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Journey to my MBA

Monday, July 05, 2004

Cheaters of the GMAT

So yesterday was fun at the beach. I got 10 min of total studying done. Conclusion... can't study at the beach... duh!

Made up for it today though.

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Ok, so here's something that's been bothering me for the last 3 days. I ran into a friend of mine who I've known for 18 years. He's an ESL teacher at a very prominent University. If I told you the name, you'd know it right off. Anyway, we chated and I told him I was taking the GMAT. He responded with, "what's the big deal?" I was surprised to hear such an insensitive response. Or so I thought at the time until I asked him what he meant by that. He told me how many of his ESL students all struggled in the past in prepping for the TOEFL right up until they took classes at Asian study prep mini-schools. In the Korean realm for example, they are called Haagwan's. He stated how much underhanded cheating of the tests was ongoing through these schools and other venues. This is both in the U.S. and International. For example, he knew of some students who shared with him how the schools actually paid some people to take the tests and report back as much as they could remember about the questions that were on the test. He went on to say how there are internet sites where people come back and say, "Hey I took the test" and then they documented every question they could remember in verbose detail. I wasn't surprised when he said how many students were so thankful for such entities and that they felt that their costs for the prep was well worth it. DUH! Of course!

Well, in the computer field there is the Microsoft Certified System Engineer Certification (MCSE). Through my prep and through various people I've met in the computer industry, I came to find that these 6 tests for the Certification have web sites called "brain dumps" where they do the same cheating thing. I actually am an MCSE, but I studied for it. If you look up the term "brain dump" on the web, you'll see what I'm talking about. It appears to be a technical field term. I don't see it related to anything GMAT. I did a search to see if I really could find such sites so easily. I honestly saw a couple that had the terms, GMAT and "brain dump" but nothing showed up on the actual web sites. Back in 1995 for example, I know Microsoft went on a rampage with "brain dump" sites and wiped out a lot of them that they could find. But let me tell you... I did a search just now and honestly found some. The trick was, some tried to conceal it by not including the answers. Which is weird. On some sites I just looked up, you would see "brain dump" logs of the Microsoft or Cisco tests and these "brain dump" web sites would say that they had GMAT stuff too, but when I clicked on them... there was no info or an "under construction banner" had replaced the web page. If I had found any, I would have most certainly not been surprised, but alas... after spending about 10 minutes, I didn't find anything. With additional searches, I did find some good hits, but the web sites were in Chinese or Japanese or some other language that looked like hyroglyphics to me so I wasn't be able to tell you what the actual links did once I got there.

Anyway, this makes me crazy. I go through all this trouble to study my tail off and people out there shortcut the system. Again, can you believe people get paid to bring back the test questions?!!! Some of you probably already knew this. I actually thought such things existed, but I never dreamed how open a concept or thing it was for so many to do. Makes me think the TOEFL especially is worthless with all this cheating.

So if you know of any of these web sites... uh.... let me know. :) Just kidding. If my wife is reading this.... or some B-School Admissions Director or staff member... I am soooooooooooooo seriously kidding!!!

1 Comments:

Blogger britchick said...

The official GMAT guide gives examples of 1,400 questions currently in use, which i would have thought was more than enough for anyone to try to remember. I think time and energy invested in understading the concepts that are being tested is much more fruitful than trying to memorise the actual questions, I really don't understand why people do this. Apart form anything else, if they can't cope with learning and understanding the concepts tested in the GMAT, they are really going to struggle if they get into B-school. And remember, GMAT is only one part of the whole application package.

1:41 AM  

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