Part 2 of the series I'm writing...

Discussion in 'MCAD' started by CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    Well, here it is...Part deux!

    The cheating industry that is devaluing IT certification - part two

    These are the other links I posted from the Part 1 post, in case ya missed
    'em. ;-)

    This is part 1 of the article:

    Some other useful links:

    Practice Test Providers:
    Study Materials and Books:
    Vendor Links and Emails:
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
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  2. Repost: the first reply was filtered, may be because of some keywords.

    Sounds like there is an underground network of capturing test taker's exam
    data to produce those B***D****(TM).

    From my own exprience:

    1 When I arrived a test center on time, they needed me wait 30 mins before I
    could start my test. Looks like they needed to make a ghost image before
    they let me start. (a beta exam)

    2 A specific beta exam should give me 210 mins on the test and 60 min on
    comment. The exam was at about 150 mins, the 5 mins warning, the exam ended
    notification pop one by one and the exam was ended. When I tried to start
    the comment session, both pop up showed right on the beginning. Looks like
    someone had modified the total appointment time to force my exam end earily.
    I suspected that they could release the remaining 120 mins after I left, so
    as to copy down the questions from my exam. The funny thing was that the
    test center admin gave me a phishing link and said I should use it to
    contact Microsoft about that problem.

    3. After I passed an exam (not a beta), the test center held my test record
    for one week. The online status was freezed as "Pending" or "Ready to
    deliver" for 7 days before it finally show "pass". Looks like someone wanna
    hold that exam record and crack it. I got over 900 score at that exam.

    4. When I arrived at a test center, the test center admin said they can't
    load my exam record. After sometimes, I was forced to reschedule the beta
    exam on another date. May be the exam was successfully loaded indeed.
    Someone just wanted to have much more time to make images of their server
    and computers.

    5. When the exam (beta exam) started, I checked the date was correct. When
    the exam ended, the printed report showed the date of tomorrow. It should
    not be a problem due to timezone difference. Why did the test center need
    that one "extra day"?

    I don't trust the test centers. I always try to distribute my tests to
    different test centers: Learning Solution Partners, big and small IT and
    non-IT Schools, Universities. Unfortunately, it looks like many of them
    would do similar things. How much money will the test admin or the boss of
    the rogue test center gets, if he captures a full set of a new beta exam
    from a test taker, and sells it to T***K***?
    Anonymous Reader, Apr 10, 2007
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  3. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    That is very interesting indeed. I will take all that information into
    consideration for the article I'm planning on writing.

    I will repost the original message ASAP.

    Thanks again!
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007

  4. Out of curiosity what country does this suspicious activity take place?
    Luckily I have not seen anything so suspicious here at the test center
    by my house...
    Red Swingline Stapler, Apr 10, 2007
  5. CertGuard

    JaR Guest

    I'd like to request that you forward the details of these experiences to
    Certguard. Locations of test centers, specific dates, etc. I think you
    can rely on their confidentiality, but you can remain anonymous if you like.

    Certguard, I think you should forward this info to your guys at MS,
    don't you? Why don't you let ol' anonymous know how he can send it to
    you. Is the newsgroupsATcertguardDOTcom a monitored addy?
    JaR, Apr 10, 2007
  6. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    The IP Address has China written ALL over it. ;)
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
  7. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    The IP Address has China written ALL over it. ;)
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
  8. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    Why does WLMD give errors, then send the message anyways?


    "CertGuard" <CertGuard - The Stronghold for Excellence in IT Certification and
    Exam Security> wrote in message news:...
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
  9. For some of the cases, I have sent comments to VUE/Prometric. I don't know
    what they did. I didn't expect they can do much about that. May be the
    test centers really having some problems out of their control. It's hard to
    get solid evidence, even if the test center did do something evil.

    I try to distribute my exams to different test centers. Just want to avoid
    all of my exam records following into the hands of one single test center.
    Fortunately, there are totally about 20 VUE/Prometric test centers for me to
    choose in the little city.

    You can't stop the test center admin from arranging her friends to take a
    holiday mid-night exam together with all the books open. You can't stop the
    test center admin from giving her keys, username and password to her best
    friend to take self-servicing exam. You can't stop the test center admin
    from allowing her friends to copy down the exam questions. When you found
    the VGA graphic respond in your exam is very slow, as if there is a remote
    monitoring software running in the background, you can do nothing. Even if
    someone told you how he cheated in his exam. You can't do anything. He
    could say he was just telling a lie or a joke.

    The Microsoft Certified Partners need employees pass exams to get
    completence or Gold Certified Partner status. The Microsoft Certified
    Trainers need to pass exams to teach new courses. Unfortunately, Microsoft
    Certified Partners and Trainers can hold their own test centers (either
    using the same company name or create a dummy company) to meet their goals
    easily. What can you do about that?
    Anonymous Reader, Apr 10, 2007
  10. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    Thanks JaR, yes it is a monitored addy. This is definitely something I need to
    follow up on as soon as possible. If what Mr Anon. is saying is true, then we
    have lots of work to take care of with T/P.

    Anonymous Reader, please send me any information you can to
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
  11. No MS beta exam in China...

    Anonymous Reader, Apr 10, 2007
  12. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    Forwarded, I'll keep this thread updated (if I can) about what's going on.
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
  13. I think I've written too much here, just because I read your post here right
    after I was forced to reschedule my beta exam this morning. I don't have
    any evidence in hand. Sorry, that means I won't be able to help you.

    I lost my trainer job because I didn't "cooporate" and I am lacking "team
    spirit". I am one of the first MCITP and MCPD in the world, but most people
    only think I am one of the cheaters just like many many others. I hate

    Anonymous Reader, Apr 10, 2007
  14. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    Leave the evidence up to me. You have given me a foundation to work with, now I
    can get the evidence I need by other means.

    I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job, I understand morals don't pay the
    bills, but maybe you will find a better job that will not ask you to do
    something illegal or immoral.

    Thank you and Good Luck.

    Please visit us here:
    CertGuard, Apr 10, 2007
  15. CertGuard, braindumps and so forth are one of my hobby horses. I hold
    several credentials from Microsoft (MCA is not one of them) covering several
    disciplines and have recently moved into a training position myself. In case
    it may help someone, I too have a deep seated distrust for training centers.
    Back in the days of NT4, there were a couple of centers in the state of
    Maryland (where I was living at the time) that created some pretty wonky
    experiences. Further, things were different every time.

    When I started a year and change ago for the company I work for now, they
    required the full MCSE track and encouraged consultants to certify further
    than that. This requirement forced me to re-assess this question of locating
    trustworthy certification centers, a subject I had purposely avoided for
    years based on my distrust of the certification process. I rapidly pursued
    my MCSE 2003 examinations based on my experience with the product and some
    concentrated review and found that even within a radius of my home office
    location, testing centers vary widely on the experience that a test taker
    recieves based on where you are at, who owns the testing center, and in some
    cases even who is administering the test.

    In my case, I found a few keys to locating trustworthy centers:
    Find the testing Centers owned by national chains. New Horizons Learning
    Center, etc.
    See if the testing center is also a certified learning partner.
    See if the BBB has any complaints about the organization behind the testing

    Recognize that your comfort with the testing environment and modality WILL
    affect your comfort in executing the test. This can imply some effect on
    your score.

    Taking the time to find a place that you are comfortable with to take test
    after test at is worth the time and driving invested. At this point in time,
    I use the New Horizons Learning Center locations in my area because I know
    several people at the company. I have taken 3 MOC based courses, and more
    than 13 exams on site at one of thier locations (including several betas).

    Each time the examination is by the book. The equipment is up to date.
    They will not put you on a terminal that has been recently serviced. You are
    monitored by sound and camera but are placed in a small, enclosed room with
    only 2-3 testing stations to minimize noise and to isolate test takers.

    Am I, on the whole, more paranoid about the conditions that I take my test
    in than the average engineer? Probably. But I feel that in recognizing the
    value that the certifications imply on my professional career, and treating
    it as an investment including safeguarding the method in which my investment
    is carried out, I am ensuring that Microsoft and Myself are both ensured a
    high integrity environment to ensure that I have the skills and experience
    that my credentials imply.
    Wayne Anderson, Apr 25, 2007
  16. CertGuard

    Consultant Guest

    funny, i do a lot of interviewing and i find the ones who hold mcse's to be
    the least knowledgeable
    Consultant, Apr 25, 2007
  17. I would not speak against that.

    It is a matter of understanding the background of the person. One of the
    things I tend to rail about when I write (online and otherwise) is the
    dis-service that candidates (and employed professionals as well) do
    themselves when they concentrate so exclusively on the paper certification
    and the tests that convey it rather than understanding the representation of
    experience that the certification implies.

    The MCSE at present shows an initiative in the material, in my personal
    opinion, the _potential_ for a skill fit. It is then up to the
    interviewer(s) to determine whether that MCSE designation is backed up by
    experience with the product or is rather the product of some of the
    agreement-violating behaviors that CertGuard has spoken to in parts I, II,
    and III of his recent series.

    It is unfortunate that your experience has been with a relatively
    inexperienced set of MCSE job candidates but I would point out that such an
    experience is not universal. Many of our consultants really come from the
    opposite end. Before joining my current employer, I had fairly strong
    experience on the Windows platform in multiple enterprise environment but
    never really had the time, money, or inclination, as I spoke to previously to
    pursue finishing my certification tests.

    Hopefully you will find the ongoing measures that Microsoft seems to be
    looking at (upgrading the certification path to more focused technical role
    based certification, suing braindump vendors, using copyright law to force
    such material to be removed, etc) to be of service in raising the future
    level of skill and integrity that certified candidates can convey to your
    Wayne Anderson, Apr 25, 2007
  18. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    Excellent advice Wayne, I visited your blog and was wondering how I can contact
    of you.

    If you'd prefer, you can contact me here (it's secure...well, secure enough to
    prevent spam):
    CertGuard, Apr 25, 2007
  19. This is my question: When do we stop blaming Microsoft for the situation
    that braindumps, gunmen, and cheaters have placed this certification in?
    It is the latter who have devalued the certification -- Microsoft made
    it available. Microsoft did not back these exams easy for everyone to
    achieve it. However, these individuals have found a way to cheat the
    system. What you do not hear about are the various test centers and
    individuals that Microsoft have closed down. Funny how that works out.
    You always hear what they are not doing right, and never what they are
    doing to solve the issues placed before them by hackers, braindumps,
    gunmen, cheaters, etc...

    This is by no means an excuse for Microsoft to produce crappy software
    or paper certifications. However, we as Microsoft Certified individuals
    have caused a majority of this issue dealing with the certification

    I have heard that the exams need hands-on labs? Would that fix the issue
    with braindumps and cheaters? If so, how? Let me explain some of the
    ways it will not affect the problem we currently are experiencing with
    paper certifications:

    1.) The test centers are corrupt.
    2.) Favoritism, or the good ol' boy system.
    3.) Bribery
    4.) Who will proxy these exams?
    5.) How will they be graded?

    The list goes on and on. But all I hear is hands-on exams -- like Cisco
    CCIE. Has anyone looked at the prices for this exam -- plus you can only
    take these exams in a hand full of places. So add travel expenses and
    time off work. Now look at the current MCSE requirements: 7 exams. How
    much do you think that will cost if Microsoft follows the Cisco route.

    People need to think before speaking. If you have an idea, voice it. But
    if you are just complaining without having a plan to offer, then you are
    not helping solve the problem. You are part of the problem.
    Michael D. Alligood, Apr 25, 2007
  20. CertGuard

    CertGuard Guest

    CertGuard, Apr 25, 2007
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