Exam dumps, the pyrite to learning

It’s 1885, the peak of the gold rush era; you stumble onto 5 thick pieces of gold on your way down Richman’s street — you can’t believe this is happening to you. You’re smiling right…Your fingers all itchy with anticipation, and butterflies in your stomach thudding so loud at the thought of the riches to come. You continue your walk, but now your walk has a bounce of confidence to it. You finally reach a store with a huge sign: Cash4Gold. You can’t help but smile at everyone you see, and then your turn comes up, you hand in your riches to “the gold guy”, he looks at you straight in the eye, and you can just feel riches knocking at your doorstep. You break into a confident smile. Out of nowhere, he breaks out into deafening fits of laughter. A reaction you clearly were not expecting. Suddenly, you’re confused, anxious but hopeful. Then he goes — barely managing to recollect his composure:

“Don’t worry friend, it happens to the best of us, now take your stones and go play marbles.”

Pyrite (fools’ gold)
Pyrite (fools’ gold)

WHAT ARE EXAM DUMPS…

Exam dumps (braindumps) are a collection of actual exam questions provided by people who have already passed the exam

Over the years it has become quite a habit for learners to use exam dumps to pass their exams, the most obvious reason being, NO ONE WANTS TO FAIL; another reason could be, some exams are super expensive and just the possibility of failing one could literally drive someone off the rails. So all these sound like very valid reasons why someone would use an exam dump right, but have we truly assessed the risk of using exam dumps beyond just passing the exam? So one of the big questions to ask before using exam dumps is …

…AM I REALLY CHEATING OR JUST BEING SMART?

If you’ve used an exam dump before, it’s likely you’ve battled with the morality of the act but let’s put aside our own evaluation on the matter, and take a look at what Microsoft, one of the biggest certification giants has to say:

Microsoft Exam Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) ² … “You will not participate in any behavior that could compromise the confidentiality or results of any Microsoft Certification exam.”

If you are found, in any form, to have violated the confidentiality agreement, then Microsoft reserves the right to invalidate your exam results, and no exam refund will be provided, and in worse cases, they can even ban you for life.

This is just how Microsoft handles their NDA policy, some platforms might even have more strict rules in dealing with anyone who violates their exam policies. So now I think we have established that it’s a big NO!NO! to use exam dumps because it’s a direct policy violation. To further stress the point what do you do in…

…DISCOVERING THAT YOUR GOLD IS WORTHLESS?

Let’s say you get hired based on your certification portfolio, your manager is obviously happy to have you onboard; based on what your profile claims you “Know”, she assigns you what should relatively be a simple task for someone with your skill-set. What your manager doesn’t know is that you will be kneeling before Google for the next hour hoping to get answers, but she trusts you and believes you can do the task, but unfortunately this time Google doesn’t pull through for you and you fail at your task. You, fortunately, manage to spin a story leading your manager to believe you’re that capable person she can trust in. This cycle, unfortunately, for you, continues like this until eventually you get dismissed for non-performance.

“What lesson have you learned” — for me the lesson is, take time to build and appreciate all the skills you wish to have, it may be tempting to take shortcuts, but what good is a shortcut if it leads to a dead-end and a huge blow to your reputation? If the temptation becomes overwhelming and you relapse, then ensure that you apply 2x or 10x the effort in building those skill-sets in the certification you got using those exam dumps.

The disappointment of failing to meet the expectations you promised to deliver on, is worse than discovering that instead of gold, all you have in your possession is pyrite (“The fool's gold”). Your reputation is your life, take guard not to drag it through the mud, as Robert Green said,

“Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.”

[1] Space Coast Daily February 28, 2018, Are Microsoft Certification Exam Dumps Really Helpful?

[2] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/microsoft-exam-non-disclosure-agreement

[Incl.] https://www.cbtnuggets.com/blog/career/career-progression/the-dangers-of-exam-dumps

Data is the new gold and I’m working towards building a great miner’s portfolio, with over 5 years in the analytics space I’m still looking to learn more.