You may have noticed that people post to the certification newsgroups asking where to find "braindumps," word exam cheat sheets, etc. This could be because they don't know better, or use the term differently*, or they might really be looking for a shortcut.

In any case, some MCPranksters tell these people to contact TCTips@microsoft.com (Microsoft Learning's anti-piracy team) to request braindumps. The unsuspecting braindump-seeker is told that "Thomas C. Tips" can hook them up (the TC actually stands for Training and Certification). This doesn't do much in preventing cheating, but sometimes it results in something funny along these lines:

"Hi Thomas, Please help me out by providing your famous dump for MCTS 70-528...you have the best dumps on 70-528 one can imagine..."

Oh, YOU! Stop. Just stop, with your pretty words.

But back to business. The function of TCTips is to report violations such as people or organizations selling braindumps, indivduals who have cheated on their exam, test centers or training centers who are not enforcing our security standards or who are facilitating cheaters, etc. You can learn more about that here.

Instead of directing braindump seekers to TCTips (even though it is funny), consider replying with something constructive which might do some good in the long run.

For example: Although I appreciate your interest in Microsoft Certification, you should know that "brain dumps” and “cheat sheets” are not an authorized way to study. When people pass exams by cheating, it devalues the certifications for those of us in the community who have passed because of experience with the product and studying wiht authorized materials. To find recommended and approved study resources for your Microsoft Certification exam, please visit the prep guides. For more information on upholding the high standards of MIcrosoft Certification, you can watch this Live Meeting.

You may find this cheesy, and less fun than pranking or belittling. But consider it anyway. 

 

* I understand that in some countries people say 'braindump' when they really mean a legitimate study resource--just terminology differences. In other class-act countries, like mine, people say 'dumps like a truck' but that has nothing to do with exams.