Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Exam Security

I was browsing the blog on Cisco's Learning Network site and came across several interesting posts on exam security. To summarise the things I thought were important or interesting are as below:
1. No cheat sheets are going to get you through the technical interview at a new job. In fact I used to be a lot harsher on people who had certifications than those who did not when I was involved in doing a technical interviews. My reasoning was that the people with certifications were claiming a level of knowledge and so I wanted to see if they had cheated their way to that level of knowledge. However I obviously was not that harsh as some of the interviewers mentioned in the blog post as made some job candidates cry in an interview, ouch you know you are out of your depth when you get so flustered you start crying.
2. There is a lawsuit to do with the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Never heard of it myself but the important thing about the suit is that the publisher of the GMAT tests have shut down a website that sold GMAT questions and answers. However that is not the really juicy bit the juicy bit is that the publisher was given control of the offending websites domain, and they gained possession of the hard drive containing payment information of anyone who bought cheat sheets from the site. So now they might cancel people's GMAT scores and ban them from future GMAT tests. Cisco is apparently watching the case with interest.
3. Getting someone else to take your test is not as much of a minority sport as I thought it was in fact it seems to be quite a popular way of passing the exams in some parts of the world. Never worked for me though I have problems finding anyone ugly enough to impersonate me :-)
4. People will cheat at everything I mean who would have thought that people would use an automated script to book their CCIE lab seats. This is against Cisco rules for those of you who do not know. I could not quite believe this one myself I mean you have got so far why risk getting your self in trouble with Cisco just to book a lab seat.
5. Testking the biggest brain dump vendor grosses an estimated $10 million dollars annually. So now wonder they keep doing what they do, it is big business, in fact it is scary how big a business cheating is. I mean $10 million annually, means that a hell of a lot of people are cheating.

The good news is that it appears that Cisco are finally taking all this stuff seriously and implementing security measures that I believe will make a real difference to improving exam security. You can read more about this on the Cisco Learning Network site blog.

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