What is a braindump?

Define: Braindump [breyn-duhmp] n. (pl.) Questions and Answers taken from exams or other tests that have been copyrighted for purposes of protecting Confidential or Trade Secret Information and distributed for purposes of cheating or profit. v. To use braindumps in the process of studying for exams or other tests that have been copyrighted for purposes of protecting Confidential or Trade Secret Information.

What’s the problem?
Firstly, braindumps are illegal. All candidates that take an IT certification exam, are required to sign non disclosure agreement (NDA) to not to leak the exam related information. But leaks happen and it is these the leaks have led to dozens of braindumps providers. For example, Microsoft’s NDA states, “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…” Translated, this means a student who takes a Microsoft certification exam cannot share the questions. Other vendors have similar legal, confidentiality agreements on examinees.
If you are a student that uses braindumps to pass a certification, keep in mind that it is not only illegal, but that you haven’t done yourself or your potential employer any favors. Studying for a certification ensures your learning of the subject. The pass in the exam is just proof of your skills. If you do not have the skills to perform on the job, it becomes apparently very quickly. This makes you less valuable to your employer and more improtantly, you lose credibility in the industry.  When the company suffers from substandard work, the employees suffer too.
If you are a legitimate test taker and have passed a certification exam by sheer hard work, don’t encourage braindumps.  It only devalues your hard earned certification. Don’t fall prey to the temptation of getting certified quickly. It just doesn’t work in the long run. It is cheating, pure and simple and you are cheating yourself, most of all.

Why should I avoid Braindumps?
There are several good reasons to avoid braindumps at any cost. The top 5 are:
– Braindumps are a copyright violation in many cases
– You can lose your certification
– You learn little or nothing about the subject – you won’t be able to do the job and will lose credibiliity
– Much of the material is outdated or questionable anyways
– If you need to spend hours memorizing hundreds of questions and answers, wouldn’t that time be better spent towards learning?

How do I know if a product is a braindump?
First, it is important to understand that Practice tests that are simulated are not braindumps. These are completely legal and there are many such vendors. Do remember the following are just guidelines. There are always exceptions to the rule. One way to check the certification standing of a vendor would be to search sites such as http://www.certguard.com/search.asp You can explicitly search for the standing of the vendor you are interested in or simply check the top 20 list of safe sites. – The most obvious way to identify braindumps would be to see if the vendor advertises that they offer braindumps. Stay away.
– If they offer actual exam questions and answers, stay away.
– If a vendor offers very large question banks that seem to be completely out of proportion with more reputed sites, stay away.
– And last, but not the least, if someone claims to have a practice test for every exam, be cautious and check out their claims before purchase. This is a tough one, because some of the best test preparation sites also offer a wide variety of products.

How do certification vendors have to say on the subject?
Braindump Facts:

On August 8, 2006 Microsoft filed a lawsuit against several individuals for copyright infringement. On April 5, 2007, certain braindump sites were barred from producing any content that is protected under Microsoft’s Certification Program and distributing it for any purpose including practice exams. http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/103147/microsoft-sues-site-selling-answers-to-certification-exam-questions/

9 thoughts on “The problem with braindumps

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  2. Copying the exam verbatim is illegal. Telling others what was on it, in general terms is not and is a good practice. Why? Because too many times I have studied hard using the recommended materials by the company (like Microsoft) just to take the test and find I studied totally the wrong thing. Like I just did the the Security+ Cert. Luckily I do know my stuff because the questions I got were supposedly not “that important to know” according to the training materials and CompTIA themself.
    So if somebody has taken the test and said “You need to really focus your study efforts on ______” then do it.
    Now technically that is not a “brain dump” but a lot of people frown even on that.
    What I see is that a lot of these cert tests are so esoteric ie knowledge you will never need again, that getting some insight into the test is always a good thing.

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  7. Hi, my name is Steve and I am a a peaceful reader and like it al lot. Satisfying Infos, nice people an lot to know about todays important topics. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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