Training / Study Habits

Why Exam Dumps Don’t Work

by Team Nuggets
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Published on January 27, 2020

So, you've registered for a certification exam. Whether it's the CCNA, Network+, or even an AZ-900 exam, it may be tempting to put off studying until a month or few weeks out. You should know how long it takes to study for your next exam. If you don't have enough time, the fast approaches mean you'll need to cram at the last minute.

Or even worse, there are some who resort to exam dumps, and the disadvantages of exam dumps far outweigh the benefits.

Exam dumps are batches of exam questions and answers found on the internet. Test takers then spend hours memorizing question-answer pairs rather than actually studying. Unfortunately, exam dumps don't work. Let's explore them more in detail and why they aren't effective.

What Are Exam Dumps?

You can easily find exam dumps. Exam dumps are a list of questions and answers from an exam. They're produced when someone takes an exam and then immediately jots down every question and answer they can remember. You can already see the problem with exam dumps. Recall is imperfect. Exams sometimes swap around answer orders. Plus, you never know if the answers you're ingesting are actually right.

Besides the problems above and the obvious fact that it's cheating, exam dumps don't allow you learn. Some people rotely memorize answer-question pairs. Others memorize the actual lettered answered. However you use an exam dump, it's still basically cramming. We've covered in previous blog posts why cramming for an exam isn't beneficial to your career. But here's the big reason.

When you're trying to digest large quantities of information in a short period of time, it's not helping you actually learn.

Exam Dumps Facilitate Familiarity, Not Actual Learning

Arguably the biggest issues with exam dumps as a test preparation strategy is that they facilitate familiarity, not actual learning. Reviewing so much content in a short period can boost your ability to recognize the material. However, recognition does not equal learning. Especially when it comes to IT.

Learning something in the short-term is more likely a process of familiarization, rather than true learning. On test day, if you come across a closely-worded question or series of answers that seem vaguely familiar, you may feel like you know the material. However, unless you have actually learned the material, you may not perform well on these types of questions.

True learning occurs when information is learned many different ways, and synthesized with existing knowledge. Sleep also helps with learning as it is a time of active memory consolidation. The more different ways you learn something, the better you will be able to recall and integrate it with your overall knowledge base, which should help you on exam day.

Exam Dumps Don't Actually Work

While it's a lot easier to wait until the last minute to study, or pack it all into one or two days, a 2009 BBC study revealed that 90% of participants who studied this way actually learned less. Yet, 72% of study participants thought that exam dumps were more beneficial than shorter, spaced-out study sessions.

Don't fall into this trap. As we mentioned, exam dumps boost familiarity, not learning. Instead, try shorter, more focused study sessions with actual IT training designed for exam preparation. Instead of one long exam cramming session or an exam dump, consider a series of shorter study sessions. This piecemeal approach will ensure that you are on track and can learn and synthesize concepts over time.

In an ideal learning setting, learners preparing for their IT certification exams would review concepts over a long period – ideally, several weeks or months – so that over time, their knowledge and learning can accumulate.

You're Cheating Yourself by Using Exam Dumps

The main purpose of certifications are to validate that you have the knowledge and skills to be successful in real-world situations. If you are simply memorizing questions and answers, how much of the material do you really understand? If you don't know your stuff, you'll quickly be exposed in the IT industry.

By resorting to exam dumps, you are cheapening the process of earning certification. You aren't learning to understand, you're just trying to pass an exam (in the worst way possible). Even if you pass and earn the certification, you might not have the proper know-how to be successful on the job.

Cramming or quickly memorizing content does not translate to real learning. If you are not learning the material properly, there's a very strong chance you won't be prepared to be an IT professional.

And speaking of cheating, some IT vendors consider exam dumping a violation of NDA agreements. So, just another thing to think about if you're struggling to resist the temptation of exam dumps.

The Bottom Line

Exam dumps are not as effective as shorter, more focused study sessions conducted over a long period of time. You need to give yourself ample time to learn IT concepts in different ways and be able to connect them. To do so requires more than simple familiarity, it means deep learning. Frequent, but shorter study sessions also give your brain downtime, which prevents it from overload.

Your brain is wired to learn slowly and steadily, not quickly and all at once. Exam dumps go against how the brain learns best. Work with your brain's natural circuitry to set yourself up for exam success. By taking the time to really understand the material and apply it to real-world situations, you are taking the right steps toward building a successful IT career, too. Learn more about productivity and study habits with CBT Nuggets.


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