November 18, 2021

How to Pass PSPO I

The Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) course has evolved over the years and the PSPO I assessment has become even more difficult! I consider this assessment the most difficult of all the Scrum.org entry level assessments and it pays to be prepared. Here then, is my updated guide on how to pass the PSPO I assessment.

A student revises, following the tips in this article on how to pass the pspo i assessment.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Who is this article for?

Whether you have attended a Product Owner course or have taught yourself product management or product ownership, you may wish to earn recognition of your achievements. Possibly the best way to do this is to take the PSPO I assessment from Scrum.org.

How Difficult is the PSPO I Assessment?

I've been a Professional Scrum Trainer for almost ten years and I can tell you that the PSPO I assessment has become harder. I've monitored the pass rates for PSPO I and have noticed that more students were needing multiple attempts to pass it. As a result, I invested time in understanding why. This article provides the answers to what I discovered.

As you will have to pay $200 for each attempt at the assessment, it will literally save you money to prepare well. (nb: Students on the PSPO I course have up to two attempts to pass the assessment included in the price)

In this article, I list my top tips to help you pass the PSPO I assessment. When you make it, drop by and tell us. We'd love to let everyone know about your result!

Study Tips to Pass the PSPO I Assessment

Before the Assessment:

  1. Read the Scrum Guide, once a day, every day, for seven days, prior to taking the assessment.
    Reason: This will cement your understanding of Scrum. You’ll also discover something new on every read.
  2. Watch my video Scrum in 9. It covers the major points of Scrum in less than ten minutes.
    Reason: This is quick and easy revision that will firm up your understanding of Scrum.
  3. Take the following Open assessments. Take them repeatedly until you score 100% every time in 5 minutes or less. Note that the questions come from a pool so keep going for maximum exposure:

Reason: It's good practice and some of the questions appear in the real assessment so you're getting answers for free.

4. Remember my definition of a burndown chart: A burndown chart exists to show the amount of work remaining at a given point in time. If you remember this, you should be able to address any question on burndown charts but see the quoted article for more information.

Reason: Though burndown charts are not a mandatory part of Scrum, there are still some questions that incorporate their use and we don't want you to lose points unnecessarily.

5. Read the book 'The Professional Product Owner' by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham.

Reason: The PSPO I assessment covers elements of Product Management, covered in this book, that are not covered in the Scrum Guide

6. Bonus Preparation: Follow the advice offered in the suggested reading for PSPO I assessment from Scrum.org.

During the Assessment:

7. RTFQ! Read the full question (and answers)!

Reason: Some of the questions (and answers) are long. Don’t throw away points by neglecting to read the full text. Some of the questions require you select multiple answers. Make sure you select them all.

After the Assessment

8. If you fail your assessment on the first attempt, stop! Pause. Give yourself at least one day, preferably three days, to reflect before reviewing, revising and re-sitting. If you were on one of our PSPO courses, contact us for advice. We're here to help.

Reason: Rushing at another attempt at the assessment means you're likely to repeat the same errors. By reflecting, you may study product ownership further, get a better understanding, and improve your chances at a pass.

Extra Tips for Turbo Scrum Students to Pass the PSPO I Assessment

There are three additional tips that we provide for students that attend our PSPO I classes.

As you'd expect, we make extra facilities available to students that attend our awesome classes on Scrum. If you have attended one of our Turbo Scrum PSPO courses, here are a further three tips to increase the probability you'll earn your PSPO I certificate:

9. Watch the Scrum Videos

As a student on one of our classes, you'll have unique access to extra Scrum videos. Watch these as required.

Reason: These videos contain just the facts you need. They are designed for fast and easy revision on Scrum.

10. Read the slide material

If you attended one of our Live Virtual courses, you'll have access to the boards you worked on. These are great but they don't contain as much information as the slide material and you'll want to revise everything we discussed on the course.

Reason: The slide material contains additional study material that might appear in your assessment

11. Take our PSPO I practice assessment

We created our PSPO I practice assessment based on feedback from Scrum.org and prior students. Note that you'll need to be signed in to access this.

Reason: Empirical data from prior students helps you better prepare for the real assessment. (please note that this practice assessment deliberately does not contain any of the real questions from the assessment).

Conclusion

Follow the above tips to improve your chances of passing the PSPO I assessment.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment section below and we'll be happy to address them for you. Other than that, let us know when you pass so we can share your new status with the world and welcome you to the community of Professional Scrum Product Owners.

Good luck!