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Cover image for How I became a certified Scrum Master in 3 days

How I became a certified Scrum Master in 3 days

nutlope profile image Hassan El Mghari Originally published at elmghari.com ・3 min read

I wrote this guide to share exactly how I studied and passed the Professional Scrum Master I certification, and how you can too. Let's get started!

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together to solve a complex problem. It's primarily used in software development and encourages teams to self-organize, keep progress transparent, and continuously plan, reflect, and adapt.

Whether you're just learning what scrum and agile mean for the first time, or you already work in a team that uses these principles, it may be worth it to get scrum master certified to both learn these principles and prove your knowledge to employers. My goal for taking it was to get familiar with the agile methodology and serve as an accomplishment on my resume for job hunting.

This certification costs $150, has no requirements, and is taken online.

Note that the certification I passed was the PSM I certification, not the CSM. They are different - I generally recommend the PSM as it doesn't require you to complete an expensive training like the CSM.

My Process

I dedicated three days for studying - here is everything I did to study for the exam broken down by day. I spent 4-5 hours per day on these tasks.

Day 1

  • Read the Scrum Guide, an 18 page document written by the founders of Scrum. This is the main document that the exam is based on
  • Re-read the Scrum Guide, taking detailed notes this time
  • Go over the Scrum glossary and take notes. These terms are referred to in the exam so make sure you know them

Day 2

  • Review Scrum Guide notes
  • Review Scrum Glossary notes
  • Do the Scrum Open Assessment. This is a 30 question practice exam from the official Scrum organization [Scored 75%]
  • Do Mikhail Lapshin's practice quiz in learning mode [Scored 78%]
  • Do Mikhail Lapshin's practice quiz in real mode [Scored 93%]
  • Valentin Depsa's Udemy Course, sections 1-9. This was great to visualize the material from the Scrum Guide and see it in practice
  • Valentin Depsa's practice exam #1 [Scored 85%]

Day 3

  • Review Scrum Guide notes
  • Review Scrum Glossary notes
  • Review notes from practice exams
  • Valentin Depsa's practice exam #2 [Scored 82%]
  • Do the Scrum Open Assessment a second time [Scored 92% this time]
  • Take the exam [passed with 97.5%]

Tips for the exam

If you follow what I did, you'll be more than ready for the exam. Here are a few additional thoughts I want to stress:

  • Look over your notes each day to reinforce the material
  • Note what questions you got wrong from practice exams (either in flashcards or jot them down) to review so you don't make the same mistakes on your certification
  • The main material of the exam is the Scrum Guide. I highly recommend reading this at least 2-3 times and knowing it well

Conclusion

You now have all the tools and resources you need, along with a detailed process you can follow or refer to. Go get that certification!

Posted on by:

nutlope profile

Hassan El Mghari

@nutlope

Founder of UltraShock Gaming | Front-end Developer | Student

Discussion

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Which raises the question, is any certification attainable in 3 days worth anything? When you get to the interview you are faced with questions about how you approached issues in the past and what you did to solve them. The answer can't be "I have no real experience".

 

I agree, It's definitely not a replacement for experience but a certification does teach you the framework and how to apply it to future problems. It also may help get your foot in the door, especially for entry level roles (consider one person with 0 experience and another with 0 experience + a certification).

 
 

Congratulation, thank you for sharing!

 

Thank you, Killian - my pleasure!

 

Is it a methodology to create software ? Like waterfall etc or a way for teams to collaborate ?

 

Good question, it's both! It's precisely meant to replace methodologies like waterfall that don't have a fast feedback loop and also outlines a way for teams to collaborate. In waterfall, you have specific phases: requirements --> design --> implementation --> verification

This is a good process, but requirements may change often and you may end up working through a 6 month cycle to go through those big phases, only to realize business requirements have changed and you need to re-do a lot of work.

This is one of the problem that scrum solves. With scrum, you go through "sprints" (2-4 weeks of dev work), where you're continuously reviewing the requirements, collaborating with the team (product owner & stakeholders) while making small increments to your software. That way everyone is on the same page, and even if some requirements are wrong, it doesn't take much to self correct and the risk is minimal.

Hope that answered your question!

 

What is that exact advantage of having certificate? Like upgrading job or finding a new job easily bcz of that certificate?

 

From what I've heard, it does help (mostly for entry level roles) as it shows you're familiar with agile methodologies and your resume stands out a little so you're more likely to get an actual interview.

I definitely wouldn't say it can land you a job just by itself though.