PSM 1 Exam: Tips and Strategies for Success

The PSM 1 exam has been in the talks lately, especially among IT professionals. This exam helps you to get recognition in the industry as one of the skilled professionals who can pull off a project efficiently using the scrum framework in association with an agile team.

Then it comes to what it takes to get certified as a professional scrum master. The answer is the PSM exams. Among these, PSM 1 is the most trending one.

scrum master

Understanding the PSM 1 exam: an overview

As you must be aware, PSM stands for a professional scrum master. The PSM 1 exam certifies you as a trained professional who is well-versed in the scrum framework and knows the scrum artefacts and their use.

Significance of the PSM exam

PSM 1 is recognised and accepted by the industry globally. Your resume with a PSM 1 certification will be impactful equally across countries and firms.

While you prepare for the PSM exam, you get acquainted with the scrum artefacts, the scrum process and the role of the scrum master in an agile team.

Psm 1 exam: the details you need to know

Nature of test:

The PSM 1 exam is a multiple choice questions-based exam that tests your understanding of Scrum and the related domains. 80 Questions will be asked as a whole. You have to pay the fee to take the test only once, and there’s no expiration date. One attempt is permissible for one test purchase.


The duration of the PSM exam is 60 minutes. No breaks are scheduled, but you can take some if needed.

Test venue:

you are not bound to go to an assessment centre; you choose a place and time and can take the test with your laptop. All you need to do is open the webcam through which you will be monitored.

Passing criteria:

you must score at least 85%, i.e., 68 answers out of 80 have to be correct. There’s no negative marking.

Key topics:

the syllabus of the test covers a wide range of topics. Still, the key topics that you must have mastery over are empiricism, the framework of Scrum, cross-functional terms, self-organisation, product value, scrum artefacts and scrum master roles.

Preparation strategy for the PSM exam

  1. Read the scrum guide multiple times. This is the base resource that you should rely on. Read, revise, take notes and develop a comprehension of the content. You are tested based on your applied knowledge regarding Scrum and its applications. The best thing is that your scrum guide is available in several languages. You can take prints or use the soft copy based on your preference. The more you read, the better you comprehend, and your answering skills will get sharper.
  2. Take PSM training. Although you are not bound for that, it is always preferable to take a 2-day long course as you will be provided with the concepts and the problem-solving strategies that will help you in the PSM exam. You can find courses at affordable prices on trusted platforms online.
  3. Refer to a few resources besides the scrum guide if you wish to learn some topics in detail but keep your headspace neat with information.
  4. Practice questions as much as possible. This will help you quickly get to the correct answer when you set for the test.
  5. Take ample mock tests as those will give you real-time experience regarding question-attempting strategy, and you will learn time management. Mock tests for the PSM exam can be found online for free.
  6. Review the mock tests that you take so that you can find out your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can find yourself and work on your weak topics. Also, you will get an idea of essential and correlated topics.
  7. Practice repeatedly and take regular tests, and when you start getting consecutive 100s in tests, sit for the actual PSM 1.

Strategy to follow during the exam and on the final days of your preparation

Before taking the exam

  1. Once you feel you are ready, take the test. Don’t wait for longer.
  2. Decide a time slot for the exam at least a week before and try to be productive in that period. It’s better to take a few tests at the preferred test time.
  3. Choose a quiet place to take the PSM exam so that you can focus well.
  4. Take a sound sleep the night before. This will help you concentrate better.
  5. Use a timer for taking the final mock tests and try to finish early, like in 50 minutes, instead of completing 60 minutes.

During the test:

  1. Ensure you have a stable internet connection to avoid getting bothered in the middle of the test.
  2. Please read the questions correctly before you answer them
  3. Refrain from falling for word tricks; pay attention to the wordplay, such as should and could; for and from, and anything like these.
  4. If you find any question difficult, note down the number and proceed to the next, this will save you both time and energy.
  5. Answer the ‘more than one option correct’ type question carefully. You will get different checkboxes in those questions.
  6. Take proper time to read scenario-based questions before settling for an answer.
  7. Differentiate between correct and better options.
  8. Stay calm in case you encounter a series of tricky and challenging questions. All you have to do is keep proceeding; nothing better can be done at that time. If you have time, you can reflect on those questions.
  9. Try to save time so that you can revisit the questions and check for any discrepancies. This can be a game-changer step.
  10. Take a break if you need one.
  11. Actively read the questions while you answer them. This will reduce the chances of mistakes.


The PSM exam holds a good amount of importance in the career scenario of management professionals. This exam certifies you as a more competent, efficient professional who knows the how-about of Scrum properly. And the big deal is that this certification has global recognition.

The strategy to clear the PSM 1 test is familiar; you only have to focus on the basics and their application in real-world scenarios. Multiple reading and note-taking of the scrum guide, question practice and mock tests are paramount to ace the PSM exam.

Sameer Raj has a keen interest in technology. He spent most of his time socializing with gadgets & tools than human beings. With each of his articles, Sameer shares such unique tricks that you might never knew.