The IT certification problem
Why do so many exam takers for IT exams use brain dumps and other non-official test kits?
Most exams for IT certification are based on the fact that the exam taker should have a minimal of real life experience with the product that is being tested to pass the exam. By doing this the vendors want to make sure that their certification will have real life value and that the certification will be more than just a nice paper.
If an IT engineer/specialist wants to be able to work on projects/assignments for implementing/administering a certain IT solution or product for customers or the internal organization then in many cases the certification is required to be allowed to work on that project or assignment.
This causes a problem; the specialist will need to have the certification before he can start working with a certain solution or product that requires certification to gain valuable real life experience.
Not being certified will mean in many cases that as an engineer or specialist you will not get the opportunity to work on projects and assignments with the solutions and products you want to work with.
Personally I think this is one of the main reasons why many IT specialist use brain dumps and non-official exam preparation kits from one of the many exams question selling websites. They cannot get the real life experience with the product that is required to pass the exam without a brain dump or non-official preparation kit.
Instructor led training can provide the required real life experience but as this kind of training is expensive many employers will provide only self-study books that employees can use after working hours to study.
In some cases a online self paced training can also be sufficient for getting the necessary experience with a product or solution (some vendors such a Citrix offer high quality self paced online trainings)
Advanced exams that use scenario based questions in a real live lab environment instead of multiple choice questions will be more difficult to cheat with a brain dump and will force the exam takers to actually know the product or solution to pass the exam.
At this moment most exams have a few interactive items and about 90-95% multiple choice questions making them easy to pass with a brain dump or non-official exam preparation kit.
Only a few vendors offer full interactive live lab based exams at VUE or Prometric exam centers (such as the Citrix 1Y0-A15 exam that is required fo the CCEE Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer certification). Most vendors will offer their high level exams only at their local office and not in the exam centers (such as the Microsoft Certified Architect program)
The advanced exams will solve a lot of problems with brain dumps and exam prep kits but this will not solve the fact that it is difficult to get real life experience with products and solutions without already being certified.
By the time that 80 to 90% of all the popular IT exams have moved to full interactive lab based exams with multiple versions of the exam the value of the mainstream certifications will be restored and finding a brain dump will become very difficult.
Hopefully this transition will also influence employers and their customers to have more understanding for specialist and engineers that need to get the required real life experience on the job.
The end is coming for multiple choice IT exams (the sooner the better).