PSM I vs PSM II: Which Scrum Master Certification Is Right for You?

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PSM I vs PSM II: Which Scrum Master Certification Is Right for You?
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PSM I vs PSM II: Which ScrumMaster Certification Is Right for You?

So you’re ready to become a certified Scrum Master and want to know which certification to pursue. The two most popular options are the Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) and Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II). As a certified Scrum Master training certification yourself, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between these two certifications and which one is right for you. The short answer is that PSM I focuses on the fundamentals of Scrum and the Scrum Master role, while PSM II builds on that foundation and emphasizes advanced Scrum Master skills.

PSM I establishes a solid understanding of the Scrum framework, values, and processes. It’s ideal if you’re just getting started as a Scrum Master. PSM II is for those with Scrum Master experience who want to strengthen their knowledge and skills. It covers more advanced topics like servant leadership, coaching, and scaling Scrum. The certification you choose depends on your level of experience and how much you want to be challenged.

Whichever path you take, becoming a certified Scrum Master is a great way to learn essential skills, gain valuable experience, and advance your career. Now you just need to determine if you’re ready for the fundamentals or want to level up to the advanced concepts. The choice is yours!

PSM I: Entry-Level Scrum Master Certification

So you want to become a Scrum Master, huh? The first step is getting certified. The two most popular certifications are PSM I and PSM II from PSM I is the entry-level cert for new Scrum Masters, while PSM II shows you have more experience under your belt.

PSM I focuses on the fundamentals. It covers the Scrum framework, roles, events, and artifacts. To pass, you’ll need to understand:

  • The Scrum Guide Principles and Theory
  • The role of the Scrum Master and how to facilitate Scrum events properly
  • Key Scrum artifacts like product backlogs, sprint backlogs, and increments

This beginner-friendly cert is perfect if you’re just getting started with Scrum. The exam is multiple choice and you can study for free using resources and the Scrum Guide.

PSM II builds on the basics. It emphasizes things like:

  • Applying Scrum in complex environments
  • Removing impediments and improving team productivity
  • Coaching Scrum Teams to higher levels of Maturity
  • Facilitating collaborative decision making

The exam for PSM II features essay questions, requiring you to demonstrate your knowledge of Scrum in more depth. This advanced certification is ideal if you have at least a year of Scrum Master experience under your belt.

Whether you’re new to being a Scrum Master or have been practicing for a while, PSM I and PSM II can help strengthen your knowledge and skills. Best of all, both are globally recognized, allowing you to land Scrum Master jobs anywhere. Now, are you ready to get certified?

PSM II: Advanced Scrum Master Certification

So you’ve gotten your PSM I and have been working as a Scrum Master for a while. Now you’re ready to take your skills to the next level with the PSM II. This advanced certification shows you have a high level of Scrum mastery and the ability to apply Scrum principles in more complex, real-world situations.

To earn your PSM II certification, you’ll need to pass a rigorous assessment proving your advanced knowledge and ability to handle tough Scrum scenarios. The PSM II assesses your skills in facilitating Scrum events, coaching teams and organizations in Scrum adoption, applying Scrum outside of software development, and scaling Scrum to big projects.

Compared to PSM I, PSM II covers Scrum in more depth. It focuses on things like:

  • Facilitating Scrum events for complex teams and projects.
  • Coaching and educating teams and organizations new to Scrum so they can get the most value from it.
  • Helping teams apply Scrum to various types of work beyond just software development. Think business, marketing, construction, education, and more.
  • Implementing Scrum at scale for bigger initiatives, multiple teams, and enterprise-level transformations.

Earning your PSM II shows you have mastered Scrum and can thrive as a Scrum Master for advanced teams and organizations. While the PSM I proves your basic Scrum knowledge, the PSM II prepares you to tackle the real-world complexities of the Scrum Master role. If you’re ready to take your Scrum skills to the next level, PSM II is the certification for you.

Key Differences Between PSM I and PSM II

Difference Between PSM1& PSM 2

Depth of Knowledge

To earn your PSM I certification, you only need a foundational understanding of the Scrum framework and how to apply it. The PSM II requires a much deeper, broader knowledge of Scrum principles and practices.

PSM II tests your ability to interpret the Scrum Guide, determine how Scrum’s rules apply in complex real-world contexts, and choose appropriate solutions. Expect questions on how to adapt Scrum to challenging development environments, organizational impediments, and team dynamics. You’ll need to demonstrate an advanced understanding of servant leadership, facilitation, coaching, and conflict resolution.

Years of Experience

PSM I has no experience requirement, so it’s ideal if you’re just starting out as a Scrum Master. PSM II requires at least one year of work experience in that role. Why? Because the PSM II certification proves you have enough hands-on experience to navigate difficult situations, address complex problems, and apply Scrum theory in a pragmatic way.


The PSM I exam fee is $150. PSM II costs $250. The higher price tag reflects the more advanced knowledge and skills the certification assesses. If cost is a concern, start with PSM I to build up your experience. You can then take PSM II once you meet the one-year requirement and feel fully prepared.

Both PSM I and II are highly valued in the job market, but PSM II demonstrates you have a seasoned mastery of Scrum. When deciding which certification is right for your needs and experience level, weigh these differences carefully. With adequate preparation and practice, either exam is within your reach. Choose the one that will maximize your knowledge, highlight your skills, and support your career goals as an agile practitioner.

Which Scrum Master Certification Do I Need?

So you’re interested in becoming a Scrum Master, but you’re unsure whether PSM I or PSM II is the right certification for you. Let’s explore the key differences to determine which Scrum Master credential best fits your needs.

PSM I: Entry-Level Scrum Master Certification

PSM I is an introductory course that teaches the basics of Scrum and the role of the Scrum Master. It covers foundational knowledge about sprints, daily standups, retrospectives, and the Scrum values and principles. PSM I is ideal if you’re new to Scrum or transitioning into an agile role. This entry-level certification can help you land your first Scrum Master job or improve your skills if you’re already in a Scrum team.

PSM II: Advanced Scrum Master Certification

PSM II builds upon the PSM I curriculum with more advanced topics like facilitation, coaching, and scaling Scrum. It’s targeted at experienced Scrum Masters looking to improve their skills and gain a deeper understanding of the Scrum Master role. The PSM II assessment is more rigorous, covering real-world scenarios and requiring a high degree of knowledge about Scrum and agile practices. Achieving the PSM II certification demonstrates your mastery as a Scrum professional.

Which Certification Should You Pursue?

  • If you’re just getting started with Scrum or transitioning into an agile role, PSM I is probably your best option. It will provide a solid foundation in Scrum and prepare you for an entry-level Scrum Master position.
  • If you’ve been practicing Scrum for at least 6-12 months, PSM II can help take your skills to the next level. The advanced curriculum and difficult assessment will strengthen your abilities as a Scrum Master.
  • For the most in-depth knowledge and highest professional standing, consider obtaining both PSM I and PSM II certifications. This combination showcases your competence across the spectrum of Scrum Mastery.

In the end, evaluate your own experience, career goals, and learning needs to determine which Scrum certification, if any, is right for you. With dedication and practice, either PSM I or PSM II can help make you a better Scrum Master.

How to Prepare for the PSM Exams

To prepare for either the PSM I or PSM II exam, here are some steps you should take:

Study the Scrum Guide

Read the official Scrum Guide several times to gain a solid understanding of Scrum principles, roles, events, and artifacts. The Scrum Guide is the main resource for both exams. Focus on understanding the relationships between different parts of Scrum and the values and mindset behind the framework.

Take Practice Exams

Practice tests are invaluable for preparing for the real thing. They help familiarize you with the format and style of questions to expect. For PSM I, take the free Scrum Open Assessments. For PSM II, purchase practice exams from the website. Review the answers and explanations to strengthen your knowledge.

Join the Community has an active community of Scrum professionals. Join the conversations in the discussion forums to learn from others. Many people share their exam experiences, tips for preparing, and resources for studying. Participating in the community is a great way to expand your understanding of Scrum.

Focus Your Studying

For PSM I, focus on the Scrum framework, roles, events, and artifacts. Know them inside and out. For PSM II, concentrate on applying Scrum in complex scenarios, scaling Scrum, coaching skills, and facilitating change. Review case studies to prepare for the scenario-based questions.

Take a Course

Taking a Scrum Master certification course is not required but can be helpful. Courses provide an overview of the content, share exam experiences, and offer the opportunity to ask questions. Many students find courses a useful supplement to self-study.

Preparing thoroughly for your chosen exam will build your Scrum knowledge and confidence. With diligent study of the Scrum principles and practice exams to reinforce learning, you will be ready to demonstrate your Scrum mastery on exam day. Best of luck!

Finally, Which Scrum Master Certification Is Right for You?

Remember, obtaining a Scrum Master certification, such as Professional Scrum Master (PSM1) or  Professional Scrum Master (PSM2), can further enhance your credentials and increase your chances of securing a rewarding career in Agile project management. Career Maker Solutions is a renowned training provider that offers comprehensive Scrum Master certification training to help you excel in your professional journey.

So now that you have a solid understanding of PSM I vs PSM II, you need to decide which certification is the right next step for you? If you’re just getting started as a Scrum Master, go for PSM I. It will give you a strong foundation in the Scrum framework and prepare you to lead agile teams. Once you have some experience under your belt, consider leveling up to PSM II. It will challenge you to apply Scrum in complex scenarios and develop mastery of agile coaching skills. The choice ultimately comes down to where you are in your Scrum journey. Start with the basics, get real-world experience, then reach for the next level when you’re ready. The certifications will be there to guide you each step of the way. Keep learning, keep improving, and become the Scrum Master your teams need. You’ve got this!

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