Blog Agile and Scrum Difference between PSM and CSM (PSM Vs CSM)
psm vs csm

Difference between PSM and CSM (PSM Vs CSM)

Agile and Scrum are the latest trends nowadays. Most of the IT-based organizations and companies prefer to hire the candidates who are familiar with the concepts of Scrum framework and applications. Scrum is defined as an agile framework which is used to complete complex projects. It was invented for software development projects but it can be used for any other complex project to take decisions quickly on the basis of agile methodology.

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There are a number of opportunities for the candidate who can implement agile and scrum in complex situations. The demand for certified agile scrum professionals is even more. CSM and PSM are two different certifications for scrum master. There are a number of people who are asking each other about the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Both PSM and CSM certifications are based on scrum and by reckoned organizations.

PSM Vs CSM Certification

Both the CSM PSM certifications focus on software development and have their own importance but are still different from each other. Which one is the better? Which will add more value to my career – PSM or CSM? What should I go for – PSM Vs CSM certification?  These are some questions that may be hovering in one’s mind. Let’s find out which one is the right certification for you between PSM Vs CSM.

Some points of the differentiation between CSM Vs PSM are as follows –

PSM Vs CSM Whizlabs

1. How to Get the Certification

CSM certification by Scrum Alliance is easy to get by attending two days class/training. CSM is like a diploma course so you have your own choice of choosing an institute. You can enroll yourself in that institute, attend classes, and submit assignments. But, remember, you have only two attempts to pass this certification exam.

On the other hand, PSM certification exam by is not so easy. There are three levels of PSM certification – PSM I, PSM II, and PSM III.

You have to purchase a password from to enroll yourself for PSM certification course. If you have a high level of scrum knowledge then you are able to take PSM I exam directly. But it is required to have a few year experience of implementing Scrum framework based on the real-life scenario.

2. Passing Rank

This is an important point of difference to consider while discussing PSM Vs CSM. For passing CSM certification exam, you have to score at least 69 % marks or you must give 24 correct answers out of 35 questions. But you have to score at least 85% marks to pass PSM certification exam. Thus, the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification has a low passing score as compared to Professional Scrum Master (PSM) Certification.

3. Exam Pattern

The exam pattern makes a big difference between PSM Vs CSM. While CSM only comprises of multiple choice questions, different levels of PSM certifications may comprise of multiple choice questions, multiple answer questions, true/false type questions, and essay type questions. So, have a quick look at the difference between exam pattern of CSM Vs PSM –

CSM: Multiple Choice Questions

PSM-I: Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Answer Questions, and True/False Questions

PSM-II: Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Answer Questions, and True/False Questions

PSM-III: Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Answer Questions, and True/False Questions, and Essay Type Questions

4. Exam Level

PSM certification exam is much harder as compared to the CSM certification exam. You can give CSM exam after taking 2 days training. PSM-I do not require any training if you have a complete knowledge of implementing Scrum. And, PSM-II and PSM-III exams are much harder as compared to PSM-I and need experience of few years in Scrum Methodology to pass these certifications. So, the comprehensive study of exam level of PSM Vs CSM specifies that the level of PSM certification exam is higher than CSM.

Being harder, it is very important to read best books for the preparation of PSM certification. Preparing through these PSM books will help you to pass the PSM certification in single attempt.

5. Certification Cost

CSM certification fee varies from the US $400 to the US $2500 depending on the institution and tuition fee. But if you fail to pass CSM exam on the first attempt then you can take it again within 60 days without paying any additional fee.

There is a standard fee for the different levels of Professional Scrum Master certification. The costs for PSM-I, PSM-II, and PSM-III certification exams are US$150, US$250 and US$500 respectively. Moreover, if you do not pass PSM-I assessment then there is a 2nd attempt within 14 days at no additional fee. So, the certification cost is the factor that makes a huge difference to choose from PSM Vs CSM.

6. Need for Renewal

The need for renewal is the main point required to be taken into account while deciding which one is better from PSM Vs CSM. CSM credential is valid for two years only. You have to renew this certification every two years by paying $100 for every two years. The amount of renewal fee may also differ according to the institute you have chosen for the CSM certification exam. There is no need to renew PSM certification once you have passed the certification exam. The PSM certification is valid for the life without the need of any renewal.

7. Attainment of Certification

The attainment procedure is another factor that makes PSM Vs CSM certifications different from each other. One can attain CSM certification by the attendance i.e. by attending two days of training at a recognized institute of his choice. The attainment of PSM certification is not done by the attendance, instead, it’s done with the assessments. You need to pass assessments/exams for each level of the PSM certification to become a Professional Scrum Master.

8. Reliability of the Exam Content

There are many institutes that are providing CSM certification training. So, the training content may vary from one institute to another, and from one trainer to another; which makes the content inconsistent and thus, non-reliable. While in case of PSM certification, there is only one body which takes the certification assessments. Thus, the exam content remains consistent, only the interpretation of the trainers may somehow vary. Being consistent, PSM exam content is considered highly reliable while CSM is not.


To conclude, both the PSM and CSM certifications are highly appropriate for the Scrum Master. Both the certifications have their own significance. According to the above-mentioned point of differences, CSM can be considered less than the PSM but its antiquity makes it comparable to PSM. However, if you are focused to make a selection from PSM Vs CSM, the factors like no renewal, reliability, and cost makes PSM a better choice. On passing PSM certification, you will be recognized as a certified Professional Scrum Master.

You can also try Professional Scrum Master (PSM) I Practice Tests to prepare for the PMP certification exam.

About Amit Verma

Amit is an impassioned technology writer. He always inspires technologists with his innovative thinking and practical approach. A go-to personality for every Technical problem, no doubt, the chief problem-solver!
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  1. I just took the CSM exam and will offer these corrections/updates to the above:
    50 Questions
    60 min time limit
    74% minimum to pass
    2 Day class cost me $960


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