Alexandr Kotkin, PMP

On October 7, 2021, after completing the Knowledge Map, I passed the PMP exam on the first try. Next in sequence.

From May 3 to May 6, 2020, I completed the Project Management Fundamentals course with Anatolii Savin. On May 25, 2020, I applied to PMI for certification. On May 30, 2020, the application was approved (without audit). From the beginning of 2021, I began independent preparation for the exam. In January-February, I tried to read the Russian version of the PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition, but without progress. The more I read, the more I did not understand project management. As a result, having previously contacted Anatolii and discussed the effectiveness of his course, as well as the statistics on the passing of his students, from May 19, 2021, I began to take a 4-month preparation course for the PMP exam on the Knowledge Map. First, I passed a preliminary PMP test, and as a result of which all my gaps were identified, a training schedule was drawn up with tasks and deadlines. Within each task, the Knowledge Map provides links to the chapters of the PMBOK Guide that I need to read, as well as links to other resources (books, YouTube, etc.) related to the topic being studied. The passage of each section ended with a test on the Knowledge Map. With a test result of 75% or more, I analyzed the wrong answers (Knowledge Map gives an analysis with the correct answer and explanation) and proceeded to the next task. With a result of less than 75%, I analyzed the wrong answers, if necessary, re-passed through the materials of the Knowledge Map. At the weekly lesson with Anatolii, we discussed the issues that arose during the passage of the Knowledge Map. I did not study every day, but on average about 12 hours a week, I studied only from the materials of the Knowledge Map. On the 3rd month, some structural understanding of project management in the PMI format began to appear. On September 19, 2021, the course was completed and, before passing the exam, I was preparing using the Knowledge Map on my own.

Based on my experience of taking the course and using the Knowledge Map, I would like to pay the attention of potential Knowledge Map users to the following:

  1. The Knowledge Map works.
  2. It helps to systematize and update the existing experience and knowledge in the field of project management in accordance with modern practices.
  3. The Knowledge Map contributes to the development of thinking and skills in the field of project management.
  4. The vast majority of questions on the exam do not coincide with the questions of the Knowledge Map tests and, in general, the questions on the exam are situational, i.e. a certain case (situation) that requires a decision is described. So, using the acquired knowledge and the logic of finding a solution, obtained during testing on the Knowledge Map, I came up with the correct answer.

Now about the pros and cons of working with the Knowledge Map. Pros:

  1. Systems approach. I trained systematically. There was a program with a schedule that I followed, periodically took tests, and saw my progress in dynamics.
  2. Weekly sessions with Anatolii helped to understand the issues that had accumulated over the week.
  3. Schedule flexibility. The schedule is quite realistic and allows you to do not to the detriment of the main activity. The presence of a schedule and its visibility disciplined and motivated in a working way.
  4. The tasks of the Knowledge Map were compiled sequentially and in such a way that a long reading of the same PMBOK Guide did not cause rejection, as when trying to study on your own.

Now about the cons, or rather about one con, which for me was insignificant, but for the sake of completeness review, I will state it. I’m talking about the test questions of the Knowledge Map and the answers to them. Sometimes, it was difficult to understand the question itself, sometimes the correct answer was not clear. This is probably due to translation issues. At the same time, all my comments on this matter were promptly worked out, and, perhaps, have already come to naught.

In conclusion, I note that these 4 months of preparation were interesting and played a key role in passing the exam. I express my gratitude to Anatolii and his team for the work done and the working product.