I've been working with Scrum framework over the last 18 months, and I thought it was time to test that what I was doing was real Scrum or kind-of-Scrum. I decided to take the Professional Scrum Master I certification exam to test my knowledge of the framework.
Where to start? It seems that the founders of Scrum have created 3 independent organizations that have 3 independent certification paths.
- Scrum Alliance
- Scrum Inc
While Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc require attending a class to take the exam, Scrum.org lets you directly take the exam thus allowing self-study. I did not find any in-person class in my area anytime soon and decided to go for Scrum.org exam. I did not consider attending an online class because I already spend most of the working time in front of a screen and prefer other ways of learning rather than online courses.
How to prepare?
In short, read the Scrum Guide at least 3-4 times. Focus on highlighting who is accountable for every artifact and activity (eg only the Developers are accountable for the Sprint Backlog, all the Scrum Team is accountable for the Sprint Goal, etc).
Repeat a few times excercises that simulate exam questions (either official or not)
- Scrum.org Open Assessment
- Great set of 80 questions by Mikhail Lapshin
- Few free questions on Volderkon
I also enjoyed looking at some posters available on Scrum.org that help you visualize some aspects of the framework:
The exam is an online quiz of 80 questions to be answered in 60 minutes. I suggest using the Bookmark feature of the quick. It lets you bookmark questions you're doubtful about and review them later. It took me about 40-45 minutes to go quickly through all questions. I then had approximately 15 minutes to review the bookmarked questions.
I've read on few forums that people encountered performance issues in the exam webpage. However, I did not find any issue and the exam run smoothly.
You can have notes either printed or on your laptop because there are no controls like browser locks or similar ones. You are basically free to look at any resource you like during the exam. The time pressure is a decent guarantee against cheating.
When you complete the exam, you'll have a printed certification, a badge like this:
Your certificate will also available on your Credly profile (if you have any).