Last week I wrote about scrum.org’s PSM-I exam. This week I’m going to discuss the next Scrum Master certification in the chain, the PSM-II.
The first thing to be aware of is that the PSM-II exam is harder, it’s described as Advanced rather than Intermediate. The second big difference is a LOT less people hold it than the PSM-I.
At the time of writing only 3% of the people who tool the PSM-I went onto the next level. This means that every time I see a PSM-II certificate pop up in a CV it’s worth taking note. These aren’t handed out very often!
The exam lasts for 90 minutes and costs $250 USD, however there are only 30 questions. These are a combination of multiple choice and true/false answers. What distinguishes the two exams is the nature of the questions.
In the PSM-I you’re often asked questions about topics directly from the Scrum Guide. As well as this you’ll also need to be aware of extra areas covered in the recommended reading for me this included topics like scaling scrum but always refer to the website for the latest information.
The nature of the questions is also different. In the PSM-I exam you may be asked a question and you have to choose the right answer from four alternatives in the PSM-II you may have to select the best answer from a list of alternatives. Some options may not be incorrect, but may not be as good as the ideal answer. This ensures that anyone who passes the PSM-II understands not only the scrum framework, but can also apply it in given situations.
You get a very similar score breakdown with the PSM-II which lets you drill into areas you didn’t score as highly on to reinforce your knowledge.
Finally, assuming you hit the 85% pass mark you get the same shiny certificate and badge to share with your network!
What is your experience with the PSM-II? Have you done it? What advice would you give to someone planning on taking it?