Advancing Life & Work

HPE certification exam security and why it matters

As I have previously written about, our guiding principles around HPE certifications and how we build the exams, I thought it would be good to discuss what we do for exam security even after the exam is published.  Without solid exam security HPE Certifications would not be able to differentiate between those that have mastered their specific level of competency from those that have not.

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 So, the story doesn’t stop after we publish the exam. Far from it. Once released, psychometricians (those skilled in understanding if the exam is doing what it should) review each exam to see how it’s performing and remove and adjust exam items to improve overall quality. You might be surprised to know that we also review all the comments from test takers as part of the exam review process. Yes, we really do look at the comments!

Exam security is also a critical part of our maintenance routine. Security is paramount to preserving the integrity and value of HPE certifications. We take extensive measures to make sure that our copywrited exam questions have not been compromised. We actively review known “dump sites” for posted exams with their supposed correct answers. Brain dump sites sell what they purport to be the actual questions from a variety of IT vendor exams, but our repeated investigations prove that they are of very poor quality and actually cause our candidates to fail. Candidates should not be fooled into purchasing these materials! With today's security techniques they often do not contain correct answers.  Then we get the story back here that someone has studied night and day and knows what they are doing, yet they keep failing the exam.  People, this is not the fault of the exam, but studying the wrong material.

Besides the poor quality, using brain dumps or sharing exam content with others is considered candidate misconduct and is not tolerated by HPE, ever. This applies to both web-based exams and proctored exams. Just because it may be web-based doesn't mean you have the right to copy and share it.

HPE also conducts data analysis on exam results for Non-independent Test Taking (NITT), cheaters. When our security analysis shows that an NITT has taken the exam, the appropriate penalties described in the HPE Candidate Agreement are applied. Yes, we can and do find out who these NITT candidates are and we do apply penalties.  These penalties include invalidating the test score (which may also remove the certification), a 12-month ban from the HPE certification program, or potentially also revoking other HPE certifications. The most serious abusers receive a permanent ban from our program. By doing these things we ensure that those who do work hard and gain the experience and take the proper training are validated as having our HPE Certification stamp of approaval for their job role.   

As you can see, releasing the exam is just the start of the process for us when it comes to managing and securing HPE certifications. We hear repeatedly from partners how HPE certifications have helped them in their business, improved their careers, and improves service to customers. Making sure that our certifications truly elevate those with the skills and knowledge is an ongoing, critical process. Our goal is to ensure that partners, customers and employers continue to have confidence in HPE certifications. So when it comes to HPE certification, be wise and use only HPE authorized study materials to prepare for exams so you can proudly stand behind your certification.  You can find a list of resources on our HPE Press site, or at our main Certification and Learning site referenced at the bottom of the resources page.

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About the Author


Jim Lucari leads certification solutions enablement in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s WW Sales Enablement organization. He is responsible for sales and technical certification exam development and program operation, certification course development, certification architecture and framework, translations, HPE Press publications, and remote lab operations. Jim has been in IT technology work for over 30 years with experience primarily in networking and storage technologies. He has 20 plus years of experience in training development and certification.