The Certified ScrumMaster® is a credential awarded to those who are able to display expertise and knowledge of Scrum processes and practices. It validates their knowledge of the Scrum framework and their ability to successfully lead projects.
The CSM is awarded by the Scrum Alliance, an internationally renowned organization, and requires candidates to display their knowledge by clearing the comprehensive CSM exam.
Agility is a continuous process and the CSM certification is the first step towards achieving excellence in this field. It starts you on a journey of self-excellence, serving as a stepping stone for higher Scrum certifications.
The CSM is issued by the Scrum Alliance, a reputed organization known for its high standards and commitment to further Scrum and Agile adoption across industries through dedicated trainings, seminars and teachings.
According to the 2020 Robert Half Technology Salary Guide, the Certified ScrumMaster credential is among the most valuable certifications in IT today. The CSM is an entry level certification useful for those who are just getting started into Scrum or have been asked to manage Scrum projects.
As a CSM holder, you will be able to perform all the responsibilities expected from a Scrum Master of an agile project. You will be able to:
If you want to become a Certified ScrumMaster you have to fulfil certain criteria that include training from a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) and clearing a test. Let’s look at the eligibility requirements to gain the CSM credential as mentioned by Scrum Alliance.
Attending the course does not have any prerequisites, anyone with an interest in Scrum and who wants to gain the CSM credential can attend the training.
Your certification process starts with identifying a training provider and completing the mandatory training period for CSM as stipulated by the Scrum Alliance. The steps to gain the CSM certification are as mentioned:
Step 1: Take the 16 hour or 2-day CSM® course delivered by a CST® from a Global Registered Education Provider of Scrum Alliance.
Step 2: On successful completion of the course, you will receive a welcome email containing a link to activate your Scrum Alliance® certification account. The email also contains your login credentials
Step 3: Login to Scrum Alliance and complete your profile
Step 4: Select My Dashboard and click on "Take CSM test"
Step 5: Select your preferred language and take the Scrum Master certification online exam. CSM is an open book, 1-hour online test with 50 MCQs.
Step 6: To pass the test, correctly answer 37 out of the 50 questions within the 60-minute time limit. The passing score is 74%.
Step 7: On successfully passing the test, you will receive Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) designation from Scrum Alliance. You will also receive a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance.
Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainers, as the name suggests, are trainers of Scrum who have been rigorously vetted by Scrum Alliance. Scrum trainers have to undergo stringent certification requirements in order to be certified as CSTs.
According to Scrum Alliance, CSTs “turn learning from ‘informational to transformational’ and actively contribute to a passionate community of change agents around the world.”
In the world of Scrum Alliance, authorized training centres are called Registered Education Providers. These Institutes are rigorously screened and after an extensive evaluation are awarded the REP status by Scrum Alliance.
Scrum Alliance also regularly evaluates REPs to ensure that they are maintaining standards set by Scrum Alliance which include high quality instructors who imbibe the values of Scrum Alliance and courseware that matches the exam objectives.
CSM Exam Format
Once you complete the course, you are allowed to take the CSM exam.
Scrum Alliance’s Certified ScrumMaster exam is an online test, consisting of 50 multiple choice questions. You will have 1-hour (60 minutes) to finish it. You need to score a minimum of 74% in the exam to pass the Scrum Master Certification exam and obtain the certification.
The CSM exam fee is generally included in the training cost if you opt to train from a REP.
What if one fails to pass the CSM in one go?
If you fail the CSM in your first attempt, Scrum Alliance allows you to retake the exam at no cost for the first 2 attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email. You will however be charged a minimum of $25 every time you attempt, from the third attempt onwards or if you attempt the exam 90 days after receiving the welcome email.
How does one complete the CSM evaluation and receive Scrum Alliance Certificate?
On completing your training under a Certified Scrum Trainer, you are eligible to give you exam. You need to correctly attempt 37 out of the 50 questions within the 60-minute time limit to pass.
Once you complete the test, you can download your CSM certification by following these steps:
Remember that your certificate will be available for download only after you have accepted the ‘License Agreement’.
You must renew your CSM certification every two years. You can do this by paying $100 and logging in 20 SEUs (Scrum Educational Units) every two year period.
SEUs can be clocked by completing approved educational training, or taking part in various learning activities. You can also earn SEUs by providing non-compensated professional Scrum services and giving back to the community.
Ready to get CSM certified? Check our schedules and take the first step on your Scrum journey!