A few months ago the IT Certifications Council, an industry group in which I participate, conducted a survey on “Attitudes Around Cheating.” This was not a Microsoft-specific survey, so the respondents were those who had taken all sorts of IT Certification exams. We got a pretty good response to our 15-question survey; the most surprising outcome was the sheer number of verbatim responses we got to some questions. Clearly our certification candidates across the board feel security is a vital part of a testing program. As a group, we will use these answers to help improve and strengthen our respective security programs.
Some of the positive outcomes that interested me most:
Among the answers that surprised us:
Let me clarify what we mean by “discussing an exam,” because I think the question, the way it had been worded, might have been confusing. I’ve said before that it’s one thing to study together before the exam; this is fine. It’s another to tell someone what’s actually on the exam. That is where candidates get into trouble. It’s the divulging of confidential exam information that is a violation, not group study. That’s one of the reasons we prohibit instructors from proctoring exams.
Last, we got more than 1000 verbatim responses to our question: “What other methods do you suggest to combat cheating?” I find that so encouraging that people have an interest in this. I will be pouring through all the responses for inspiration.
Got a tip for me? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.