How to Pass PSM Certification Exam- A Complete Study guide
PSM or Professional Scrum Master is a certification for professionals who want to work in an Agile Scrum environment.
PSM or Professional Scrum Master is a certification for professionals who want to work in an Agile Scrum environment. It is a great opportunity for people who are working using Agile methodology and are trying to find a solution to their current problems. With this certification, you will be able to validate your knowledge about the Scrum.
Scrum is considered to be the most effective Agile framework. As more and more companies, small and large, are adopting agile practices, the demand for Scrum Masters is also increasing. Having a PSM Certified professional can be worthwhile for the companies for adopting Agile quickly. Even if you are not currently not working as a Scrum Master, learning about the Scrum lifecycle can be beneficial for your career. There are two main Scrum Master exams:
1. CSM (Certified Scrum Master) - Organized by the Scrum Alliance, this certification includes 2-days training to be a prerequisite for this exam.
2. PSM (Professional Scrum Master) - Arranged by Scrum.org, this certification exam does not require any official training. You can either self-study or take the training.
In this article, we are providing you with a step-by-step process on preparing for and passing the PSM certification exam:
1. Preparing for the PSM exam
It is very easy to prepare for this exam. But, it is important that you know what topics to focus on. Here are some tips from certified Professional Scrum Masters who have passed this exam successfully and are currently working in an Agile environment.
● Study materials - The first step to prepare for the PSM exam is to get the study materials. This includes the books and online courses that cover all the different Agile methodologies. There are several sources of Scrum information on the internet. It can get confusing to know what is the right one. So, it is recommended that you read the official books like the Scrum Narrative and PSM guide and Scrum books.
● Tips to pass the PSM exam - With the help of the following tips, it would be easy for you to understand the Scrum methodology and pass the exam. You have to study well and take several attempts of online mock tests. Until you practice a lot, the exam won't be easy for you to pass:
○ Carefully read the Scrum Guide. Whenever you face a tricky question that shatters the confidence you have about your Scrum knowledge, you can refer to it. It is 16-pages long and can help give a thorough understanding of the Scrum concepts.
○ Visit the Scrum.org website and take the open assessments. Continue doing this until you score a perfect 100% in all the tests. With the Product Owner open assessment, you will be able to work on resolving complex questions.
○ Search and join professional Scrum community forums for explanations to the questions that you don't know. You can check out the good Agile and Scrum discussions on the official Scrum website.
○ Search the internet for any free assessment exams available to prepare for the PSM exam. With every practice exam, you will learn a little more.
○ There is a free guide named Scrum Training Manual by Nadar K. Rad and Frank Turley. It includes some topics that are a part of this exam but are not included in the Scrum Guide.
○ Focus on the values of the Scrum and go through them separately. Read online articles to understand them better.
● Learn through practical examples by going through the Evidence-based Management Guide.
● Scaling Scrum is another topic that is asked during the exam. To learn about this, you can check the Nexus Guide. This is only for enhancing the knowledge of handling complicated teams. You should try to avoid reading any Agile materials that are not Scrum-related. This will be preventing you from extra complexities and confusion.
● The exam also contains questions on interpreting charts like CFD, Cone of Uncertainty, and Burn-down charts.
● Keep going through these tips until you are able to give 100% results in the practical exams.
2. Sitting for the PSM exam
The PSM exam is 60-minutes long which can be taken online. There will be 80 questions and you will have to get at least 68 correct answers for passing the exam. It is important that you get familiarized with the concepts asked in the exam as you have limited time and you don't want to leave with unanswered questions. What you need is:
● Stable internet connection - The exam is conducted online. So, it is important to ensure that there is a stable internet connection. You must take the exam when you have the best hour of internet connection in the day.
● Select a peaceful time slot - If you want to achieve better exam scores, it is important that you take the exam with the least amount of distractions. This will also help you stay relaxed. You have to find the best time for the exam.
● Read the questions carefully - Make sure that you read the questions properly because sometimes MCQs can look similar when you read them quickly.
● Be aware of the tricks - There are some tricks examiners use. You need to have to learn how to differentiate between the following:
○ Could vs should
○ Participate vs attend
● Use a timer - While doing the practice exams, you must use a timer. This will ensure that you will be able to get through all the questions in the given amount of time.
● Mark the questions that confuse you - Skip the questions you can't answer for the time being. Mark them and attempt them later. It will save energy and time.
● Decide on a reliable resource for help - You have to plan beforehand which guides you will be using as a reference. Decide on only a few resources. It should either be a reliable Scrum guide or your own notes. Don't search the internet blindly for finding the right answer as it will consume all of your time.
3. After the exam
Once you have passed the exam, it is advised that you look for advanced PSM certifications that will help you handle complicated situations associated with the Scrum management. PSM II will enhance your knowledge of real-world problems and PSM III will allow you to handle complex organizations and teams effectively.
In cases of complex organizational structures, it is important to read about common methodologies. These agile methodologies will be helpful in support organizations by scaling Scrum.
PSM is an important certification that can be extremely important for you in the long run. It can also accelerate your career to the next level. With the help of these tips, you will be able to pass the exam. If you are not able to, don't beat yourself up, you can retake the exam.