Advice for Taking the PSM-I Exam

One of the most common questions I see on scrum forums is people looking for advice before they take the PSM-I exam. Why not? It’s a widely respected Scrum Master exam at a very reasonable price! I’ve previously written about the format of the exam. In this post I’m going to give my advice on how to pass it.

How would I advise you practice for the PSM-I exam?

Your first resource should be The Scrum Guide 2020 (assuming you’re not reading this in the future after a new Scrum Guide has been produced, in which case use that one!

Second, consider going on a course. Personally I have not attended a PSM-I course however I have only heard excellent things about them. How better to prepare for an exam than to get formal trainer from one of their highly qualified trainers? I believe the courses also include the cost of an exam entry.

You should also take the Scrum Open Assesment. Lots! Take that practice exam over and over again until you can reliably get 90% (or ideally 100%). Seriously, these questions are some of the best resources you can get to practice real PSM-I questions. Scrum.org also provides some suggested reading and a learning path which has some great content in there if you’ve got any weaker areas you want to address.

Personally I wouldn’t purchase practice tests or courses from Udemy or other suppliers. I’ve used some of these in the past and have to admit, I don’t really believe they’re worth it as they’re not that representative and you don’t really very much about the person who created them. Also, why would you need them when scrum.org provide such good practice questions anyway?

I’d be amiss if I didn’t at least mention my book… although in more seriousness. Donuts and Dragons is designed to give a friendly introduction to scrum, and show the events and principles in actions. It is not designed as a study guide.

Preperation for the exam is key. You’ve got an hour to answer 80 questions and you need to get 85% of them right in order to pass. As with all exams try and be well rested, don’t go into it under time pressure or with something else on your mind. Take your time, read the questions carefully, and you should have plenty of time to check your answers before you submit.

I really hope this helps! Please let me know in the comments below if it does. If you’ve got any other suggestions then please feel free to add it below.

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