Scrum Master Certification Exam

Scrum is quickly becoming a framework of choice for companies and organizations interested in achieving Agile transformation. There is a huge demand for highly skilled Scrum Masters across the world. LinkedIn ranked Scrum Master as one of the top 10 promising jobs of 2019.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that, if you are a suitable candidate, there are plenty of options for you out there. In addition to a strong understanding of the fundamentals of Scrum Framework, holding one of the more recognizable Scrum Master certifications will impress employers. Add to this fact that it’s currently more convenient to get certified online as a Scrum Master, and it is the perfect time to take your certification. In this article, let’s take a detailed look at the Scrum Master Certification Exam requirements of major governing bodies who provide Scrum Master certification courses.

CSM Certification Exam

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is an entry-level certification offered by Scrum Alliance. It is one of the most widely-recognized certification courses for Scrum Masters. Through the certification process, you’ll attain a rock-solid understanding of Scrum fundamentals and gain an understanding of team roles, events, and artifacts in Scrum.

As stated by the Scrum Alliance, the CSM Exam Requirements are:

  1. Attend a two-day classroom training taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®), or receive private coaching from a Certified Agile Coach (CAC)
  2. Have 14 hours of live online or 16 hours of in-person training with your CST, or 25 hours of face-to-face interaction with your CAC
  3. After completing the course, you will need to accept the License Agreement to take the CSM test that’s available in 13 languages
  4. After getting the certification, you can maintain it by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and renewing your certificate every two years

CSM Exam Details

  • Exam Type: Multiple Choice Questions
  • Number of Questions: 50
  • Exam Duration: 60 Mins
  • Passing Score: 37/50 questions (74%)
  • Exam Retake Fee: Free of cost for the first two attempts within 90 calendar days after receiving your initial welcome email. After two attempts, $25 for each additional attempt

Note: If you have already passed the CSM exam, you will not be allowed to retake the exam to receive a better score.

After mastering the CSM certification course, you can level up by becoming an Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) and Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP-SM).

PSM Certification Exam

Scrum.org is also another very well-known and respected organization among industry professionals. It offers three levels of scrum master certifications: PSM I, PSM II, and PSM III. Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) is an entry-level certification offered by Scrum.org. PSM I certification proves that a candidate understands Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide and how to apply Scrum in Scrum Teams.
PSM assessments from Scurm.org help you advance from a novice to an experienced user during a certain number of years. Unlike other Scrum certifications that require mandatory training, attending a course is neither required nor sufficient for PSM certification.

PSM Exam Details

  • Exam Type: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False
  • Number of Questions: 80
  • Exam Duration: 60 minutes
  • Passing Score: 68/80 questions (85%)
  • Exam Retake Fee: Free retakes are only granted to participants of official Scrum.org classes
  • Certification Validity: Scrum.org certificates are lifelong and do not require any additional payments or renewals

For advanced level assessments, you can go for PSM II and PSM III. According to Scrum.org, the PSM II focuses on an “ability to apply the Scrum framework to solving advanced, complex problems in the real world.” PSM III focuses on a “deep understanding of the application of Scrum, Scrum practices, the Scrum Values, and have the ability to apply Scrum in a variety of complex team and organizational situations.”

PMI-ACP Certification Exam

Project Management Institute is a recognized leader in certifying project management professionals worldwide. Although PMI doesn’t offer specific Scrum certifications, its Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification is the fastest-growing certification among Scrum Masters, and it tests your knowledge of agile principles and techniques.

Prerequisites for the PMI-ACP certification exam are incredibly advanced compared to entry-level Scrum Master certification exams.

Who Should Apply?

(PMI-ACP)® is specifically designed for professionals with extensive experience in multiple Agile methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean, DSDM, etc. If you work in an organization that is adopting agile practices, the PMI-ACP is the right choice for you.

As stated by the Scrum Alliance, the PMI-ACP Exam Requirements are:

  1. Secondary degree
  2. 21 contact hours of training in Agile practices
  3. 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP
  4. 8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 years

PMI-ACP Exam Details

  • Exam Type: Multiple Choice Questions
  • Number of Questions: 120. Of the 120 questions, 20 are considered pretest questions, which do not affect the score
  • Exam Duration: 180 minutes
  • Passing Score: The passing score for all PMI exams is determined by psychometric analysis
  • Exam Retake: During the one-year eligibility period, you may take the examination up to three times
  • Certification Validity: The PMI-ACP certificate is valid for three years. You must earn 30 PDUs involving Agile topics to renew the certification

To know if the project management experience that you have satisfies the eligibility requirements, cost details, and other information, refer to (PMI-ACP)® Handbook.

ASM Certification Exam

The EXIN Agile Scrum Master is a unique certification program that combines Agile service management with the Scrum process framework. Successful completion of an EXIN Agile Scrum Master Training provided by an EXIN accredited training provider such as Invensis Learning is mandatory.

Who is the certification for?

Agile Scrum Master is designed for professionals in the fields of software development, IT project management, business management, and IT service management.

Agile Scrum Master Exam Details

  • Exam Type: Multiple Choice Questions
  • Number of Questions: 40
  • Exam Duration: 90 minutes
  • Passing Score: 26/40 questions (65%)
  • Certification Validity: EXIN Agile Scrum certifications are subject to a renewal fee, and they have a lifetime validity

SAFe® 5 Scrum Master Exam / SAFe® 4 Scrum Master Exam

Founded in 2011, Scaled Agile is focused on Scaling Agile, Lean, and Scrum practices for enterprises, and its courses and certifications reflect that focus. SAFe Scrum Master Certification by Scaled Agile Academy explores the role of the Scrum Master with respect to the entire enterprise and prepares attendees to deliver the maximum business value at scale. SAFe Scrum Master Certification training (SSM Training) includes learning the key components of Agile at scale development, how to execute Iteration Planning, and how Scrum is facilitated throughout the enterprise.

Who is this certification for?

Learners taking this certification include Program or Project Manager, Scrum Master, Team Lead, Release Train Engineer, Business Analyst, Agile Coach, Portfolio Manager, Consultant, Architect, Developer, Quality Manager, Product Manager, Product Owner, Delivery Manager, Program Manager.

As a prerequisite skill, experience working in a Lean-Agile environment is recommended.

SAFe® 5 Scrum Master Exam Details / SAFe® 4 Scrum Master Exam Details

  • Exam Type: Multiple choice; Multiple select
  • Number of Questions: 45
  • Exam Duration: 90 minutes
  • Passing Score: SSM 4 = 33/45 questions (73%), SSM 5 = 34/45 questions (75%)
  • Exam Retake: The first attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion. The second attempt on the exam (first retake) can be done immediately after the first attempt. The third attempt requires a 10-day wait. The fourth attempt requires a 30-day wait
  • Certification Validity: Must be renewed every year, and a candidate needs to earn at least 10 PUDs annually

As mentioned earlier, Scaled Agile Academy is more focused on implementing Agile at scale, and its courses and certifications reflect that focus. You can get to more about other SAFe Certifications here.

That’s it, folks! With the Scrum Master profession becoming a popular and top-paying job role, the number of Scrum Master Certifications have increased as well. It would be best if you made a well-informed decision on which certification to choose. The first step in making this decision should include performing thorough research on Scrum Master Certification Exam details.

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FAQs on Certified ScrumMaster

Why take up Certified ScrumMaster Course?

Agile and Scrum was a breath of fresh air for enterprises who wanted to move away from traditional command and control style of management that spread across industries. By ensuring the workforce moved away from traditional silos to customer-focused multidisciplinary teams, Agile approach not only ensured accelerated growth but also helped to create next gen Agile and Scrum practitioners.

Today, there are many Agile and Scrum certification programs, but Certified ScrumMaster® from Scrum Alliance is one of the most popular certification courses globally. The CSM credential validates an individual’s knowledge on Scrum terminology, principles, practices, and the exam. There are more than 1 Million CSMs, which shows the popularity of the certification globally.

After completing your Certified ScrumMaster training, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of:

  • Lean, Agile, and Scrum
  • Scrum Master Core Competencies
  • Service to the Development Team
  • Service to the Product Owner
  • Service to the Organization

Job roles that can benefit from CSM training include, but are not limited to:

  • Project Team Members
  • IT Managers
  • Delivery Managers
  • QA and Testing Professionals
  • Aspiring Scrum Masters
  • Scrum Team Members (Developers, Scrum Masters, and Product Owners)
  • Anyone who wants to learn Scrum and be part of the next transformation

There are no pre-requisite criteria to take up CSM training.

One has to maintain their CSM credential by renewing it every two years by obtaining 20 SEUs.

  • Type: Multiple Choice Questions (True/False)
  • No. of Questions: 50
  • Exam Duration: 60 Mins
  • Passing Score: 37/50 answers must be correct
  • Ease of Agile methodology adoption within the organization
  • Bag business critical projects with Scrum qualified employees
  • Change of mindset from traditional leadership to Agile leadership
  • Enhanced collaboration within teams by removing impediments
  • Achieve tangible and real benefits at a rapid rate by delivering high quality products
  • Receive fundamental knowledge of Scrum that has revolutionized global enterprises
  • Stay marketable and relevant with CSM certification due to rapid Agile migration
  • Work better with your peers by understanding Scrum vocabulary within the organization
  • Achieve additional functioning knowledge on Agile implementation methods
  • Become a global professional with increased opportunities across industry sectors

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