Since a few colleagues asked me how I’ve prepared for my recent Scrum.org Product Owner certification, I am summarizing my preparation for easy reference. Note that I’ve passed the exam in November 2021, it might have changed since then.
First of all, I want to emphasize that the exam tests that you’ve understood the theoretical foundation and basic processes of being a Scrum Product Owner (PO) in theory. In my opinion, it’s much more important to actually work as a PO in practice, learn with and from your teams, and grow with them as the processes and product matures.
Generally, all the information you are required to know are summarized in the very comprehensive Scrum Guide (version 2020). The Scrum Guide contains everything you need to know. However, the exam questions themselves are very detailed and require a very precise and detailed understanding of the Guide. Therefore, I highly recommend to take a few practice tests. I’ve completed 3 tests of Certification Mock Questions from Larry Ludovic on Udemy, until I passed 80% for the first time. Similarly, you could take a few runs of the Scrum Open and Scrum PO Open (both free assessments from Scrum.org) or a free exam on Quizform.
The Product Owner Learning Path contains a broad list of very valuable additional resources (text and videos), such as the Agile Manifesto (from 2001!), discussion on Empiricism, managing risks and Glossary. I didn’t read/work through all of them, but consider them a treasure of interesting articles should you want to learn more. For your professional work as a PO, I think these are highly relevant. For the exam itself, it’s probably enough to work through the Scrum Guide and Scrum Glossary.
I approached the learning phase as follows: I’ve studied and worked through the Scrum Guide a few times, taking notes and looking up some of the details (in the PO Learning Path). I then answered a few hundred questions to better understand the nifty~grifty way the questions are asked and took notes of the ones I got wrong. I finally took the Scrum PO Open twice and felt ready after getting more than 85% correct. I then checked again that I am ready to show that I can fulfill the Scrum Competencies.
Once I was ready, I bought a ticket for the Scrum.org PSPO I Assessment exam (200 USD) and received the exam instructions and key via email. The exam itself took 60 minutes and contained 80 questions. Depending on the question, there were Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and Ture/False selections possible. I highly recommend to go through the exam quickly and mark the questions you are unsure to revisit them should you have enough time at the end. After completing the questions and finishing the exam (it’s possible to finish it before the time expired), you immediately receive the result and certification via email. 85% or more of the questions need to be answered correctly in order to pass the certification. Good luck!