The New Professional Scrum Master Levels


The structure of the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) assessments has been changed to introduce a new third tier, the PSM III. They are intended to highlight that learning and understanding grows through learning and practice. The press announcement gives some insight.

The reasons for the changes have been detailed by Dave West here in this article.

One key distinguishing feature of the Scrum.Org assessments is that they are not bound to a course, however attending a PSM Course will help with the achievement of the assessments.

Assessment Costs

TitleOld NameUnderstandingCostLink
Scrum OpenScrum OpenEntry LevelFreeScrum Open Assessments
PSM IPSM IFundamentalUSD 150PSM I Assessment
PSM IIPSPAdvancedUSD 250PSM II Assessment
PSM IIIPSM IIDistinguishedUSD 500PSM III Asessment

Assessment Format

Scrum Open30 minutes30Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False85%
PSM I60 minutes80Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False85%
PSM II90 minutes30Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False85%
PSM III120 minutesVaries Multiple Choice and Essay85%

Preparing for the assessments

Preparing for the assessments depends on your experience and understanding. Most important is ensuring you use the language of the scrum guide:

Read the scrum guide

Create a account. Your account must be set up before you can take any assessments.

Take the free Scrum Open assessment for practice.

Take the Developer open assessment for practice

Take the Product Owner Open assessment for Practice

Take the Nexus Open assessment for Practice

Please give yourself the best opportunity to pass by

Make sure that you know the Scrum Guide well

  • Three Roles
  • Three Artefacts
  • Five Events

Understand the purpose of the burndown chart (start with

  • It is work remaining vs. time
  • Work can be measured by hours or story points
  • It is a guide around progress, and shouldn't be forced to be a straight line. You should be able to explain the lumps and bumps!

Think in terms of the 2 classic Scrum Master answers:

  • It Depends
  • Let the Team Decide

Assessment Areas

The assessment is based on four learning areas:

  • Coaching & Facilitation
  • Cross functional self-organizing teams
  • Scrum Framework
  • Scrum Theory and Principles
Complete the Scrum Open assessment until you achieve 100% repeatedly (5 times in a row), try the other open assessments as well to get sider understanding of the different roles.

What's the difference between the levels and preparing for them

The PSM II and the PSM III require experience with using Scrum to be able to answer the questions. There questions are more scenario based and need you to reflect on your knowledge and experience to select the best answers. The questions look for a deeper level of understanding, beyond the simple recall of the Scrum Guide.

The PSM II uses the same style of assessment as the PSM I, however the questions are more nuanced, and based on scenarios. You will need to read and understand the scenario, before selecting the appropriate response.

With the PSM III there will be a number of questions that will ask for a detailed essay response to a short question. You will need to be able to reflect on the question, and structure a response within the assessment time. Having experience of working with Scrum is the best preparation for this assessment.

Whats the difference in the assessment levels? Simply the higher the level, the harder the question.

Pragmatic | Positive | Professional

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