How To Pass PSPO I

How To Pass The Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) Assessment From

The Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) assessment is a 60 minute timeboxed assessment where you’ll answer 80 questions in English of multiple choice type.

You get one attempt and you decide when and where to take it. There is no expiration date. You are not required to attend an assessment centre and can take it from your own home or workplace.

Further details on what to expect from the assessment can be found on the PSPO I assessment page.

Here are some tips on taking (and passing) the Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) assessment and gaining certification:

When you are ready to take the assessment for real:

  • Use the link in the email you will have received from
  • Have the Scrum Guide and the Scrum Glossary to hand and use it to look up what you need
  • Don’t spend too long on each question. If unsure of an answer, note down the question number and move on. Completing all the questions in the time box can be challenging.
  • Answer all the questions even if you have to make an educated guess. The assessment is not negatively marked.
  • Come back to the hard questions at the end and use your time to think them over.
  • Google the question if really unsure, but be careful as this takes time and there are lots of unreliable sources out there.
  • If time permits, check all your answers before the end.

You can resit the assessment if you need to, but you will need to purchase another attempt from The only exception to this is if you attend a Professional Scrum Product Owner course, and then fail the PSPO I assessment within 14 days of completing the course. In this case, will provide you with a 2nd free attempt (as of 12th September 2017).

I hope this information will help you to pass. Let me know how you get on via the comments below and good luck!

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Comments 42

  1. Simon,

    I liked crisp summary of no non-sense tips. Thank you very much.
    I passed PSM 1 and preparing for PSPO now.

    I won’t recommend Roman Pichler book, because that is very outdated (2010) compared to latest Scrum Guide (2013). Here are some examples that he use:
    – Product Owner can participate in Scrum
    – Scrum Master is sort of lead of the team etc

    I liked two books in particular to understand Scrum and PO role:
    1. Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali – very crisp explanation of scrum fundamentals. This helped me to understand Scrum and pass PSM 1
    2. Scrum Product Ownership by Robert Galen – An exhaustive coverage of PO role – not just at team level, but at enterprise level too.

    However, I am not getting sufficient confidence on PSPO 1. Could you help with following questions. Appreciate it

    1. I have very good understanding of Scrum and can answer typical questions about Product Owner, like their role, rules, and product backlog. Is that knowledge enough? If no, what would be additional knowledge needed and how many questions will be on that additional knowledge?

    2. Is there Product vision and Release plan still a good practice in Scrum? Who owns them? What is the format of vision and plan?

    3. Will there be questions about User Stories and Points? Isn’t user story outside the Scrum? Why is “User Stories Applied” is recommended as a book in for PSPO?

    4. What is the difference between Lean Product Planning and Empirical Product Planning? Whihc knowledge does PSPO test here?

    5. What should we know about calculating the value of Product and Project?

    Thank you again

    1. mm

      Hi Vera,

      I am glad you found the post useful. To answer your questions:

      1. It may be, but without knowing you and your level of experience better it is hard for me to say.
      2. Yes they are very much so. Generally these sit with the Product Owner. The Scrum Guide doesn’t mandate a format so start with what you have currently and then inspect and adapt to improve
      3. User stories and points aren’t a mandated part of the Scrum framework so there is unlikely to be much on these topics. As long as you have a good basic understanding it will be enough.
      4. There is a big overlap between these 2 topics, but also some differences. There is much to say on this and it is fuel for another blog post in itself.
      5. You should know it is important and have some strategies to do so.

      Roman Pichler’s book is a little old now, and perhaps not 100% up to the latest Scrum Guide, but I would still recommend it. It covers many of the questions you have asked in more detail than I can go into here.

      Give PSPO I a go. You will never now if you have enough knowledge until you try.

      I hope that helps.



  2. Hello Simon ,

    There is no mention anywhere of a minimum passing score level , is it percentiled or is there a defined threshold ?


    1. mm Post
      1. Hi,

        I am planning to take up PSPO 1 certification, can you please recommend some good suggested readings for preparing for the same?


        1. mm Post
          1. Hi Simon,

            I’m also planning to take the PSPO I certification, nevertheless I intend to do it without attending the “ Professional Scrum Product Owner course”.

            Can you please suggest me the best readings and online free training materials?

            Best regards,

            António Pinto

          2. mm Post
          3. mm Post
    1. mm Post
  3. Quick question : There are questions with multichoices i think, but how maximum ? 3 choice for questions ? 4 ? more ?
    Thanks a lot !

    1. mm Post

      Hi Jo,

      For my practice assessments, some questions allow/require multiple answers. Some questions tell you how many answers are required, some do not.

      This is designed to mirror the experience on the real assessments.



  4. Hello Simon,

    Thanks very much for your post, very informative.
    I want to change my career toward Product Management. Since I have not had much experience in this field nor in the Agile/Scrum world, I want to pass my Scrum Certificate.
    I am bit confused between the Scrum Master I or PSPO I certificate.

    Which one would you recommend to start with ? and please what are the materials to read ?


    Thanks very much Simon

    1. mm Post
      1. Hi Simon,
        Excellent Article. I have the same question as Nabil and was hoping to find an answer in a comment. It seems it’s hidden in the e-mail :P.
        Could you please forward the same to me.
        As an aspiring Product Manager, I’m confused whether I should do the PSM-I or PSPO-I or both (in the same order)

        1. mm Post

          Hi Sumedha,

          Not very transparent of me I now realise. Here is the crux of what I told Nabil:

          Where you should start depends on what you want to achieve and where your interests lie. Do you wish to become a Scrum Master (PSM), a Product Owner (PSPO) or something else?

          The Product Owner is responsible for optimising the value of a Product. They help the Scrum Team work out what to build.
          The Scrum Master helps people take an empirical approach and use Scrum to deliver value. Their focus is more on people and process.

          Have a look at the site for some further guidance on roles and what they include. Decide which role appeals to you more and start with that.

  5. Hello,

    First of all thank you very much for your posts which I find very informative. I am also interested in PSPO I certificate as this is very much inline with my career plans. I am quite experienced PM and BA (several years in IT dealing with various approaches towards product delivery), but had no opportunity to work in Scrum, though attended several trainings. Since my current employer offered an opportunity to take the exam, I would like to ask you about some tips how to prepare best for the challenge.

    Iza B

  6. I want to pass PSPO 1 while I failed in PSM 1 attended recently. So please help which can be learnt and cleared in short time.

    Please advise ASAP!

    1. mm Post
  7. Hi Simon,
    I am working on agile development for few years now as a business analyst and lately working a s a product owner, planning to give the scrum and PO certification soon, kindly help with the
    names of preparation materials like books or pdfs plz?

    1. mm Post
  8. Hello Simon,

    I have recently passed the PSM I exam, and am now triggered in the PO side of the Scrum spectrum.

    Do you regard – the Product Owner Manual by Peter Hundermark (see: in combination with the Scrum Guide (November 2017) and Scrum a Smart Travel Companion by Gunther Verheyen – comprehensive enough to go for the PSPO I exam?

    So far, I haven’t been able to find a comprehensive training manual for PSPO, like there is for PSM, for which I found the Scrum Master Training Manual by Nader K. Rad & Frank Turley very useful indeed.

    B Rgds,

    1. mm Post

      Hi Michael,

      Without knowing you better and knowing your level of experience and understanding around Scrum it would be impossible for me to know if these would be sufficient.

      Let me know how you get on.



  9. Hi Simon,

    I am a Certified Business Analyst (CBAP) and work as a freelancer. I had already worked on one of the project using scrum framework.

    Can you guide me on if I need to take PSM1 or PSPO 1 certification? Is it really required to attend the training to understand the framework?


    1. mm Post

      Hi Meena,

      Taking a course is not essential to gaining the certifications.

      I can’t advise you on if you need PSM I or PSPO I specifically without more information. It depends on what you hope to achieve.

      If you self study you can pass the assessments without attending a class. All my tips are on this post and the corresponding PSM post.

      Good luck with it all.



  10. Hi Simon,

    I’ve had 2 attempts at the PSPO I now. First attempt was days after attending the PO training, prior to finding your study guide and doing any additional studying, I received a 74.5. With my schedule I knew I would not be able to dedicate enough time to fully study and attempt within the 14 days so I just took a stab at it. With my second attempt I followed your guide, with the exception of reading any of the books, it was very helpful but I still fell short with an 83.8%. This was frustrating for sure!

    From what I’m feeling the multiple choice questions are the ones tripping me up. I feel very confident on the single answer questions.

    Could you share any additional insights that might help me get over this hump?

    1. mm Post
    2. Hi Marsha,
      Did you do a third attempt?
      I also failed 2 times and didn’t sleep well this night! I feel sick ..
      Maybe because I am not native English speaker I failed. I definitely need more time, 60 min are not enough and that’s the main problem with me.
      I am not quite sure do I want to have a third attempt?

      1. mm Post


        As the assessments are in English and so are harder for non-native speakers, unfortunately. And the assessments are designed to be hard so the certification has some meaning once you achieve it.

        Have you read the books? Have you attended a class? You will need to put the time in to get really familiar with all the topics required



  11. Hi Simon,

    It is great to read your article. I am an experienced Project Manager and have worked in the Agile space for 3 years. I am interested in taking PSPO assessment and my confusion is whether to go for PSMl first and then take the PSPO, OR directly attempt the PSPOl.

    I would love to know your thoughts on it.

    1. mm Post

      Hi Rajat,

      PSPO and PSM focus on different aspects of Scrum so it depends where your interests lie.

      If you want to be a Product Owner, then go with PSPO first. Otherwise, PSM is the preferred starting point for most people.



  12. Hi Simon,

    Thank you so much for this informative piece.

    I do not have any experience in this field. This is a new career interest for me and I am looking at taking both the PSPO and PSM.
    I plan to write the PSPO first and I will be self-studying.
    Please do you have specific tips for newbies in this field as I am determined and positive to pass on the 1st attempt.

    What free online materials would you recommend?
    Thank you.

    1. mm Post
  13. Hi Simon
    I have recently successfully taken the scrum master exam, but then tried to take the product owner one (after additional preparations of course) but turns out the PO exam is just totally different and also different to the and you open assessment here. The exam is just much more text per question to analyse and much more analytical questions.

    Do you have any suggestions for me how I can prepare myself even more for a second attempt. My employer does not pay for (facilitated) training or books, only for the exams themselves. Training I need to do using any available free documentation and free open assessments.

    Kind regards,

    1. mm Post

      Hi Jorgen,

      All my tips on preparing and passing PSPO I are detailed above and many hundreds of people have found these tips helped them to pass.

      There is nothing else free that I think would make a big difference for you. Perhaps you could consider the book that is mentioned which is low cost and will really help you if you take the time to read and study it.

      Good luck!


  14. Hi Simon,
    Obviously, I failed!
    I think I read that after attending a class Scrum in practice, you should be able to claim a second atempt within 14 days after first one.
    What you would recomd me reading passing the exam?

    My main concern, my weakest point is that I am not a native English speaker and under preasure of 60 min to pass 80 questions, I am not able to think faster as I should be. If I have had 10 more min, I could have pass the exam!
    Please send me an email what should I do next.
    Thanks, Maria

    1. mm Post

      I have worked with thousands of non-native English speakers who have managed to pass the assessments so this is rarely the primary factor.

      When I say attend a class I mean a approved class as detailed in the post. The quality and coverage of material may not be present in any other class from other providers. So I would recommend doing that. My other tips are in the post. A lower-cost option would be to read the recommended books.

      I hope that helps. Good luck if you choose to go again.

  15. The Product owner certifications from Scrum Alliance and seems to be same and it doesn’t make any sense to go after both.

    PSPO certifications from looks better in comparison.

    No consistent course material(Trainers quality)and renewal required every 2 years are big negative for CSPO.

  16. Hi Sir,

    Thanks for sharing very informative post about PSPO. I am planning to take up PSPO 1 certification, can you please recommend some good suggested readings for preparing for the same?


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