PSM II is easier than PSM I

Last post 02:02 am July 11, 2018
by Ching-Pei Li
13 replies
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07:57 pm February 24, 2018

Am I the only one who got an impression that PSM II was WAY much easier than PSM I?

Yes, it's a lot of reading and for ESL people might present an additional challenge, but factually, the wrong answers are so totally wrong, that one cannot in his/her sound mind go with them, thus making elimination work real well.

At the same time PSM I is a bit more annoying, focusing on (sometimes unnecessary and inconsequential) details of Scrum, thus, for an experienced practitioner, presenting a bit more of a challenge for no good reason.

Thoughts?

04:21 pm February 25, 2018

I didn't find that the case at all. Yes I agree that there are some answers one might feel are "so totally wrong" but I found PSM II quite thought provoking and certainly a step up from PSM I plus it required more of a demonstration of situational experience rather than just purely reading the Scrum Guide.

I felt I had a few questions/answers on mine that I could have done with the opportunity to discuss with someone as there were often very subtle differences between some of the answers. 

Well done though on passing it!! Presumably you will now aim for PSM III and see how that compares? :-)

08:17 am February 26, 2018

Both are very different.

PSM I requires a carefull reading of the Scrum Guide.

PSM II requires a good understanding and some real-life experience.

I tryed some PSM I and PSM II questions with some studients. For them, PSM II was way much harder than PSMI.

02:25 pm February 26, 2018

I'm not sure that I would call either one harder or easier than the other. They were different. I'd agree with Oliver - the PSM I is mostly about facts straight from the Scrum Guide. It is pretty much a "what does Scrum say" type test. The PSM II is more about applying the Scrum Guide. I think the difficulty in the PSM II is that if you have experience with other processes or frameworks, you need to focus on "what does Scrum suggest you do". The tricky part was making sure that I was answering all questions in the context of Scrum and not other frameworks, including those that may be composed with Scrum.

05:21 pm February 26, 2018

I did not find PSM II easier than PSM I. During PSM II bookmarked a lot of questions, and never even got time to go back to them... But this may be due to my ESL. I agree that to pass PSM II a lot of experience (or books) is needed, OR a lot of logical thinking. Still, even if just logic is to be applied, this was by no means easy for me.

07:39 pm February 26, 2018

I would also like to weigh in on the assertion that PSM II was "WAY much easier" than PSMI.

I passed my PSM I five years ago.   About a year ago, I took the PSM II exam, and scored a 75%.   I admittedly assumed that I could rely on much of what I knew and learned about Scrum through my experience as a Scrum Master, but nevertheless, I did not pass.

 

08:28 pm February 26, 2018

Okay I will agree that they are different and are sourced from different bodies of knowledge. What I guess I am trying to say is that PSM I is heavily relying to theoretical writing of Scrum Guide, and you just need to know that, period. Whether your experience supports Scrum Guide assertions is irrelevant - those are the answers that are expected and you'll fail if you don't get them right.

PMS II, for me at least, was completely experience based, I don't think I could get those answers from books or Scrum Guide. Some answers just had those trigger words that rendered them completely false for any reasonable Agile practitioner :)

Just to put in prospective, I got 96.3% on PSM I (don't remember how many missed questions that is) and 97.1% on PSM II (1 point lost). Thus for me the II was much easier and straightforward than I.

10:31 pm February 26, 2018

Alex, methinks your perspective is a bit skewed.

Granted, some of your observations are subjective regarding which is easier, but then you conclude that a 0.8% differential in exam results is indicative of one test being easier than another.   This observation is also subjective, but can you really conclude anything based on a 0.8% difference?

And as an aside, I'm beginning to take some offense to your boasting here that the PSM II should be a slam dunk to any "reasonable Agile Practitioner".   I consider myself well-versed in Agile and Scrum, and I got 75% in my first attempt.

Congratulations on passing the PSM II.   However, your assertion that the PSM II is easier than the PSM I has yet to find any endorsement within this community.   Please put this to rest and move along.

 

12:16 am February 27, 2018

I don't endorse this logic either.  Seriously, why would they make level II easier?

For me, PSM II was harder than all of the level 1 exams, including PSD, PSPO I, and SPS.  Let's not give the impression that it is a slam dunk.

Scrum on

 

09:42 am April 26, 2018

PSM II is way harder than PSM II? How much? Hard to compare.
I failed to pass with 31 out of 37 points (84 with pass theshold set to 85%).
So I paid quite a significant amount of money, and I got no feedback on bad / not correct answers.
Just the result, and partial stats.
What a not agile coherent approach.

250$ in Poland is according to CIA: 3 days of work (GDP (2017) : 365.25 days).
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pl.html
I know, that's the rules, but I dare to impeach it.
Anybody agrees?

09:35 pm April 26, 2018

Hello Adam,

Congratulations on passing the PSM I with such an excellent score! We are sorry to learn that you did not achieve an 85% or higher on your recent attempt at the PSM II assessment. We appreciate your request for more information on your assessment, and your continued drive to learn Scrum. In order to maintain the quality and integrity of our Professional-level assessments for certification, we cannot provide you with the exact questions and answers from your assessment sessions. Instead, we provide feedback as a breakdown of your performance in each of the assessment subject areas. A bar graph of your scores in each category was sent to you after the completion of your assessment.

Bear in mind that passing our professional-level assessments for certification is an indication of a certain level of mastery of Scrum. Many questions will ask you to interpret concepts from the Scrum Guide and apply them to a scenario presented in the question. As these are difficult assessments, simply reading the Scrum Guide with little or no practical experience, or without supplemental study, is often not enough to achieve a passing score.

An important thing to keep in mind is that the assessment is not merely a test of knowledge, but an assessment of applied understanding. You can easily be told *what* the correct answers are, but we want to ensure that our certificate holders understand *how* to correctly and successfully implement Scrum, and *why* some answers are correct while others aren't. This gives our certifications greater value in the marketplace, so people know that Scrum.org certificate holders like yourself have earned their credentials through deep understanding of the framework rather than through rote memorization. Simply telling you the questions and answers would not improve your understanding of the framework and principles. This is why we provide feedback in the form of a bar graph depicting how well you scored in each category, so you can better direct your studies in the areas you are weakest in.

While applied experience is a recommended prerequisite for the PSM II, the assessment uses the most recent version of the English Scrum Guide as the source for questions and answers regarding the rules, artifacts, events, and roles of Scrum. Many questions will ask you to interpret concepts from the Scrum Guide and apply them to a scenario presented in the question, and the correct answers can be arrived at through extrapolation from the Scrum Guide in tandem with experience practicing true Scrum. While we do encourage people to use "Scrum, and..." in practice, we can only assess on the core concepts as outlined in the Scrum Guide, the industry-recognized source of Scrum. As such, while you may have been using Scrum in your organization, what you practice may not be in line with Scrum by the book.

To maximize your understanding of the concepts that will appear on the PSM II, we suggest that you once again go through the Scrum Guide in your native language as a refresher. Once you feel confident in your knowledge, please then review the English version of the guide, so you can become more familiar with the vocabulary and other terms which may be seen on the assessment. We also recommend that you read the Nexus Guide several times to strengthen your understanding of Scaling Fundamentals.

A good portion of the PSM II is derived from PSM and PSPO subject areas. We suggest you look through some of the recommended readings here:

One of the most helpful books on this page is 'Scrum - A Pocket Guide' by Gunther Verheyen (it is a fairly short read, but a fantastic one).

We hope you will find this information helpful. We wish you the best of luck in your continued journey with Scrum. Enjoy your day.

09:57 am June 23, 2018

I get the point (and I agree in a way) that PSM II might be easier for some people. PSM I is 80 questions in 60 minutes, whereas PSM II is 30 questions in 90 minutes. I personally work better with more amount of time available and not so well under tight time pressure. It is different for every person, but my experience was that probably I scored less in PSM I (87.5%) than in PSM II (97.1%) because of being nervous and worried about the time. Therefore, I assume I made mistakes I wouldn't have made with more time and less stress. I wonder why it is like that: PSM I is 45 sec/question whereas PSM II is 3min/question. I wonder if PSM I should change to allow people more time to properly read the questions and think about the answers. I would like to hear your feedback! Thanks! :)

05:18 pm July 10, 2018

I wonder if PSM I should change to allow people more time to properly read the questions and think about the answers. I would like to hear your feedback! Thanks! :)

I don't think it should change. Most of the questions in the PSM 1 only take 10-15 seconds to read and answer because they are derived directly from the Scrum Guide; they don't take a lot of additional thought.

02:02 am July 11, 2018

As a non-native English speaker, PSM II is easier for me.

I've more time to read and answer the individual questions.