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Microsoft Cracks Down on Certification Exam Cheating

Discussion in 'News' started by Mitzs, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

    Microsoft is tackling certification exam cheating in a big way, with harsher penalties and a data forensics program that can find cheaters through statistical analysis of their exams.

    Lifetime bans from Microsoft’s certification program will be handed down to anyone who cheats, commits fraud, or violates the non-disclosure agreements (NDA) that are designed to prevent test questions from being leaked to the public.

    Under a soon-to-be released policy revision, “if you commit fraud, break the NDA, break any of our policies, it’s going to result in a lifetime ban from the Microsoft certification program,” says Peggy Crowley, the anti-piracy program manager for the Microsoft Learning department. “We used to have a year-long ban for some things and a lifetime ban for other things, and then we decided that cheating is cheating across the board, and why delineate between the two? So we decided to do a lifetime ban for all forms of cheating.”


    A big shoutout to Chopperchand for send me the link to post.
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
    WIP: Adobe DW, PS


    1. Chopperchand
      We have all been warned, Lets hope everyone does it the right way!!!!
    2. csx
      Hopefully it'll work! :)

      Should be the same for all certs, life ban! now if only companies take time to check to make sure people are valid MCSE's etc... oh wait they been banned... ;)
    3. nugget
      About time too.:twisted:
    4. Sparky
      Hopefully this means the new server 2008 certs will hold more value than the previous 2k/2003 ones as anyone could get a copy of a few BDs and pass them. :mad
    5. onoski
      I hope it truly works and brings back credit to the accolade, MCSE:)
    6. Theprof
      Good news, hope other companies follow as well.
    7. michael78
      I think the way to go are exams that are 100% simulation based. I hate multiple choice questions because sometimes it's more a question of memory then being able to do the task at hand. I think this way it maybe harder for brain dumps to replicate the exams if there were say over 50-100 different sims for the exam.
    8. kevicho
      I personally think a mixture of the 2 are good, i havent taken one yet, but looking on the cisco exams, with things like the multi question testlet, and the sims that looks a pretty fair way of assessing someones knowledge.

      I think as well people need to know what they are doing as opposed to just clicking on various icons to do something, so really getting rid of questions would mean the exams would become weaker in my opinion, but i have liked the sim type questions in exams, so a balance needs to be found for each exam (also some exams are more theory based anyways).
    9. michael78
      Fair point, I would still prefer 100% sims based exams as I think what better way to test someone than to actually get them to do it be it configure a server for DNS or settings up users etc.
    10. Tinus1959
      They are testing these kind of exams. Our exam centre was selected to act as a test environment to test the test.
    11. BosonMichael
      Pfft. All they have to do then is braindump those 50-100 sims. It's just as easy to dump as a multiple choice question. Braindump companies dump sims NOW - screenshots and all - so going to all sims isn't going to fix the problem.
    12. neutralhills
      Does anyone else here not trust the tech that MS is using to spot dumping? This is the same company that gave us WinME II as their latest consumer OS.
    13. Luddym
      I think this is a very valid point.

      I was discussing this with a colleague yesterday, and ponding how exactly they would be able to spot a braindumper. Could it be because of the extremely short time taken to answer the questions? Could it be deliberate red herring questions put out wrong? I just think it is wrought with danger and has the possibility of tarring some very experienced people with a 'BD' brush.
    14. NightWalker
      I agree. I like the idea that MS want to clamp down on braindumpers, they don't do the industry any favors and as has been mentioned may times lower the value of certs gained legitimately. I am also worried about the new 'forensic' software that has a one in a trillion chance of a false positive. So thats at least one hard working entrant to IT on his first MCP exam of many who will be banned for life for doing nothing wrong. How accurate was the Windows Genuine Advantage checker that looked to see if your copy of XP was legit, when I worked at Acer we dealt with a lot of customers who had their genuine OEM OS flagged as a dodgy copy. If the anti braindumper software works, good, it will help the fight, but to rely on it and it alone and carry out no other investigations before banning a test taker for life? Would that be acceptable as evidence to convict in a court of law? I don't think so. Data analysis and forensic software should only ever be used as a tool to assist in catching the bad guys, never ever relied on as the only form of evidence. If one innocent tech is branded a braindumper and banned for life, I am afraid Microsoft have failed its techs and the industry.
    15. Modey
      I would very much doubt they would ever strike someone's certs off based purely on this forensic checking (which sounds like pure PR more than anything else). I guess they would need other evidence as well.

      I would certainly hope that is the case.
    16. NightWalker
      The article Mitzs linked to says that is all they are going to use as evidence for their enforcement actions:

    17. Modey
      Ahh, guess I didn't pay attention. That's rather worrying really ...
    18. michael78
      Didn't say it was going to fix the problem but I think it's a better way of testing skills. At the end of the day sims test if a person can actualy do a certain task. I don't think anything will ever stop cheating for these types of exams.
    19. Ence
      I wish they ( Microsoft) get strait to the point.
      Questions are to confusing, not to make any easier just cut the guff.

      one way it slow dumpers down up load fake Q&A to torrents P2P websites.

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