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Tips & tricks on how to get prepared to PSM II

Hello dear followers and readers,

Last week I have finally passed Professional Scrum Master II certification from and today I would like to share a few tips & tricks on how to get prepared for this assessment. I definitely won’t share any details of the test or its questions, but will still try to keep this hint useful and informative.

My PSM II certificate

Let me start with reminding you of the assessment’s structure and rules:

Number of Questions: 30

Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False

Passing score: 85%

Time limit: 90 minutes

Language: English only

Fee: $250 certificates issued so far

You can learn more about PSM II subject areas from the official description at

Preparation: my tips & tricks

While PSM I assessment is mostly about the basics and theory of Scrum framework mixed with general questions to test your agile mindset, PSM II has a much wider variety of topics, including Coaching & Facilitation, Scaling, Technical excellence, etc..

My Open Assessments results
  1. The first thing to start with is to regularly go through all Open Assessments you can find at Scrum Open, Product Owner Open, Nexus Open, Scrum with Kanban Open, Agile Leadership Open and even Developer Open.
  2. Learn more about The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master and Scrum Master anti-patterns. These and other blog articles and books suggested by will help you to understand Scrum Master’s role better.
  3. Dive deeper into the topic of Coaching & Facilitation: what differs a good Coach from the bad one, how to bring people towards the solution, how to ask questions and “mirror” the team’s behaviour.
  4. Understand Scrum Values with your mind and heart. Five years from being published the article by Gunther Verheyen is still one of the best on them.
  5. Read Serious Scrum blog — it may help you to understand things written in the Scrum Guide better and Inspect & Adapt on some of the situations you’ve been through in your career.
  6. In case you still don’t feel ready enough — attend one of the Advanced Professional Scrum Master II classes originally created by The Liberators: Christiaan Verwijs and Barry Overeem.
  7. The last but not the least: read the Scrum Guide and the Nexus Guide thoroughly.

Taking an assessment

When taking an assessment be ready to make your brain work a lot. Have some stationery nearby: stickies and a pen are your must-haves. Create a comfortable environment where you will not get distracted. My personal choice was the kitchen table, a cup of coffee and The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the headphones.

Take your time — the assessment itself is only 30 questions, but most of them are very long (up to 10 lines of text) and tricky. Most of them won’t have “the one and only good answer” — you will have to choose the best amongst the good. That’s where your stickies and a pen come into the game — write down all options and cross them out one by one until you have the best ones left.

During my PSM I I was not sure about 10 answers of 80 by the moment I pressed “Save and exit”. Here almost half of 30 seemed uncertain. When I started going through them, I’ve ticked out the questions where I was sure for at least 80–90%. (of course, it’s up to your own Definition of “Sure”)

Breakdown of my PSM II test result

In the end, I had only 3 questions with multiple choices left which is OK with the passing score. My final result is 30 points out of 34 maximum or 88.2%.

Did you like the article? Then it would be awesome if you’d clap 👏🏻. I am also very keen to learn what you think about this topic.

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Agile Expat by Denis Salnikov

Org Design consultant, Trainer & LeSS Coach @ Agile Expat | Head of Agile Practices @ PandaDoc | Professional Scrum Master | CMI Team Coach | Kanban Coach