How I Passed the PSM I Certification

I passed the Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) exam last February 14, 2016, a consolation for not having a date on Valentine’s Day. Ha!


So, here’s what helped:

  • Reading’s The Scrum Guide (FREE) over and over again, at least twice.
  • Reading Management Plaza’s The Scrum Master Training Manual (FREE). This is nearly double the size of The Scrum Guide, and provides additional explanation / context.
  • Taking’s Open Assessments (practice exams) over and over again until I got 100% each time. The Open Assessment is only 30 items each, randomized. It also helped that I took not only the Scrum exam, but also the Product Owner and Developer exams, enhancing my understanding of Scrum.
  • Reading through the forum, where I found some of the questions in the exam being discussed. Note that it is against forum rules to post the exact question and answer. So, some of them have been rephrased.

Some notes while taking the exam:

  • Make sure to have a really good internet connection. It was terrible judgement on my part to take the exam at home where I didn’t have stable internet. It would hang for a while, nearly causing me to have heart attacks! Take note the 80-item exam had to be finished in 60 minutes.
  • Read the questions, even if they look familiar. Some of the questions from the Open Assessments were repeated in the actual exam, but some of them were also rephrased or inverted, such that the answers were also inverted.

Other notes:

  • While I have not purchased them, some people have also recommended:
    • “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” by Gunther Verheyen
    • “A Pocket Guide to Passing Professional Scrum Master (PSM 1): Concise Scrum Master manual to pass the most meritorious Scrum Certificate” by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali
  • If you are still not confident of passing the exam (minimum of 85%, or 68 out of 80 items), you can consider taking additional practice exams, such as the one from Management Plaza. The PSM I certification is USD150 and not reimbursable by Accenture. So, it might be better to invest in an additional USD41 for the practice exams.

If you’re planning to take the PSM I, I wish you luck!

2 Responses to How I Passed the PSM I Certification

  1. Filaly says:

    Congrats Gchang!

    It was sort of amazing feeling to pass PSM 1 as many fail. I concur with many of many of your tips here. Adding my 2 cents

    1. Taking all the three Scrum Open is definitely helpful. But, the product owner is more important than developer

    2. There are few questions from Nexus. Read through Nexus guide few times too

    3. Rather than Pocket Guide by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali, Go for his exhaustive book on Scrum “Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide”. It helped me with Scrum Master interview questions and landed me the job too

    4. There is online simulation test by Mr. Lapshin. It is free and please train with it

    Scrum on folks!

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