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In this article you will find how to prepare for the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO I) assessment from Scrum.org.

Professional Scrum Product Owner

 

The resources from Scrum.org

You can take a Professional Scrum Product Owner I course, which includes 2 attempts of the PSPO I exam and teaches you a lot of things beyond the exam, or learn with the free resources from Scrum.org that I explain below.

The Scrum Guide

The Scrum Guide is the official definition of Scrum, curated by their inventors. It contains a definition of the framework components and rules. It’s very important to read it in English and do it several times.

When reading the Guide, pay attention to:

  • If something is not clearly stated on the guide (directly or indirectly by applying its principles) then it’s up to you how to implement it. An example is: can the Product Owner and the Scrum Master be the same person? The exam is agnostic about this and won’t ask you this type of questions.
  • Some popular practices or approaches are not part of the Scrum Guide. E.g. User Stories are just a way to implement the Product Backlog Items, but there may be others.

The Open Assessments

Scrum.org gives you several Open Assessment for most of the official certifications. They are self-corrected so you can learn from the feedback. It is important to read carefully the answers and not to learn them by visual memory. They are short at the question bank is limited, so after several attempts you will learn all the questions. 

The recommended Open Assessments for the PSPO I exam are:

  • Important
    • Scrum Open: has general questions about Scrum, specially focused on the framework. My strong advice is to score 100% at least 3 times in a row before facing the PSPO I exam.
    • Product Owner Open: has questions focused on the Product Owner role. You will find some of them even in the PSPO I assessment. My strong advice is to score 100% at least 3 times in a row before facing the PSPO I exam.
  • Optional
    • PSPO I exam simulator from ITNOVE: has questions closer to the real PSPO I exam. It has only 15 questions.

The Product Owner Learning Path

The Product Owners learning path includes many free resources such as blog posts or videos from the Scrum.org web. Those resources have been organized by the Professional Scrum Competencies. In case you do not succeed at the PSPO I exam, the results email will break down your score by that same competencies, so a good approach is to focus on those competencies where your score is under 85% when you study to retake the assessment.

The Scrum Glossary

There is a definiton of the Scrum roles in the Scrum.org glossary. This list is not the most important piece of content to check for the exam, but it may help some of you.

The Scrum.org forums

The Scrum.org forum can help you to make clear some doubts. Please note that asking about real exam questions is not allowed.

Books

My three favourite books that may help you with the exam are:

Doing the exam

When doing the exam, these advices can help you:

  • Manage the time: the PSPO I has 80 questions to be done in 60 minutes. That may seem a lot, but if you limit the time you spend with a question to one minute, bookmark it and move on, you will have 5 to 15 minutes after answering all the questions to go over the questions you have bookmarked.
  • Have the Scrum Guide and the Scrum Glossary webs open. If you have a doubt, you can look up some keywords in them.
  • Read carefully the questions. Some questions are similar to others but changing a few words. Some others include words such as «must, cannot…» that may change the meaning of the question.

And good luck!

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Alex Ballarin

Alex Ballarin es Professional Scrum Master y Business Agility Coach. Además de este blog, publica contenido frecuentemente en las redes sociales

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