Is the CSM Exam Difficult

is the CSM exam hardSo the question we should ask ourselves is; is the CSM exam difficult?

If you’re looking to take the Scrum Master’s role in your team project, congratulations, you’re on your way to being an exceptional leader! The CSM is one of the last hurdles you must climb to become a Certified Scrum Master, but is the exam difficult? 

The CSM exam is not hard. It contains 50 multiple-choice questions based on the outlined learning objectives, and you’ll have 1 hour to complete it and attain a passing score of 74% or higher.

As long as you’re paying attention during the CSM course, you will excel in the exam, and the multiple-choice aspect of the quiz makes it much more manageable. Make sure you allocate enough time to complete the exam in the 1-hour period. 

The rest of this article will discuss the layout of the CSM exam and how you can gear yourself for success when taking it.

Is the CSM Exam Difficult?

CSMs are responsible for coaching, teaching, collaborating, and facilitating team projects to remove impediments to success.

As a CSM, your job is to facilitate among team members, ensure that Scrum protocols are adhered to, remove obstacles impeding your team members, and establish an environment geared towards success.

Related: Become a certified ScrumMaster and help your team thrive

Better yet, it demonstrates to your employers that you’re ready and willing to take on a Scrum project and see it through to completion. An in-depth knowledge of Scrum principles and practices is essential to advancing your career as an Agile.

How Does the CSM Test Work?

Is the CSM Exam Difficult?

How does the CSM exam work?
Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

Once you’ve decided that you want to become a certified Scrum Master, you can get started on their 16-hour CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer. This course is conducted in-person over 2 consecutive days or in an online format over the course of 4 days.

Once you’ve finished taking the course, you’ll be obligated to complete the CSM test, which is done through the Scrum Alliance and generally takes participants an hour to complete. There’s a $50 fee for taking the exam. The CSM test is considered a pretty easy test to pass, with 74% being the minimum grade you need to succeed—that’s 37 correct answers out of 50, pretty easy, right?

On the other hand, the Pro Scrum Master test requires a minimum score of 85%.

Once you’ve completed your CSM certification test and passed it, you’ll have earned your CSM certification. This certification can help you demonstrate leadership in important projects and start advancing your career through strong leadership and management.

Related: Top 5 Exam Prep Tips

Can You Take the CSM Course Online?

Is the CSM Exam Difficult

Since the pandemic, education providers are offering CSM certification online, including both the course and the exam. Once you’ve finished your training course, your Certified Scrum Trainer will send you a link to create your own login credentials.

Once you’ve followed the exam link provided by the Scrum Alliance, then you can use those login credentials to take the certification exam.

Choosing a Good Education Provider

Is the CSM Exam Difficult

CSM education provider

One of the most critical steps as you prepare for your exam, is getting an excellent educator to help prep you. These training providers should have the expertise to convey Scrum principles and guidelines clearly and concisely.

The best way to ensure you’re getting the proper training is to check whether the training institute is an authorized representative of Scrum Alliance. Similarly, the training must be administered by a Certified Scrum Trainer; it’s got to be the real deal.

The information they provide should be in line with Scrum teachings and prove to be an immersive learning experience that gives you practice tests to clear up any nerves before the exam. A CST will always be open to answering any questions that you might have!

Maintaining Your CSM Certification

Is the CSM Exam Difficult

As a Scrum Master, your job isn’t finished as soon as you get your certification. It’s undoubtedly an important milestone, but Scrum is a journey, not just an achievement.

To keep your CSM certification in good standing, you’ll need to renew your credentials every 2 years. To do so, you’ll have to get 20 Scrum Education Units (SEUs), which are earned through participation, learning, or volunteering. Once you’ve got these units, you’ll need to pay the $100 renewal fee.

Related: Top 5 Exam Prep Services for Students

Is the PSM Exam Hard?

Is the CSM Exam Difficult

Man studying hard
Photo by Craig Adderley:

The Professional Scrum Master (PSM) exam is much more complex than the CSM. Also provided by the Scrum Alliance, the PSM requires a score of 85% or better to pass. There are also more questions on the PSM than on the CSM, meaning that you have to get 68 out of 80 questions correct to pass, so you need to study for this one.

Related: It’s not difficult to pass PSM 1

That’s quite a tall order for a 1-hour exam, given that you have less than a minute to complete each question. As such, people who want to pursue the role of a PSM (or a PSM 2, for that matter) will face a pretty difficult challenge answering questions regarding real-world scenarios in a very short period of time.

Tips for Passing Your Exam

Is the CSM Exam Difficult

Whether taking the CSM or the PSM, you’ll need to develop a test-oriented mindset. Study up and take any practice tests your educator offers, so you’re in the Scrum mindset and have your game face on.

Related: Tips to Crack the CSM Exam

Always keep your eye on the clock when taking exams with tight timing; mark any questions you’re unsure about right away for later. At the same time, ensure you read each of the answers to be on the lookout for trick questions.

The hardest part about the CSM and the PSM is the pressure of answering all course-related questions in a brief period.

Final Thoughts

So that question we were asking ourselves; is the CSM exam difficult, well, not really to be honest. 

There’s a lot to prepare for when you’re trying to get your CSM certification. The problematic aspect of the exam (besides the knowledge you need to obtain) is the time. Thankfully, the CSM exam isn’t too difficult to pass, with a required percentage of 74% to pass, really easy.

You’ll have a minute precisely to answer each question, so make sure you read the questions, answer carefully, and mark anything you don’t know to review later to save time.

Are you studying for it right now, let us know how you’re getting on in the comments, and remember to check out this post for some great CSM study tips.

Good luck everyone!

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