How to pass PSM 1 exam

PSM 1 Exam Structure

• There are 80 total Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False questions. which make up the Professional Scrum MAster (PSM 1) exam

• Passing score: 85%

• Time limit: 60 minutes

• Only English language is available

• To pass exam you need (technically) only connected internet (and of course you have to pay for exam 150 USD) :)

Why PSM 1 certificate? 

• The PSM 1 exam is administered by a company guided by Ken Schwaber, who is one of the co-founders of Scrum.
• PSM is the most meritorious certificate of all that certify Scrum. Other certifications can easily be obtained by attending a class or through an exam where failing could only happen by intention.
• PSM assessment requires good knowledge of the original version of Scrum, and its passing requirements are high (85%). Such stringent criteria provide more teeth to its certificate than the other certifications provided in the marketplace.
• PSM assesses the knowledge on authentic Scrum.
• The assessment can be taken from anywhere with a computer and internet connection.
• Once you acquire the certificate, you do not need to renew.

(Ali, Mohammed Musthafa Soukath. Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide: All-in-one Guide for Professional Scrum Master (PSM 1) Certificate Assessment Preparation (Kindle Locations 77-85). Kindle Edition.)

PSM 1 Exam Tips

The PSM 1 assessment examines the Scrum knowledge in the following subject areas: 

• Scrum Theory and Principles 

• The Scrum Framework 

• Coaching and Facilitation 

• Cross-functional and self-organizing teams The following section provides a detailed idea about the type of questions that may be asked in the assessment along with examples and how this book helps with each type.

From the feedback of multiple PSM 1 holders, 5 – 10% of the questions in the actual assessment are directly from the Scrum Open assessment.
There are also questions directly from the Scrum Guide at the exam. These are questions that are straightforward, but require you to remember every word of Scrum. Active learning helps to remember the core content. We highly recommend you to use our Scrum Master practice tests

Then there are enough questions outside the Scrum Guide. To answer this specific question, you need to know a technique that is not explained in the Scrum Guide. It is expected that you as a Scrum Master with some practical experience know certain “real-time techniques". We highly recommend you to use our Scrum Master practice tests

Also it is very important to remember: 

  • Being concentrated on the exam during preparation is equally important as that of studying. The question arises here is how to do this? It depends on you. How to remain concentrated? Take the exam in your comfort duration (e.g., avoid selecting morning shift exam if you’re not an early riser) and move to a silent place to take the exam.
  • Be careful with the words: sometimes you don’t pay enough attention to some of the words, and answer the simplest of questions incorrectly. Always read the question carefully, word by word. Also make sure you’ve read all the answer before choosing the desired one.
  • Be careful with questions containing “NOT”: some questions ask, for example, “which of the following is NOT a characteristic of…”, and many people forget about the “NOT”, and pick the wrong answer. You won’t believe how common this is; so, be careful not to miss this keyword.
  • Be careful with multiple answer questions: some questions ask you to choose multiple answers, and some people just don’t pay enough attention and pick one answer. All multiple answer questions use check-boxes instead of radio-buttons; get used to paying attention to this as a double check. It’s a good idea to spend a few minutes at the end of the exam, going through all the questions and only checking to see if you’ve picked multiple answers where you needed.


Finally, there are such questions require a good understanding of the Scrum concepts around Self-organization, Servant Leadership, Product Ownership, handling issues at the periphery of the Development Team’s boundary, etc. and some practical experience of applying Scrum. We highly recommend you to use our Scrum Master practice tests

So, what is your action to prepare for this exam:

1 - Read the Scrum Guide and get really familiar with it. This is the primary source of all answers for the assessment. Read and thoroughly understand it. Read it several times. 

2 - Review the Agile glossary for quick definitions of key terms (take attention on Scrum terms)

3 - Read all other guides and free materials from Volkerdon Free Resources include EBVM, Agility Guide, MoSCOW technique, etc

4 - Search something which is really important for you and what you want to improve in Scrum.org Forum

5 - Try our Scrum Master preparation course. There are a lot of explanation and 100 questions and it is free.