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On Certification Security

27 Posts tagged with the tests tag
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Blog on hold for now

Posted by Cris Cohen Jul 1, 2010

Becaus ...

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Mind Games

Posted by Cris Cohen Dec 18, 2009

Guilt can be an effective weapon. Just ask my mother.  But, when it comes to exam cheating, leveraging the emotion of guilt can be tough. Recently at a southern US college, a professor got into trouble for trying.   Worried that one of his MBA-level candidates was cheating, the professor gave everyone a consent form to sign. This was not your average consent form. For one thing, it ...

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As you may have noticed, we encourage people to be extra cautious about whom they give information to. Generally, this is accomplished with all the subtlety of someone trying to crack an egg with an industrial wood chipper. While we realize that Cisco certification candidates are smart people, even smart people can be fooled sometimes. After all, the Internet is full of unscrupulous groups ...

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Taking the High Road

Posted by Cris Cohen Oct 28, 2009

At his hearing, Bernard Madoff said, “When I began the Ponzi scheme, I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme.” I’m guessing that a number of disasters have started with similar self-deluding thoughts. It is the top of the slippery slope. You push yourself off with some casual rationalizations like “But lots of ...

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You should never assume anything posted to a social website is private.  It’s like leaving your car at the mall unlocked and with the keys in the ignition because you think the only people there are the ones interested in Nordstrom’s half-yearly sale. A recent cautionary tale comes from Time Magazine. The article “Facebook and Divorce” explains the fertile hunting ...

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The Value Proposition

Posted by Cris Cohen Jun 29, 2009

In the movie “A League of Their Own” player Gena Davis tells coach Tom Hanks that she is leaving professional baseball because it is hard. He replies, “Of course it’s hard! The hard is what makes it good. If it was easy, anyone could do it.”   The same could be said of Cisco certifications. They are valuable in part because certifications are not easy to ...

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Just the Facts, Ma’am

Posted by Cris Cohen May 12, 2009

They will probably never make a TV show about this job. For one thing, I just sit at a desk. The only action sequence is when I walk to the men’s room.   The other reason is that much of the work revolves around data: names, dates, times, scores, identification numbers, registration information, etc. I collect, sort, filter, analyze, report, and archive it. It’s not the kind of ...

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Some candidates try to cheat on their certification exams by paying others to take the tests for them. “So, sir, you’re saying that you are Mrs. Nancy Burnbaum?” It’s called proxy testing.   One method of thwarting this behavior was developed by the Cisco Certifications team and Pearson VUE, our testing delivery partner. It involves taking a digital photo of the ...

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A Roll of the Dice

Posted by Cris Cohen Apr 7, 2009

It just takes one bad decision to derail everything you’ve worked for. A while ago a candidate was caught using a cheat sheet during an exam. When questioned by the exam proctor, the candidate asked for forgiveness, saying he didn’t make the cheat sheet. He found it in the bathroom.   Many people would find this excuse a little dubious, rolling their eyes so hard they pull a ...

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  The saying “trust, but verify” was thrown around quite a bit during the Cold War and still gets used today in incidents of foreign affairs. It speaks of hope, but also wariness. As a result, it is also an apt description of certification exam security.   During a recent exam, a proctor caught a candidate phoning a friend for test help from the restroom. Although the test ...

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This tale of caution is about the proliferation of SAP program offerings (Systematic Analysis Programs), but it is also a lesson for those pursuing Cisco certifications. According to the article, “In a development that is sure to make people wary of training centres that offer software technology training programmes at low rates, Bangalore police have busted a huge racket of fake SAP ...

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Paper Certs

Posted by Cris Cohen Oct 15, 2008

  While surfing websites and discussion boards, you might occasionally see someone referred to as a “paper cert”. In terms of personal compliments, this ranks right up there with “moron”, “dufus”, and “Maury Povich guest”.   Most often, “paper cert” is a reference to a person who cheated his way through a certification exam. ...

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  When you buy a toaster, it often comes with a warning label that you should not plug it in and then take it into the shower with you. You probably don’t need to be told this. However, someone out there does. Someone will be in the midst of applying conditioner when it dawns on him that the shower head’s “pulse” setting would be ideal for cleaning small electric ...

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Don’t Believe the Hype

Posted by Cris Cohen Sep 29, 2008

  As mentioned in the last post, there are a number of non-authorized third party test prep websites out there that you should treat with the same wariness most people have for gas station restrooms.   Many of these websites offer a guarantee that you will pass any test on your first try. However, further research reveals that these are about as solid as guarantees made by the captain ...

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