Time and time again I have noticed those whom are new to the industry wanting to pass certification exams ask for dumps. Dumps in general is just a list of questions and answers that you would face on the actual exam when you take the exam.
Think back to a time when you were in grade school, did you ever have access to the questions and answers before you took your final exam? Even if you did, do you think memorizing the questions and answers would be a valid representation of your knowledge? Nope… In a nut shell it just proves that you can memorize questions and answers.
It does not however prove that you have the ability to learn the actual content by reading a book and studying by traditional means.
So whats the big deal with dumping any ways? It’s not hurting anyone else is it?
The Big Picture
If everyone were effectively cheat on an exam which is used to measure a level of knowledge than how is that exam a good representation of an individuals knowledge? While a single person dumping an exam may not cause problems but when you get thousands upon thousands of people “cheating” on certification exams than it ultimately devalues the Certification as it becomes a misrepresentation of knowledge and skills.
Cisco and other IT Venders have an obligation to individuals whom prepare and study for certification exams through traditional means to uphold the value of the Certification as these individuals have spend hundreds of hours preparing for the exam whereas any person off the street could pass a certification exam with just a few hours of reading the questions and memorizing the answers.
If you were the manager of the IT Department at Widgets Incorporated and it was your responsibility to find talented engineers who had the IT certifications and knew what they were doing when it comes to technologies related to the level of certification they posses than would you be upset by wasting your time interviewing an individual who cheated on the Certification Exam and cannot perform to the level of standards as defined by the certification blueprint(s)?
Weeding out the Dumpers
Okay so you’ve dumped a certification exam and you put that on your resume along with other skills sets you say you have but your understanding is minimal. You apply for a job and you get an interview.
While sitting in the interview, another individual joins the meeting and they are going to evaluate your technical skills. They start asking you basic questions which any individual with the certification you possess should know had they studied for the exam by reading the books and performing hands on lab training.
After the third question the guy says I think you may be a great fit and stands up and shakes your hand and ends the interview. Sadly you never hear from them again and you wonder what went wrong?
Any professional level engineer can easily weed out those who have dumped a certification exam. I personally have done it numerous times with simple questions that any CCNA certified individual should know had they read the official certification library.
The Ultimate Victim
So in the end if you choose to dump, the only person affected by this decision will be you. Going to job interview with certifications and not being able to answer questions related to those certifications makes you look like an idiot and a waste of time and ultimately it hurts you as it lowers your chances of actually getting a job offer.
The Big Risk
Little do people know, Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft and many other vendors reserve the right to evaluate your performance on a certification exam and if they feel that it is not an accurate representation of your skills based on algorithms that flag you as a potential dumper, you could lose that certification or worse be completely banned from obtaining Certifications from that vendor and any existing certifications you hold revoked.
Do you think it is worth the risk?
What to Avoid…
In order to become a better IT Professional there are several things you should avoid. There are tons of companies out there that sell dumps and advertise them as study materials with a guaranteed pass rate. This is an obvious red flag.
Other companies out there even offer boot camps that guarantee a 99% pass rate… This is obviously another red flag as all they do is go over the dump questions with you. Avoid these like the plague as they’re just out to get your money while helping you cheat. No company can guarantee that you will pass.
Common names to avoid, testking, pass4sure, p4s, actualtest, actualexam, VCE, certkiller, etc… There are tons of names for dumps commonly found in PDF format or VCE (simulated exam engine). Using these materials to prepare for the exam would not teach you what you need to know in the real world.
How should I prepare?
So this is the million dollar question! There are tons of ways to prepare and actually learn the content which you must know to pass a certification exam. Unfortunately standardized training does not fit everyone.
You cannot take a monkey, lion, mouse, zebra and cow and tell them to climb a tree to determine their overall knowledge. The same concept applies to individuals wanting to learn.
Different people have different ways of learning. Some people learn better by reading, some people learn better by watching videos, some people do best with hands on.
Ultimately you should determine your best method of preparing but we will give you some tips on where to start.
First you should obviously start by reading the official certification training material. This typically comes in the form of books (paper or pdf)
After reading the official training materials you should than use CBT (Computer Based Training) such as CBTNuggets or other vendors that provide you with instructor led examples, configuration demos, etc to help build a foundation.
Lastly you should do hands on training such as labs, workbooks, etc… When performing hands on, you learn much more effectively from your mistakes.
At times you may use flash cards to help you memorize different items such as the OSI model or common TCP/UDP Port numbers, etc…
Ultimately the way you prepare should be tailored to what fits you best but in the end you should avoid dumping as it is effectively cheating and hurts you more than it helps you.