We just bought a paper MCSE

blargoeblargoe Self-Described HuguenotNC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
So I hit up my boss for authorization to purchase study materials and practice exams for the MS Exchange 2003 this weekend. I had pointed him in the direction of Transcender since I had used some of their stuff years ago and was somewhat familiar with them, but he mentioned our offsite tech had completed MCSE training and his instructor had pointed him in the direction of something better.

Intrigued, and on my boss's instruction I asked the guy for more information... it was such a wonderful deal, he went on about how the exam question matched the real test word for word, it was the best thing he had ever seen! I won't mention the name of the company here but it is "THE" site as mentioned here before.

So needless to say I had to report this to my boss immediately. He had unknowingly contributed to the growing pile of paper MCSE's out there. I was VERY disappointed and have lost all confidence in this particular tech now. The boss was so mad that this instructor would do this and invalidate or greatly lessen the value of the training our company shelled out thousands for. The whole thing just ticks me off like you wouldn't believe. I guess some training centers feel a few more passing marks will improve their bottom line.

Just wanted to blow off some steam.

Blargoe
IT guy since 12/00

Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
Working on: RHCE/Ansible
Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
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Comments

  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    blargoe wrote:
    The whole thing just ticks me off like you wouldn't believe.
    Oh, I believe you ;) Good thing you brought it out in the open, that's what can make the difference. Don't accept it from peers, instructors and students. And I'm sure it your boss will respect you for telling him instead of going along.
    I guess some training centers feel a few more passing marks will improve their bottom line.
    Yup. They want to be able to claim 99%+ of their students pass, even offer guarantees...
  • darkuserdarkuser Member Posts: 620 ■■■□□□□□□□
    wow !!! 99% of morons given the answers pass !!!.

    I want to hire the "other" one ..... icon_eek.gif
    rm -rf /
  • AlienAlien Member Posts: 398
    Which is one reason why i stick to Cisco but fake CCNA's do exist infact at one time a fake "CCNA, CCNP" crawled here from somewhere but he didn't last long. Probably slithered his way back to where he belong
    Hard times on planet earth.
  • Megadeth4168Megadeth4168 Member Posts: 2,157
    It upsets me to hear this as well! I'm in the process of studying to pass these exams to help boost my career and these people cheating are screwing it up for me.

    At least I have the satisfaction of learning the material and being able to apply it to my job... It's amazing how much I've learned and applied to my current job just in the past year of studying.

    It is unfortunate that some people use the material without knowing what it is. One of my buddies was telling me that a guy he knows gave him material from One of the main braindump sites.... He didn't phrase it like that though.... Problem is that my buddy had no clue what a braindump was. After i explained to him what he had, he got rid of it.
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    It is unfortunate that some people use the material without knowing what it is. One of my buddies was telling me that a guy he knows gave him material from One of the main braindump sites.... He didn't phrase it like that though.... Problem is that my buddy had no clue what a braindump was. After i explained to him what he had, he got rid of it.

    agree, educating is the first step. It's another form of piracy I think. Most people, once they understand, are willing to do the right thing.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    it is annoying, sure.....

    but the bottom line is, people who **** their way through exams get found out!.....eventually

    If you're good enough yourself in your job, your employer and prospective employers will see that, not pay attention to what certs you have and think "he probably cheated if he is an MCSE"
  • Orion82698Orion82698 Member Posts: 483
    Ouch... I wonder what going to happen to that tech. Sucks to be him.

    Good for you. You've certainly earned brownie points with the boss!
    WIP Vacation ;-)

    Porsche..... there is no substitute!
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't think there will be any negative repercussions on the tech, I think it was pretty much a situation where the instructor told everyone to use that software to prepare for the exam and to his surprise the questions ended up being identical. Or that's what I would like to believe.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • amyamandaallenamyamandaallen Member Posts: 316
    Just my input....

    Im looking for another job and hence thats one of the reasons I got certifications ( and a great deal of experience/fun/stress along the way :D ). However even though its now 18 months since I completed my MCDST I came to do something the other day with recovering a non responsive MS application. Now imagine the scene, I go to a new job with half a dozen certs, which were properly achieved and I dont even remember the correct steps to recovery a broken app, I could well come accross as a paper MCDST. icon_redface.gif

    Kinda puts me off studying for the 291 and acheiving my MCSA.

    Any thoughts??
    Remember I.T. means In Theory ( it should works )
  • geekiegeekie Member Posts: 391
    Hi blargoe


    I noticed you have the MCTS Vista under your certifications. Does that mean you have received your results?

    I'm desperately waiting in anticipation!!!! :D
    Up Next : Not sure :o
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Just my input....

    Im looking for another job and hence thats one of the reasons I got certifications ( and a great deal of experience/fun/stress along the way :D ). However even though its now 18 months since I completed my MCDST I came to do something the other day with recovering a non responsive MS application. Now imagine the scene, I go to a new job with half a dozen certs, which were properly achieved and I dont even remember the correct steps to recovery a broken app, I could well come accross as a paper MCDST. icon_redface.gif

    Kinda puts me off studying for the 291 and acheiving my MCSA.

    Any thoughts??

    Don't feel bad, we all have days like that. One incident doesn't brand you for life. Hang in there, keep learning, keep doing, keep trying to improve. icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • PhilippatosPhilippatos Inactive Imported Users Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, well, to play devil's advocate for a moment, some people join Skull and Bones just for the drawers full of **** sheets in the basement. Two of them ran for president in 2004. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Heck, I even think Harvard sells paper MBAs to the highest bidders. Yet W buying his from there didn't hurt the institution's reputation at all. :o So maybe it's counterproductive even talking about it. Why not just sweep it under the rug like all the flagrant cheating in higher education and just go on our merry IT way?

    I see no reason for IT workers to be beating themselves up over it anyway. Plenty of other people are already attempting to do it with the H1B visa program. It's not like they're bringing doctors and lawyers over from India, you know. icon_evil.gif
  • PhilippatosPhilippatos Inactive Imported Users Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I guess my counter-argument, in short, is that cheating isn't endemic to IT and certification tests are, in general, no better or worse than other tests. If you want to effectively combat cheating, therefore, you need to address the culture that allows and even encourages it.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I guess my counter-argument, in short, is that cheating isn't endemic to IT and certification tests are, in general, no better or worse than other tests. If you want to effectively combat cheating, therefore, you need to address the culture that allows and even encourages it.

    icon_idea.gif
    Agreed.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    geekie wrote:
    Hi blargoe


    I noticed you have the MCTS Vista under your certifications. Does that mean you have received your results?

    I'm desperately waiting in anticipation!!!! :D

    I should work on formatting my profile better, it says that I'm working toward the MCTS certs. Sorry for the confusion!
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • homerj742homerj742 Member Posts: 251
    blargoe wrote:

    Intrigued, and on my boss's instruction I asked the guy for more information... it was such a wonderful deal, he went on about how the exam question matched the real test word for word, it was the best thing he had ever seen!

    If I was your boss, I would've been suspicious RIGHT from there! wow!!!
  • computerguy9355computerguy9355 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Paper MCSEs and CCNPs are everywhere, there is no way you can stop them.

    If I ever get a chance to interview a job candidate for a tech position, I would nail them to death.icon_twisted.gif
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    I just thought of a possible answer to not hiring braindumping cheats. As an employer or interviewer why not ask to see someones transcript. If they have done the MCSE in a matter of weeks then there is a good chance they braindumped. If, like me, you have studied properly then there should be gaps between exams. Most of mine have a 2 month gap, some less, some more.

    Its not foolproof as people can just space out their cheating but it certainly may help in picking genuine people.
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    strauchr wrote:
    If they have done the MCSE in a matter of weeks then there is a good chance they braindumped. If, like me, you have studied properly then there should be gaps between exams. Most of mine have a 2 month gap, some less, some more.

    In that case, I must have dumped then, according to my transcript, I have A+, Network+, 290, 291, 270 all in three weeks..... icon_lol.gif
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    strauchr wrote:
    If they have done the MCSE in a matter of weeks then there is a good chance they braindumped. If, like me, you have studied properly then there should be gaps between exams. Most of mine have a 2 month gap, some less, some more.

    In that case, I must have dumped then, according to my transcript, I have A+, Network+, 290, 291, 270 all in three weeks..... icon_lol.gif

    No offense but did you? I mean its impossible to actually learn the material and pass 5 exams in 3 weeks.

    Even so, its not like you have done the entire MCSE in 3 weeks.
  • zebra-3zebra-3 Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Are you sure there are working braindumps ? someone gave me the braindumps for exam 290, I didnt use them because I need to be proficient with server 2003 not to just have the paper cert and one thing i hate is practice questions. However the braindump he gave me has 400 questions !!!! he told me it should be the same questions as the 290 exam.

    I used my traditional material, cbt nuggets, etc... and failed the exam due to a lack of hands on.
    Anyway, right after i came back from the exam, by curiosity I went through the 400 braindump questions that were given to me, I couldn't find one matching the exam questions.

    So memorising 400 questions and answers would be as long as studying the exam and I really doubt the question phrasing is the same...

    I have now setup a 2003 server and a winXP client, and I am having fun studying 290, it is way more exiting to study that way, I can only recommend that, build your server, play with IIS, AD, etc, it can be fun.
  • zebra-3zebra-3 Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I was using yesterdy Self Test Software for my 290, the questions are looking really similar to the ones i had in the previous exam i have failed, is it a braindump ?
  • zebra-3zebra-3 Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    me again, one question just occured to me, is any software simulating exams considered as **** ?

    if so, well thats cool with me I just hate that, thats the most exhausting way of studying !
    1 hour of that and i am racked for the day.
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    strauchr wrote:
    No offense but did you? I mean its impossible to actually learn the material and pass 5 exams in 3 weeks.

    Even so, its not like you have done the entire MCSE in 3 weeks.

    If I had actually cheated, I must be extremely bad at it. However, no, the answer is no!

    I achieved A+ in Dec 05
    MCDST in July 06
    Network+ in Aug 06

    never bothered to submit my scores until Dec in 06.

    I failed 291 three times in Sept, Oct, Nov respectively
    and then I decided to write 290 instead on Dec 9 and passed
    then wrote 291 on Dec 16 and passed
    then wrote 270 on Dec 22 and passed.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • marie2006marie2006 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    GRRRR...I know this is an area that really hits a button with most of us on this forum. We spend a lot of money and invest time in earning our certifications yet there are phonies out there who simply memorized questions and answers and passed. These phonies and their lack of credibility and knowledge hurts those of us who have worked hard for our credentials.

    I am pursuing my MCSA and refuse to use any 'braindumps' out there. M$ is embroiled in lawsuits involving the distributors of braindumps. The folks who provided the questions and answers to the braindump authors also run the risk of losing their credentials and being banned from earning future M$ certs. I will spend my money on the authentic M$ materials, thank you very much, so I can avoid even the slightest hint of dishonesty.
    MISM, BSIT
  • ProjectFocusProjectFocus Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have a very mixed opinion on this subject as I believe there is a big differance from using testing software to using braindump questions.
    IMHO there is nothing wrong with learning from questions after all that is what will happen in real life and you either know the answer or you don't. But for it to be useful you need to have an explanation as to why the question is right and why the other options are wrong. This way you will learn from the ones you get wrong. This is not a substitute from the practicle learning but I think the Transcender exams that I am running through are very good. They have questions with details reasoning for the answers and they also have a training section.

    Braindump is pointless. Most of the time they are just lists of questions with the answer following on the same page. I have seen these and it is good if you are readin them just as the last prep before the exam to re-iterate what you already know.
    FocusToonSig.jpg
  • jwlazarjwlazar Member Posts: 21 ■■■□□□□□□□
    LOL marie, this reminds me of a tech my company had hired two months ago to do data networking. When I asked how far along his traning was, he proclaimed with shameless pride that he had acquired his MCSE, CCNA, CCDA, and CCSP in less than a year. icon_eek.gif I should also mention that the latter cert (yes all five exams) was acquired in less than 2 weeks... icon_rolleyes.gif

    Needless to say, after noticing the difficulty he had configuring a few basic routers and switches, not to mention his bringing down a few remote sites for a few hours without so much an air of caution or retrospect, people began to suspect that he wasn't up to par with the demands of his field...he was fired 3 weeks into the job only to immediately find employment with a security firm that allegedly pays him $90k+ for his CCSP. icon_eek.gif

    Now what really pisses me off about this is the fact that some colleagues now jump to the conclusion that anyone who pursues certifications that aren't directly related to their field of work are following the "****-train" that this guy apparently rode on his way here. It really does taint the whole certification thing in general, and does a great deal of harm to people who seek a legitimate challenge by engaging in these pursuits through orthodox means.

    This also reminds me of the CISSP ring I had observed in my previous job, where all the consultants fresh out of college and without any experience even touching upon IPS, Firewalls, etc were being churned out with CISSPs by the company without so much as a modicum of scrutiny from the ISC. But that's a different matter altogether.
  • jwlazarjwlazar Member Posts: 21 ■■■□□□□□□□
    could you stop claiming out loud that it is easy to **** certifications, IT IS A LEGEND, cheating is passing an exam without any efforts studying and not knowing the exam content.

    What do you expect me to say? That's it's hard? You just contradicted your own first paragraph by stating the obvious about cheating in general. icon_rolleyes.gif
    This is impossible with MCP certifications, you will get a random of 52 to 60 questions from a pool of 500 questions or more. You cant just study 500 questions and answers, or you can, but then you are studying something and spending efforts, so if this is a way of cheating, it's a stupid way of cheating.

    Have you read the entirety of this thread? The whole point is that it is easy to memorize the answers to 500 questions. That's the whole argument and grievance in this rant.

    You can delude yourself all you want as to the difficulty of the exams but the reality for those who **** is that the answers are right there for anybody who wants to pay for them.
    and what about the sims how do you **** that ?

    Simple; you don't do them. icon_rolleyes.gif Sims only count for a certain percentage of the total exam score. Hence the CCSP in two weeks...
    If you have been throught MCP exams you should know yourself.
    I am really wondering if I am speaking to an mcsa here...

    You are talking to a bona fide MCSA. Just because I acknowledge the existance of cheating doesn't mean that I actually follow the same pursuit, hence my obvious ascerbation to someone who actually cheated... or would you rather nobody spoke about it? Maybe it YOU who is trying to cover it up?
    Please stop, by doing what you are doing you make other people think certifications worth **** since you can **** them.

    Please quote the exact phrase in my post where I proclaimed that certs are worth ****. Obviously, I wouldn't waste my time if not for the sole motivation of actually learning something from pursuing them. Maybe your reason for pursuing them is different. That is the difference between me keeping my job and the guy near me losing his because in spite of his resume, he didn't have any real-world experience. That's the difference between cheating and knowing which is the moral of the story.

    Seriously, take things in context before making presumptions about what and who you obviously don't know. I could just as easily throw accusations to you or anyone else who posts a list of certs next to their nick.
  • rachel_searsrachel_sears Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    hello..

    I just want to add my experience on this, i wanted to a microsoft qualification, so I chose at MCP in windowsXP. I did a quick look for study material on the internet, and virtually every site that came up was a braindump type site; i would say 90% braindump..

    now i dont mind braindumps, because life is about cheating, anyway, i needed to know my subject so i ordered amazon books on XP study guides, sybex and examcram, also boson and transcender test material. I've been using XP for awhile so i know it quite well, but i still failed the microsoft exam a few times, the questions they ask are so off-subject, I've never known anyone need to know such material in such depth, and they try to trick you!!

    ok my point is, that after looking at all the study material i noticed that they were all pretty similar to the real thing, the exam-cram books had near identical questions, just re-worded, i was surprised, so i checked with all the other exam **** sheets and everything is near identical, just words scrambled about a bit... and numbers changed... and I guess microsoft make their exams so hard because they know exam **** sheets are out there? because really how many of you have used say 50% of what you are tested on? ok maybe i'm going on too much here, but i begin to wonder if studying from any of these books and study cds is not actually a form of cheating? because you never actually knew that material did you? until you read it? which is a bit irish I suppose... I have to think that the only true way to be tested is to be examined.. as in a practical where you have to setup a computer from scratch then do various things with it..

    so you have to have experience to pass these exams.. and to the people who have none and just read books, well isn't that like learning to drive from reading a book, it just doesn't work, you have to drive the car...

    ok.. so in sum-up, experience first... then exams.... and to be truly tested, you have to actually physically setup your computer and network and then have an examiner watching and asking you questions as you go...

    oh i passed the mcp in the end, although i don't really value it.. so i'm doing cisco instead as it's a lot more practical.. sorry microsoft, i have no faith in your exams, constantly releasing new ones every day.. cisco remains the true way for IT people.. I'm doing CCNA academy training, and I feel so much better for it..

    Microsoft should test on what people can actually do with hands-on, that would be a much more valuable qualification.. I think they are going that way with the MCA? and MCSEs will be phased away.. so my microsoft trainer told me anyway..

    ok goodbye.. and get your hands dirty!! :)
    xxx
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,799 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You have a point, to an extent, about practice questions but the difference is in the approach and effort you will put into understanding the content. Microsoft exams are more tricky than hard, famously so which means you do require a good understanding of the topics just to be able to work your way through their maze of a question(s). Someone who approaches a cert with the idea of just using a braindump will most likely learn the answers by heart without even attempting to understand the topics. The questions usually included with study guides are there for review, you are supposed to have read and understand the topics as a whole before attempting them. Basically an idiot 'dumper memorises specific lines of text that in the end means nothing to them and therefore they cannot apply the knowledge to a real world situation, someone who actually studies and passes are doing so from an understanding they can apply (regardless of how accurate their eventual pre-test questions were).
    Cheating at anything is more reprehensible for the shadow it casts on those that don't than for the 'achievements' of the individual who does it imho (since they are pretty likely to be caught out once they land that job). I'm an online gamer and pretty damn good at my timekiller of choice and regularly get accused of cheating simply because so many others do. It's the same with doing certs quickly. I've done 13 exams in 17 months now and I know a few people have wondered how. The reality is I study my ass off every spare moment at work and about 30% of my free time, plus I test/implement just about everything I study at work in some form or other. I wouldn't even be continuing my Microsoft studies except it's useful for my current job, my career plan is to get my CCIE so if I was dumping it'd be a complete and utter waste of time as the MCSE braincells will mostly gather dust. But, living under that shadow of doubt.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
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