Here are some tips on taking (and passing) the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Product Owner III (PSPO III) assessment and gaining certification from Scrum.org.
To strengthen your chances of passing you should first consider attending a Professional Scrum Product Owner course from Scrum.org. This course covers all the material you will need to prepare for PSPO III. The theory will be brought to life with real-world examples from your instructor and will set you up well to take. You should also consider attending a Scrum.org Professional Scrum Product Owner – Advanced course. The content covered and the 2 days spent exploring advanced Product Owner topics will make passing the PSPO III assessment significantly more likely.
To prepare for the assessment, firstly review the guidance from Scrum.org on how the PSPO III assessment is structured so you know what to expect logistically.
Here are some important things to note about the PSPO III assessment:
- There assessment is comprised of 24 essay based questions.
- The time limit is 2.5 hours.
- Scoring is Pass/Did Not Pass.
- The assessment is manually graded by Scrum.org staff so it will take a few weeks to receive your result.
Tips to help you prepare:
- The key to passing PSPO III is having a very strong understanding of Scrum theory and the Product Owner accountability, combined with a number of years of solid experience using Scrum in the real world. A strong pass mark in the PSPO I and PSPO II assessments should mean you are well on the way to having the right level of theory knowledge.
- Review my tips on passing the Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) and the Professional Scrum Product Owner II (PSPO II) assessments. A pass on PSPO I and PSPO II is strongly advised before moving onto the more challenging PSPO III assessment.
- If you have attended a Scrum.org course, review all the examples from the class material and practice writing out short paragraph answers for the best way to solve the exercises.
- Completing the PSPO III assessment within the timebox is challenging. You need to ensure you balance your time and allow enough time to answer each question fully. Some questions require more detail in the answers than others. Allowing some time at the beginning to review all the questions and identify these is a good practice. You will have approximately 6 minutes per question.
- If you want to see some sample questions and learn how to answer them, try our Free Scrum Product Owner III (PSPO III) Practice Questions. This provides 5 sample questions and guidance on creating good answers for each.
- If you want more practice questions and guidance on creating good answers, try our Ultimate Scrum Product Owner III (PSPO III) Practice Questions. This is a larger selection of sample PSPO III questions with detailed suggestions to help you create answers. It will help you know what sort of questions to expect and be able to create good answers in the real assessment.
- If you want to verify if you are ready to take the assessment and likely to pass, try our Ultimate Scrum Product Owner III (PSPO III) Practice Assessment to experience a realistic practice assessment and receive graded answers you can use to gauge your current level. The practice assessment is 5 star rated and had been used by many of people to help them prepare for PSPO III.
I would also strongly suggest reading this book as a minimum. It neatly summarises Scrum and the Product Owner accountability and covers all the topics you will be expected to understand for the assessment:
Some final tips to help you during the assessment:
- Aim to make a few strong points in each answer to showcase what you know.
- Short answers are not necessarily a bad thing, but make sure you answer all parts of the question. This is really important! Failure to answer all parts of a question is where people most commonly lose points.
- Use real-world examples from your own experience where you can.
- Ensure you use the correct Scrum terminology from the latest Scrum Guide. Its Developers (not Development Team), they are Events (not ceremonies) and it is a Daily Scrum (not a Daily Standup). Failure to get the basic language correct demonstrates a lack of correct and up to date understanding of Scrum which will make a pass unlikely.
- You are not graded on your spelling, but you need to make sure whoever is grading your answers can understand what you mean so you should do your best to minimise mistakes.
- Abbreviations are fine as long as they are in common usage and Scrum.org will not struggle to know what you mean. If in doubt, write out the full word.
- Do not include material copied verbatim from other sources or other assessment takers. This does not demonstrate knowledge or understanding and Scrum.org are likely to detect it. Use your own words.
- Remember that Scrum is about inspection and adaptation and you may need to utilise this approach to successfully navigate the advanced assessments.
PSPO III is difficult and less than 1000 people have achieved it to date. However, it is not impossible so if you prepare well, understand the theory underpinning Scrum and the role of the Product Owner, you will be able to pass.
If you would like to join one of our classes, you can see our upcoming class list. We operate all over the world so you will find a course running at a time to suit you.
Please let me know how you find the PSPO III assessment via the comments section below. Good luck!
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