Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) Exam Study Tips

  1. Read and thoroughly understand/internalize the Scrum Guide. Read it several times in different sittings. We recommend that you download the PDF and read it like you would a book. Except over, and over again!
  2. Take the Scrum Open assessment numerous times. Get to where you can take it 5 times in a row and score 100% each time, in about 10 minutes or less each time. VERY IMPORTANT – DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
    • Yes, we know there are a lot of repeat questions, but you will need to be able to quickly answer these questions when the time per question is much shorter on the real assessment.
    • For each question that you miss, read the feedback given by the assessment on that question. Then, look in the Scrum Guide for specific language OR just Scrum principles and concepts that support the correct answer. Analyze what makes all of the other (wrong)answers seem inferior.
    • In between “5 times in a row sessions”, read the Scrum Guide again.
    • Do not assume that the real assessment is of the same difficulty level as the practice assessment. The real assessment is definitely harder.
    • If you find you are completely stumped, post a question on the forums.
      • Note that posting Scrum Open questions is fine, but do NOT post real assessment questions on the forum — that is against forum rules.
  3. Read about Burndown Charts here and here.
  4. Read the Scrum Glossary, and refer back to it when necessary.
  5. Pay special attention to the language in the Scrum Guide regarding the “Sprint Goal” and the “5 Scrum Values”.
  6. If you took a class (which is quite helpful, but not required), review the slides, workbooks, your notes, etc from that course.
  7. Warning: There are 3rd party companies (i.e. outside of that provide practice tests and test preparations for this assessment. In our experience, while they are mildly helpful, they will steer you so wrong on the understanding of Scrum sometimes that we recommend against even considering them. We recommend you definitely don’t use them to prepare.
  8. Follow this advice:
  9. When taking the test, scribble a few notes about questions that took you a long time to answer or you felt like were very challenging. This will help you to study in case you need to re-take the assessment later. Remember that you can re-take the assessment for only $150 more. Go here to purchase another attempt if you like.
  10. Assume that there are no “perfect” answers… Only “best” answers (the best answer among the choices given)– when wearing your “Scrum Principles Wizard” hat. Answer as if you were the author of the Scrum Guide yourself.
  11. Keep in mind that some questions are multi-select, so be sure and select the number of answers the question asks for — read the question carefully.
  12. Purchase and read Hiren Doshi’s Scrum Insights for Practitioners Book. (While this book is not perfect, there is a ton of awesome info in it and it is far better than any other book on the market to help you learn Scrum and prepare for this test.)

If you have several weeks or months to study, OR no Scrum experience…

If you have a more extended period of weeks or months to study, OR you don’t have much actual experience using Scrum, then we also recommend:

  1. Purchase and read the Scrum Pocket Guide
  2. Read and follow the forums. Pay close attention to those posters who seem very knowledgeable or have a high number of posts shown under their user name on the forum.
  3. We suggest attending and engaging in Scrum user groups and conferences – go there, listen to people describing their challenges, and then think of how empiricism and self-organization, as described in the Scrum Guide, would suggest approaching the challenge. If the answer is not clear, post the scenarion and the options you can think of, on the forums and take a look at the responses you get.
  4. Read some or all of the resources suggested by the PSM Subject Areas.

When You’re Ready…

When you’re ready to take on the assessment, use the complimentary attempt you were emailed by as a result of your attendance in the class. Or, if you didn’t attend a class, go here and purchase an attempt. It’s that easy!

Other Useful Links

3 Responses

  1. […] Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) Exam Study Tips […]

  2. […] of Scrum. A good, cheap, entry level learning experience would be for all involved management to get the PSM I certification, which only costs $150 to attempt the cert […]

  3. […] If it has been a while since you took the PSM I test, then prepare by taking that test again ($150) or prepare by following the PSM I Study tips […]

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