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What exam software/documents are against MS policy? RRS feed

  • Question

  • So, some post burried in on this site a forum moderator says something to the effect 'that software is cheating; it's against the Microsoft certification ToS; and it's possibly illegal to use'. 

    How do we know what softwares are not against the ToS and which are not?  Some say Boson, Transcender, etc, are all not cheating.  While using something like Pass4Sure(sorry, not sure if this is a real one or not). Anyone have any objective material to point to regarding this?  
    Friday, September 11, 2009 6:30 PM

Answers

  • The best resource that I can point you to is certguard: http://certguard.com/ they do independent checks on vendors and will allow you to do a seach on them, informing you whether or not the vendor materials are braindumps or legit.
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:41 AM
    Friday, September 11, 2009 6:51 PM
  • In there it makes no mention of what materials are allowed or dissallowed, to be used to study.  It only says that the MCP holder can't disseminate content from their exam.  They are very clear about this, as is expected of any test, really.

    Again, where does it say certain company's test data can or cannot be used to study?  We can all agree that certain materials seem like cheating and degrade the quality of certifications in the eyes of employers, but I want to know where it says these materials can't be used.  

    In conclusion, Microsoft should consider making a 'black list' of materials they deem as either innaporpriate or even against their ToS.  And even better, make a 'white list' of material they feel is reputable and doesn't violate any ToS agreement.
     


    If you read the NDA under Exam security and integrity points that refer to the candiate in regards to study material that violate the NDA:

    1. Submission of any work that is not completely your own
    2. Providing or accepting improper assistance
    3. Using unauthorized materials in an attempt to satisfy Exam requirements (this includes using braindump material and/or any unauthorized publication of Exam questions with or without answers)
    4. Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab2

    If Microsoft did do whitelists/blacklists, how can it be seen as fair and impartial?  Just look at the many lawsuits that MS has to deal with, I would not want them to face another?  Either do I want Microsoft to go down the route of VMWare where you have to sit a £2000 course to sit one exam, just because it's on their approved list. 

    This is why independent companies like Certguard are around for not only Microsoft, but for other vendors like Comptia, Cisco, etc... 


    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    • Edited by KitKatNinja Friday, September 11, 2009 7:23 PM just re-read, pre-edit sounds a bit harsh
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:42 AM
    Friday, September 11, 2009 7:08 PM

All replies

  • This is what I found from the MS site:

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab3
    "

    NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT. All Microsoft Certification exams, including the content and wording of exam questions, constitute confidential Microsoft information protected by trade secret law. Anyone obtaining access to MCP Exams is obligated to maintain the confidentiality of this information. If an individual is caught violating the Non-Disclosure Agreement to which all examinees must agree before beginning an MCP Exam, the candidate will be permanently ineligible for any Microsoft Certification. The following shows the text of this agreement:

    NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT AND GENERAL TERMS OF USE FOR EXAMS DEVELOPED FOR THE MICROSOFT CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM

    This exam is Microsoft confidential and is protected by trade secret law. It is made available to you, the examinee, solely for the purpose of becoming certified in the technical area referenced in the title of this exam. You are expressly prohibited from disclosing, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting this exam, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the prior express written permission of Microsoft Corporation. If you, the examinee, fail to comply with the above regulations, you shall be permanently ineligible for any further certification. Furthermore, you, the examinee, shall also be decertified from the Microsoft Certified Professional program and all current certifications associated with it."

    Friday, September 11, 2009 6:40 PM
  • The best resource that I can point you to is certguard: http://certguard.com/ they do independent checks on vendors and will allow you to do a seach on them, informing you whether or not the vendor materials are braindumps or legit.
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:41 AM
    Friday, September 11, 2009 6:51 PM
  • In there it makes no mention of what materials are allowed or dissallowed, to be used to study.  It only says that the MCP holder can't disseminate content from their exam.  They are very clear about this, as is expected of any test, really.

    Again, where does it say certain company's test data can or cannot be used to study?  We can all agree that certain materials seem like cheating and degrade the quality of certifications in the eyes of employers, but I want to know where it says these materials can't be used.  

    In conclusion, Microsoft should consider making a 'black list' of materials they deem as either innaporpriate or even against their ToS.  And even better, make a 'white list' of material they feel is reputable and doesn't violate any ToS agreement.
     
    Friday, September 11, 2009 6:52 PM
  • In there it makes no mention of what materials are allowed or dissallowed, to be used to study.  It only says that the MCP holder can't disseminate content from their exam.  They are very clear about this, as is expected of any test, really.

    Again, where does it say certain company's test data can or cannot be used to study?  We can all agree that certain materials seem like cheating and degrade the quality of certifications in the eyes of employers, but I want to know where it says these materials can't be used.  

    In conclusion, Microsoft should consider making a 'black list' of materials they deem as either innaporpriate or even against their ToS.  And even better, make a 'white list' of material they feel is reputable and doesn't violate any ToS agreement.
     


    If you read the NDA under Exam security and integrity points that refer to the candiate in regards to study material that violate the NDA:

    1. Submission of any work that is not completely your own
    2. Providing or accepting improper assistance
    3. Using unauthorized materials in an attempt to satisfy Exam requirements (this includes using braindump material and/or any unauthorized publication of Exam questions with or without answers)
    4. Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab2

    If Microsoft did do whitelists/blacklists, how can it be seen as fair and impartial?  Just look at the many lawsuits that MS has to deal with, I would not want them to face another?  Either do I want Microsoft to go down the route of VMWare where you have to sit a £2000 course to sit one exam, just because it's on their approved list. 

    This is why independent companies like Certguard are around for not only Microsoft, but for other vendors like Comptia, Cisco, etc... 


    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    • Edited by KitKatNinja Friday, September 11, 2009 7:23 PM just re-read, pre-edit sounds a bit harsh
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Friday, January 8, 2010 3:42 AM
    Friday, September 11, 2009 7:08 PM
  • In there it makes no mention of what materials are allowed or dissallowed, to be used to study.  It only says that the MCP holder can't disseminate content from their exam.  They are very clear about this, as is expected of any test, really.

    Again, where does it say certain company's test data can or cannot be used to study?  We can all agree that certain materials seem like cheating and degrade the quality of certifications in the eyes of employers, but I want to know where it says these materials can't be used.  

    In conclusion, Microsoft should consider making a 'black list' of materials they deem as either innaporpriate or even against their ToS.  And even better, make a 'white list' of material they feel is reputable and doesn't violate any ToS agreement.
     


    If you read the NDA under Exam security and integrity points that refer to the candiate in regards to study material that violate the NDA:

    1. Submission of any work that is not completely your own
    2. Providing or accepting improper assistance
    3. Using unauthorized materials in an attempt to satisfy Exam requirements (this includes using braindump material and/or any unauthorized publication of Exam questions with or without answers)
    4. Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab2

    If Microsoft did do whitelists/blacklists, how can it be seen as fair and impartial?  Just look at the many lawsuits that MS has to deal with, I would not want them to face another?  Either do I want Microsoft to go down the route of VMWare where you have to sit a £2000 course to sit one exam, just because it's on their approved list. 

    This is why independent companies like Certguard are around for not only Microsoft, but for other vendors like Comptia, Cisco, etc... 


    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk

    Okay, fair enough.  I only seen the MCP agreement.  I did glance over that link, but I failed to see those points, as I thought they were recommend only and not part of the NDA. 

    I've never heard of Certguard.  MS should have some links to them or something.  While I don't know how they make their money, it seems like a really good idea.  MS worrying about a lawsuit for someone that has stolen their property, is hardly an excuse to not help combat this disease in the cert industry.

     
    Friday, September 11, 2009 8:08 PM
  • Okay, fair enough.  I only seen the MCP agreement.  I did glance over that link, but I failed to see those points, as I thought they were recommend only and not part of the NDA. 

    I've never heard of Certguard.  MS should have some links to them or something.  While I don't know how they make their money, it seems like a really good idea.  MS worrying about a lawsuit for someone that has stolen their property, is hardly an excuse to not help combat this disease in the cert industry.

     

    Oh no, what I meant was about whitelisting certain vendors.  MS is doing things, remember the latest one vs testking? :)
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    Friday, September 11, 2009 9:40 PM
  • Okay, fair enough.  I only seen the MCP agreement.  I did glance over that link, but I failed to see those points, as I thought they were recommend only and not part of the NDA. 

    I've never heard of Certguard.  MS should have some links to them or something.  While I don't know how they make their money, it seems like a really good idea.  MS worrying about a lawsuit for someone that has stolen their property, is hardly an excuse to not help combat this disease in the cert industry.

     

    Oh no, what I meant was about whitelisting certain vendors.  MS is doing things, remember the latest one vs testking? :)
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    Honestly, no,  I don't know about the TestKing thing.  I have heard of them before, having been on Java certification forums in the past.  A quick search informs me:
    http://tcpmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=1085&whichpage=4&pagesize=10
    What happend?  Two articles I read didn't say anything actually happend to testk king.


    I had to go out real quick, otherwise I would've posted some more of my thoughts on this.  Anyways, my first reason for doing this post was because I seen another thread where someone(I think it was a mod) said 'xyz' (can't find the post, otherwise I'd mention the software by name) is a cheating software.  Well, the reason I was looking for that post was because I'm studying for my MCP and I'm using the free MeasureUP software in the MS Press book like I always have.  Of course I think this software sucks and I think the test bank is only decent.  This brought me tot his forum in search of software that others recommend to practice testing with.  After seeing the other post, I came to the realization that there isn't any way to know if a testing software/materials you buy is considered cheating by MS.  Even with this Certguard -  which I've never heard of in 10 years of taking IT tests to be honest - it still isn't clear which software Microsoft considers cheating and which it does not.  This is why I still think they should have a white/black list.  I'd say some common sense can be used, but really even with MeasureUP(comes with MS Press books) i've had questions identical or nearly to the real exams, and this is well documented on any amazon.com reader's review of MS Press(or really any vendor's books) books.  So if it didn't come with the book, and I wanted to buy some additional software/testing material, how would I know this software isn't violating copyright/IP and selling it to some honest test takers?  

    Friday, September 11, 2009 10:04 PM
  • Okay, I found this on Certguard:
    http://www.certguard.com/articles.asp?articleID=11

    "Microsoft has released an unofficial statement as of recent: "Microsoft has reached a settlement with Testking to immediately cease illegal use of Microsoft Certification exam content. Companies like TestKing provide a "shortcut" to IT certifications by helping people with limited product knowledge and expertise pass IT exams. Ultimately, this devalues the achievements of the many individuals who legitimately passed exams thanks to in-depth study and hands-on technology experience. Under the terms of this settlement, Testking has agreed to immediately cease marketing, selling, distributing, publishing, reproducing, disseminating, offering or otherwise knowingly transferring in any way any actual Microsoft Certification Exams content." Also, unofficially, Testking has by early June 2007 to be in full compliance with the court order.
    "

    So I don't know if testking.com is a clone or the real site mentioned in the lawsuit, but they are supposed to agree with the lawsuit terms.  I just went to TestKing.com site and theys till have MS tests available.  Assuming I have the right domain and they are now in complicane with the lawsuit, can we now assume Microsoft does not consider TestKing.com software/materials a violation of the NDA?
    Friday, September 11, 2009 10:29 PM
  • I find the easiest way to check is to go to certguard site before entering a site.  However the names change all the time but it is still easy to spot a dodgy site, the promises and methods tend to give it away.  But for learning the products the cheapest and best way is via hands on use of the products or  MSDN and TechEd, no worries and no fees.
    It is worth taking the odd beta to show that you can pass the exms without being handheld or cheating, plus of course a decent resume adds weight to the credibility of your credentials.

    Hope this adds to the debate

    Geoff
    MCPD *5, MCITP * 3
    Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:31 AM