Thoughts on the new PSM II assessment

Last post 04:42 pm June 14, 2019
by Filip Łukaszewski
51 replies
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06:57 am August 17, 2016

I just took the new PSM II assessment and thought I'd write down my thoughts while still fresh in memory.
As you may know scrum.org changed the assessments recently so what was previously PSM II is now PSM III and PSM II is an all new 30 question assessment with multiple choice, multiple answers, true/false questions just like PSM I.

Questions are quite long and often relate to real life scenarios. Typical question is "situation X exists, how would you act in this situation?" There are usually several answers that may seem right, and few alternatives that can be quickly ruled out as an incorrect answer. Some questions relate to scaling scrum so taking the open assessment for Nexus and some reading on scaling scrum is a good idea.
I think I had only one true/false question and most are multiple choice or multiple answers (about 50/50 I'd say). There are no/few questions like "what is the time-box for the daily scrum" that are clearly defined in the scrum guide. You have to reason to get to the right answer more than using the muscle-memory you may get from taking the open assessments. The total time allowed is 90 minutes for the 30 questions. I had time to answer and go through and double-check my answers but no more.

The good
I think this assessment is a good fit between PSM I and III. You can pass PSM I by just reading (and understanding) the scrum guide. PSM II requires some real life experience and more in-depth knowledge. I haven't taken the PSM III but by just reading about it and seeing how few that passed indicate that there's a huge difference in knowledge, both theoretical and practical required, from PSM I to III.

The bad
Some questions are unnecessarily complex. The essence of the questions could in many questions be phrased a lot shorter.
The language used could be simplified and on a few questions I think there are even grammatical errors. Although I am not a native English speaker I consider myself to be able to read and understand English well but I still had problems understanding some questions. This should not be a factor for being able to pass the test.
It would be valuable to be informed what questions that was answered incorrectly. If only for my own curiosity. You are informed about in what area you missed, but not what specific questions that were answered incorrectly.

04:42 pm June 14, 2019

I have not noticed the linguistic problems you mentioned.

"Demanding questions are fine. But please phrase them clear and straigtforward."

Unfortunately, unclear and not straightforward questions could reflect the reality Scrum Masters need to face :/