The Professional Scrum Master certification is meant for people who would like to acquire expertise and knowledge in the Agile and Scrum framework. Having such knowledge will help advance professionally in an Agile environment. People already working in an Agile environment can also take the exam to further understand and rectify problems in process management. Even if someone has good knowledge of Scrum, taking the certification exam validates such knowledge and enables further professional growth.
Scrum is one of the most effective and popular frameworks in Agile. Both big and small companies are slowly introducing the Agile framework and hiring people with Scrum knowledge to make the process of introduction faster.
Before we investigate how one can successfully qualify for the certification exam, it is important to assess which certification would be suitable. Scrum Master certification has two levels.
CSM (Certified Scrum Master)
A two-day course is mandatory for this certification and one needs to score 80% to pass the exam.
PSM (Professional Scrum Master)
For this certification, one does not need any official training and they can take the exam. But one must get 85% marks to qualify for the exam. A person self-sufficient enough can prepare by themselves taking the help of numerous online platforms or they can apply for any training program.
According to Knowledge Hut, getting PSM training for certification has wider benefits. The following are the ways you can successfully qualify for the PSM certificate.
- Read, read, and read some more. There are various guides available on the internet that will provide a clear concept of Scrum.
- Refer to the Scrum guide whenever an especially difficult question demoralizes you. The guide is only 16 pages long and will help in clearing any doubts you might have.
- Practice clearing mock exams available on Scrum.org. You can feel confident only after you get 100% answers correct in those mock exams. There is also a Product Owners test which one can try to solve for clearing some of the more complex questions which are sometimes a part of the PSM exam.
- Be a part of any scrum forum in order to clear some confusions or questions you might have. The Scrum community is always available for help and you might find insights into the agile framework that you have not thought of before.
- Take advantage of any and every mock exam for PSM that is available for free on the internet. This will give you the confidence to take the exam in the best frame of mind knowing that you could clear all assessment tests.
- Take a Scrum master course on the internet or outside where you will get a good idea about why some answers work and some don’t. These are usually paid courses but highly useful courses for anyone who is serious about qualifying.
- The best course of action for any qualifying exam is practice and when you feel that you have the hang of the questions practice more. You have a huge world at your fingertips- the internet- make use of it!
- There is a free Scrum training book: Scrum Training Manual written by the duo Nadar K. Rad and Frank Turley. It is a helpful book that covers some areas that are not part of the Scrum manual but can come in the exam.
- Once you have tested yourself in all the exams available on the internet, retake those exams to know for sure that you have the right expertise.
- Read and re-read the Scrum Values and individually go through them again and again when you have time.
- The management guide is a good place to enhance your knowledge and find useful examples. Explore it.
- Scaling Scrum is an interesting part of the exam. Information about which will be found in the Nexus Guide.
- While preparing for PSM one can be tempted to read about the Agile framework. Don’t. It will only confuse you with added information which is not useful for the exam.
- Once you feel confident about answering the questions now is the time to schedule the exam.
- PSM exam is online with only 60min to answer 80 questions. One needs to get 68 answers right to qualify the exam and it is important to answer all the questions within the stipulated time since a lot of candidates do not have enough time to attempt all questions.
- Get a stable net connection. Since the exams are online it is important to have stable internet.
- Find a quiet place. You will have very little time to attempt all the questions, so it’s better to find the quietest place for minimal distraction so that you can answer the questions correctly.
- Read the questions repeatedly. Take time to read the questions and re-read them since many of them might sound similar if you go through them too quickly.
- There are a lot of trick questions in the exams with some word changes here and there. Read the questions repeatedly to understand then word choice.
- Always keep a timer on when you are taking mock exams at home. This will give you a good idea about how much time you are taking in completing an exam.
- People sometimes get flustered with confusing questions. It’s best to mark such questions to come back to later rather than wasting energy and time solving them.
- Refer to a maximum two books or sources. It can be your own notes of any guide you got that you find reliable. Don’t try to find answers on the internet and waste time on them. Having too many reference guides confuses you rather than help in the time of need.
However smart your way of preparing for exams, there is no substitution for hard work. Read from as many credible sources as possible and consult senior professionals in the space for guidance. PSM certification is a huge addition to your resume. Prepare the best way possible and for you only stand to gain in the long run.
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