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How to pass PSM 1 exam

The PSM1 assessment examines Scrum knowledge in the following subject areas:

  • Scrum theory and principles
  • Scrum framework
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Facilitate and lead
  • Cross-functional and self-managing teams
  • Leadership style
  • Agile management products

These areas detail the types of questions that might be asked in the assessment, along with examples, and the book's help with each type.

According to the feedback from multiple PSM 1 holders, about 5 (or at most 10%) questions in the actual assessment come directly from the Scrum Open Assessment..

The exam also has questions taken directly from the  Scrum Guide. These questions are simple, but require you to memorize every word of Scrum. Active learning helps to remember core content.

There are also issues that require a good understanding of Scrum concepts around self-management, leadership, product ownership, dealing with issues outside developer boundaries, etc., as well as some hands-on experience applying Scrum. We strongly recommend that you use our Scrum Master practice tests.

So enough questions outside of the Scrum guide. To answer this particular question, you need to understand techniques not explained in the Scrum Guide. Hopefully you know some "real-time techniques" as a Scrum Master with some hands-on experience.

So, before the exam:

Read the Scrum guide and get really familiar with it. This is the main source from which all answers are evaluated. Read it and understand it thoroughly. Read it several times.

Check out the Agile Glossary to quickly define key terms (note Scrum terminology)

Read all other guides and free material from ScrumToday Free Resources

Try the Scrum Open assessment until you score 100%.

Search for what's really important to you and what you'd like to improve (e.g. from the forums)

Try our Scrum Master preparation course. There are lots of explanations and 100 questions, and it's free.

Try our Scrum Master exam simulator with 420 questions, each with detailed explanations and professional references. It is the best and most comprehensive practice assessment available anywhere.

PSM1 is not required, but if you're still not confident, read some books on Scrum and Scrum Mastery. Highly recommend reading The Pocket Guide to Scrum

During the exam, it is very important to remember the following:

Concentrating on exam preparation is just as important as studying during exam preparation. The question that arises here is how to do this? It's up to you. How to stay focused? Take the test at a time that is comfortable for you (for example, if you are not a morning person, avoid taking the morning test) and move to a quiet place to take the test.

Be careful with words: Sometimes you don't pay enough attention to some words and answer the simplest questions wrongly. Always read the questions carefully word for word. Also, make sure you read all the answers before selecting the one you want.

Be careful with questions that contain "NOT": With questions that ask, for example, "Which of the following is not a characteristic of ...", many people forget "NOT" and choose the wrong answer. You won't believe how common this is; so, be careful not to miss this keyword.

Get the Scrum Guide and our Agile and Scrum glossary at hand and use it to find what you need

Provide answers to all questions, even if you are not sure of the correct answers. Just flag such questions and come back to them at the end, and take the time to think about them.

Be careful with multiple-choice questions: some questions require you to choose multiple answers, and some people just don't pay enough attention to it and choose one answer. All multiple-choice questions use checkboxes instead of radio buttons; get used to noticing this as a double check. It's a good idea to take a few minutes at the end of the exam and go through all the questions and only check if you selected more than one answer where required.

Do not search for the correct answer on the Internet. Remember, you only have 60 minutes and 80 questions. Don't waste your time.

If you have finished the test and have some time, please recheck your answers.

PSM 1 Exam Structure

  • There are a total of 80 multiple choice, multiple answer, and true or false questions. It constitutes the Professional Scrum Master (PSM 1) exam
  • Passing mark: 85%
  • Time limit: 60 minutes
  • Only available in English
  • To pass the exam, all you (technically) need is an internet connection (of course you have to pay the $150 exam fee)

Why choose a PSM 1 certificate?

  • The PSM 1 exam is administered by a company directed by Ken Schwaber, one of Scrum's co-founders.
  • PSM is the most valuable credential of all Scrum certifications. Other certifications are easily earned by taking courses or passing exams that can only be failed on purpose.
  • The PSM assessment requires familiarity with the original version of Scrum, and the passing requirement is high (85%). This rigorous standard provides more assurance for its certificate than other certifications offered in the market.
  • PSM assesses knowledge about real Scrum.
  • Assessments can be taken anywhere with a computer and Internet connection.
  • Once a certificate is obtained, no renewal is required.

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