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The phrase brain dump refers to these things:
- Generally, the transfer of a large quantity of information from one person to another or to a piece of paper can be referred to as a 'brain dump'.
- In slang, it can describe a hurried explanation of a system, job, skillset, or other software engineering subject.
- In computing, the phrase describes the taking of a snapshot of the internal state of a knowledge database for transfer or archiving purposes. Thus, the copying of any dataset might be called a 'brain dump' if its contents could be colloquially referred to as a 'brain'.
- In the IT industry, a 'brain dump' (usually spelled as a compound word braindump) refers to material that has been memorized from an IT certification and used to provide an almost exact replica of the exam. For this reason, examinees are often encouraged to remove their personal items other than their identification prior to an exam.
In certification exams
The phrase "brain dump" refers to confidential information relating to examinations which is obtained by examinees who memorize, then "dump" (record) the information after the examination. Brain dumps are also referenced to collections of exam items that have been stolen from high-stakes certification exams. Brain dumps are most commonly found amongst IT certification exams mainly because the exams are expensive and difficult to pass, and the questions rarely change. These type of brain dumps are actual exam questions and answers that users will memorize prior to taking (or sitting for) an exam.
Brain dumps of this sort often constitute cheating because the information acquired was generally taken from material that was meant to remain secure, or information copyrighted or registered as trade secrets. Many of the larger corporations, such as Microsoft, have recently begun fighting back against the companies that mass-produce brain dumps. Some of the companies producing these brain dumps are up front about the nature of their products while others do not indicate that their test exams are actual exam questions. Because of this, IT certification test takers have to be wary of which exam preparation materials they use.
On August 8, 2006 Microsoft filed against three listed individuals and 4-20 John Does doing business as TestKing for copyright infringement. On April 5, 2007, Testking has been barred from producing any content that is protected under Microsoft's Certification Program and distributing it for any purpose including practice exams.
Certification providers use non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), binding examinees to a legal contract to not disclose "in whole or in part" by any means of communication any part of the exam.
- Core dump
- Expert system
- Professional certification
- Stream of consciousness writing
- "Microsoft Certified Professional Exam Security Policy and Non-Disclosure Agreement". Microsoft Corporation. 2001-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- "Test Center Experience". Thompson Prometric. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- "Certified Internet Web Professional: Exam Policies". Prosoft Learning. 2007-04-05. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- "Document 42: Stipulated Permanent Injunction". United States Department of Justice: United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. 2007-04-05. p. 9. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
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