Scrum Master Certification: How to Crack the Exam in One Go
Scrum is an Agile product development framework that uses a set of values and defined team responsibilities and activities. The Scrum approach uses iterations to create a product of maximum value and quality. Scrum.org defines Scrum as a lightweight framework that helps generate adaptive solutions for complex problems.
Rugby enthusiasts recognize the word scrum from the eponymous maneuver designed to restart a game. Scrum symbolizes the teamwork required in any team sport or any team activity for that matter. The Scrum Guide, written by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, explains Scrum definitively while bringing together Scrum accountability, events, artifacts, and rules.
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What is a Scrum Master?
A Scrum Master is one of the three important roles in a Scrum-based activity, the development team and the product owner being the other two. A Scrum is an expert in putting Scrum into practice. The Scrum Master facilitates the team members in adhering to Scrum guidelines, ensures that the work progresses as per the methodology, and removes any obstacles that occur in course of the development. The Scrum master facilitates the creation of a product backlog to address the complex problem, and the work to be done around it thereafter.
Source: Project Bliss
Importance of a Scrum Master
As mentioned, Scrum follows an iterative method of product development. Each such iteration is known as a sprint. The product owner defines the requirement list, which the Scrum team works on. A sprint starts with the Scrum team, which is essentially developers and testers, agreeing on the work and the sprint timeframe.
The Scrum Master is an important role in the methodology because they are the ones who keep the product development process on track. Since it’s an Agile process, Scrum encourages self-learning and self-development. A Scrum Master is more of a coach and motivator, rather than a strict enforcer. In this role the importance of the Scrum Master is crucial since it’s he/she who ensures the project adheres to Scrum norms, team members are aware of the Scrum methodology, the pacing of the sprints are in order, all hindrances are addressed, and there is a continual improvement in each iteration.
Importance of Scrum Master Training
An authentic piece of certification goes a long way in the advancement of any career. You can be an uncertified project or product development lead, handling the development and testing team on one side, and the product owner on the other. However, with certified Scrum training you stand to gain on several fronts.
1) Financial Importance – By cracking the Certified Scrum Master exam, your salary package can automatically elevate. An entry-level CSM can earn around $69,000 while those with more than 20 years of experience can earn as high as $113,000 per annum.
2) Knowledge – The Scrum Master certification ensures that you learn the necessary skills and use them. You get a strong understanding of the Scrum framework and get a solid foundation on its theoretical aspects.
3) Ready for Scrum – A comprehensive CSM course equips you with the practical application of Scrum methodology. The GreyCampus Certified Scrum Master training and certification course prepare you for Agile project management that includes intensive instructor-led training and an access Scrum Alliance Membership.
4) Better Decision Making – A certified CSM can guide a project to its delivery while minimizing the risks involved. As the Scrum Master, you will instill a positive work environment through prompt and successful troubleshooting. In each sprint, you will prioritize tasks that will eventually help the project to meet the deadline and quality. You will bring in better communication within the team and foster team spirit by being receptive to team suggestions. Above all, you will maintain the Agile mindset within yourself and the team, which is instrumental to project success.
5) Increases Your Worth – A CSM certification is indicative of your in-depth understanding of Agile concepts and project management mindset. For an employer, hiring CSMs for different departments leads to optimal synergy in terms of teamwork and service delivery. Your CSM expertise in handling processes, people, and clients helps you land better job prospects. Your CSM certification means you don’t have to establish your credibility with your employer since the certification itself gives you a head start in your work.
6) Better Performance – A certified Scrum Master is more qualified to lead projects and stands a better chance of ensuring quality and timeliness. To apply Scrum more effectively, employers hire Scrum-trained team members to carry out projects. When a certified CSM like you drives such projects, Scrum is more productive. So, your performance as the servant leader improves holistically.
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How to Prepare for the Scrum Master Certification Exam?
Here is how you can prepare for cracking the Scrum Master certification exam in one go:
- Plan for Scrum
Scrum certification provides a detailed understanding of Scrum methodology along with implementation. It involves sufficient time and effort, so you should have both to spare when you decide to enroll in the course. The GreyCampus certified CSM course, for instance, has different modules like Startup, Attitudes and Abilities, Planning and Protecting, Requirement Refinement, and Adaptive Planning. It is, therefore, best that you set aside sufficient time for mastering the course before appearing for the Scrum exam.
- Study the Scrum Guide
You have to familiarize yourself with the Scrum course material, provided by the Scrum Alliance. This includes sourcebooks and course materials covering all the topics that combine to form the Scrum methodology. This is the backbone on which the CSM exam curriculum rests. As you prepare for the SCM exam, the Scrum Guide will be the reference point you will base your effort estimation.
- Review Scrum Concepts
Apart from the various terminologies and concepts that form a part of the Scrum methodology, there are four key events that you need to understand. These are sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, and the sprint retrospective. There are further guidelines, such as:
- A sprint should last four weeks or less, and each sprint should be of equal duration.
- A sprint should be an uninterrupted flow of activity.
- A sprint should result in a commercially viable product.
A review of these concepts and terminologies will help you to familiarize yourself with the Scrum methodology in a more exhaustive manner.
- Cover the Course Extensively
With the GreyCampus CSM course, you get a year’s access to the PMI-ACP courseware. This offers ample time and material to you for preparing for the SCM exam. Understanding of Scrum and Agile along with Scrum theory, values, events, and artifacts must be complete to make sure you are thoroughly informed before the exam. Before appearing for the exam, you should complete your concepts about all the Scrum roles, rules, and Agile processes.
- Practice Using Scrum Open Assessment
Open assessments and mock tests are a great way to prepare for the CSM exam. You may shortlist a collection of mock tests and try to improve your results in them. There are many free mock tests available online as well. An exhaustive self-assessment of your mock test performance will help you prepare for the CSM exam better. CSM certification may allow more than one CSM exam attempt. GreyCampus CSM certification, for instance, allows two attempts.
- Understand Agile methodology
Scrum follows an Agile methodology that has four foundational values and 12 supporting principles. These values and principles enable the project team to follow the Agile methodology in project management. Understanding Agile methodologies will help you grasp CSM concepts better, thus resulting in better performance in your CSM exam.
- Participate in Bootcamps and Forums
Interacting with a good peer group will also help you prepare for the CSM exam better. In such groups, you will find people with varying levels of experience who are preparing for the exam. Social media platforms are a good place to search for these forums. You can also connect with teachers and CSM experts to get valuable insights into the methodology and exam preparation. With GreyCampus you also get the option of physical group training if you have three or more participants in your preferred location.
- Ensure Concept Retention
The concepts of Scrum are necessary beyond exams. Relating the concepts to real-life situations can help you to retain these concepts at least until they appear in the exam. Also known as mind-mapping, linking the concepts of the curriculum to practical scenarios will help you remember and implement them later on. In many cases, Scrum coursebooks may have mind mapping techniques integrated into them.
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Tips for Tackling the Scrum Exam
Once you finish the Scrum Master exam prep and are ready to sit for the exam, there are little things you need to take care of to ensure your exam is a smooth sail. Choose an exam slot that suits you best in terms of timing. You should be free from distraction during this time and have a stable internet connection to support a downtime-free online presence. Keep a timer handy so you keep track of the time left to complete the exam. Note down the questions that unsettle or confuse you. Don’t spend too much time on them. Instead, mark them for re-attempt once you complete the questions you’re confident about.
- Basic Multiple-choice Tips – While answering the questions, make sure you don’t rush through them too fast just to save time. Read the questions carefully and be ready to tackle trick words and confusing questions. Besides, the question may ask you to mark the multiple correct options, instead of ticking the wrong answer, or vice versa. It is often advisable to read the last sentence of the question particularly carefully because it prevents getting confused. You can also follow the elimination method in which you eliminate all the incorrect answers first and then deduce the correct one.
- CSM Test Specific Tips – Be sure to use the Scrum Guide as the bible, as far as the CSM exam is concerned. Most of the questions will have their roots in the teachings and concepts of the Scrum Master study guide. While attempting practice tests, look for one's professional training agencies and providers present. They are often a part of the Scrum Alliance designing team who set out the learning objectives of the course.
CSM certification can be an invaluable addition to the profile of any project manager, software developer, tester, architect, coder, etc. GreyCampus offers one of the best instructor-led training for CSM at a competitive price range. With a GreyCampus CSM certification, you have all the know-how and expertise needed to coordinate and support a Scrum project.