We all have that urge to prove to the world that we know what we’re talking about—a desire to show we have a level of expertise in our chosen field. Certifications and badges are a valid and reliable way to do that. Everyone prepares for certification exams in different ways, including training, study, hands-on experience; however, some are willing to do whatever it takes to earn that status, and that includes cheating. We’re not talking about the old-school “note passing in class” type of cheating. We’re referring instead to sites known as “brain dumps.” These sites claim to provide an accurate representation of an entire exam and/or study materials that will “guarantee” that you pass a certification exam. What they don’t tell you is that they are not accurate and amount to committing criminal activities.
Q: How could using any study option available to me be considered cheating?
A: The reality is that the organizations providing alleged “real” items from the exam are violating copyright laws. Just like sharing intellectual property from a physical product (like the code that supports a software product), exam content is protected and owned by their manufacturers. Brain dumps are not the same as study materials. These sites claim to have copies of the true intellectual property of VMware and other IT credential providers, which is illegal. By purchasing or consuming the content provided by these sites, you would be in violation of VMware’s terms and conditions for taking the exam. This can have serious and permanent impact on your ability to earn any VMware credential.
Q: But if it helps guide my learning, how can it hurt?
A: Most, if not all, sites claiming to guarantee a pass on the exam, don’t have the actual exam items. Yes, it’s true—people lie on the internet. All VMware exams go through a thorough and regular process to review, modify, or completely remove and replace exam items. And this can happen at any time during the life of the exam. While these sites can be quite clever in gaining access to some exam content, they can never keep up with the ongoing changes.
Q: If I can’t look at these sites, how will I know what to expect from the exam?
A: Every VMware exam provides an Exam Prep Guide (EPG). This is absolutely the best way to understand where to focus your studies. Each task or competency you will be tested on is outlined in the Objectives. Want to know what troubleshooting tasks will be tested? Go to the EPG section on Troubleshooting and Repairing. Want to know which products and solutions you need to know? Visit the VMware Products and Solutions section. Not only that, sample exam questions are also provided. You can use sample questions to understand the way questions are structured and the ways content is presented. While these questions won’t appear on the actual exam, they are a very good representation of the kinds of topics and ways you will be tested.
Q: How do I know if a website is authorized by VMware?
A: VMware does not support or authorize any site that claims to have a complete copy of any exam and no VMware partners will ever make claims for guaranteeing a pass on the exam. If you find a brain dump site inadvertently, you should report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, let’s summarize: brain dumps are bad. Don’t use or recommend these sites. However, you still have many options to support your journey to expertise including:
- Visiting the VMware Authorized Training Center to ensure your training is delivered by an authorized partner.
- Reviewing the vast library of resources in the VMware Learning Zone, where dedicated Exam Prep Courses are provided.
- Finding a mentor or study group. VMware is very lucky to have a large community of advocates for the certification program. Many are very willing to help and provide their experience on how best to study. They often write blogs on their experience with helpful references to additional study materials.