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PSPO I exam tips

25th October 2016

Wow!! I finally made it :) I am a professional product owner certified by

It is been a long journey, I had been thinking of taking this certification for a long time and I finally got the opportunity to do it, so I did and I passed :D.

In this post, I would like to share my impressions about the whole process and contribute with some tips and tricks that helped me to pass the exam.

The 2 days course

Even when it is not compulsory in (It is compulsory for ScrumAlliance), I would advise you to take the course. It helps to be in contact with Product Owners that will share their experience, the challenges they face how they have overcome them etc. Their experiences can come very useful when you get to do your work as Product Owner.

Of course, the quality of the course mostly depends on the teacher, so make sure you have a good teacher before you subscribe.

Our class was very interactive and with exercises which helped to link the theoretical concepts to the practice.

The preparation

These are my tips to get ready for the certification:

  • You must read carefully and have a thorough understanding of the Scrum guide.
  • I would advise you to take the Open Assessments at Repeat them until you get a score of 100% a couple of times in both the Product Owner and Scrum assessments. Review the explanation and try to find that answer in the Scrum guide.
  • If you feel that you need more exam preparation you can always buy extra exams at Mplaza. These exams are pretty similar to the one you will take to get certified.
  • Get actively involved in forums, posting and answering questions.
  • You can use this piktochart about Scrum I created :D as a visual reference.

The exam

Well, remember that this is only a test and it does not determine who you are or if you have the right qualities for the role.

  • Keep the Scrum guide at hand. Make all the notes you need, bookmark it to find the key points quickly. You can use the HTML or the PDF format. I personally like to see my notes on paper, whatever works best for you just develop a quick search method.
  • The strategy is up to you but I would recommend you to use at least two rounds. Bookmark the questions you are not sure about and keep answering, remember that harder questions both take time and energy. Once you have answered all you can go back to the bookmarked ones and spend more time on them. I got five hard questions in a row and I could feel that my time was flying.
  • Read the whole question carefully before answering. Every word might change the answer.
  • Trust your reasoning, instead of your instinct. If you think another answer is slightly better, just choose it.
  • Make sure you manage your time carefully. For example, as I mentioned earlier, flag hard questions and come back to them during the second round.
  • Answer all the questions.
  • Word logic is very important. In those tricky sentences with "NOT" and modal verbs like may, should or must, I use a trick that proved to be very useful for me. Let's say you find something like " the Product Owner should NOT attend the Daily Scrums. True or false?" In those cases just imagine you’re a Product Owner, and you want to go to the meeting. Someone stops you and says "you should not attend the meeting". Would you say "yes, sorry, you’re right", or say "there’s nothing wrong with it, I can attend the meeting; I just shouldn’t participate"?.

My personal opinion

Overall the experience has been very rewarding, I got to understand better the role and responsibilities of the Product Owner.

It is easy to get into too much theory once you start studying for the exam and that is why I always try to keep the Scrum values in mind (commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect), and try to visualize the situations while studying and answering the open assessment questions.

I do not like the way the evaluation is done, an exam! why? so I asked, and here is what their answer was:

"While it is difficult to accurately assess things like communication skills and embodying the Scrum values in a multiple-choice assessment, our credentials indicate a certain level of knowledge and understanding of the core concepts of Scrum: the theories, rules, roles and practices. Similar to how a multiple-choice test can evaluate a doctor's knowledge, but not gauge his/her bedside manner."

Ken schwaber also explains it in these series of articles.

Well, I would like to share with you a beautiful song that has been with me for the last months I love the message inside. I hope you find this post useful and as I always say, enjoy the life!!

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