If you’re interested in pursuing a career in project management or simply want to improve your knowledge of agile methodologies, you may consider becoming a certified SAFe Scrum Master (SSM). However, passing the SSM exam can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what to expect. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to prepare and pass the SSM exam.
Table of Contents
Understanding the SSM Certification
The SSM certification is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the Scrum framework and its application within the context of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The exam consists of 45 multiple-choice questions that you must answer within 90 minutes. To pass, you need to get at least 33 questions correct, which translates to a passing score of 73%.
Preparing for the Exam
Step 1: Understand the Exam Blueprint
The first step in preparing for the SSM exam is to understand the exam blueprint. This blueprint provides an overview of the topics and areas that the exam covers. You can find the exam blueprint on the Scaled Agile website. Make sure you understand all the topics and their subtopics thoroughly.
Step 2: Attend an SSM Training Course
One of the prerequisites for taking the SSM exam is attending an SSM training course. These courses are typically two days long and cover all the topics included in the exam blueprint. Attending a training course will give you a deeper understanding of the Scrum framework and how it applies to SAFe.
Step 3: Study the Exam Preparation Materials
After attending the training course, you’ll need to study the exam preparation materials. These materials include the SAFe Scrum Master study guide, practice test, and sample questions.
Additionally, you may want to consider using additional resources such as Exam Prep for SSM, which provides practice exams and other study materials specifically designed to help you prepare for the SSM exam. Exam Prep for SSM, can further reinforce your understanding of the Scrum framework and its application within SAFe. Their SSM practice tests, in particular, can help you identify areas where you may need additional study and preparation.
Step 4: Join a Study Group
Joining a study group is an excellent way to prepare for the SSM exam. Study groups provide an opportunity to discuss the topics with other individuals who are also preparing for the exam. You can share your knowledge and ask questions to clarify your understanding of the topics.
Tips for Passing the Exam
Tip 1: Read the Questions Carefully
One of the most common mistakes people make when taking the SSM exam is not reading the questions carefully. Make sure you understand the question and all its components before answering. If you’re not sure about the answer, eliminate the options that are obviously wrong and then choose the best possible answer.
Tip 2: Manage Your Time Effectively
You have 90 minutes to answer 45 questions, which means you have just two minutes per question. Manage your time effectively by allocating more time to questions that you find challenging and less time to questions that you find easier.
Tip 3: Eliminate Obviously Wrong Answers
Eliminate the obviously wrong answers to increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. You can often eliminate one or two options based on your understanding of the topic.
Tip 4: Don’t Overthink the Questions
Some questions may be tricky, and you may be tempted to overthink them. However, the SSM exam is designed to test your knowledge of the Scrum framework and its application within SAFe. Don’t overcomplicate the questions and stick to the basic principles of Scrum.
Tip 5: Stay Calm and Focused
Finally, stay calm and focused during the exam. Don’t panic if you don’t know the answer to a question. Take a deep breath, eliminate the obviously wrong answers, and choose the best possible answer based on your understanding of the topic.
Preparing for and passing the SSM exam requires a combination of studying and preparation. Start by understanding the exam blueprint, attending a training course, using practice tests, and joining a study group. Additionally, keep in mind the tips for passing the exam, such as reading the questions carefully, managing your time effectively, eliminating obviously wrong answers, not overthinking the questions, and staying calm and focused.
By following these steps and tips, you’ll be well on your way to passing the SSM exam and achieving your certification as a SAFe Scrum Master. Remember, preparation and practice are key to success, so make sure you allocate enough time to study and take practice tests before the exam. With hard work and dedication, you can pass the SSM exam and advance your career in project management.
Most frequent questions and answers
The SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification is the exam given to students who have participated in the SAFe™ Scrum Master training course. The SSM assessment evaluates your understanding of the Scrum Master role in SAFe, including facilitating Agile teams, coaching Agile practices, support PI execution, and implement DevOps for continuous flow and delivery. The exam consists of 45 multiple-choice questions, and you have 90 minutes to complete it. The passing score for the certification exam is 73%, which means you need to answer at least 33 out of 45 questions correctly to pass.
Official SAFe™ Scrum Master (SSM) exam details:
- Passing score: 33/45 (73%)
- Time limit: 90 minutes
- Number of Questions: 45
- Format: Multiple Choice and Multiple Answer
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Language: English only
- Fee: First attempt included in the course registration fee if taken within 30 days of course completion. Each retake or attempt past the 30-day window is $50
- Attend the SAFe™ Scrum Master (SSM) Training, a 2-day training program that will give you an understanding of the role of a Scrum Master in a SAFe enterprise.
- Carefully read and understand the SAFe Scrum Master Student Workbook.
- Take ScrumPrep’s Exam Prep for SAFe™ Scrum Master (SSM) practices questions until you consistently score 90-100%.
The time it takes to prepare for the exam depends on your previous experience with SAFe, Scrum and your learning style. On average, it takes 1-2 weeks of preparing for the exam, however, it can be taken in less time depending on how much you’ve already mastered.
The exam is updated periodically (sometimes monthly) to ensure that it remains relevant and up-to-date with the latest practices. Be sure to check for updates and changes to the resources and exam content before taking the exam.
The SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) exam is a more advanced certification exam compared to the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) exam. The SASM exam covers more advanced topics, such as advanced Scrum concepts, facilitation of cross-team interactions, advanced metrics, and coaching Agile teams. The SSM exam, on the other hand, focuses on the Scrum framework and its application within the context of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The SASM exam is designed for individuals who have already passed the SSM exam and have gained some experience in implementing Scrum within the SAFe framework.
Yes, you can take the exam multiple times if you don’t pass on the first attempt. However, you need to pay for each attempt.
Passing the SSM assessment demonstrates your ability to apply Scrum in the context of the entire enterprise, facilitate Team and Program Level events, and become a servant leader and coach. SAFe Scrum Masters help Agile Teams to deliver the maximum business value that is achievable through SAFe.
Benefits of passing the SSM assessment include demonstrating your ability to apply Scrum principles and practices in the context of SAFe and to facilitate Agile teams at scale, which can lead to career advancement opportunities and a competitive edge in the job market. Additionally, passing the SSM assessment can increase your earning potential and provide a foundation for further SAFe certifications, such as the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) or SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) certifications.
A 2-day SAFe™ Scrum Master (SSM) Training program is required to be qualified for the exam. You can find a list of training providers here.
The SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification is valid for one year from the date of certification. After that, you’ll need to renew your certification by paying a fee and completing the SAFe Scrum Master renewal exam. The renewal exam is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the latest version of SAFe and its application within the Scrum framework. The renewal fee and exam may vary depending on your geographic location and the certifying organization.