All You Need to Know Before Taking a Scrum Master Certification Exam

2020-06-19 14:59:00
Mirai Michi
Original 3703
Summary : There are more certification options out there, and you might ask yourself, " Which certification should I work on? " and "Which exam should I take?"

All You Need to Know Before Taking a Scrum Master Certification Exam

Scrum in rugby is an ordered formation of players, in which the forwards of a team push forward against a similar group from the opposing side. An agile practice borrowed this term and now it is widely used project management which emphasizes daily communication and the flexible review of plans that are carried out in short, iterative phases of work.

Scrum is a common project management system that assists businesses and organisations in managing major tasks, increasing team transparency, and lowering costs. A Scrum master is a trained professional who helps organize and scale teams of any size to utilize the Scrum methodology. Becoming a licensed Scrum master not only adds prestige, but it also adds value.

Understand Scrum basic concepts in three minutes by watching this video HERE.

The Scrum Master role, the legend of Scrum, is part of the Scrum framework and does not have any real authority, but performs a servant leadership. The responsibilities of a Scrum Master usually include:

  • Removing impediments
  • Improving interactions between the team and product owner as well as others outside the team
  • Coaching the team and practicing agility
  • Facilitating team meetings
  • and etc.

Certifications and training on the role of Scrum Master are available and valued. The Licensed Scrum Master (LSM), Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) are reputable Scrum Master Certifications. 

The emphasis of CSM and PSM certifications varies in terms of how certification is delivered. Both, however, emphasize letting a Scrum master demonstrate their understanding and mastery of Scrum concepts and practical applications with a rigorous test. It is important to note that Scrum master preparation is distinct from the Scrum master test. CSM preparation is usually divided into two eight-hour sessions spread over two days or three three-hour sessions spread over three days.

  • The Licensed Scrum Master (LSM) certificate is by Scrum Inc. and its curriculum was developed by the co-creator of Scrum, Jeff Sutherland. 
  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certificate is accredited by Scrum Alliance.
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM)  is accredited by

The ABCs of the three are listed below.

Comparison of LSM, CSM, & PSM

Certified By Scrum Inc. Scrum Alliance
Workshop Required
Workshop Length 2-DAY 2-DAY 2-DAY
Workshop in-person/online
Exam Cost USD1,000-1,400 (workshop included) USD29 USD150
Open Book Exam
Exam Length no limit 1-hour 1-hour
Passing Score 23/30 37/50
Valid Length 1 YEAR 2 YEARS Permanent
Attempts 2 2 1
Renewal Cost
USD50/YEAR USD50/2-YEAR Permanent

What Is the Cost of a Scrum Master Certification?

CSM preparation and testing will vary from $800 to $1,500, which includes the test fee. Individuals must be recertified after two years and pay a $100 recertification fee. Scrum Alliance needs 20 SEUs in addition to the cost for CSM recertification. charges $150 for PSM I certification, $250 for PSM II certification, and $500 for PSM III certification. There are no renewals or continued education credits needed for PSM certificates. Renewal fees and criteria for the PMI-ACP and Secure Scrum master certifications are detailed in the Project Management Institute and Scaled Agile evaluations above.

How to Choose the Most Appropriate Scrum Master Certifications

Although there are various organisations that provide Scrum master training, only a few provide certification. We looked at the providers of the most common and well-known Scrum certifications and broke down the costs, prerequisites, and attendance choices for each.

There are more certification options out there, and you might ask yourself, " Which certification should I work on? " and "Which exam should I take?"

It is more about who you are and what you want to get from it. For example,

  • As an executive, you should choose CSM, if you want to empathize with your staff and employee.
  • As a manager, you should start with LSM, if you want to help your team solve problems with productivity, quality, and speed.

Generally speaking, the LSM passing rate is 75%, compared to CSM 74%. If you read and understand the Scrum Guide, with the project management experience you have, it should not be a big challenge for you to pass the exam. You should also bear in mind that learning is the ultimate goal and certification is just a certification.

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