Scrum Master certification requires passing a certification exam. But to take your certification exam you have to make a serious effort.
The long study of the entire Guide can take months. However, in our article, you can find short and clear sample questions and appropriate reactions.
The preparatory questions are suitable for the Scrum Master certifications PSM I, CSM, and BVOSM.
Scrum Master Certification preparatory questions for the certification exam
Development Your team is very keen to go on holiday and asks you to postpone the retrospective of your sprint to the beginning or end of the other sprint.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Sprint retrospection only makes sense when it is performed immediately after the sprint itself (after the review). The reason for this is simple: “iron is forged while it is hot.”
Over time, the small details (which are the most important) are forgotten. And the idea is to analyze everything while everything is still fresh and fresh. Reference: “Preparation for Certified Scrum Master certification exam with sample questions”
The client informs you that he is initiating repairs in his office and asks you to send him a summary by email of your meeting with the team and your opinions about the Sprint Review meeting. He trusts you completely for your analysis.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: The idea for the review is for the client to express his opinion – for him to give an assessment. If we ask the team – it’s ready for him, he’s done his job. But the client may have had something else in mind or expected something different. Reference: “Preparation for Certified Scrum Master certification exam with sample questions“, https://www.shihannews.net/preparation-for-certified-scrum-master-certification-exam/
That is why he must be present. And if you’ve known the customer for years and you’ve built trust, then something similar can be done (after consulting with the product owner) – but this is a very, very big exception. It’s like going to buy a car and not doing a test drive but letting the owner drive it – it doesn’t make much sense, but there are all kinds. Reference: “Example questions for the Scrum Master certification exam“, https://customer-service-us.com/example-questions-for-the-scrum-master-certification-exam/
Your principal has heard that your Sprint is over, but there is unfinished business. He is angry and asks you to remove some large User Stories from the planned ones until the end of the sprint and replace them with smaller ones that you can find in the general list.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: He calmly explained that the unfinished work is not something fatal and problematic. It will be done in the next sprint (if the owner decides to put it again at the top of the priorities).
And the idea of removing the big and “blurring the situation with something small but complete” is absurd. It is no coincidence that the small is defined as such, it does not matter much. As long as the big one can be broken down into smaller ones to be completed in the next sprint – if this is explained to him – everything is fine. Reference: “Preparation for the certification exam for CSM and PSM I (BVOSM) Scrum Master“, https://www.mu7club.com/preparation-for-certification-exam-scrum-master/
The Development team informs you this morning that they are ready with all their work two days before the end of the sprint and ask you to arrange a meeting with the client to hold the Sprint Review meeting with him and start the new sprint tomorrow.
Scrum Master’s reaction: There are clearly defined roles and events in Scrum. The sprint show is one of those events that cannot be changed at the request of any of the team (even the master or the owner). The “guarantee” for a successful scrum is just that – that from the beginning everyone has agreed on a specific duration and other details.
The fact that they finished earlier can only make me happy and means that in the future we will only improve our productivity and efficiency. There must be some exceptional event/cause/exception so that a similar event can be changed just like that (but not for a similar reason). Reference: “Certified Scrum Master exam preparation with sample questions“, https://customessaysonline.net/certified-scrum-master-exam-preparation-with-sample-questions/
The development team informs you that they prefer not to work with a fixed time for sprints, but prefer each sprint to have a duration according to their work and judgment. They have already discussed this proposal with the Product Owner role and he has said he has no claims.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: This idea is a double-edged sword. In theory, it sounds good and tempting and even a little modest – adaptive, but in fact, the opposite is true.
Setting such specific deadlines makes it easier for the team to catch up at work, to be able to easily compare work quality and productivity, and to offer easier predictability of an outcome or to use graphs to illustrate progress. Reference: “Preparation for the Certified Scrum Master exam (PSM, CSM, BVOSM)“, https://mpmu.org/preparation-for-the-certified-scrum-master-exam-psm-csm-bvosm/
Your assigned Product Owner on the project goes on a business trip to the client and sent you this morning’s Sprint Goal for the next sprint. He has also made a collection with all the user stories that the team will work on.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: This is very good, but these things are discussed with the whole team together so that everyone can express their competent opinion and approve of the common goal.
Yes, the owner is, so to speak, one idea above the others and has more powers (although it is not very appropriate to use these words in moderation), but this does not mean that he will simply determine things at his discretion.
The teams consist of experts in narrow fields who can give a real and adequate assessment of a given issue and that is why such definitions are made only after a general discussion of the whole team. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification exam on Sprint event“, https://medfd.org/preparation-for-scrum-master-certification-exam-on-sprint-event/
The Product Owner of the project has sent you an email stating that he will collect detailed information on many details and plans to communicate continuously with the client so that he can describe as many details as possible about the work for a long time to come.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Great, that’s his job. It should only be reminded that a large amount is not an indicator of something good. It is of good quality.
Therefore, after this comprehensive meeting and many ideas and concepts, and requirements, it would be good to make a list of priority tasks for the team to understand and break down possible (together) into smaller and more understandable for everyone. Read more: “Professional Scrum Master Certification Online“, https://pm.mba/posts/scrummaster-certification-online/
You are returning from vacation. The team and the Product Owner of the project tell you that there is no time and the sprint should start without planning, as the team will work independently and will choose User Stories, ranked at the top of the Product Backlog collection.
The Scrum Master’s reaction: Again, Scrum has roles and events. They “guarantee” the success of the scrum concept. These are excuses that sound logical at the moment, but in the long run, will only undermine the essence of the scrum and its principles.
Sprint planning is an event that cannot be ignored because it gives an idea of how the sprint will develop and gives “light in the tunnel” – a kind of prominent direction. If it starts just like that, there is a great danger of wandering and wondering. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification and tips for Scrum professionals”, https://www.kievpress.info/preparation-for-scrum-master-certification/
The Product Owner role has told your team that some functionality is expected in a few months. Your team plans to do a technology study from now on to save yourself any problems and lack of competencies over time.
Scrum Master’s reaction: Unnecessary and unproductive. The word WAIT is key. The world was also expected to end in 2012. And millions of people had panned and acted lunatically. The focus is only on the present.
There is someone to think about in the future. The role of the team is to be focused on the current moment and tasks. Only in this way will there be progress and efficiency – which is purposeful and modest. Read more: “Preparation with sample questions for Scrum Master certification exam CSM & PSMI”, https://wikipedia-lab.org/preparation-sample-questions-scrummaster-certification-exam/
A member of your team who is planning to go on vacation soon has just started working on User Story, which is expected to be planned for the next sprint.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Needless again as the example above: keyword: EXPECTED – something uncertain, unclear, and murky in the future. Excessively wasted energy. It is better to rest and regenerate to gather strength for the next sprint than to bother with uncertain things.
Well, if he’s a workaholic and it gives him pleasure – let him. It’s like LeBron James finishing a workout and staying to play a little basketball “for fun” – his choice, as long as he doesn’t get tired or injured and is unable to play the game. Read more: “Free preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam (CSM, PSMI, PSMII, BVOP)”, https://brightonbot.com/preparation-scrum-master-certification-exam/
A member of the team expresses dissatisfaction with the idea that everyone knows what the other is doing. He is used to solitude. He prefers to work without explaining what exactly or to see his work in software systems. It guarantees that it will deliver very good results and just in time.
The Scrum Master’s reaction: He didn’t understand the basics of Scrum – and it’s exactly what he doesn’t want. If he shows extreme dislike for this model and refuses to follow it, then he is simply not suitable for the team.
It will only bring confusion and excitement. And such people do not make sense to waste time on beliefs to the contrary – they are firmly committed to theirs and simply do not listen to the other – just the opposite of scrum (of course, rare cases, but there are). Read more: “Free training to prepare for the Scrum Master Certification exam”, https://www.islandjournal.net/scrum-master-certification-exam/
A colleague of yours, Scrum Master from your organization, meets you in the hallway and asks for advice on the length of his team’s sprint. None of the teams can offer a duration for their sprint. He asks you to recommend a time for their sprint.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Each situation is individual in itself. He is not familiar with scrum in general. Because if he was, he would know that the sprint is initially between 1 – 4 weeks (preferably not longer than a month) and that it is a decision taken by the whole team unanimously. If he’s going to ask people outside the team about something like that, he’s not a mastermind. Read more: “Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2022 and 2023“, https://eduwiki.me/best-scrum-master-certifications-for-2021-and-2022/
The Product Owner role of your team wants to change the duration of the sprint to 6 weeks as you start integrating very complex systems and do not want to discredit yourself, your team, and the organization in front of the client with sprints where you risk not being able to deliver real work done.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Quite a good reason, which should be discussed with the whole team and his opinion should be consulted. In general, if it is a very important and large client with a large project, it is possible to have an exception to the rule for up to 4 weeks.
It is not recommended, but if the whole team agrees with this and they have arguments and reasons and evidence of how this is the approach – then it is ok. Again – a decision was taken by the whole team, not just 1 position. Read more: “Best Scrum Master certification online”, https://scrumtime.org/best-scrum-master-certification-online/
You receive an email from your client’s Project Manager. He asks you if there is a problem if your sprint is 6 working days. He expects a quick response so he knows what to pass on to his superiors.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: If the question is purely academic – yes, the sprint can last from 1 to 4 weeks. But to answer such a question requires a lot of background information to assess whether it is realistic. Otherwise as a question (from the matter) – yes. Reference: “Preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam (BVOSM, CSM, PSM)“, https://mstsnl.net/preparation-for-the-scrum-master-certification-exam-bvosm-csm-psm/
Your director tells you that he has read a lot of information on the Internet about Scrum and asks you to set a time for your sprints to be one working week to reduce any risk.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Again as we specified above. There are no written rules for this to be so and this for so much. This is not a car tank where you can only hold a specific amount of fuel.
Here things are adaptive and adaptable. If it is a matter of straightforward processes, the duration of which is really short, then yes, a one-week sprint is the answer. Reference: “Quick and easy preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam“, https://www.businesspad.org/quick-and-easy-preparation-for-the-scrum-master-certification-exam/
But when it comes to complex developments that involve complex tasks, there is no way to force a time frame just because of some statistics. At least technically impossible.
So it is good to explain to the director that many things are written on the Internet, but in the project, these issues are solved based on thousands of factors and prerequisites and at the discretion of the whole team.
The director of your organization wants to start developing three new products and informs you that for the largest product in terms of volume, he wants a team of 10 people. The available specialists for all new products are a total of 15 people.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I explain to the director the requirements for the size of the Scrum teams, namely that they are composed of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 9 people.
A team of 10 people would be too large and we risk difficulties in following Scrum methodologies, which will lead to clumsiness, and communication problems and ultimately reduce the efficiency and productivity of the team, although it involves more professionals.
On the other hand, to meet the requirement for a minimum of 3 people in a team, for the other two products we will need at least 1 more person to be able to divide 2 teams of 3 people each.
I explain that it is more important what specialists in terms of experience and competencies we include in the team that will work on the largest product, than how many they are. We emphasize quality at the expense of quantity to get better results and efficiency.
I suggest that we make a careful selection of the people in each team, striving to comply with the amount of work that each product requires and at the same time comply with the requirement for the size of the Scrum teams.
The director thinks that lower priority products do not need to have a Product Owner role.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I remind the director of the main responsibilities of the Product Owner role, namely communication with the customer, preparation of clear and transparent wording about the product and its purpose, compiling and prioritizing the Product backlog.
The Product Owner role is an integral part of the Scrum team, regardless of product priority. I suggest that a Product Owner be assigned to several teams working on lower priority products, taking into account similarities like the products and the volume of work.
The director insists that because he has many years of experience in managing people, he wants to be the general manager of the largest team, set tasks daily, and request reports from each member of the team.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I understand and respect the director’s desire to exercise more control over the team and explain to him that the idea of the Scrum philosophy is that Scrum teams are structured and empowered by the organization to organize and manage their work. they are self-governing, which means that they decide for themselves who does what, when they do it and how.
This helps employees to be more responsible and committed to their work, and to achieve higher results. The director can always contact me, in my capacity as Scrum Master, in case he wants a status update on the project or to set a new task.
The director tells you that for each product, the client has appointed a project manager, who in case of urgent requests, will assign to each member of the team, a priority task for the day.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I tell the director that it is great to have a project manager on the client-side. According to the Scrum methodology, his direct contact on our part should be only the relevant Product Owner of the team working on the product to which the request relates.
The Product Owner is the one responsible for prioritizing the tasks in the Product Backlog and all new and urgent requests must be addressed to him first. He, in turn, undertook further communication with the Scrum team to plan work together on the request in question.
One of the senior programmers of the team told everyone that since the team is large and he has a lot of experience, he will officially accept the role of Team Lead. He adds that he will choose technologies, offer a way of work to each member of the team and monitor the progress of the tasks.
Scrum Master’s reaction: I gather the whole team and explain Scrum’s philosophy about teams, namely that there are no hierarchies in the Scrum team. It is a cohesive unit of professionals focused on one current goal – the Product Goal.
The idea is for team members to interact, complement each other and learn from each other by creating a valuable product. Everyone is free to choose the technology and the way of work that is most comfortable for him and makes him more effective in achieving the goals of the team. At the same time, each member of the team can unleash their leadership skills, set a personal example, and help and advise more inexperienced colleagues. Pair programming is an excellent opportunity for this.
A new employee in your organization, hired recently, tells you that because he is a novice specialist and is still on probation, he prefers not to interfere in team decisions and does not want to take responsibility for working on the product.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I would put such a colleague to work near an experienced and/or very active and contact member of the team. It could be two or three. Depends on the organization of the workspace.
I will ask more experienced employees to pay a little more attention to him at the beginning, asking him for his opinion on the code they are writing or asking him how he would act in their place in a particular situation. We will implement pair programming. This should break the novice’s insecurity and give him confidence.
I would explain to him that his opinion and assessment of the work that needs to be done is very valuable, as it is new and can bring fresh thoughts and ideas. The team will surely appreciate it. And daily Scrum meetings allow us to quickly determine whether an idea or solution is good or not, and to consider better options together.
You understand that most of your team members have already talked to your HR manager and received permission to work outside the office.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I have been working remotely for 12 years and as we can see, after the appearance of the Coronavirus, this is emerging as a trend – whole teams work remotely or hybrid. There is already a wide selection of tools and applications for online collaboration. Good cooperation in an online environment is a matter of team organization.
If people are physically in the same city, I would arrange for them to come to the office at least once a week so that most of them can be spotted and be able to communicate “live” with each other. Separately, we can consider informal meetings outside working hours once a week or every two weeks.
Usually, at such meetings people have the opportunity to get to know each other better and get closer, which improves teamwork and trust between them, and on the other hand, work topics are inevitable, especially when someone has a problem to solve. Sometimes the best decisions are made “by the glass”.
A member of the Development team introduces you with joy and delight that outside of working hours, he has written a large collection of program code that he can easily add to the product, and through it speeds up many of his tasks and some of those of the rest of the team.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Here, as a possible reaction, I can say “Great! Well done!” to the colleague and that I would like to meet with the whole team to discuss together what he has developed and what exactly the benefits this will bring for the product and the other members of the team. I am organizing the meeting in question as soon as possible.
The development team offers you the idea that you set an estimated time to complete the tasks, and that they focus on their work and set aside time for the tasks. They shared this with the Product Owner role, and he was quite pleased.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I remind the team and the Product Owner that the responsibility for determining the estimated time to complete the tasks lies with the development team, as developers know best, based on their experience, how long it would take them. a given task or action. As a Scrum Master, I can help by proposing and applying various methods for determining forecast time.
The teams of the three parallel products that your organization is developing have decided to reorganize. Their desire is to be divided into teams according to their profession and qualification. One team will be programmers, the second will be designers, and the third will be quality control. You have been nominated as an activity coordinator.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I discuss with the team exactly how this division of teams according to professions will contribute to more efficient, flexible, and timely work on the project.
If we agree to work in this way, we risk wasting time in unnecessary communication, or due to the lack of such confusion as to who exactly is working on what at the moment, we risk violating the agreed priorities for individual products and teams as a whole will lose of its effectiveness.
Let me remind you that the idea for the Scrum team is to complement its members in terms of functions so that within a sprint they can deliver a working version of the product or a functioning part of the final product.
Therefore, it is good to have one or more programmers, designers, and QA specialists in a team to focus on working on one product. In this way we limit the communication within the team, the focus remains on one product and what is most important to develop on it, we keep the efficiency and the work on the three products will go smoothly.
The development team shares its view that User Story contains too little information and wants more details.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: I contact the Product Owner, as he is responsible for formulating user stories and I discuss the situation with him. I would expect a rewording of the specific story so that my team understands it and has no further questions.
The Product Owner has asked one of the team members not to temporarily report problems and defects on the product publicly in your defect recording system, but to fix them himself.
The reaction of the Scrum Master: Here I am not sure exactly how things would turn out, given that the whole team should be aware of any problems or defects in the product from the daily Scrum meetings and make a timely decision to eliminate them.
If we assume that there is only one programmer in the team, then he would still not be able to hide his mistake, because QA will detect it and report it… A possible solution, perhaps, would be in this case to explain to the Product Owner- a that a defect or error in the product cannot be hidden from the whole team and the sooner everyone learns about it, the faster the problem will be eliminated and the relevant conclusions will be drawn, so that in the future makes a similar mistake.