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Topics: Agile, Scrum
Which Scrum Master certification? ASM, PSM or CSM?



Just an update on an original and wonderful post regarding CSM vs PSM by Andrew Craig:

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...um-Master--PSM-

I completed both the ASM (Agile Scrum Master from Exin) and PSM (Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org) certifications. Like Andrew, I was not interested in wasting time or money on the CSM certification. It's still amazing to me that the CSM mandates a 2-day course, a huge large fee of around $1,200, has such a low pass rate, and yet is still in demand compared to the other certifications. I can only put this down to it been on the market longer.

Ok now for each certification exam from my experience. I had read from numerous sources that the PSM exam was a lot harder than the CSM. This is certainly evident from the very high 85% required pass rate. I can't comment directly about the CSM since I have not taken that exam, but many others have taken both, and all those I have read say that the PSM exam is a lot harder to pass than the CSM. There doesn't seem much point disputing this from my point of view. So, if you can pass the PSM exam, it will be a walk in the park to pass the CSM.

However, the ASM exam was another beast altogether. It was for me quite a bit harder than the PSM exam, even though it had a significantly lower pass rate. I believe this was due to the exam covering various Agile concepts outside of Scrum, such as XP, DSDM and even Crystal. If you only study Scrum and not cover other Agile methods, or the Agile mindset in general, you will fail this exam.

In closing, now that I hold both the PSM and ASM certifications, I don't know if I will ever step down the ladder and take the CSM exam. Maybe if they raise the pass rate or not make attending an expensive 2-day course mandatory, I might think about it. Or at the very least, I might just do it so that I can report back with first-hand knowledge of sitting the PSM, ASM and CSM exams, and still live to tell the tale.

Which Scrum Master certification would you choose to do, or not to do?
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Congratulations Sante on achieving ASM and PSM certifications.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 5:11 AM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks Najam.



Jan 23, 2018 2:56 AM
Replying to Najam Mumtaz
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Congratulations Sante on achieving ASM and PSM certifications.
Thanks Najam.



Congrats Sante for achieving these two well deserved credentials.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 5:30 AM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks Drake.



Jan 23, 2018 5:24 AM
Replying to Drake Settsu
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Congrats Sante for achieving these two well deserved credentials.
Thanks Drake.



Sante,

Thank you for this synopsis of the CSM vs. PSM certifications. I was planning to take the CSM course in February and had to pay for it myself. After reading your post, I cancelled my class registration and I am going to try the PSM certification first and save the money, as with you, I can always try for the CSM later.
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2 replies by Debra Roberts and Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 3:31 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hi Debra,

That's great. I have seen a few articles along the lines of "What to do after the CSM" and some of them advise to do the PSM so it's obviously held in high regard. I will add some more preparation details in the next message to those in this thread.
Jan 23, 2018 4:19 PM
Debra Roberts
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Thank you!! I am glad I read your post. I also signed up for the class offered by Udemy and will be taking a look at the questions on the link that you provided. $11.99 plus the cost of the test is definitely better than the $1250 for the CSM class.



Jan 22, 2018 8:04 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
Rami,

I have only been involved in a few construction projects but I have to say I never even hear the word Agile or Scrum on those projects. I occasionally heard PMP and Prince2. Certainly It's more prevalent in IT, software, HR, consulting etc.

Some further details about each exam.

ASM - Managed by Exin. You DO need to attend a training course by a registered provider and show the certificate. The training can be done online rather than in person, and the exam fee IS included in the training course. I did mine with Simplilearn and I believe I negotiated the price down to $599 USD. I was a little disappointed with the course content, especially after sitting the exam and seeing several topics that were not covered in the training. My strong recommendation is to read the Scrum Guide, and Mike Cohn's two books "Agile Estimating and Planning" and "Succeeding with Agile" as I saw many exam questions directly from all these books, like over 50% of the exam. If you fail the exam, the re-exam fee will be $250. I studied a few weeks for this one as the topics were so broad compared to the regular Scum-only content provided in other certifications. The certification is for life, unlike CSM which you need to pay for renewal every 2 years I believe. The certification is managed by Exin, who are no slouches in technology standards. They assisted in creating ITIL and Prince2 back in the day, and they have been around a lot longer than both Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. Having said all this, ASM is hardly known anywhere. Unlike the CSM and PSM. I know I am the first person at PM.com to register this certification on this website, only because I was the one who contacted them last week to add this certification to the the list.

PSM - Managed by Scrum.org. You do NOT need to attend a training course by a registered provider, although they highly recommend it. As Andrew Craig mentioned in his blog, all you need to do is spend around $10-15 on Udemy:

https://www.udemy.com/scrum-certification/

The exam fee is NOT included in the training course. The exam fee can be purchased from Scrum.org for $150 for the PSM1 exam. Each attempt thereafter costs the same price. I studied again for a few weeks, but this exam was simpler in content than the ASM, however had a higher pass rate, so it probably evens out. They have some free simulation tests on the Scrum.org website.

After sitting both exams, the ASM was harder in my view than the PSM. In an ideal world, I guess all three certifications would be nice (ASM, PSM, CSM), only to say you have XSM bragging rights.
Surprisingly now the answer showed :D After we had long chats - Thanks a lot Sante. Cheers
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 3:38 PM
Sante Vergini
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Ah the Scrum gods are on my side after all ;-)



Jan 23, 2018 11:04 AM
Replying to Debra Roberts
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Sante,

Thank you for this synopsis of the CSM vs. PSM certifications. I was planning to take the CSM course in February and had to pay for it myself. After reading your post, I cancelled my class registration and I am going to try the PSM certification first and save the money, as with you, I can always try for the CSM later.
Hi Debra,

That's great. I have seen a few articles along the lines of "What to do after the CSM" and some of them advise to do the PSM so it's obviously held in high regard. I will add some more preparation details in the next message to those in this thread.



A further addition regarding preparing for the PSM exam. The website below had practice exams (in learning and real mode) which helped me to prepare. In fact I saw a number of questions from this website on the real exam. This website is free.

http://mlapshin.com/

The Scrum Guide is used as the major reference to this exam, so knowing it inside out is a good idea.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jan 23, 2018 3:44 PM
Rami Kaibni
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Thank you Sante :D



Jan 23, 2018 11:37 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
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Surprisingly now the answer showed :D After we had long chats - Thanks a lot Sante. Cheers
Ah the Scrum gods are on my side after all ;-)
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jan 23, 2018 3:44 PM
Rami Kaibni
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Looks like everything is in order haha



Jan 23, 2018 3:38 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
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Ah the Scrum gods are on my side after all ;-)
Looks like everything is in order haha
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