How To Pass The Professional Agile Leadership Essentials (PAL I) Assessment From

The Professional Agile Leadership (PAL I) assessment is a 60-minute timeboxed assessment. You need to score over 85% to pass and gain the PSM I certification. The assessment contains 36 questions in English of multiple choice type.

You decide when and where to take the assessment. You are not required to attend an assessment centre and can take it online from a location of your choosing. There is no expiration date once you have purchased the assessment attempt.

Further details on what to expect from the assessment can be found on the PAL I assessment page.

Here are some tips on taking (and passing) the Professional Agile Leadership Essentials (PAL I) assessment and gaining certification:

When you are ready to take the assessment for real:

  • Have the Scrum Guide, Scrum Glossary and our Scrum 1 Pager to hand and use them to look up what you need.
  • Answer all the questions even if you have to make an educated guess. The assessment is not negatively marked.
  • Read the questions and answers carefully. One word misread can lead you to the wrong answer.
  • Don’t spend too long on each question. If unsure of an answer, note down the question number and move on. Completing all the questions in the timebox can be challenging.
  • Be aware of the difference between “must” (a mandatory thing) and “should” (an optional thing).
  • Make sure you select the required number of answers as the platform will not prompt you. Choosing only 1 answer on a “Pick 2” style question is a quick way to drop points.
  • Come back to the hard questions at the end and use your time to think them over.
  • Aim to leave time to check all your answers before the end.
  • Google the question if really unsure, but be careful as this takes time and there are lots of unreliable sources out there.

You can resit the assessment if you need to, but you will need to purchase another attempt from The only exception to this is if you attend a Professional Agile Leadership Essentials (PAL-E) course, and then fail the PAL I assessment within 14 days of completing the course. In this case, will provide you with a 2nd free attempt.

I hope this information will help you to pass. Let me know how you get on via the comments below and good luck!

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Simon Kneafsey, my name is Simon Kneafsey and I am a Professional Scrum Trainer with & I am on a mission to simplify Scrum & Agile for 1 million people. I have helped 10,000+ people so far, and I can help you too. Find out more & get in touch.

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Comments 14

  1. Hi Simon,

    Which of metrics is worse if we take into account an ability to deliver a value from the team in the future? technical debts trends or story points trends?

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      1. I think that in the future the most critical is technical debt. But story points trend is more indicative in present. I think so

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          They are likely linked. If technical debt rises velocity will likely reduce so if I had to pick 1 I may go with Technical debt as a leading indicator. Also, velocity doesn’t equal value, although it may be an indicator of the ability to deliver value.

  2. Hi Simon,

    I have several questions in regard to how behave if you are an agile leader and manage development organization. 1) Who is responsible for final hiring decision ? Development team has a defined demand for new team members and provide a screening. But final hiring decision is in charge of those who manage organization IMHO. Am I wrong? 2) If Product Owner has not enough time to be with Development Team due to his/her additional important role that is very difficult replace. Should I as a agile leader to find different Product Owner? or delegate it to someone else?

    1. Post

      Hi Alexander,

      Thank you for getting in touch. These are questions that Scrum doesn’t have a specific answer for. There are too many variables, too much it depends and any simple answer here would likely be more wrong than right. Some things I would suggest you consider:

      Is a Dev Team truly self-organising if it doesn’t get to decide who is a member?
      What constraints may prevent a Dev team hiring a new member that are necessary and should not be removed?
      If some doesn’t have time to do the PO role well, should you remove the other additional important responsibilities they have or put someone else in the role? Which option would lead to the highest value for the Product?

      I hope that helps.


  3. Hi Simon,

    Hope you are well. Funny that you can’t tell us when the section will be available. What would be you answer if the person asking was the CEO of a FTSE 100 company who had the power to fire you depending on your answer?

    The reason why I join the conversation is to understand why should I take this course and not the SCRUM Master. What are the key differences, please?

    Thank you.

    Kind regards,

    1. Post

      Hi Emma,

      I provide the practice assessments for free, so I have to prioritise my paid work. I will need free time to create the practice assessment and I don’t know when this will be possible. I hope you understand. My answer would be exactly the same whoever asked the question.

      The focus of each course is different. The Professional Scrum Master course will teach you Scrum and prepare you for the Scrum Master role. The Professional Agile Leadership Essentials course helps you understand the role of a leader in an Agile organisation. These are related but different topics.

      Check out the course descriptions for more details on the differences:

      Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
      Professional Agile Leadership (PAL) Essentials


  4. Hi Simon,

    I’m a QA lead in an agile project. Would you recommend me what are the assessments and trainings that I may have to improve my leadership in agility under quality matters?


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  5. Hi Simon,

    I have a question regarding responsibility and way of acting of Agile Leaders. As per reading from blogs, it seems this role is, for some responsibilities, very similar to the one of the SCRUM Master. I see sample questions like dev team people asking for Agile Leader’s help. In these cases, how does he have to advise them? By suggesting them to talk about the issues within the team, if they didn’t, or by encouraging them to get SM’s guidance? I guess advising a person to discuss issues within a team is not so polite and “diplomatic” like the role of Agile Leader should assure.

    Thank you in advance

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      Hi Antoine,

      There may be some overlap with the things an Agile Leader and a Scrum Master would do. However, these are separate roles and the context is critical to define what an Agile Leader should do in a given situation. Their actions will depend on the maturity of the team, the level of agility in an organisation, the risk profile of a given situation etc. The Professional Agile Leadership course covers all this in greater detail.



  6. Hi Simon,

    By when do you think you will be able to update the section related to the Professional Agile Leadership ?

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