All the knowledge you need to pass the certification exam, encapsulated in the so-called Scrum Guide, 19 pages, which you can read at https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html. So, firstly, you need to read it.
I don't think reading 19 pages will make it easy to pass the exam unless you can memorize these 19 pages exactly every word. I think you should read it many times; some people even have to read up to 10 times. I recommend only reading up to 5 times because it's useless to read once you don't understand.
Reading often does not mean reading continuously without stopping; this is not chanting or mantras! It will help if you read for the first time to understand. Then watch the course (I will talk about it later), then go back to read concepts you don't understand. Then when doing the Practice test(talk later too), you should also go back to read the places you don't understand. And finally, you should make a note section that summarizes the guide's content, and of course, you have to re-read it. In short, I calculate that I read about five times, each time takes 1 hour (3 minutes/page is already relatively slow).
Fact: I only read it once; when I took notes, the other four times, I listened to it, taking advantage of the time to wash the dishes.
If you are a person who has no concept of Scrum, just reading the theory will only cause headaches. So, I recommend taking more online courses, in my opinion about $ 10, 3 Practice Test lessons and 2 hours of your life for the course is highly worth it.
The content of the course is not outside the Scrum Guide. However, the course will give you more visual examples and provide some tips & tricks for the exam. I consider this course the most critical key, especially for someone who has no idea about Scrum (like me).
Note: you can skip the live webinar, as it's not relevant to the test.
Fact: I also took advantage of the time to wash the dishes to watch the entire 2 hours of the course
Practice tests are also significant. Knowledge is only 19 pages, so the question set of the real exam cannot be boundless. According to my experience, about 60% of the questions in the exam are pretty close to the Practice tests. In addition, doing many practice tests will help you get used to the speed of the test and practice fast thinking.
When I took the exam, it only took me 40 minutes for 80 questions; the remaining 20 minutes I spent reviewing 7--8 questions.
Some tests you can refer to:
- https://mlapshin.com/index.php/scrum-quizzes/sm-learning-mode/ (Free). You can try Real Mode, but there is no need because the topic here is quite simple.
- Open Assessments (Free). The owner's topic should ultimately be at the same level as the real test. However, they only gave 30 questions and did it in 30 minutes.
- 3 Practice tests in the course I have introduced above
After learning the above knowledge, the practice tests are not tricky; I usually only take about 40 minutes for each test with over 80 questions; the rest is to review. So I keep counting about 90 minutes at a time. When doing a particular sentence, you should practice looking at the keywords of the sentence and the method of exclusion. Also, your English shouldn't be too bad. For example, I have didn't know the word "prohibit" means "forbidden," so when I took the test, I got one wrong sentence. So, improve your vocabulary in practice tests.
You should score above 80% in Practice tests. In the course I mentioned above, there were three tests; I did it repeatedly, a total of about five times. I only did the article on https://mlapshin.com once because it was too easy. Open Assessments also only do it once because I'm pretty sure all of them.
When reviewing the test, never try to remember the question and the answer. Please read questions, answers, and explanations carefully; refer to the Scrum Guide for understanding. You will get stuck on puns during the real exam if you just try to memorize them. I WAS SHOCKED when I took the actual test because they had about 30% of the questions much more complicated than the Practice test. Those questions had slightly changed the wording, the answers also sounded different from the Scrum Guide, but they are never outside the Scrum Guide. Therefore, understanding is critical.
When you are confident, it's time to take the test.
Fact: I can't take advantage of this while washing the dishes because my hands are covered with soap. I usually take advantage before going to bed or free afternoon, even in some boring meetings.
Below are the details of the exam. To see the latest updates, you should visit the homepage at https://www.scrum.org/professional-scrum-master-i-certification#Details
- Fee: $150 per attempt
- Passing score: 85%
- Time limit: 60 minutes
- Number of Questions: 80
- Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, and True/False
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Language: English only
- Scrum Resources
- Required course: None
- Recommended courses: Professional Scrum Foundations or Professional Scrum Master
- PSM Subject Areas
- Practice Assessment: Scrum Open
- Ways to Learn More to help you prepare
- Passwords have no expiration date but are valid for one attempt only
The exam is online testing; you can comfortably use everything at home. However, the number of questions is quite large (80 questions), the time is (too) short (60 minutes), and the score is very high (85%); every mistake, no matter how small, comes at a price, so keep focus.
A considerable disadvantage of online exams is the speed of the network. If your network is slow or your computer is dead, it's a disaster. Don't forget the notes I mentioned above; it will be convenient to look up. Another thing is that when you click Next, Previous, pay special attention; during the page load, you may click again and choose the wrong answer again. Or if your hands are shaking too much, it's easy to reload the page or close the tab/browser by accident, I don't know if it's okay, but it's going to be a problem. Be careful with each touch.
To register for the test is quite simple. You register an account on https://www.scrum.org/, buy Assessment, a password will be sent to your email, and you can start taking the test immediately with the password you just received.
So I have summarized the PSM I am learning in just 23 hours and 10 minutes. It took me a week to study and take the exam because I didn't wash the dishes 24 hours in a row. My friend has taken only four days. With only two days of continuous learning, the total time could be less than 23 hours.
However, writing articles is how I do it, but $150 is yours to spend, and this is not a speed contest, so don't be too hasty to lose your money. Take the test when you are ready. Good luck.