As was referenced in a recent posting to the Certified Scrum Trainers (CST) site, the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors (Board) has decided to move forward with the launch of the online Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) exam on October 1. The Board understands and appreciates that this decision has caused confusion and concern after the Alliance announced earlier in September that the launch of the test would be postponed.
The Board now feels that this step is appropriate for many reasons, including providing the opportunity to continuously improve the test by observing and analyzing the results of those who take the test after completing CSM training beginning October 1. Initially, all CSM students who take the test will receive a passing grade; however, CSTs will need to emphasize to students that it is important to answer each question on the test to the best of the student’s ability to provide credibility to the results and assure the Alliance will be able to effectively analyze and evolve the exam for the better.
The Scrum Guide contains much information that will be relevant to questions posed to students on the exam. It is a valuable resource from which students can help themselves prepare for the test. CSTS elaborate and expand upon the Scrum Guide content using appropriate contextual exercises and discussions in their classes. Also, CSTs have the authority to determine whether a student should receive the CSM certification and prior to taking the CSM test, an examinee must have successfully completed the CSM training class as determined by the CST.
Our mission at the Scrum Alliance is to Transform the World of Work and providing a quality, sufficient test of CSM students’ knowledge of Scrum principles, concepts and practices is one part of helping everyone to effectively apply Scrum wherever they work. Our Certified Scrum Trainers and Certified Scrum Coaches are the key integral components in conveying knowledge and helping people do Scrum as effectively as possible. The test will help the Trainers who teach CSM assess how well their students understand Scrum after training and help the Trainers determine whether they should adjust teaching styles, methods, and elements.
Below are some more details of how we plan to launch and how we are addressing the localization issue. Please reach out to myself or Jodi Gibson if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you very much!
CSM Exam Launch Plan
- We will launch on October 1 with 3 variations of the exam.
- Each of the 3 variations will have 60 questions out of the total pool of 90 questions. They will be structured to make sure that each area of the Scrum Guide is equally represented in each exam.
- For a period of time (the length of which is yet undetermined, but will be announced in the future), all those who take the test will be given a “passing” grade.
- Over time, analysis of exam results will help the Alliance determine the best 60 questions that are equally weighted within the content of the Scrum Guide. After this analysis is complete, the final version of the exam will be selected and it will be given on a pass/fail basis. Rules will be in place and will be communicated on the Scrum Alliance site regarding the process of retaking the exam in the event a person fails it.
- To solve the issue of localization prior to the exam being converted to multiple languages, we will have the trainers when loading the students from their class indicate whether or not this student has the ability to read English and can take the exam. This will mean that students who do not read or speak English will still be granted certification without taking the exam – basically the “old way” of doing it. We just feel it is not fair to require those who do not speak the language to have a noncertified status even after they have paid for a training class.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Jodi Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate the support of all of our community in our endeavor to improve Scrum and transform our world of work for the better.