Am I the only one?

expphotoexpphoto Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
Who thinks the way certs are tested is ridiculous? The whole standardized testing should have been stopped in the 80s. I feel like more companies need labs as the tests. Here's the interface, figure it out. Personally, I don't remember things off the top of my head. There are things I work with every day and I still would have to see the interface to remember where I'm going to do something.

Considering in the real world we can research as we go, I don't consider Certs a fair assessment. It shows how much someone can study and/or memorize, not how quick they are on their feet or how good they are.

I'd rather take a 4 hour test with a lab than a 2 hour multiple guess with confusing questions.
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Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I agree that lab tests are much better indications of someones mastery of a particular skill, but the logistics of testing that many people in a lab just isn't feasible.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • BlackBeretBlackBeret Member Posts: 683 ■■■■■□□□□□
    This is one of the biggest things I think that Offensive-security and eLearnSecurity have done right. There are others out their as well, FTK comes to mind, but those two companies are getting most of their popularity from great training and excellent testing.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    The lab based tests are expensive in cost to candidates and to support. The standardized tests make them more accessible all over the world and reduce administration costs. I would never consider certs by themselves worth something and employers mostly feel the same way, they are just something extra along with the experience to shorten the candidate lists.
  • dou2bledou2ble Member Posts: 160
    expphoto wrote: »

    Considering in the real world we can research as we go, I don't consider Certs a fair assessment. It shows how much someone can study and/or memorize, not how quick they are on their feet or how good they are.

    These are rather broad statements and not always true. You won't always be able to research as you go. Sometimes you will be required to think on your feet and make decisions that second. How much you have memorized does show how quick you can think on your feet and how good you are at your job. Not every job and scenario is the same.
    2015 Goals: Masters in Cyber Security
  • expphotoexpphoto Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    dou2ble wrote: »
    These are rather broad statements and not always true. You won't always be able to research as you go. Sometimes you will be required to think on your feet and make decisions that second. How much you have memorized does show how quick you can think on your feet and how good you are at your job. Not every job and scenario is the same.

    99.99% of scenarios I've come across, I've been able to research as I go. Whether it be web design, security or sysadmin. I don't agree at all with the theory crap on the cert exams.

    As far as OffensiveSec. I agree completely. PWK is the only cert course I actually want to take because of the way the exam is set up for the cert.

    And I'd rather pay a little more if it comes down to being able to do a lab rather than random questions with no interface to explore. We should at least have that option.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Labs > multiple choice
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, etc.

    2022 goal(s): CRISC, maybe CGEIT or TOGAF

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • dou2bledou2ble Member Posts: 160
    expphoto wrote: »
    99.99% of scenarios I've come across, I've been able to research as I go. Whether it be web design, security or sysadmin. I don't agree at all with the theory crap on the cert exams.

    As far as OffensiveSec. I agree completely. PWK is the only cert course I actually want to take because of the way the exam is set up for the cert.

    And I'd rather pay a little more if it comes down to being able to do a lab rather than random questions with no interface to explore. We should at least have that option.

    If I was interviewing you for a senior position and you couldn't answer questions without research and Google then let's just say you wouldn't be called back. I haven't worked everywhere but I can tell you that Mircrosoft, Big 4's, Qualcomm, Intuit and other big companies expect a certain amount of knowledge to be memorized. You could be in an interview or consulting and would need to answer on the spot and sometimes draw it out on the whiteboard. Maybe you're in a position that has the flexibility to not answer on the spot because 99.99% is very high. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post altogether. But I still think you're speaking very broadly as if every job scenario is like yours and so certifications should tailor to that. I appreciate that there are theory certs and lab certs. Everyone has different skills and job expectations.
    2015 Goals: Masters in Cyber Security
  • expphotoexpphoto Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    dou2ble wrote: »
    If I was interviewing you for a senior position and you couldn't answer questions without research and Google then let's just say you wouldn't be called back. I haven't worked everywhere but I can tell you that Mircrosoft, Big 4's, Qualcomm, Intuit and other big companies expect a certain amount of knowledge to be memorized. You could be in an interview or consulting and would need to answer on the spot and sometimes draw it out on the whiteboard. Maybe you're in a position that has the flexibility to not answer on the spot because 99.99% is very high. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post altogether. But I still think you're speaking very broadly as if every job scenario is like yours and so certifications should tailor to that. I appreciate that there are theory certs and lab certs. Everyone has different skills and job expectations.

    I was just thinking that everyone learns differently, and for me, as I'm sure others, I don't do well with standardized testing. I was just using that as an example based on my experiences and the experiences I'm seeing from others around me.
  • CCNTraineeCCNTrainee Member Posts: 213
    Good luck trying to get all Certification companies to fund that type of testing.
  • eSenpaieSenpai Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    At some point, the problems you face need the aggregation of knowledge that your experience has given you over the years and at this juncture, you won't simply be able to "look it up". I lament the loss of root cause analysis in the age of the search engine. While the search engine has made people "more informed", I honestly don't think that it has made them "smarter" or better able to deal with a problem that is wholly unique to their circumstances vs the "let's try this because it's similar to that problem we just saw on google" approach that I see far too much of.

    That said, lab tests are expensive in time for everyone involved unless the outcome is HIGHLY restricted to "there can be only one" type of answers and at that point you aren't testing ability of the person to think on their feet but the ability of the person to think like the person who created the test. Arguably, this is little different from multiple choice/memorization tests. For me, only the lab tests where you can independently come to any number of right answers are truly real world in nature but this type of test is rare for a reason.

    So are Labs > Multiple Choice? Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't because even mastery of a skill won't always get you the knowledge needed when it hits the fan. Cisco's support is top notch (even if I don't approve of the pay forever firmware paradigm) but we have befuddled them repeatedly to the extent that we were the catalyst for lots of beta firmware to a problem they had never seen before. I say that to say I won't ever waver from my belief that even true mastery is ALL that is needed in a hire. It isn't...as such, I don't hold lab tests in any higher regard than other forms of testing because all they tell me is at some point in time X person was good enough to pass Y lab. How much of that does he/she retain NOW; 18months after that test? How quickly can she/he adapt to my environment W/O needing to see an environment similar to their testing environment in order to function?
    Working On:
    2018 - ITIL(SO, SS, SD, ST, CSI), Linux
    2019 - ITIL MALC, AWS Architect, CCSP, LPI-2, TOGAF
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Not to mention the cost of each exam attempt would skyrocket. Guess it would make them more valuable to hold though. Would just suck paying for them and would make it less available for people without the extra income already.
  • expphotoexpphoto Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Not to mention the cost of each exam attempt would skyrocket. Guess it would make them more valuable to hold though. Would just suck paying for them and would make it less available for people without the extra income already.

    Yes, this would be a down side.

    Though for those of us trying to study for an exam who don't learn without doing, a lab would be best. Or a collegiate level class, not these 10 day cram boot camps which are assnine expensive.
  • kenrinkenrin Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just want to respond to dou2ble about the memorizing thing. The people that can do that kind of stuff forget everything one or two weeks after they pass their cert. There is a huge difference between someone getting a cert over time in the field who uses stuff on a day to day basis than someone who crammed for two weeks. I don't think this would be common with a high-level cert but I'd say its about 50 | 50 with low level ones.

    I've met quite a few people with RHCSA that didn't know where the eth0 config file was or how to use commands such as find or locate(their instructor for the exam the same one they took the course with at college and was the exact same exam as their "final" course exam).

    Knew a dude in highschool (when the A+ actually meant something) that had the cert but the extent of his ability was making sure everything was plugged in and reinstall windows for any other issues.
  • themanwholaughsthemanwholaughs Member Posts: 27 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Personally I feel that exams should include a 25-30 multiple choice questions and then you have to configure something in a lab environment like a DNS Server or a Active Directory Domain Controller with a domain configured and client talking with shared resources configured in the active directory login profile like a batch script etc for example this stops people from brain dumping the exam.
  • SaSkillerSaSkiller OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH Member Posts: 337 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'll dive in here.

    There have been a number of good points raised here on both sides. Quite honestly, I feel a balance is appropriate. There is room in the industry for both. Neither one should hold preeminence over the other and the value of each has to be decided per employer. There will always be cases where a candidate that has done one may be better than one who has done the other.

    I'll admit i don't understand the concept of one who can't "take tests well" I haven't experienced it, so it is difficult to understand. In my mind, if you know the knowledge and are able to remember it, what does sitting in front of a computer answering questions have to do with it? It seems to me that there is an unresolved issue there. is it test anxiety? IDK. But there are undoubtedly ways to deal with that so it is no longer an issue. I remember working with someone who had their S+. For work she had to re-cert. She was deathly afraid to take the same exam she had already taken, even with the resources I provided. The information is there. The exams are made to be passed. No vendor wants people to consistently fail their exam (except maybe CCIE, but most pass the written from my understanding. - No answer - left voicemail. Even with the OSCP, people who don't feel like they can't pass the exam usually don't attempt it *raises hand*.

    I remember someone in here saying "they feel more comfortable at the console" or something to that effect. I get it, I am too. But I still have the knowledge in me, the answer is in that list.

    Again, I understand that my understanding is limited.

    A few more points. there is plenty of information that would be difficult to test on a practical only exam. I understand a bit about routing and networking. How do you test that on an exam that only tests if I can remember a list of commands."Yes, he can setup the devices, but does he understand the underlying technologies?"
    OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH, CPT, CCENT, CompTIA Trio.
  • kenrinkenrin Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    SaSkiller wrote: »
    I'll admit i don't understand the concept of one who can't "take tests well"

    A few more points. there is plenty of information that would be difficult to test on a practical only exam. I understand a bit about routing and networking. How do you test that on an exam that only tests if I can remember a list of commands."Yes, he can setup the devices, but does he understand the underlying technologies?"

    You just basically answered your own question. I recently passed the Network+ for which the troubleshooting is like kindergarten education to me. I didn't do so hot on the questions asking how far can you run this cabling and what speed etc. Or about stuff like star-bus Etc. Yeah it is nice to learn about that stuff but seriously? Google is my friend.

    I also remember long ago taking the A+ and doing one of those simulations where the ONLY command that would work in it was the one that was needed. I could probably figure out how to do it if the help function worked like it would on a normal system.

    People who "take tests well" can memorize that stuff AND all the troubleshooting along with it. These people "sometimes" suck in actual real world environments because they forget everything after the test. I blame it on most people being Visual learners. I'm more Auditory and Kinesthetic (hands on). Flash cards and the like don't help me one bit on acronyms and stuff I consider to be useless information.

    Tests like the RHCSA were made for people like me I think and cut back on people who "take tests well" and use all the briandumps.
  • techfan21techfan21 Registered Users Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I personally dont mind certs I just wished that there was a option for cert test like A+ to be slim down to one exam if possible.
  • Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    The next evolution in IT certification testing should focus on aptitude/dynamic labs more along with some theoretical. That will tackle the dumpers to some extent as well.
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