General Exam Info

General Exam Info

What Scrum Exams Exist?

Within the Scrum certification sphere, there are three key players, whose certifications are generally considered valuable. Those are:

  • Scrum Alliance, an organization founded by – among others – Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber
  •, an organization founded by Ken Schwaber after internal disagreements within the Scrum Alliance
  • Scrum Inc., a consulting and training company founded by Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland

Out of these three, the main players are the Scrum Alliance and Those two differ from each other, among other things, in the following key areas:

Titles issued:

  • Scrum Alliance: “Certified Scrum”, e.g. Certified Scrum Master (CSD)
  • “Professional Scrum”, e.g. Professional Scrum Master

Certification Requirements:

  • Scrum Alliance: Attendance of a licensed Scrum Alliance training session is mandatory, after which an online exam is conducted.
  • Attendance of a training session is optional. All that is needed is an online exam, the entrance password for which is gained either as part of an official training or purchased on their website.

Exam language:

  • Scrum Alliance: The exams are available in multiple major languages, including English, Chinese, French, and German.
  • The exams are available exclusively in English.

Passing criteria:

  • Scrum Alliance: In order to pass, you need a minimum score of 74%.
  • In order to pass, you need a minimum score of 85%.

Certification validity:

  • Scrum Alliance: The certificates expire after two years. Renewal requires additional Scrum related education and payment of a renewal fee.
  • The certificates do not expire.

Based on the above considerations, I had made the decision to pursue the certification path. Therefore, the info on this website for now deals exclusively with certifications, the “Professional Scrum” ones. Exams

GENERAL INFO conducts its exams online. The tests are accessed through using a password and are conducted using Unlike certifications by the Project Management Institute (PMI), there is no supervision via webcam during the exam. Your other browser activity is also not monitored.

You have to finish the exams within time-boxed, the amount of time, and the number of questions depend on the exam. The passing grade is always 85%.


In this category, I include the exams that are noted with a suffix “I” such as PSM I as well as SPS and PAL-EBM, which have no enumeration.

All exams of this category contain multiple-choice (choose one of the following), multi-select (choose multiple of the following), and TRUE/FALSE questions. Therefore you receive your exam results immediately after finishing.

Multi-select questions on this level will inform you about the number of correct answers to choose, noting it for example by writing “(choose two)”.


This category currently includes PSM II and PSPO II.

As with Level I exams, questions are either multiple-choice, multi-select, or TRUE/FALSE and therefore you receive the results instantly. Unlike Level I exams, the multi-select questions do not always inform you about the number of correct options. Especially the PSPO II exam also includes questions with the statement “(choose all that apply)”, leaving it up to you to select between one and six options.

Level II exams contain more scenario-based questions. For those questions, as in real life, there are no perfect answers. Therefore, you will often be asked to select those that are most appropriate, denoting it with e.g. “(choose the best two)”.


This category currently includes PSM III and PSPO III.

Exams in this category only contain a small number of multiple-choice, multi-select, and TRUE/FALSE questions. The majority of questions are essay questions, which ask you e.g. for the proper reaction to a described situation or to elaborate on a specific concept within Scrum.

These exams are considered particularly difficult due to the heavy time constraints in combination with the open-ended essay questions. On average you get to spend around 3-4 minutes to read and understand the often wide-ranging and difficult question, think of a comprehensive but concise answer, and write it down using the proper Scrum Guide based terminology.

The essay parts of Level III exams are graded by a Professional Scrum Trainer, which leads to a delay of several days up to several weeks between finishing the exam and receiving your results.


Everybody has their own process for dealing with the stressful situation of an exam. The following approaches have proven useful in the past:

  • Prepare a dedicated, quiet space where you can work and concentrate properly for the duration of the exam.
  • If using a laptop, make sure your battery is sufficient or your laptop is charging.
  • In case of internet connectivity problems, have an alternative source of WiFi available, such as a hotspot created by your phone.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to note the questions you wish to review later. There is no bookmarking-feature in the exam
  • Close all possible distractions, such as email or social media.
  • Have the following tabs open in your browser:
    • The exam tab
    • The Scrum Guide
    • The Scrum Glossary
    • If English is not your native language, Google Translate may be useful
    • Further materials depending on your exam:
      • SPS: The Nexus Guide
      • PSK: The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams
      • PSPO II or PAL-EBM: The Evidence-Based Management Guide
  • If you are struggling with the English language, recommends using the Google auto-translate plugin for the Chrome browser
  • does not use “trick questions”, there are no hidden implications in the questions or double meanings.
  • The questions require answers based on the (ideal) Scrum environment based on the Scrum Guide. Therefore, you should give answers on that basis. Statements like “but that is not how you would actually do it in real life” will not get you anywhere.
  • On the Level II exams, there are often no perfect answers, rather the exam asks for the best answer(s) among the listed options.

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