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5 things you need to know about the A-CSM course. Part 5

The Truth About the A-CSM Course: No Exams, Continuous Assessment


The one thing to know about the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course is there is no exam. Many people think that’s a great thing, and so do I. But it does mean that from the moment we start until the moment we finish, you are under assessment. This blog post will delve into the details of this unique approach to evaluation, highlighting what it means for you as a participant and how it ensures the development of truly capable Scrum Masters.

Continuous Assessment: The True Measure of a Scrum Master

The Reality of No Exams

While the absence of a final exam may initially seem like a relief, it comes with its own set of challenges and expectations. Unlike traditional courses where you might cram for a test at the end, the A-CSM course evaluates you continuously. This means that every interaction, every exercise, and every participation moment is part of your assessment.

What Continuous Assessment Involves

  • Practical Application: From day one, you’re expected to demonstrate your understanding of Scrum principles not just theoretically, but practically.
  • Behaviour and Presentation: How you present yourself matters. Are you embodying the role of a Scrum Master? This is scrutinized throughout the course.
  • Knowledge in Action: It’s not enough to know the Scrum Guide by heart. You must show how you implement and adapt Scrum practices in real-world scenarios.

Personal Experience: Embracing the Challenge

When I took the A-CSM course, the idea of continuous assessment was both daunting and exhilarating. It pushed me to stay engaged, apply my knowledge actively, and continuously reflect on my growth as a Scrum Master. There was no room for complacency, and that constant drive to improve was incredibly rewarding.

What Makes a Great Scrum Master?

Beyond Book Knowledge

We don’t want people going out and saying they’re an amazing Scrum Master without experience and practical knowledge. The A-CSM course ensures that participants are not just book-smart but are proficient in applying their knowledge.

Key Attributes Assessed

  • Leadership and Facilitation Skills: Are you able to lead a team effectively? Can you facilitate productive discussions and meetings?
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: How do you handle impediments? Are you proactive in finding solutions?
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: Scrum is all about adapting to change. How well do you manage evolving project requirements and team dynamics?

Recommendations for Aspiring Scrum Masters

  • Engage Actively: Participate in every exercise and discussion. Your engagement is a critical part of your assessment.
  • Reflect Continuously: Take time to reflect on your actions and learnings regularly. Continuous improvement is key.
  • Seek Feedback: Don’t wait until the end to find out how you’re doing. Seek feedback from your peers and instructors throughout the course.

Tips for Success in the A-CSM Course

Preparation is Key

Before the course begins, make sure you have a solid understanding of the basics of Scrum. This foundation will help you to engage more deeply with the advanced concepts.

Stay Present and Engaged

From the moment the course starts, stay focused and involved. Every activity is an opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities.

Leverage Your Experience

Bring your real-world experiences into the discussions. This not only enriches the learning experience for everyone but also shows your ability to apply Scrum principles in practice.

Personal Anecdote: A Transformative Journey

During my A-CSM course, I remember a particular exercise where we had to simulate a Scrum meeting. My ability to handle a conflict that arose during the simulation was a pivotal moment in my assessment. It wasn’t just about knowing what to do; it was about demonstrating calm, effective leadership in real-time.

Conclusion: Embrace the Journey

The A-CSM course is designed to develop Scrum Masters who are not only knowledgeable but also capable of leading and facilitating effectively. The continuous assessment approach ensures that by the end of the course, you are not just certified, but truly transformed into a proficient Scrum Master.

Final Thoughts

  • Embrace the Continuous Assessment: See it as an opportunity to grow continuously rather than a burden.
  • Stay Committed: Your dedication throughout the course will be the true measure of your success.
  • Apply Your Knowledge: Remember, being a Scrum Master is about practice, not just theory.

Emoji Recap

  • 📚 No Exam: Focus on practical application rather than theoretical tests.
  • 🎯 Continuous Assessment: Every moment counts towards your final evaluation.
  • 🧠 Knowledge in Action: Demonstrate your understanding through real-world application.
  • 🏆 Strive for Excellence: Show your leadership, problem-solving, and adaptability skills.

By the end of the A-CSM course, you’ll have not only expanded your knowledge but also proven your ability to implement it effectively, setting you apart as a true Scrum Master.

author avatar
John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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