The 5 Dangers of Brain Dumps
Are you aware of the dangers of brain dumps? I occasionally hear from readers asking me for Security+ and CASP brain dumps and sometimes see people posting on public forums saying that they’ve used them to pass a certification. I sincerely doubt they understand the dangers of using them. Here is a short list of some of the dangers of brain dumps.
1) CompTIA Might Revoke Your Certification
CompTIA has said many times, in many different ways, that individuals that use unauthorized training materials can have their certification revoked. Additionally, this may preclude you from taking any CompTIA certification exam in the future.
Here is a quote from their Unauthorized Training Materials and Third-Party Offers Policy page.
“CompTIA is not affiliated with and does not authorize, endorse or condone utilizing any content provided by unauthorized third-party training sites.
“Individuals who utilize such materials in preparation for any CompTIA examination, may be precluded from taking a CompTIA examination and/or have their certifications revoked in accordance with the Candidate Agreement.
“CompTIA does not warrant that this list of unauthorized training sites is complete and reserves the right to include other training sites that are not listed here at its sole discretion.”
2) Brain Dumps Often Do Not Have Explanations
Even though they might advertise that the questions have explanations, they often don’t. Instead, they are just a list of questions and answers, with a note for the correct answer. For example, the question and answer might look like this:
What is the value of 5 + 5?
Some readers have sent me some of these questions and asking me to provide an explanation to them. I politely decline.
I frequently repeat this to anyone studying for an exam:
Ideally, you should be able to look at any practice test question and know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way, no matter how CompTIA words the questions, you’ll be able to answer them correctly.
That’s why I include explanations for any of the practice test questions I create for books or online resources. My goal is to help people understand the content. For example, all of the practice test questions on this site, and in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide include full explanations. Of course, the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide provides a much deeper coverage of the concepts.
3) Brain Dumps Have Incorrect Answers
Do you see something wrong with the sample question? If you learned addition, you probably know that 5+5 = 10, not 25, so you probably know that the answer of D is incorrect.
However, if you didn’t know that, you might memorize 5+5=25.
I’ve had students in classes that failed the exam repeatedly because they memorized the questions and answers but didn’t understand the content.
Worse, they had ingrained the incorrect answers so deeply in their mind, I had trouble getting them to unlearn it and relearn the correct concepts.
4) Interviews Don’t Include Multiple Choice
Even if you do pass the exam, it won’t necessarily get you a job.
Your resume helps you get interviews and if you have the Security+ certification on your resume, it might help you get the interview you want.
However, resumes don’t get you a job. Instead, your performance during the interview is what prompts the company to offer you a job.
If you’re asked, “What is the result of 5 + 5?” and you answer 25, you probably won’t get the job.
Similarly, if you’re asked to explain a security concept, you can’t ask for a list of multiple-choice answers.
Interviewers rarely tell you directly “you didn’t get the job because your knowledge is then.” Instead, they politely thank you for your time and throw your resume away after you leave.
5) Brain Dumps Can Stunt Your Career
Many people stunt their career growth with “paper” certs (without having the underlying knowledge).
Even if they are hired, their peers and supervisors often recognize their limitations, and their advancement is much slower
than it might have otherwise been.
For example, if you understand Security+ concepts, you have a grasp of change management and its importance within an organization. In contrast, someone that simply used brain dumps to pass the exam might not understand these concepts.
This person might make changes and inadvertently cause outages. This often results in some undesired attention and possibly an opportunity to update a resume as part of a new job search.
Summary of the 5 Dangers of Brain Dumps
Some people actually brag about using brain dumps, completely unaware of the dangers. If you hear someone bragging about using them, remind them of these 5 dangers:
- CompTIA Might Revoke Your Certification
- Brain Dumps Often Do Not Have Explanations
- Brain Dumps Have Incorrect Answers
- Interviews Don’t Include Multiple Choice
- Brain Dumps Can Stunt Your Career