As you may know, I work for the Education Services organization at EMC. I create technical training to support our Proven Professional certification tests (I also help write the tests).
This article explains what my organization has done to crack down on cheaters – people who purchase “test dumps” to pass the exam, and really don’t have the skills and knowledge required to pass the certification test.
Gene Radwin, who heads up our Certification exam development team, came up with a really clever way to catch people who were passing the cert tests because they bought the answers online. He developed a fingerprint that cheaters would leave behind when they answered the test questions. The article explains it this way:
Here, then, was a means to elicit a distinctive pattern for “cheaters” – add questions to an exam which were (1) easy and (2) which had the incorrect answer coded as the correct answer. Like Homer’s Trojan Horse, these mis-coded, easy questions would undermine those who tried to use them. Honest takers would be scored as answering such questions incorrectly; dishonest test takers would be scored as answering them correctly.
So basically, Gene figured out how to beat cheater at their own game! Brilliant!