How to pass Leading SAFe 4.0 Exam ?

Leading SAFe 4.0

Recently I cleared Leading SAFe 4.0 exam with 87% score.The certified SAFe 4.0 Agilist is indeed tough exam and if you lack experience in Scrum or SAFe implementation then it becomes very hard to crack this exam. In this blog, I will provide some steps which will guide you in Leading SAFe 4.0 exam preparation.  

[ Note: if you are looking for Leading SAFe 4.0  exam questions then this is not the right place.Exam questions are confidential and SAFe is very much serious about keeping them secret to maintain quality of exam]

First thing first, Two full-day training of scaled agile framework is the most important part of this certification. I would suggest that you should actively participate in the training workshop and ask as many questions you get. Write this extra information in the workbook (which will be given to you in the training)

After completing the two-day training workshop, you need to pass this exam in 30 days. Your trainer enrols you to Scaled Agile Institute after enrolment you get the welcome email, your 30-days start when you receive the welcome email.

As you have 30 days in hand and you can pause and restart exam as many time you want (within 30 days) I would suggest spending the rest week only on

(Update: 3 July 2017: With the launch of SAFe 4.5 things have changed a little bit. SA exam is timeboxed for 90 Minutes and it is closed book now Reference:

1. Revision of workbook at least twice. 
2. Read all of the details on click on each component of the framework which will provide you the in-depth description of it.
3.Try to understand all 4 levels of the framework i.e. 1. TEAM,2.PROGRAM,3.VALUE STREAM,4.PORTFOLIO
4. You need to identify the important events and ceremonies from each level
5. Spend some time on understanding every role on each level. Just, for example, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
6.  You need to understand the important concepts of Lean-Agile mindset, House of Lean, 12 Agile principles, 9 SAFe principles, Built-in-Quality, Implementing 1-2-3
7 .  Pre & Post PI planning are important event try to understand purpose and importance of these events.
8. Pl Planning is the backbone of SAFe so you must be aware of this event and every aspect of this.
9. Understand WSJF and Cost of Delay relation, Lean-Agile budgeting for the value streams. 
I will keep updating this blog upon your feedback, Please let me know if you have used any other helpful resource for the study I will surely include that also.

Read my other blog: How to pass CSM test with flying colors? [Scrum Alliance]  

Update/23August2017: The few sample questions from Scaled Agile website h ttps://

Update/03Oct2017: One of the blog readers(Renjith Vallathil) suggested that  "Get SAFe Now" book helped to pass the exam. Book link: 

Update/01Nov2017: What is new in SAFe 4.5 framework is available in whitepaper "SAFe® 4.5 Introduction" Refer this page to download the copy.

Update/15Jan2018: As I am getting lot of feedback regarding SAFe 4.5, Exam success rate is came down SAFe 4.5, Some of blog readers found Dean's youtube videos very useful, Worth checking once  :  

Useful Books for SAFe Framework :
1. Get SAFe Now:
3.SAFe® 4.0 Reference Guide:
4.Tribal Unity: Getting from Teams by Creating a One Team Culture:
5.Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs and the Enterprise:
6.Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises (Agile Software Development Series)


Submitted byVanessa Mitchell (not verified)on Fri, 12/29/2017 - 15:55

Nice information shared in this post. Many people struggle to pass SAFe 4.0 Exam but fail due to improper guidance. This post will help them for sure.

Vanessa Mitchell
Ecommerce SEO agency

Submitted byNada Girk (not verified)on Tue, 01/09/2018 - 22:02

Thanks so much for lot of useful information. The book Get SAFe Now was an excellent recommendation that did not hear in the training. Thanks again

Submitted byChintanon Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:26

Hi Dex,

Thanks for youtube link. Indeed Dean's videos are the best. Updating the blog.

Cheers \m/


Submitted byLarry Young (not verified)on Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:56

There are not many guidelines in the internet about SAFe exams. Yours was very helpful. Thanks a bunch.
The book Get SAFe Now by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali was very simple to read with neat diagrams. It has some solid real time examples. Thanks for recommending it.
Dean's videos are great as well.

Submitted byAnonymous (not verified)on Wed, 02/21/2018 - 22:29

Thanks for the post. I am taking the course tomorrow and wanted to get a head start on it. At the time of this comment, SAFe is in 4.5. However, I have not been able to find anything about the "four levels" you outlined in your post anywhere on their website. They talk about the four 'configurations' (and Portfolio is one), but the other "levels" were not used in such context. I guess we'll see after my training, but unless they have changed their model something is not right here.

Submitted byBobby (not verified)on Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:50

I am about to commence prep for the SPC4 exam and will utilise your tips and resources, primarily as I have an infrastructure background and no practical experience in SAFe implementations.
I wish there was a larger bank of questions with rationale to answers.

Submitted byAmit Gadgil (not verified)on Sun, 03/25/2018 - 13:30


I am pasting all the questions and answers from the practice test, I got 58%, please suggest if you think any of this is answers are wrong and suggest correct answers.

Note : Answers for the questions starts with '*'

1) What are three Team Retrospective anti-patterns? (Choose three.)
When the Scrum Master decides what the Retrospective topic(s) will be and directs the team on specific improvement items to work on
*When the team reviews their interactions during the last Iteration and identifies 1-2 improvement items for the Product Owner to work on
*When the team’s people manager comes in to observe
*When only part of the team attends
When the team commits to working on 1-2 improvement items and adds them to the next Iteration Backlog
When the team reviews their interactions during the last Iteration and identifies 1-2 improvement items to work on as a team

2) What is the value of periodic resynchronization?
WIP is maximized
It causes multiple events to happen serially
*It limits variance to a single time interval
Products that are delivered earlier provide more value

3) How does work flow from one state to the next in a Team Kanban board?
*Team members of a state pull work from the previous state when they can do so without impacting their current state WIP relentless improvementtraint
People working in the first state move the work to the next work state
During the Daily Stand-up, team members make decisions and discuss how to move the work
The Scrum Master moves the work from one state to the next to ensure ongoing progress within the team

4) When does the Inspect and Adapt event happen?
At the end of the second day of PI Planning
At the end of the System Demo
At the end of every two weeks
*At the end of each PI

5) According to Daniel Pink, which three factors drive motivation and lead to better performance and personal satisfaction? (Choose three.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers

6) What are two times when the Inspect and Adapt workshop is held? (Choose two.)
*Right before PI Planning for the next PI
During the IP Iteration
Right before Pre-PI Planning
On the last day of the PI
*At the end of every Iteration

7) At the System Demo, each team demonstrates their own work but the system is not integrated. They say they underestimated the integration effort.
They cannot integrate every Iteration and meet the planned scope. What should the Scrum Master suggest?
*Produce an integrated System Demo at the end of the next Iteration
Integrate the existing branches and produce the System Demo
Integrate the system during the IP Iteration
Stop the Train until integration can occur

8) What are two typical anti-patterns with Product Owners (POs)? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
*POs and Product Managers are not aligned with business intent
POs bring the business problem to the team and ask the team to design the solution
*POs ask the team for help in writing user stories
POs design the solution before bringing the intent to the team
POs facilitate story grooming sessions with the team during the Iteration

9) What provides objective evidence that the system is iterating?
Scrum of Scrums
Daily Stand-ups
*System Demo
PO Sync

10) What action should be taken on Relentless Improvement Backlog items from the Problem Solving Workshop?
Calculate for cost before continuing
*Use as direct input into the PI Planning session that follows
Assign to the team best suited to solve
Assign points or prioritization levels

11) Which SAFe configuration requires having a Solution Vision?
All SAFe configurations
Portfolio SAFe
Full SAFe
*Large Solution SAFe

12) What improves collaboration between Scrum Masters and System Architects, System Teams, and Operations?
Key Performance Indicators
Program Kanban
*System Quality Measurements

13) An effective SAFe Agile team ensures process visibility to who?
Business Owners
The Release Train Engineer
The Agile Release Train

14) How should decentralized decision-making be used with respect to system design?
When defining subsystems and interfaces
*When development teams are empowered, self-organized, and allow the design to emerge
When identifying the selection of common platforms
When allocating functions to subsystems

15) What are the responsibilities of a Scrum Master on a train that go beyond basic team facilitation? (Choose three.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
Prioritize Program Backlog
*Facilitate preparation for the System Demo
Manage Daily Stand-up meetings
*Facilitate team preparation for PI Planning
*Participate in Scrum of Scrums
Write and estimate features

16) Which statement is true about the phase-gate milestone model and risk reduction? Confuse
It does not mitigate risk as intended
*It reduces product increment values
It creates large batches of requirements
It helps to visualize and limit WIP

17) Which statement describes how Kanban Teams handle velocity in SAFe during PI Planning?
They need to estimate their velocity in story points in order to participate in the larger economic framework
They use cycle time because it is more objective and based on actual timestamps
They participate in scoring Business Value; however, they have a different measure than velocity
*They use throughput as an indication of their velocity

18) Collective ownership is one XP principle adopted in SAFe. What is another XP principle?
Deliver Value
*Pair Programming
Weighted Shortest Job First

19) When developing an Agile Team's skill set, what skill type is most typical?

20) What are three benefits a Community of Practice offers? (Choose three.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers - Confuse
*To provide a series of incremental steps forward through a shared and common framework
To drive craftsmanship
To provide a place to acquire knowledge
*To facilitate the adoption of new methods and techniques
*To provide routine, periodic presentations of the short- and longer-term Vision to the teams
To improve the confidence of stakeholders through a shared and common purpose

21) What anti-pattern can emerge during the Scrum of Scrums?
Scrum Masters work with the Release Train Engineer to resolve risks and impediments
Scrum Masters bring in risks and impediments for escalation
Scrum Masters have a daily 15 minute meet-after with the Release Train Engineer
*Scrum Masters report on the teams' task status each day

22) A team's Product Owner (PO) takes an unexpected leave of absence for the last week of the Iteration. Three of the team’s stories have been completed and are waiting to be accepted.
The Scrum Master asks the Product Manager (PM) to attend the Iteration Review and accept the stories. The PM responds that he is not familiar enough with the intent to feel comfortable accepting these responsibilities. He suggests keeping the Iteration open for an additional week and waiting for the PO to come back. What should the team’s Scrum Master do?
*Work with the Release Train Engineer to find a solution
The Scrum Master should accept the stories after the team demonstrates the stories
Strongly urge the PM to attend the Demo and accept the stories
Ask another PO in the Agile Release Train to accept the stories

23) How do Kanban Teams implement the SAFe Lean-Agile mindset of relentless improvement? Confuse
By creating Classes of Services and Policies to execute the work in a way that is aligned with Program and Large Solution Levels
*By establishing a Kanban board to visualize the flow of work within Kanban team and aligning with the Program and the rest of the teams
*(Second)By using Cumulative Flow Diagrams which objectively measure bottlenecks and variation in the flow which could be due to systemic factors
By estimating team velocity and comparing it across Iterations for continuous improvement

24) One state on the Kanban board has people waiting while the previous stage is overloaded. What should the Scrum Master consider doing?
Ask the team to redesign the board
Call for a team self-assessment so that the team agrees on improvement actions
Request more people on the team to help with the overloaded stage in order to generate work faster for the waiting stage
*Encourage and coach the people in the under-utilized stage to help with the work of the of overloaded stage

25) How do Agile Teams ensure their own Retrospective Improvement actions are implemented?
Add improvement stories to the Team Backlog to implement in the next Iteration
Have the Scrum Master implement the team improvement actions so the team can focus on development
*Discuss improvement actions during the Inspect and Adapt event and get confirmation from other Agile Teams on implementation
Use the Release Train Engineer to hold the Agile Team accountable for their improvement actions

26) What is the most effective way to establish built-in quality?
Test each release more thoroughly
Run performance testing as well as the testing of other non-functional requirements every IP Iteration
Create more unit tests
*Perform as many types of testing within the Iteration boundaries as possible

27) Which two actions enhance an Agile Release Train's performance? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
Reduction of total costs
Customer success
*Team alignment

28) What are two examples of team tasking anti-patterns? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
The team focuses on story completion and acceptance criteria over task completion
The team provides updates only on tasks during the Daily Stand-up
*The team waits to close the story until after the related tasks are complete
*The team focuses on task completion over story completion and acceptance criteria
Team members work separately on individual tasks for the same story

29) Which two SAFe events explicitly implement SAFe's mindset of relentless improvement? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
Solution Demo
*Iteration Retrospective
*Inspect and Adapt
Iteration Demo
PI Planning

30) Which SAFe organizational construct allows businesses to build large and complex systems in a Lean-Agile manner?
*Agile Release Train
Solution Train
Value Stream

31) Who should vote on root causes?
The Product Owner
The CIO, CTO, and any 'C-suite' member that is concerned
The Product Owner and Scrum Master
*The Agile Release Train team

32) Who participates in the Inspect and Adapt event?
Product Managers and Product Owners
Agile teams, Release Train Engineers, System and Solution Architect/Engineering
*Only stakeholders and Agile team members
Everyone involved in building the system

33) How can learning milestones be used?
To mark events such as trade shows and product announcements
To meet contractually binding dates for delivery of value
*To test the concept of a new feature or capability
To meet release dates set by external business partners

34) During Iteration Review, the team decides to carry forward three stories to the next Iteration. This is the second time during this PI that some of the team’s stories are carried over.
What are two actions the Scrum Master should take? (Choose two.)
You have reached the max number of allowed answers
*(Second)Perform the 5 Whys to find the root cause of all delays
Take a 'wait and see' approach because the team assures they are still on track for the PI
*Discuss the issue at the next Iteration Retrospective
See if the Product Owner is agreeable to moving the stories into the next Iteration
*(first)Coach the team to honor their commitments

35) The Scrum Master interacts with which level(s) of SAFe?
All Levels
Portfolio Level
*Program Level
Team Level

36) Who is responsible for assisting to establish Continuous Integration in SAFe?
The System Architect/Engineer
Shared Services
*The System Team
Agile Teams

37) A team achieved less than 80% during the quantitative measurement of the Inspect and Adapt workshop. What would be an unacceptable action for this team's Scrum Master to take?
*(second time)Coordinate with the System Team to coach this team on Continuous Integration and test automation
Decide improvement actions for the team to implement
Retrain team members on Agile practices
*Hold the team self-assessment at any time and do not wait for the Iteration Retrospective

38) What are two key areas a team should be organized around? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
Business logic

40) What are two reasons why too much WIP is a problem? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
It requires too much work effort
It shows the overall system is inefficient
*It hides bottlenecks in the workflow
It does not allow the Development Team time to improve their processes
*It makes it hard to collect metrics

41) The Development Team may need to learn or acquire new skills. Where is this list of skills found?
In the HR Training and Development Plan
*As part of the outcome of the Team Retrospective
In the Improvement Roadmap
As part of the outcome of the PI Planning pre-meeting

42) How does a Scrum Master lead a team's efforts in relentless improvement?
By facilitating a team meeting
By focusing on the Iteration goals
*By facilitating the team retrospective
By eliminating impediments

43) In complex systems development, what do local integration points ensure?
*That each capability of the system is meeting its responsibilities in contributing to the overall solution intent
That an application passes all QA tests before being released to production
That a common understanding of the system design is distributed to the entire team
That all team members have access to the current product status

44) What is the first step in the Problem-Solving Workshop?
*Agree on the problem to solve
Create a summary report for leadership and management
Record all brainstorming ideas
Identify the root causes of possible problems

45) How does the Scrum Master help teams address the challenges from modern enterprises?
By actively addressing impediments
*By building high performing teams
By promoting continuous delivery and other technical practices
By facilitating a team's progress towards goals

46) What is one way to improve the skills of a team member?
Get them to work only on their specialty
*Pair-work with other team members
Ask them to work alone on something new
Discuss their weaknesses

47) Achieving the goals of Release on Demand requires an understanding of how to decouple what?
The Project Increment
*The release from deployment
The System Demos
The Iterations Demos

48) Where does a team document new practices they want to incorporate into the their collective skill set?
Improvement Roadmap
Team Iteration Backlog
PI Planning meeting post-meeting notes
*Inspect and Adapt workshop notes

49) What is an anti-pattern to motivation? - Confustion
*Maximizing purpose
Market disruption
Team goals
*Individualized compensation

50) During Iteration Planning, the Product Owner (PO) introduces a new story to the team. They cannot come to a consensus on the size of the new story and ask the PO for more details.
After a lot of discussion, multiple dependencies with other teams emerge, so the team decides to leave the story in the Team Backlog and not commit. Is the team’s response an anti-pattern?
No; the Development Team left the story in the Team Backlog for further refinement with the PO
No; the PO provided details on the story
*Yes; the PO and the Development Team reached the planning session without preparation and the dependencies were not identified
Yes; the Development Team identified multiple dependencies with other teams

51) Why should team members continuously and actively engage with other teams during PI Planning?
To create a backlog of features the team can adopt
To foster an environment of capacity and velocity
*To manage dependencies and resolve impediments
To understand how the other team is working

52) In the SAFe House of Lean, which element should be emphasized with managers?
*Lean-Agile Leadership
Respect for Culture and People

53) During PI Planning, the Scrum of Scrums meetings helps accomplish which two actions? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
*Exposing risks, impediments, and dependencies
*Keeping the planning milestones on track
Comparing velocities across the teams
Looking for ways to increase team velocity
Rolling up the PI Business Value objectives

54) What is the SAFe recommended optimal duration of a PI?
4 - 8 weeks
It can be any duration
2 - 4 weeks
*8 - 12 weeks

55) What is one characteristic of an effective Agile team?
To concentrate and deliver the product scope
*To provide steady, high quality, incremental value
To make the process visible to the Business Owners
To collaborate and discuss components

56) What is a recommended story-splitting technique for Agile teams?
Implement the story UI first and build the business logic later
*Start with the data structure and extend into the business logic and UI
Validate design with stakeholders and build the functionality later
Implement the 'happy path' first and the rest of the scenarios afterwards

57) Who reviews the top capabilities for the upcoming PI?
Project Owner
Project Manager
*Solution Architect/Engineer
Solution Management

58) One of the Scrum Master's main responsibilities is to communicate with management and outside stakeholders to help the team in what way?
*Protect them from uncontrolled addition of work
Split bigger work items where necessary
Manage the Iteration Planning Backlog
Accept stories

59) What is the connection between feedback and optimum batch size? Confuse
Feedback and batch size are generally not connected
Small batch sizes enable faster feedback with lower transaction costs
Large batch sizes reduce transaction cost and provide a higher return on investment
*Lack of feedback contributes to higher holding cost and therefore larger batch sizes

60) What are two Release Train Engineer responsibilities? (Choose two.)You have reached the max number of allowed answers
Manage and prioritize the flow of work to the program
*Facilitate PI Planning readiness and the event itself
*Drive relentless improvement through Inspect and Adapt
Understand Customer needs; validate solutions
Build an effective Product Owner / Product Manager team

Submitted bybarb (not verified)on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 08:42

Had to wait 2 months before the test was available to us, and while I passed the practice test, failed the real 4.5 test. Frustrating because you can't find out exactly what you missed so you can't learn from your mistakes. I'm looking for a tutor in CO since I obviously missed something in reading the recommended sites and 2 day class material.

Submitted byGaurav (not verified)on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 00:58

Need help clearing SPC4 exam. any help would be appreciated .....

Submitted byVikram (not verified)on Thu, 09/27/2018 - 08:27

Need help in clearing SAFe 4 Advanced Scrum Master certification.

Submitted byTroy (not verified)on Tue, 10/16/2018 - 10:04

Hello thank you very much for this reference and your input... you have really done well. Please how can I contact you. I did a training in New Jersey and getting ready to write my exam.

Please let me know how i can reach you. Thank you very much.

Submitted byAhsan Sheikh (not verified)on Fri, 10/26/2018 - 18:09

Thanks a lot. This article of yours is indeed helpful.
Here is what I did to pass my SAFe SA exams with 98% on Oct 18th 2018
1) Revision of workbook at three times.
2) Read all of the details, pay special attention to Portfolio & Large Solution configuration.
3) SAFe principals and lean values (House of Lean)
4) Practice exam till you get 90% +
5) Be confident and believe in yourself.
That's it, you will pass the exam with flying colors.
Best of luck

Submitted byRaja Annabathina (not verified)on Thu, 01/10/2019 - 22:08

Hi Chintan Umarani,
I did cleared Leading Safe course exam.
Can you please let me know on how to get formal Certificate for this Course? same as your with signed with badgeId ? (same as your as 'sa_0.png')

Submitted byArun (not verified)on Thu, 08/22/2019 - 01:38

nice to see your inputs valuable and useful thanks

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