The Cool Kids Earned It Video: The Consequences of Cheating

Have you had the opportunity to see the #CertsandLabs #EarnedIt videos?  To this point, we hope all of our current professionals have watched the videos, but if not you can still view them all. Created about three years ago, these videos have become a staple for some of our candidates to boast that they #EarnedIt when they received their certifications.  We are constantly getting new candidates and we always want to keep them and other certified professionals current on our policies and agreements.  The videos have been a fun way to communicate those messages.  In this blog, we want to highlight one specific video, “The Cool Kids,” to discuss how a candidate may be impacted if caught cheating and has to face the consequences of his or her


Cisco’s CertsandLabs Exam Security Team works diligently to identify candidates who show signs of cheating.  As we’ve mentioned in our previous blog, Earn IT II: Understanding Certification Policies, there is a lot that goes into how the Security Team monitors our candidate activities both at testing centers during live exam administration and also post-exam as they analyze data to look for any suspect patterns.  That being said, as with any testing program, there are always candidates who may attempt to cheat utilizing a multitude of methods. So what happens, whether onsite while testing or months later, when it has been determined that a candidate has cheated on an exam? Cisco can implement some or all of the following consequences for candidates: candidates can be banned from all future testing or for a specific period of time and previously earned certifications can be revoked.  These consequences can directly impact your future as a Cisco certified professional.

As reflected in the video “The Cool Kids,” one thing that candidates may not think about when they make the decision to cheat is how they will be viewed by their peers or their employers if they are caught. What is the domino effect if their certification is revoked?  Most of our certified professionals and candidates preparing for their exams work extremely hard to get certified.  Candidates have sacrificed their leisure time, family time, and finances in order to earn their certifications.  For some, studying for an exam is very arduous and time-intensive, and because of their sacrifices, they take great pride in earning their certifications the right way.  As we’ve seen over social media and across the web, candidates asking questions about braindump sites can receive quite a bit of backlash from others who take the #EarnedIt pledge very seriously.    Because of our Security Tip Line, other candidates are able to report those who they suspect of cheating.  The chances of candidates getting caught are a lot higher than they may realize.

Tarnishing your name and reputation is not worth it!  The consequences if you are caught cheating are far too great.  Your industry peers, colleagues, and your employer may not be as forgiving as those outside of the industry because they know that each person has to show their level of skills on the job.  When a certified professional is not able to perform at the level at which they are certified, it could negatively impact their employer’s equipment, networks, other employees, and reputation.

All candidates have the responsibility to EARN their certifications. Choose wisely if presented with the opportunity to take the easy route.  Think about your peers, your job performance, and the impact on your employer if you aren’t properly qualified to do your job.  If you are unsure as to whether or not anything you are doing could be considered cheating, familiarize yourself with the policies and the candidate’s rights and responsibilities. All of the #EarnedIT videos are great at highlighting key policies or agreements.  They also make it easy to understand the consequences of violating the agreements.  If you have difficulty with the exam content, there are lots of authorized exam preparation materials available at the Cisco Learning Network, including study groups for all tracks. It is better to rely on your peers early on while preparing to pass the exam rather than being shunned by them later for cheating on your exams.