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Reading Time: 9 mins | Publish Date: 3 Apr 2021 | Update Date: 19 Nov 2023

How to Prepare For Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

Preparation Guide for Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam


SCRUMstudy is the national Scrum and Agile certification accreditation body. SCRUMstudy provides education, training, resources and certifications to practitioners of Scrum and agile. Authorized Training Providers (A.T.P.s), being the biggest collaborator network of SCRUMstudy, provides a platform to deliver trainings and certifications.

According to SCRUMstudy, Scrum Master Certified (SMC) professionals are facilitators who ensure that the Scrum Team has an atmosphere conducive to successful completion of the project. The Scrum Master acts as guide, facilitator, and teaches Scrum activities to all participants in the project; eliminates challenges for the team; and, ensures the follow-up of Scrum processes.

The Scrum Master Certified (SMC) certification has the aim to verify that the applicants have acquired the requisite knowledge of SCRUM application in SCRUM adaptation projects to a particular scenario. Candidates, with powerful agile practices learned, will be acknowledged as part of an elite group of professionals from Scrum who provide experience well beyond what a traditional project manager might contribute.

This guide provides a detailed overview of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) certification including all sorts of prerequisites for the exam, the exam format, topics covered, exam difficulty and preparation methods, and the target audience profile.

Introduction to Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

Candidates for Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam are seeking to create an atmosphere conducive to successful completion of the project. Before taking this exam, candidates are encouraged to complete the Scrum Developer Certified (SDC) certification as a prerequisite education to ensure that they are knowing Scrum enough about to contribute successfully to a Scrum project. Additionally, a 2-day training in the online classroom given by SCRUMstudy is highly recommended to be attended by the candidates before taking the exam.

Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam has no official prerequisites. Eligible applicants will be awarded Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Certification by SCRUMstudy after passing the qualification exam. The certification needs to be maintained by taking the SMC Recertification exam every 3 years through the SCRUMstudy online platform.

Topics of Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

The following topics are part of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam that a candidate must have a firm grip on, to pass the exam:

1. Agile Overview

Developing self-organizing and cross-functional teams to discover requirements and develop solutions. Valuing individuals and interaction, customer collaboration, accomodating changes over time and focus on working software rather than comprehensive documentation. Using agile methods like Scrum and Kanban to manage focus on workflow. Differentiating between Agile and traditional waterfall methodology.

This section constitutes of the following subtopics:

  • The Importance and boost of Agile
  • The Manifesto of the Agile
  • Agile Manifesto Principles
  • Interdependence Declaration
  • Methods of Agile
  • Comparison of Agile and Traditional methodology

2. Scrum Overview

Developing an agile framework to break the task in timeboxed iterations (sprints). Encourage teams to learn through interactions, to coordinate themselves when working on an issue, and to focus on wins and losses to constantly improve. Overview of a series of discussions, methods, and roles that work together to help teams coordinate and handle their work.

This section constitutes of the following subtopics:

  • Principles of Scrum
  • Characteristics of Scrum
  • Processes of Scrum
  • Advantages of Scrum

3. Scrum Roles

Learning clearly defined roles of individuals in Scrum to improve efficiency. Scrum roles define the main responsibilities for those on the team. Roles in Scrum aren’t job titles. Empiricism, self-organization, and constant development are the core of Scrum. The Scrum roles, therefore, include a minimum description of responsibilities and accountability to encourage teams to conduct work effectively. Scrum Roles can be divided into two main categories; Core and Non-core. The core roles are further divided and described below:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Scrum Team

4. Phases of Scrum Project

Learning the main processes and phases involved in Scrum. These phases can be divided into 3 main groups namely pregame, game and postgame. The phases are listed below:

  • Initiation
  • Estimation and Planning
  • Implementation
  • Review
  • Retrospect
  • Release

5. Scaling Scrum

Scaling is becoming more effective as you grow. This refers to connecting several teams to deliver complex solutions that need proper coordinated working. The larger the size of a team, the greater the contact lines between team members, making it more difficult to establish trust and a shared goal. Scaling scrum will, therefore, help to establish personal relationships and maintain desired results. Scaling scrum comprises of the following contents:

  • Scrum Scalability
  • Use of Scrum in Portfolios and Programs
  • Scrum of Scrums (SoS) Meeting
  • Transition to Scrum
  • Mapping to Scrum from Traditional Roles
  • Maintaining Traditional Roles to Scrum
  • Maintaining Stakeholder Engagement
  • Significance of Executive Support

6. Mock Product Development

Develop mock product using the skills learned to practice agile development

7. Case Studies

Using simulated case studies to gain experience in carrying out a Scrum project

Who should take the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

The Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam is targeted towards anyone out there aspiring to become a Scrum Master. The certification and training are suitable for members and managers of Scrum teams, teams transitioning to Scrum, and all other professionals who wish to pursue their career as Scrum Master.

The Agile approach has influenced the world by surprise. The demand for practitioners with experience in agile methodologies who can properly handle and implement agile projects has risen in agile software environments. One can be qualified in these techniques by having a Scrum Master Certification. At the same time, this qualification serves as concrete evidence for employers searching for people with these skills. So it is worth developing an interest in Scrum and take the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam.

How to study the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

Several websites, including the official certification website SCRUMstudy, provide online learning and preparation for the exam. Two modes of learning are available i.e. Instructor-led and Online learning. Registrations for both modes can be done via the official website. Online courses for Scrum Master are available at Udemy, iLearn, and Encertify. Recorded videos of all course content are available as well as live classes and web conferences. E-Books and other reference study material can be found and downloaded from the SCRUMstudy website. All links are provided in the references section at the end of this document.

Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Certification Path

Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Certification Path is fairly simple. There is no official prerequisite for this qualification, but before applying for the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Examination, it is desirable to complete the Scrum Developer Certified (SDC) qualification. Another 2-day classroom training available at SCRUMstudy is highly recommended. This qualification is ideal for anyone who wishes to become a Scrum Master. The certification needs to be maintained. For this, it is necessary to take the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Recertification Exam after every 3 years.

By registering for the exam, all candidates will get access to the online complementary course with videos of all concepts, case studies, and other aids for learning. Training and live classes will ensure a 100% pass rate to dedicated candidates. Qualified applicants will be awarded Scrum Master Certified (SMC) upon successfully passing the exam.

How much Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam Cost

The cost of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam is $450 USD. For more information related to exam price, please visit the official website at SCRUMstudy Website as the cost of exams may vary according to the region of the candidate.

How to book the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

Follow the steps listed below to apply for the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam:

  • Step 1: Visit the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) section under the “Certifications” tab on the SCRUMstudy website.
  • Step 2: Register your account and click Apply for the exam.
  • Step 3: Pay $450 or use a voucher.
  • Step 4: Submit required documents online.
  • Step 5: Access Scrum Master Certified course (Online or Instructor-led) and get a copy of guide books.
  • Step 6: Schedule the two-hour exam online.

What is the duration, language, and format of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

  • Duration of Exam: Two hours (120 minutes)
  • Number of Questions: 100
  • No negative marking for wrong answers
  • Passing Rate: 95%
  • Type of Questions: Multiple choice (MCQs)
  • Language of Exam: English, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and Mandarin

Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam Certified Professional salary

The estimated salaries of Scrum Master Certified professionals are listed below:

Country vise

  • United States: 50,000 - 150,000 USD
  • India: 20,00,000 INR
  • Europe: 90,000 EURO

Rank vise

  • Entry level Scrum Master: 50,000 - 70,000 USD
  • Senior level Scrum Master: 75,000 - 150,000 USD

The benefit of obtaining the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam Certification

  • Agile software environments have created an increase in demand for practitioners with agile methodology experience and who can handle and execute agile projects properly.

  • This certification serves as concrete evidence for employers who are searching for employees with agile development skills.

  • The qualification allows easy involvement in team events and brings a sense of ownership.

  • The certification enables self-motivation, which can help improve the efficiency of the team.

  • This will help you to create a job atmosphere that is useful for the growth of the business.

  • Scrum Master Certification is a symbol of honor. Your team will never doubt your eligibility as a mentor and will become more open to your thought processes and insights.

  • Having a Scrum Master Certified Professional in the team is always a plus for the organization.

Difficulty in Writing Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam

In general, the Scrum Master Certified (SMC) Exam is not challenging at all. The key to any Agile method is practice. Agile methods demand empirical practice. They are very simple to read, understand and apply. The magic is in practice, in the application. That is where you observe, that is where the nuances come in, that is where you understand the practical challenges in your organization, and that is where you refine your knowledge and application of Agile. Certifications are only meant as an advertisement of your knowledge, a formalization, and not a necessary end in itself. If however one is taking the certification exam without prior practice and no foundation of empirical observation it is going to be tricky. If you have practiced Scrum for about 4–6 iterations before taking the training and also before taking the certification exam, it is not difficult at all. Scrum Master Certified (SMC) is a privileged achievement one could be graced with. Sample questions and study guides make sure to cover the entire course content.

For more info read reference:

SCRUMstudy Website Encertify Website Reference and Course Books

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