The demand for IT certifications keeps growing in India. Worldwide, they serve as a major weapon for IT candidates to beat out their competition in the hiring line. Certification can lead to important job opportunities or promotions. Most IT professionals aim for a certification program in order to get an edge over their peers and advance in their careers — to showcase their readiness for bigger responsibilities and roles, larger salary hikes, and to get better job opportunities in the IT market.
The increased demand is proven by the fact that the Indian market has more than 1,700 IT-related certifications.
One needs to be very careful, however, when selecting an IT certification training provider, as some of them may indulge in malpractice, such as the creation of a “brain dump.” Let’s take a look at what a brain dump is, why they are frowned upon, as well as how you can stay safely far away from them.
What Are Brain Dumps?
Certain websites that offer IT certification tutorial and exam questions try to stay updated with the latest questions and case studies that will appear on various exams. Reputable ones work closely with the various certification entities to stay abreast of changes and new industry requirements. Disreputable web sites, however, often hire professional “test takers” to sit for the certification exams and memorize the questions.
These “test takers” participate in as many exams as they can manage and create a vast pool of resources for their websites and companies. Those companies compile the questions from the various test takers and sell them to students, who will be sitting for an upcoming exam, in the form of exam guides, sample test papers, and certification prep materials. Collectively, such illicit materials are known as “brain dumps.”
What’s Wrong With All of That?
While a brain dump may actually have the intended effect of making it easier for students to pass an exam, it minimizes their actual learning. The idea is that you need not spend all your time studying — just memorize the answers to the exam and clear a passing grade. Too many IT professionals purchase such materials to clear their exams (or to at least increase their chances of clearing an exam) without having to spend too much time going through the course material.
Although brain dumps are a problem worldwide, due to the cheaper currency they are a significant issue in India. A quick google search of “brain dumps in India” will net you 293,000 responses. You can also find ads for these services on YouTube. This unethical practice has been on the rise in recent years, even in Prometric test centers.
While some individuals may not be aware that they are dealing with a brain dump website, most knowingly purchase these illicit resources because they guarantee of a passing score.
How to Identify Brain Dumps?
Some brain dump sites are easy to identify, but there are quite a few that hide behind the guise of being “honest” test prep centers, and quite a few students inadvertently fall for this trick. To avoid such fraudulent activities, it is important to understand how these websites look and work. Most brain dumps look very similar and almost all offer 100 percent pass ratios or success rates. Most such sites brazenly advertise that they are selling the actual exam materials they’ve collected at hefty discounts.
It is very difficult for any certification prep website to provide sets of exam questions and practice test papers for almost all certification exams. If a relatively new or unknown website offers such a large pool of resources, chances are good that they are a selling a brain dump and it’s best to avoid them.
Students also need to be careful when purchasing practice tests from web portals. If the legitimate certification provider publishes their study materials or question papers, that’s one thing — but if anyone else does, it’s usually a fraudulent and criminal activity.
The best way to avoid brain dumps is to stick with reputable websites offering certification-related tutorials and sample question papers.
Damage Caused by Brain Dumps?
The extensive use of brain dumps devalues the importance of certifications within the IT industry. People with low IT experience and expertise clear certification exams using brain dumps easily. Such people are recruited by IT companies and fail to deliver as per expectations due to the lack of relevant knowledge and skills.
This practice results in losses for their employers, and can actually reduce the likelihood of skilled IT professionals being able to land the jobs they deserve. They may even find themselves working for lower salaries because an unscrupulous individual has taken their rightful position.
Reasons to Stay Away from Brain Dumps
There are no quality control for brain dumps. The site may say that a certain question is going to be on the exam, but how can you trust them? There is no honor among thieves.
If the students preparing for IT certifications indulge in any of the brain dump related activities (purchasing real question papers, or sending someone else on their behalf to appear for the exam), they are putting their entire career at risk.
If they use brain dumps, they will eventually be caught, because such shortcuts never pay off. They could lose their certification, and hence the very job that they wanted so badly, and may well be banned for life from those certification exams. They might even be charged for fraud, taken to court, and blacklisted by the industry.
Aside from the risk of actions taken against students that are caught, even if they manage to pass the certification exam, it won’t be beneficial to them as they will still lack the necessary knowledge and skills to get through detailed interviews, and won’t be able to deliver results if they do get the job. They simply won’t know what to do when their organization tasks them with solving some challenging problem that they are supposed to be trained for. Imagine living with the knowledge that you lack the requisite skills for your job — and the fear that you will be found out.
Additionally, chances are great that you will be found out. We can all identify other employees who “fake” their way through their jobs. Your manager, clients and co-workers will know very quickly whether you know what you are doing or not.
In a nutshell, brain dumps aren’t helpful in the long run. They may help you clear a certification exam, but they are unethical and the costs associated with such illicit activities are simply too high to bear. After all, who wants to risk their entire career just to clear some certification exam that they can easily pass by studying? IT professionals who have worked hard to build their career and have studied for and passed certification exams would naturally feel cheated on by these brain dumps, and by all the people who use such materials.
The distinguishing characteristic of a trained IT professional is actual experience and expertise in their subject matter, and that’s what will eventually make them stand out from the crowd. There are a great many legitimate test preparation sites to help you study for your exam: Use one of them.
Have you ever come across a brain dump? How did you find out that it was actually a brain dump and not some authentic tutorial or exam prep website? Let us and our readers know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!