In this article, we explore how much acquiring a Scrum Master certification can cost you with solutions ranging from as cheap as possible to the most expensive ones.
Table of Contents
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. Source: Scrum Guide 2020
Scrum could be summarized as a simple cycle (series of events) executed by a small cross functional team with well defined roles and supported by a few artifacts. It helps a group to validate (or not) assumptions and generate value iteratively and incrementally to its stakeholders via a product, project or service.
How to gain Scrum knowledge?
There are 3 main options available for learners of Scrum:
- Self- study
- Training (online or on site)
Self-study of Scrum is entirely possible and is the cheapest option. It however can prove to be a difficult one as the free materials on the subject are numerous and can be of dubious quality. The main reference for a self study learner should be the Scrum guide and videos of accredited providers found on YouTube such as our very own Scrum playlist. The official Scrum guide is a very easy read and contains most if not all of what is needed to know for a Scrum exam.
Training on site or online can be a fantastic experience thanks to the trainer’s presentation skills, his/her ability to put things into context, the possibilities to ask questions, work in a group and discover like minded professionals. The drawbacks of such option are its costs and inflexibility (fixed dates).
How to prepare for the Scrum Master exam?
Once you have acquired the knowledge needed, it is time to prepare for the exam. Now it is important to know that there are several Scrum Master exams available on the market. The 3 main ones are Certified Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Master and Registered Scrum Master – for more information on those, you can have a look here.
Choices available are:
- Free Scrum Master mock exams
- Paid Scrum Master mock exams
- Watching Flash card videos
- Using mock exams received during your training (in case you selected that option earlier)
- Mock exam simulator and questions from e-learning (in case you selected that option earlier and if this is included)
Watching Flash card videos is also a good way to prepare for the exam. Again, watch out for the source as some of those have a dubious quality. You can refer to our Flash card videos as a good source of preparation.
If you went through an online or onsite Scrum Master training, it is likely that you will receive at least some sample questions from your training providers. Working on those, the provided materials and a review of the Scrum guide provided should help you in reaching your goal.
If you went through an e-learning option, it is likely to be even better as not only such models offer generally many mock exams, they also offer a mock exam simulator which prepare you for the best conditions for the exam.
Where can I pass a Scrum Master exam?
In case you went through the training option (online or on site), the related Scrum Master exam (CSM, PSM I, RSM…) should be included. If not, it is likely that you have not purchased the course from an authorized source (Scrum Alliance, Scrum.org, ScrumInc….) as every accredited Scrum trainer is providing Scrum trainings with exams.
If you are in this case or went for the self study option, you can purchase a PSM I exam voucher at Scrum.org directly.
How much does a Scrum Master certification cost?
The price of acquiring a Scrum Master certification diverge depending on which learning option you opt, the provider you choose and the location. Here is an overview of the range of costs for each option expressed in USD:
|Self study (PSM I only)
|Training (onsite or online)
|E-learning (PSM I only)
$0-50, exam sample questions may be provided
$0-50, sample questions and mock simulator may be included
$150 from Scrum.org
Included, often with retake
$150 from Scrum.org
As one can see, the range of price for acquiring a Scrum Master certification vary significantly depending the option you choose.
As a general comment, nothing replaces the level of interactions, practical experience and knowledge that you can gain in a live class with an excellent trainer. However, the costs can be prohibitive for many.
The self study option is a valid option for individuals who are costs sensitive e.g. students, entry level professionals… but it can prove difficult due to the rarity of free qualified materials.
The e-learning option offers a sensible balance between costs and accessibility to acquire Scrum Master knowledge. Quality of the e-learnings may vary between providers and should be checked prior purchase. Besides the training style, the credentials and experience of the trainer should be checked.
Prepare for your Scrum Master exam the right way!
If you are looking to prepare a Scrum Master exam on your own, please have a look at our Scrum Master eLearning course.
As Registered Scrum Trainers, we have prepared an interactive eLearning training course for you, containing everything you need to know and spiced it with real-life examples, fun games and an engaging presentation divided into easily digestible, bite-sized videos
We hope that this article was of use to you. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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