Tuesday 2 May 2017

How to pass PSM II exam?

Last week I’ve successfully passed Professional Scrum Master II exam. Hooray! :)

For everyone who wants to attend this exam I’ll share my impression of the assessment and the best way to prepare.

In difference to PSM I assessment which is pretty straightforward, PSM II is an advanced exam, with 30 questions, time limit of 90 minutes and 85% passing score. The majority of questions describe real world situations that you need to read through, understand and then think about possible answers. So you will most probably need all 90 minutes for the exam. The questions are multiple answer, multiple choice and true/false.

The main challenge if you prepare for PSM II is that there is no more “advanced” source for preparation than there is for PSM I. And yet, you will not be simply tested for knowledge of Scrum basis as described in Scrum and Nexus guides. The focus of this test is more on your own understanding of the underlying principles of Scrum and the way you effectively apply Scrum in complex, real-world situations.

There are of course ways you can broaden your visions, such as participate in scrum.org blog, read many books listed as additional sources on the site, but still each of these sources provides more an expert’s opinion of a particular subject area, rather than a single source of truth. So how I see it, it is more important that you develop your own critical judgment.

Assuming you already have Scrum knowledge and experience as a Scrum Master, what I think is crucial for preparation is first to continue what you are already probably doing - open your eyes and ears to everything that is going on in your environment and is related to your team(s) and the Scrum application in different complex situations. 

Also, talk to other people who have different surroundings, listen to their opinion on how different circumstances and Scrum applications influence their teams and projects, and discuss possible outcomes. 

Read different sources from scrum.org (https://www.scrum.org/resources/ways-learn-about-scrum) and from other relevant sites and blogs, and practice open assessments (https://www.scrum.org/open-assessments). Questions from open assessments are more simple that you will get on a PSM II exam, but will definitely help you in preparation.

In the end, I’d just like to add that I think that scrum.org did a really good job creating this exam. It is well designed, and it will test your opinion and reactions in a very practical way. In everyday work, Scrum Master’s judgment and reactions are way more important than anything we can memorise from books or other resources.

If you have any questions or doubts about this topic that you would like to discuss feel free to leave comment on the page.