professional Scrum or the Scrum Guide.
Everything you need to pass PSM I can be found between the Scrum Guide and the PSM learning path. The training classes will really give you an edge if you can swing one.
You can leverage this forum to ask questions about any topics you are unsure about as you study.
All the best on your journey!
Excellent entry, thank you very much! @Ewa Siegel
Hello All: I just passed my PMP today. Do you think it aligns with what's necessary to know about scrum for PMP or should I go more in depth to know for this exam. What sites are best to take few prep tests? Please advise.