How I Prepared For And Passed The PSPO I Assessment

Last post 05:16 pm August 24, 2020
by Shitij Bhatnagar
16 replies
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03:07 am October 29, 2019

Hello Folks.

I wanted to give back since I relied on a lot of the shared feedback in this forum to prepare for and pass my PSPO I assessment.

 

Overview

This is possibly the most difficult certification exam I have ever attempted. I invested around sixty hours of study time in preparation for this assessment. I also took a two-day, in-person PSPO I course and don't think I would have passed without this extra knowledge. My goal was to learn more about the Agile Product Manager role and to apply my knowledge into taking the assessment. The study time and the class gave me the skills and artifacts to apply in my job and to pass the assessment. In fact, my recommendation to Scrum.org is to make the two-day class mandatory for anybody attempting to take the PSPO I and/or II assessment. The best part about the class is that even if you don't attempt or pass the PSPO I assessment, the class badge will still be visible on your public profile.

 

Preparation

The Scrum Guide: I slowly read and understood this about six times.

Scrum Glossary: I read and understood this about four times.

Evidence-Based Management Guide AND Evidence Based Management: I read and understood the first one twice and the second one five times.

The Nexus Guide: I read this once.

Suggested Reading for PSPO: I read and understood this page and the Professional Scrum Competencies links about three times. I didn't purchase any books.

Product Owner Learning Path: I watched and carefully read everything here once.

The Scrum Crazy Blog Study Tips by Charles Bradley: I read this post six times. I followed the advice in 1 through 13. I clicked on the links, read and understood everything in 1 through 13. Pay attention to The New New Product Owner and the Burndown Charts.

The Cone of Uncertainly: I read and understood this six times.

Open Assessments: I took the Scum Open and the Product Owner Open at least fifteen times each. I paid attention to why I got an answer wrong and read up on the wrong answers in the Scrum Guide. The last three times I scored 100% on each assessment. My advice would be that you not attempt the real assessment unless you're scoring 100% on each of these open assessments at least three times in a row.

Mikhail Lapshin: Officially, the advice is that you should not take non-scrum.org assessments through third parties because their material is out of date or doesn't prepare you well for the real assessment. The only exception to this rule that I made was this particular assessment. It's free, though I will make a donation because it helped me. I completed the Product Owner Learning Mode twice and the Real Mode six times. Pay attention to the explanation related to the wrong answers. I knew I was ready once I got 100% on the last two Real Mode attempts.

Training: I used the Find A Public Class to find and participate in a two-day, in-person PSPO training course. This was extremely helpful because the goal of this class is give you the knowledge to be a better Product Owner. There were a lot of group discussions, exercises and workshops. This type of training is how I learn best. And yes, this helped with the PSPO I assessment as well.

 

Assessment

Despite all of this preparation, I found at least two-thirds of the eighty questions to be challenging. The reason is that the answers weren't lifted out of everything I read and watched. I had to apply my knowledge of Scrum to the questions and answer accordingly. 

 

Results

After five weeks of preparation, I found a quiet, late evening, one hour time window where I couldn't be disturbed by anybody and took the assessment. I had to answer eighty questions in sixty minutes. I read each question and the choices carefully, sometimes twice, to understand what was being asked and responded to the best of my Scrum knowledge. I completed the PSPO I assessment in forty-one minutes and scored 96.3 %.

I hope that my advice can help others prepare for this valuable assessment. As of October 2019, there are only 58,217 PSPO I credential-holders in the world. So this is a very valuable certification in my opinion.

 

Good luck!

06:07 am December 23, 2019

Hi Mark,

Thank you so much for your feedback. I am currently preparing for PSPO I, and would like to understand if you read any books as part of your preparation? Example The Professional Product Owner: Leveraging Scrum as a Competitive Advantage?

Warm Regards,

Houz

02:40 am December 25, 2019

Hello Houz. I did not. But as you can see, I participated in an in-person training class led by a PST (I highly recommend this). That and everything else I have listed is helpful.

04:44 pm December 27, 2019

Hi, I just passed mine today. I ran through your steps and they were also really helpful. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

 

Thank you,

Ebony

10:00 pm January 21, 2020

Hello,

I have just taken my steps to explore this platform, my ultimate aim is to complete  PSPO II.  I have some concerns and need some suggestions. Im sure someone can help

  • I wanted to know if I could aim at targetting PSPO II straight away without having to complete PSPO I? Is that a possibility?
  • How long does it take to prepare for the course provided I dedicate all of my time in suggested materials?
  • Mark Adams, your feedback is invaluable, it gives me a better understanding.
02:49 am January 23, 2020

Thank you Ebony and Eves. 

Eves, 

I'm pretty certain you have to do them in order, starting with PSPO I. All of Scrum.org's assessments require focus and preparation. Of all the Agile certifications out there, these are more academic and require you to understand the application of Scrum.

Good luck.

08:59 pm January 23, 2020

Thank you, Mark, appreciate your response.

Eves

07:33 pm March 11, 2020

Hello everybody,

I am preparing to take a PSPO I exam and I want your opinion on Mplaza PSPO I Exam Simulator. can I help me to prepare for an exam?

09:45 pm May 12, 2020

Haven't used Mplaza PSPO I Exam Simulator but used Volkerdon Exam Simulator as mentioned below with regards to my experience in passing PSPO I certification.

Passed PSPO I certification on 9MAY2020 with 92.5% in first attempt.  I had passed PSM I few months ago. Lesson learnt - Attempt to take PSPO I certification as soon as possible after passing PSM I as it will be lot easier.

For PSPO exam preparation, I used Udemy courses Scrum Product Owner Certification Prep by Valentin Despa and Scrum Product Owner Exam Prep by Hiro Takashimya. Also used Practice Tests from Mikhail Lapshin website and volkerdon Exam Simulator and Scrum.org Open Assessment to practice more. Practice Tests and repeated reading of Scrum Guide helped me to pass with ease. Exam questions were mostly familiar after doing so many practice tests.

Thanks all for many inputs obtained in the forum.

Sadiq

05:51 pm May 30, 2020

@Saifudeen Sadiq Pasha

Planning take PSPO1 in this week and have completed PSM1 4 weeks back. Have seen that practice tests for PSM1 and PSPO1 are almost same and PSPO also suggest to read SCRUM Guide. So do we need to study something extra to pass PSPO1 ?

 

06:35 am June 19, 2020

This is an unanswerable question I know, since no body knows my exact knowledge or ability but I am interested in any feedback. 

Long story short: 1 week of learning and i got 80% each on practice PSM1 & PSPO1 exams. How long should I plan on learning at 6h/day until I should be confident in passing?. How hard is that last 15-20%?

 

Background:

I have worked with a Scrumban like framework that I implemented based around the requirements of my boss. Nothing strictly by the book but I had read enough and tried to implement the main values & principles (turns out i reinvented Scrumban), but not a standard Scrum process so prior experience is really minimal.

Recently I became unemployed (COVID19!) so looking to add some certificates and move on from a dev role to a project manager or product owner position. Last week I was doing a lot more in-depth reading on Agile and Scrum, did a course on udemy.  Not read any books all yet. I did a PSO1 practice test earlier in the week and got 80% 1st try, the questions I got wrong I had the correct answer as 2nd choice. Today I did the SM test and same result.

Question

So I am wondering how much more practice is required until I can feel comfortable in passing 1st time. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to rush through things just to get a certificate, but the sooner I get a certificate the sooner it can be on my CV. I also I am not very good at rote learning facts rather than concepts and meaning, and unfortunately like all exams the PSO does require memorizing specific figures for some Qs.

While getting 80% 1st try would suggest I am close I think the 80-20 principle probably applies, and getting 80% of the progress takes 20% of the time. I can do about 6hours a day on this. Could cram more but it becomes less productive. I have added a new udemy course specific for PSPO and intend to go through all the suggested reading/learning path at least once.  IS that sufficient, so maybe 1 more week? I know the practice exams will give feedback on progress but any advice will help me plan the next for weeks as there are other certificates I want to pass, projects to work on etc.

2nd question would be the relative difficult of the PSO2 vs PSO1. 

05:31 pm June 19, 2020

I can make an observation: you haven't mentioned the Scrum Guide even once.

05:40 pm June 19, 2020

Thank you for the quick reply.

 

I have read the Scrum guide twice all through and skim read it at least twice more (it is really short). I have also read a few different online resources and done a udemy course that largely regurgitated the Scrum Guide verbatim.  Although I have only done a few practice tests, it seems to me the PSPO tests covers far more material than the Scrum Guide covers?  While I have only just started my Scrum journey, I seem to think the Scrum Guide is just the tip of the iceberg and to pass the PO certification requires a lot more reading? Otherwise my, mem... I forget what its called, is worse than I, what were we talking about?

02:22 am June 23, 2020

 Thank you all for the great information shared here and on other forum for the PSPO certification. I went through all as mentioned and passed my PSPO 1 successfully. Below is the info i collected from the forums and reviewed  that ot me through.

Product Scrum Product Owner ( PSOP 1) 

  1. Open Assessments: I took the Scum Open and the Product Owner Open at least 10 times each.
  2. Mikhail Lapshin:  PSM  test https://mlapshin.com/index.php/scrum-quizzes/sm-real-mode/, get all correct
  3. https://mlapshin.com/index.php/scrum-quizzes/po-learning-mode/ Do the LM Learning mode and see  the  explanation as to why the answer was wrong, then select the RM  ( Real mode) and practice until you get 100% all right and practice timing as you have 80 questions in 60 minutes.

Guide to Pass PSPO 1 Certification by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath has a couple of questions to test out as well .

04:54 am July 21, 2020

I passed PSPO couple of days back and the prep wasn't that different from what I did for PSM. Again, focus mainly on Scrum Guide. 80-85% of the questions will be based on your understanding of the guide. Read Evidence-Based Management Guide as well along with the articles that you will find on this website (scrum.org). If you have preped for PSM, PSPO should be a easy task for you as I see this certification as an extension to PSM. Check out what I did to prepare for PSM here --> https://www.scrum.org/forum/scrum-forum/14962/passed-psm-i-first-attempt-975-score

Do practice the open assessments multiple times (try to do all assessments - scrum master, dev, PO, etc). Mikhail Lapshin's assessments are good too.

Good luck.

12:57 pm July 24, 2020

Hi,

I have passed also PSPO I few days ago with 97.5%. Few years ago I've passed PSM I and I think this helped me....somehow I didn't forgot the main items.

I cannot say how many days I've spent studying. From the beggining of the year I had several tentatives but always appeared something more stringent.

I've focused on Scrum Guide, EBM (read and ubderstood well), Nexus Guide (read it 6 times and made the assesment) and the book Read The Professional Scrum Product Owner: Guide to Pass PSPO 1 Certification by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath. 

I've practiced many times the open assesments (all of them, except the one for dev). Mikhail Lapshin's assessments are very good. I may say that based on his assessments I've understood better scrum. So I've practiced all of these untill I understood them and scored 100%. I've found some other tests on the internet which helped me to clarify some items.

In 2017 we had a coach who helped us implementing Scrum in our company and we had 2 days of training. But he also answered to all our questions and at that point in time I was preparing for PSM I. I think this helped me too.

So going back to PSPO I, it was not so hard. I've finished in 45 minutes and the rest of the time I used for revising some of the questions. When I had doubts I've tried to focus on what is Scrum saying related to that subject and not on what I've experienced at my job. Some of the questions were from the opened assesments, so this helped me to answer very fast and spend more time on the once more complex. The questions and the ansewers didn't have long text comparing to PSM I. So from this point of view was relaxing. You nees to understand some terms in order to be able to answer to some questions.(cone of uncertainty)

In the end I believe that it depends on how much time you invest in learning for this test and understanding the essence of SCRUM and also experience on working with Scrum.

08:02 am August 24, 2020

Hi,

I cleared the PSPO I exam today (92.5%). I studied for 1 week approximately and used resources (guides, open assessments, learning path, videos, articles) on the Scrum.org site, some YouTube videos on Product Owner role and a few other important references (listed below at end of my comment).

My observations:

1) The Scrum Guide and EBM Guide formed core or base of the questions

2) Around 3-4 questions were either from or similar to the Scrum, PSPO and Agile Measurement open assessments

3) The exam is really tough and 60 mins is a marathon; it is better to note the questions on which you have doubts and move on to the next questions; then come to the doubtful questions after finishing the 80th question

4) I read the Nexus guide for knowledge / reference only; the exam did not have any questions from Nexus however the exam does talk about multiple scrum teams collaborating (2-3 questions) however more from the perspective of self-organizing and combined Increment without a reference to Nexus

5) Many questions are situational and practitioner perspective, rather than bookish

 

Other resources:

https://medium.com/serious-scrum/passing-the-product-owner-certification-71ffb85661b9

http://mlapshin.com/index.php/scrum-quizzes/po-learning-mode/

Regards,

Shitij