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Difference between the psm1 and psm2 exam

Last post 10:21 pm June 28, 2023 by Chris Belknap
5 replies
10:47 am May 24, 2017

Hello !

my question is  : 

What to expect in the psm2 (number of question, complexity ..) ?

what the difference between the psm1 and 2?

how to prepare it (as i have little real life scrum practice)?

is it like the psm1 ? just a QCM?

Any helpful information?

thanks in advance

07:24 pm May 24, 2017

From the information listed on the site:


  • Fee: $150 per attempt
  • Passing score: 85%
  • Time limit: 60 minutes
  • Number of Questions: 80
  • Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False
  • Difficulty: Intermediate


  • Fee: $250
  • Passing score: 85%
  • Time limit: 90 minutes
  • Number of Questions: 30
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Format:  Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False

As you can see, the PSM II is both longer and contains fewer questions than the PSM I, meaning that you have gone from 45 seconds per question to 3 minutes per question, and the difficulty is adjusted to match.  The overall format and study materials are roughly the same.

Outside of the test specifications, the best way I could describe the tests is that the PSM I describes Scrum "by the book," and if you memorize and practice the Scrum Guide, you shouldn't have much difficulty passing.  However the PSM II requires some critical thinking, because instead of asking you how Scrum should be, it asks how to address problems or improve delivered value within a Scrum environment.  The questions go a little bit beyond the content of the Open Assessments and Scrum Guide, so I recommend outside resources, such as blog posts on and off this site, formal classroom training, or experience.  Reviewing the Nexus Guide and practicing the Nexus Open are highly recommended, and I personally consider both of them mandatory.

As a point of caution, the PSM II changed lsat year, and a new exam was created to replace the it.  Because of this, please make sure to note the date of any blog posts, forum threads, or websites discussing the exam, as they may be referring to the old PSM II (now the PSM III)

I put together a small writeup of my PSM II experience, and there are several other old threads to look through that cover the same or similar topics.  You can absolutely (as I did) tackle the PSM II without experience, but it's an extremely challenging exam with a very low threshold for incorrect answers.  Best of luck!

02:25 pm May 26, 2017

thanks  Jason Jafarian very helpful :)

06:53 am June 27, 2023

Am I correct in stating that you can only have 4 questions wrong?

25 correct answers (out of 30) will lead to 83.33%

26 correct answers (out of 30) will lead to 86.67%

09:17 am June 27, 2023

In short I would say:

PSM 1 - evaluate your understanding of scrum mechanics and 'rules' that should be followed - e.g how long event X last

PSM 2 - evaluate more practical/life scrum cases - e.g. cases when something is not okay and not fully aligned with scrum and what to do in given scenario

10:21 pm June 28, 2023

Am I correct in stating that you can only have 4 questions wrong?

Close, but unlike PSM I, PSM II may have some partial credit for a question.

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