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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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Jan 23, 2018 3:37 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
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.
Thank you Sante :D



Oh something I forgot to add when weighing up the CSM vs the PSM. The PSM certificate is signed by Ken Schwaber, one of the two creators of Scrum, so if that doesn't convince someone to choose the PSM over the CSM, I don't know what does.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jan 23, 2018 3:51 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
This is great but I wish they do send a physical certificate not only Digital. I am old school when it comes to those things.



Jan 23, 2018 3:49 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
Oh something I forgot to add when weighing up the CSM vs the PSM. The PSM certificate is signed by Ken Schwaber, one of the two creators of Scrum, so if that doesn't convince someone to choose the PSM over the CSM, I don't know what does.
This is great but I wish they do send a physical certificate not only Digital. I am old school when it comes to those things.
...
1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 4:01 PM
Sante Vergini
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Me too. The ASM delivers a hardcopy (upon request and a small fee), but the PSM is a softcopy. You could print it with a color laser printer at a quality place with thick paper. I'm sure the CSM gives a nice hardcopy certificate, but you need to pay around $1,200 - $1,500 for the privilege ;-)



Jan 23, 2018 3:51 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
This is great but I wish they do send a physical certificate not only Digital. I am old school when it comes to those things.
Me too. The ASM delivers a hardcopy (upon request and a small fee), but the PSM is a softcopy. You could print it with a color laser printer at a quality place with thick paper. I'm sure the CSM gives a nice hardcopy certificate, but you need to pay around $1,200 - $1,500 for the privilege ;-)



Jan 23, 2018 11:04 AM
Replying to Debra Roberts
...
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.
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.
...
1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 7:11 PM
Sante Vergini
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Yes Debra, I think the mandatory CSM class is nothing more than a money spinning tool. I mean it's just not necessary since it's the easiest of all Scrum certifications to pass.



Sante -

I just passed my PSM I certification today - it was moderately difficult, but with a copy of the Scrum Guide nearby and sufficient real experience, there's no reason someone shouldn't pass. The price point was reasonable as well given the lack of a course prerequisite.

I did find it to be a bit too purist whereas I come at agile from a pragmatic perspective. As such, I found the PMI-ACP to be a more realistic assessment of what actually happens "out there".

I'll skip the ASM and CSM credentials but might look at the next rung in Scrum.org's PSM series...

Kiron
...
2 replies by Rami Kaibni and Sante Vergini
Jan 23, 2018 5:58 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
Congrats Kiron. Two Questions for you (Which I already asked Sante and he replied to me):

1- Did you have enough time to complete 80 questions in 60 minutes ?
2- Questions were straight forward and all from the scrum guide ?
3- Did you do mock up exams ?

Thanks !
Jan 23, 2018 7:09 PM
Sante Vergini
...
Thanks for your input Kiron. Certainly the ACP is the top of the tree when it comes to Agile certifications. But for Scrum alone, the PSM I think will outrank the CSM in the future. Congrats on the PSM :-)



Jan 23, 2018 5:16 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Sante -

I just passed my PSM I certification today - it was moderately difficult, but with a copy of the Scrum Guide nearby and sufficient real experience, there's no reason someone shouldn't pass. The price point was reasonable as well given the lack of a course prerequisite.

I did find it to be a bit too purist whereas I come at agile from a pragmatic perspective. As such, I found the PMI-ACP to be a more realistic assessment of what actually happens "out there".

I'll skip the ASM and CSM credentials but might look at the next rung in Scrum.org's PSM series...

Kiron
Congrats Kiron. Two Questions for you (Which I already asked Sante and he replied to me):

1- Did you have enough time to complete 80 questions in 60 minutes ?
2- Questions were straight forward and all from the scrum guide ?
3- Did you do mock up exams ?

Thanks !



Jan 23, 2018 5:16 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Sante -

I just passed my PSM I certification today - it was moderately difficult, but with a copy of the Scrum Guide nearby and sufficient real experience, there's no reason someone shouldn't pass. The price point was reasonable as well given the lack of a course prerequisite.

I did find it to be a bit too purist whereas I come at agile from a pragmatic perspective. As such, I found the PMI-ACP to be a more realistic assessment of what actually happens "out there".

I'll skip the ASM and CSM credentials but might look at the next rung in Scrum.org's PSM series...

Kiron
Thanks for your input Kiron. Certainly the ACP is the top of the tree when it comes to Agile certifications. But for Scrum alone, the PSM I think will outrank the CSM in the future. Congrats on the PSM :-)



Jan 23, 2018 4:19 PM
Replying to Debra Roberts
...
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.
Yes Debra, I think the mandatory CSM class is nothing more than a money spinning tool. I mean it's just not necessary since it's the easiest of all Scrum certifications to pass.
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