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In this post I would like to talk to you about certification exam "simulations", which promise to have questions similar to the certification exam and serve as a study guide for those who are studying and can be a great risk to your career and the whole technical community, with severe punishments for those who use these simulations. And I will explain why.
Don't limit yourself to just reading what I'm going to write in this post. Reflect and comment below your opinion and experiences about it.
What motivated me to write about certification exam exams, is seeing several people in the community sharing supposed “courses” and “trainings” where one of the available materials is “simulated” to help prepare for the exam in question.
That's when the “course” is not just that. Share the “simulated” that the instructor may have found/purchased on the Internet and is reselling.
Simulated for me as an instructor, it's something I'm going to create, using my experience and knowledge, to test my students' skills in the content covered in the exam, using questions that I think are relevant to everyday scenarios. No way, I will try copy test answers and try to remember what fell on the test to put the same in my simulation.
As a course and training instructor, my role is to teach the student, and make him think, aligning his own knowledge with what he learned. The purpose of any course is to teach, not pass the test. Being approved is a consequence of having learned. If the student does not pass, he did not learn and should not have passed. That's not shame, it's not demerit, it's just an indication that his learning process needs more time.
We cannot skip the learning process!!! It is necessary and very important!
What's the problem with simulated?
I don't see any problem using simulations to study for the exam. Many people use it even in tests like ENEM. The real problem is when these simulations are not simulated, but A COPY OF THE EVIDENCE, with THE SAME QUESTIONS, which unfortunately, is the reality of the vast majority of supposed simulations available on the internet.
The real truth is that those who really study, practice and dedicate themselves, don't need a simulation. End.
“Studying” the test responses themselves is not study. It's cheating, it's illegal, it's immoral and this practice is severely punished by all companies that apply certification tests (see more in the topic below).
I've seen several cases of people who didn't know anything about a certain test, never worked with such technology/tool, didn't study and just memorized all the answers of these simulations/dumps, and passed the certification exam.
What did this person learn? NOTHING! I doubt she will remember the things she memorized 3 months later. Where is the learning process? What was the certification for? A complete nonsense and an aberration.
What happens to those who use simulated?
And what happens to this professional? He will go to the market as a “certified” professional and when he needs to demonstrate his skills, he will not have them. He will not be able to perform the role expected of him, he will be embarrassed, and will be asked how he is certified if he does not have that knowledge. Because when a certified professional is hired, especially when certification is a prerequisite, he will likely be heavily charged on top of that.
When this scenario happens, where a certified professional does not have the knowledge supposedly attested by the certification, this certification is no longer useful, because the recruiter or the company will no longer believe that the certification guarantees the minimum necessary knowledge.
And that's where the whole community loses! Those people who lost hours, days, weeks or even months studying hard to be approved, in addition to having invested hundreds of reais (a test today costs almost 600 reais), end up being devalued by the attitudes of people like these, who use simulations to pass the test instead of studying to learn.
That is why the entire technical community must come together and fight against those who disclose or use this type of material, as it does not bring any benefit, it only harms the IT area itself and the professionals who struggle to obtain these titles.
In selection processes that I participate in, I always get heavier with those who have certification, because certification IS YES, a very big differential, it gives an important advantage to the candidate looking for a job, so I need to ensure that this person really know what the certification “says” that person knows. And if I suspect or know that this person used these "simulated" ones, I eliminate it from the process AT THE TIME. There's no conversation. And many people I talk to have the same attitude.
So, beware of these "dumps" and "dummy".
What happens if I get caught using mocks?
Anyone who uses these “dumps” or “simulates” that are copies of the evidence has to be really brave, because the punishment for those who use these materials is quite severe. As with any test, whether in school, college, ENEM, competition, certification. Any teacher who administers an exam, if it discovers that the student has had ILLEGAL access to the material on the test itself, will inflict some severe punishment on the student.
Analyzing the punishment that Microsoft imposes on this, we can see the link in the Exam Security Policy, the following text:
If a candidate violates any testing rule, exam policy, or term within the exam agreement (NDA), or engages in any misconduct that diminishes the security and integrity of the Microsoft Certification Program in any way, the candidate may be permanently prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams. In addition, test scores and certifications may be revoked.
Examples of sch misconduct, misuse, and fraud include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Using unauthorized material in trying to satisfy certification requirements (this includes using brain dump material and/or unauthorized publication of exam questions with or without answers).
Now see the Oracle's guidance on this matter:
Oracle Corporation reserves the right to take action against any candidate involved in fraudulent activities, including, but not limited to, fraudulent use of vouchers, promotional codes, reselling exam discounts and vouchers, cheating on an exam, alteration of score reports, alteration of completed completion certificates, violation of exam retake policies or other fraudulent activities by Oracle.
Oracle considers any contributions to, use of, or sharing of materials belonging to Oracle certification exams (or “brain dumps”) to be a violation of this Fraudulent Activity Policy. Candidates can check if the materials are purchasing are prohibited brain dumps by visiting CertGuard's Brain Dump ID System. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that all materials they purchase or use to prepare for exams are not violations of this Fraudulent Activity Policy.
If Oracle determines, in its sole discretion, that fraudulent activity has taken place, it reserves the right to take action up to and including, but not limited to, decertification of a candidate's credentials, temporary, indefinite or permanent ban of a candidate from Oracle certification programs, notification to a candidate's employer, and notification to law enforcement agencies. Candidates found committing fraudulent activities forfeit all fees previously paid to Oracle, or to Oracle's authorized vendors, and may be required to pay additional fees for services rendered.
If you would like to report fraud, you can send a detailed email to [email protected]
And finally, AWS (Amazon) guidelines on the subject:
2.1. Testing Rules.
You will comply with all rules and regulations applicable to registration, administration, scoring and reporting of the Certification Exam as set forth by AWS and by the Certification Exam Provider, including, without limitation, fully and truthfully cooperating with any investigation into testing irregularities. In addition, you will not:
(a) receive or provide unauthorized assistance, or submit work that is not your own;
(b) possess, access, or use unauthorized materials including Unauthorized Content Disclosures of any Certification Exam or Testing Materials;
(c) falsify your identity or identification documents, or misuse any testing identification number, username, or other credentials that have been provided to you;
(d) allow another individual to test under your identity;
(e) claim exam results that you did not validly obtain;
(f) disclose or disseminate the content of any Certification Exam or Testing Materials;
Summary: If you get caught, you may have all your evidence revoked and also to be permanently prohibited from taking any evidence of Microsoft in the future (forever). And it's not difficult for companies to get it. There are several courses on Udemy selling these “simulated” ones. All she needs to do is process the instructor and demand the list of students who have had access to these materials.
Even metrics can be used to analyze behavior during the test, such as:
- very high notes
- Questions being answered too fast
- Answered mockups also contain wrong answers. MS may compare your answers with those available in mocks and find that you used that mockup.
- And several other ways…
Be very careful with this!!
How to report who uses or sells these “Dumps”?
Microsoft has a form where you can report people who use or sell these "dummy" which, in fact, are not simulated, but "Dumps", ie an exact copy of the real evidence.
To access this form, click here.
Are there really valid and safe simulations to use?
Yes of course! There are serious companies that produce simulations using fictitious questions, similar to the certification exam, in the same style, but without copying the exam.
Among these companies, I highlight the WhizLabs, with great simulations and the mindhub, which has official simulations, which you can purchase directly through the Microsoft certification portal, in addition to Exam Replay with Practice Test.
If you want to have more security to take your certification exams, and know the style of the exams, you can trust these simulated ones and RUN AWAY from these “simulated” FAKE, which are a copy of the official exam.
And don't forget to check out my articles on certification exams clicking on this link here : )
Well, that's it, guys!
This is my opinion and what is yours? Comment there.