Training Centers handing out "braindumps" and other questionable practices

RitualRitual Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
Ok so I attend a training center through my State's unemployment office. In this training center they are offering me numerous IT certifications, such as the CompTIA trifecta and Microsoft's MCSA certification. They provide you with a "video learning course", with labs(VM's), and access to an instructor. I love it. Learn a bunch and it's fun getting "certifications". In order to I assume qualify for the Federal Funding they probably have to keep track of how many people are passing, how many gained some kind of employment, etc.

And this is where I think the whole thing starts to unravel because of the pressure they must face to get people to pass. We are given actual "braindumps" of the test as optional supplemental material. For every class wether it be Microsoft, CompTIA, they have a folder full of braindumps as practice tests. They try to set an aggressive week to two week timeline for obtaining each certification.

While they give you quality material, like Transcenders, Exam Cram books, Professor Messer Study Guides, they are also giving out what CompTIA and Microsoft would consider 'braindump' content that appears to be updated at least every month.

For example I was given a handout with "simulations" that I was told I should know. When I took the test these were the same EXACT simulations on the test, right down to the graphics and everything.

This place is also a Pearson Vue Testing Center, and is recommended by both Microsoft and CompTIA.

So what is the deal? Is this standard? Am I too naïve? Just shut-up and pretend the braindumps aren't there? Bring it up to someone?

(It appears that most people are failing the tests anyways, which is funny). I think people are taking these "IT Certification" training programs without knowing anything past the basics of computers. I know when I joined they didn't ask me anything about my background.
2016 goals - eJPT, MCSA Windows 10, something Linux


  • 636-555-3226636-555-3226 Member Posts: 976 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I assume part of their payment is the % of people who get certified after taking their course. it's unethical, probably illegal, and they should be reported both to the testing authorities as well as the state's unemployment office (who probably won't really care). it's also doing a disservice to the people taking the training and the companies that take a chance on such a person. if you need to **** to pass the cert test then you most likely aren't qualified for the cert and won't be qualified for the work that is given to the person based on their supposed knowledge of the cert.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,875 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Then I've been to the wrong training centers. :)
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, and more.

    2021 goals: AZ-303, AZ-304, maybe TOGAF and more ISACA

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    I am curious how this would work for the person reporting it. If you reported, would you then lose your certifications (maybe be banned from getting more) because you unknowingly cheated?

    I think an anonymous tip off might be the safest bet. The certifying authorities and Pearson Vue would be interested. It would be a breach of their contracts for sure, and if they are being taught by "official certified" trainers, then the trainers could lose their certifications as well.

    If the '****' are being updated weekly/monthly, then it is highly likely that this is being done by this testing centre themselves.

    I think the comment that most people are failing is a good sign that at least some of the measures to prevent dumpers (large question sets, multiple question types) are probably working. I've often thought that for the effort a dumper has to go to (study hundreds of questions, check the answers, memorise), it's probably just as easy to study the materials.

    This kind of thing is bad for everyone. It devalues the certifications, it gives people a false idea of their skills, it wastes tax money, it hurts business productivity, and it usually ends up making the testing process harder for people who legitimately know things.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,915 Mod
    I've heard of training vendors giving out ****, but this tops them all. OP, if you have any issues reporting it feel free to PM the info and I will make sure it get to the proper places.
  • RitualRitual Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It seems like its been happening for a long time, well before I arrived.

    It's kind of clever though since the material is accessed as an optional cloud storage folder that is "entirely optional" and "just something the instructor and past students" put together. Except that everyone going through this training location is given access to this cloud storage no matter what class you are taking. The folder has braindumps for every conceivable certification you can get from Pearson Vue. At least the one's from CompTIA and Microsoft anyways.

    I am new to the whole IT certification thing, so maybe this is just standard operating procedures, and I am breaking the rule of "When in IT training, don't talk about IT training".

    I will just go through the "official" courseware and steer clear of any practice test outside of Transcender, Crucial Exams, Exam compass, and Exam cram. Once I finish my certifications I will think about questioning the integrity of it. Since I imagine it has the potential to undo everything I have accomplished so far.
    2016 goals - eJPT, MCSA Windows 10, something Linux
  • RitualRitual Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think most people are failing because they are trying to train people in such a short amount of time. They have to hand out braindumps because these unemployment programs are usually only 15-20 weeks long, where they are trying to get you numerous certifications (Since they probably told the government they could).

    For example in 20 weeks I am supposed to get A+, Network+, Security+, and a Microsoft MCSA certification.

    While I have years of computer programming experience, and years of computer experience, I still consider this an "aggressively" paced program.

    I am spending everyday, and most nights, doing nothing but going over Material. Most people are staying months past to try and finish everything (Luckily the training center accommodates that).

    And like I said, it's really surprising how many people fail. Even with the literal questions and answers to the test available to them.
    2016 goals - eJPT, MCSA Windows 10, something Linux
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,304 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ritual wrote: »
    And like I said, it's really surprising how many people fail. Even with the literal questions and answers to the test available to them.

    I did a CCNA course like that from a community college too many years ago. There were a bunch of people registered, I was signed up because I wanted to learn about networking, it was a great class, good teacher, lots of equipment, etc. I started talking to a bunch of the people who were there, turns out there was some emergency unemployment extension that allowed people to get more unemployment payments by staying in school, most of my classmates were there for that.

    Many of them were completely clueless on the material and had ZERO interest in actually passing. They were coming from dead end retail jobs and were only hoping to get more payments to not have to work. This was the early 2000s where a Cisco cert and some decent lab experience would get an interview and a likely job offer. Shows a lot about the mentality of a lot of the people I saw there, no interest in furthering themselves at all.
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,520 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Gaming the system like this is as old as certifications themselves. Going back to both Novell and Microsoft MCSE programs that would test out at the end of the week with the possibility of the instructor gently whispering in your ear -- "the answer is 'C'.

    Report it to the certifying authority as discretely as possible. In the long run it only hurts the cert holders by watering down the value.

    - b/eads
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    Welcome to IT Ritual. Sorry you are having a crappy experience. First and foremost report them, do it discretely so they don't think you actually cheated (or cheated knowingly).

    Test **** are always out there, some people use them but don't say anything, others openly use them and don't care if others know. Most I would hope don't use them at all. Test **** will get you banned from most major test providers and company tests. If someone reports you and it can be proven you will lose your certification and may not be able to take future certifications.

    Test **** are JUST like cheating in school - literally the same thing. It's more of a morality issue IMO. People **** to get through school and **** to get certifications. Unfortunately they are doing themselves a disservice by not learning the material and will probably not succeed in life long-term going about life that way (taking the easy way). They also reduce the certification worth for others that passed legitimately.

    Report it and don't use brain ****.
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have bumped into several people who claim that they used **** just as "practice test" to get a feel for what was on the test. Personally, I disagree with the use of them. The exam objectives already tell you what material will likely be on the test.

    Just avoid the **** and pass on your own merit. It bothers me that a course would provide them, but it doesn't surprise me. I would definitely submit an anonymous tip.
    2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,915 Mod
    That reminds me of a guy we saw here a few months ago, The argument was "I need **** in order to know EXACTLY what I will be tested on. I'm not about to study all the objectives because they can't possibly include them all in the test".
  • TeKniquesTeKniques OSCE, OSCP, CISSP, CISA, SSCP, MCSE (03), Security+, Network+, A+, Project+ Member Posts: 1,262 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Always funny listening to people justify using ****, the great lengths they go to warrant cheating is quite amusing.
  • RitualRitual Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    icon_cheers.gifI peaked into the Cisco folder, BRAINDUMPS. There is not a single legitimate practice test or study guide. Some of them even say Braindump right on them, guaranteeing authentic exam questions and a passing grade on the exam.

    This is either a clever honeypot, or this Instructor just does not care.
    2016 goals - eJPT, MCSA Windows 10, something Linux
  • bermovickbermovick Member Posts: 1,135 ■■■■□□□□□□
    From my (limited) experience, there are far fewer bootcamps that don't do this than do. It's one of the reasons I absolutely do not do bootcamps (the other being the outrageous cost of doing them).
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
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