Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do You Know Who All of Your Examinees Are?

Study Confirms Widespread Cheating on Job Exams
Secret investigation discovers 'proxy test takers' prevalent

By Kevin Baron and Alan Wirzbicki
Globe Correspondents / July 22, 2008

WASHINGTON - A secret international investigation into job certification test fraud conducted by a major US technology company has confirmed long-held suspicions that thousands of people worldwide are cheating on certification exams for coveted jobs.

Cisco Systems Inc., the Silicon Valley firm behind some of the world's biggest computer networks, and Pearson VUE, one of the world's largest test administrators, recently conducted a trial run of an anticheating system intended to identify and crack down on "proxy test takers," people who impersonate others to take exams for them.

Officials at Cisco and Pearson VUE told The Boston Globe this week that during an eight-month span ended in June 2008, they monitored hundreds of thousands of exams given in eight countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Cisco said it had confirmed that one in 200 of those exams was taken by a proxy, and not the actual enrollee.

Randall T. Trask, a vice president at Pearson VUE which administers some of Cisco's tests, said he suspected the numbers were "the tip of the iceberg" because they only measured a limited number of one company's tests. Cisco's exams are given in 4,400 test centers in more than 160 countries, according to Pearson VUE's website.

In many white-collar fields, certification tests have taken on growing significance as a prerequisite for many well-paying jobs and proof that employees are maintaining their skills. In the highly competitive technology industry, surveys have shown that technicians with enough certifications can add up to $35,000 to their annual salary........

As always, click on the title if you want to read the entire article AND if you don't know who an examinee is...just ask to see a photo I.D.!

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