Preamble

The Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) is a popular project management certification focused entirely on Scrum methodology while incorporating Agile practices and principles. CSM® certification is offered by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization established in 2001 for promoting the Agile ideology. CSM® does not just protect the project team from internal distractions, but from external distractions too. Through the period of the certification procedure, you would be able to learn the Scrum framework and acquire an understanding of team roles, artefacts and events. 

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) is the fastest of all the growing certification programmes from the Project Management Institute (PMI). Considering the number of people taking the PMI-ACP® exams from around the world, it is not an exaggeration to call it universally recognized. Organizations that are remarkably agile and adaptable to the market dynamics achieve their projects more successfully when compared with their rivals. PMI-ACP® uses many agile approach platforms such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, test-driven development (TDD), and extreme programming (XP). 

Prerequisites

The CSM® exam prerequisites are highly lenient when compared to what is expected for the PMI-ACP® exam. 

CSM® 

Attended a 16-hour course workshop (divided into two days) taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) with an introduction to Scrum, the most widely used Agile framework. 

PMI-ACP®

2000 hours of project experience as a team, 1500 hours of Agile work experience as a team and 21 contact hours of Agile practice training. 

Examination format 

CSM®

  • The questions are based on the CSM® Learning Objectives document.
  • 50 multiple-choice questions in 60 minutes.
  • The initial welcome email from Scrum Alliance contains the link to activate the account.
  • The candidates have two free attempts to pass the exam.

PMI-ACP®

  • 120 multiple-choice questions in 180 minutes. 
  • Out of which 20 are called pretest questions, which are meant for checking the validity of the other questions. The pretest questions do not affect the score of the exam.
  • There are no breaks scheduled during the exam. But you are allowed to take a break if required, but the exam clock will continue to count down.

Available Languages 

CSM®

Apart from English, the exam is available to be taken in several other languages such as French, Spanish (Castilian), Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Czech, and Russian. 

PMI-ACP®

Other than English, this exam is available in 5 additional languages such as Arabic, Spanish(Latin American), Korean, Japanese, and Portuguese(Brazilian). 

Price 

CSM® certification exam

On average, the two-day workshop costs between US$1000 – US$2000. The cost of taking the exam’s first two attempts is included in this fee. You cannot take the exam without attending the workshop. If you fail in these two attempts, then you will be asked to pay US$25 test attempt fee. 

PMI-ACP® certification exam 

Member: US$435

Non-member: US$495

Certification Validity 

CSM® certification

Valid for two years. You can maintain your certification by gaining Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and renewing every two years. 

PMI-ACP® certification

Valid for three years. You can maintain your certification by earning Professional Development Units (PDUs) and renewing every three years. 

Perks 

Apart from CSM® certification fulfilling the requirements of the role of Scrum Master, the all NEW Scrum Alliance certification holders will receive a two-year membership as a compliment along with your initial certification. Furthermore, you would have access to local user groups, social networks, and other supplementary resources that are exclusively available to Scrum Alliance members. 

PMI-ACP® certification shows how well you perform distinctly in your team in practicing Agile. It reinforces your professional versatility in project management tools and techniques. By enrolling in PMI-ACP®, you become a member of the prestigious Project Management Institute which facilitates in being part of an enormous network of project management professionals. 

How to choose? 

Does your dream job consist of applying Scrum methodology to deliver the projects? Do you desire to advance your career by adding credentials on scrum practices and applications and showcase that you possess more expertise than the other project managers? If yes, CSM® is the basic certification that you can begin with. 

PMI has reached several million software professionals in the project management space. The goodwill that PMI holds is unparalleled to any other certification. If you possess all the required prerequisites for PMI-ACP® certification, then you should go ahead and opt for PMI-ACP® without a doubt. 

Final word 

There is a crazy demand for expert project managers in numerous industries. Apart from academic criteria, securing a valid certification is bound to increase your employability and capability. Choose the best certification that suits your needs based on the above factors.

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