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SEI-Certified PSP Developer Examination

The SEI Personal Software Process is a disciplined and structured approach to software development that can be applied to many different types of projects. The SEI developed the PSP Developer Examination to ensure that only qualified individuals are certified as PSP Developers. The exam is based on information found in the PSP Body of Knowledge (BOK).


Software developers who have attended PSP training from the SEI or an SEI-authorized PSP instructor, or who have obtained the PSP knowledge and skill base through other mechanisms (e.g., self-study, accredited courses, non-accredited courses, etc.).

Software developers who want to demonstrate their knowledge of the PSP and their ability to use PSP skills such as data collection and calculations, estimating, quality techniques, and data analysis.


Participants must achieve a minimum passing score of 80% to be considered eligible for certification.

The difficulty level of each of these questions has been determined based on criteria set by the PSP Certification Assessment Board. The passing score for each examination reflects the difficulty level of the particular questions appearing on that individual form. This ensures that a candidate does not need to be concerned that his/her examination will contain more difficult questions than another candidates.


The closed book two-hour exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions. Each question has four possible answers, only one of which is correct. The exam covers the competency areas found in the BOK:

  • Competency Area 1: Foundational Knowledge
  • Competency Area 2: Basic PSP Concepts
  • Competency Area 3: Size Measuring and Estimating
  • Competency Area 4: Making and Tracking Project Plans
  • Competency Area 5: Planning and Tracking Software Quality
  • Competency Area 6: Software Design
  • Competency Area 7: Process Extensions


The SEI developed the PSP Developer Examination to ensure that only qualified individuals are certified as PSP Developers. The exam is based on information found in the PSP Body of Knowledge (BOK).

This examination was developed in accordance with the guiding principles of the PSP itself. A process was defined, a product plan developed, and necessary scripts utilized, all for the purpose of developing a valid and reliable exam in a manner consistent with the disciplined approach put forth by the PSP. Equally important, the exam was developed in accordance with the testing guidelines set forth by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education as presented in Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999).

The PSP Developer examination is delivered in English and Spanish online. The examination is also available in Japanese via a paper-based examination format. These are only available via special requests to


The SEI highly recommends that individuals seeking to pass the SEI-Certified PSP Developer examination attend PSP training from the SEI or an authorized provider. No prerequisites are currently required to take the examination.


Two (2) hours are allotted for an individual to complete the PSP Developer examination.

If you do not pass the certification examination on your first attempt, you may retake the examination one time within 3 months of the first attempt. A third attempt may be scheduled within the following 3 months. All retakes are subject to the prevailing exam fee.

Sample question can be found at:

Participants may not use any reference materials during the examination.

Should these three attempts not be successful, you must wait six additional months before submitting a letter to the SEI Certification Program with a request to retake the examination. Permission will need to be granted to retest. If you do not pass the examination after this subsequent attempt, you must wait one calendar year and show evidence of further PSP experience, training, and knowledge before being allowed to retake the examination.

Course Questions?

Phone: 412-268-7388
FAX: 412-268-7401

Training courses provided by the SEI are not academic courses for academic credit toward a degree. Any certificates provided are evidence of the completion of the courses and are not official academic credentials. For more information about SEI training courses, see Registration Terms and Conditions and Confidentiality of Course Records.