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Certification Related Terms used on CertGuard
Adaptive Tests

Tests which are based on the Computer-adaptive Testing paradigm are known as Adaptive Tests.

Beta Exams

Similar to beta versions of software, Beta exams are Certification Exams that have passed the development stage, but may contain inconsistencies or known issues. They are only released to a cross-section of typical users for testing before the commercial release of the exam.


A time-intensive classroom training or crash course related to IT certification. Most bootcamps concentrate on getting a candidate ready for the exam, rather than imparting conceptual knowledge. Some Bootcamps have been known to employ illegal training materials such as Braindumps in order to increase their pass statistics.


The term refers to actual questions and answers taken from Certification Exams and then distributed for purposes of Cheating or profit. The term originated from the unscrupulous practice by certain test-takers of "dumping" any information that they could remember about exam questions onto public internet forums. Braindumps are an explicit violation of the NDA and their trade or use can get a candidate's certifications revoked.
For more information, see: All about Braindumps


Also called Examinee or Exam Candidate, this is an IT professional who meets the basic prerequisites or qualifications to become certified, but has not yet passed the Certification Exams required to attain the Credential he/she wants to attain.

Certification Credential

A credential that is awarded to a Candidate after passing the requisite Certification Exams. Most Certifications require a Candidate to pass multiple exams and each exam passed counts towards the Certification.

Certification Exam

An online assessment/examination in which a Candidate needs to prove that he/she has the skills and/or knowledge to perform certain tasks using specific technologies, by attaining a minimum acceptable score.

Certification Vendor

Any IT corporation that creates software or technologies and provides Certification programs oriented towards those technologies. The programs are aimed at IT professionals who use those technologies and want to validate their technical proficiency.


The behaviour whereby a Candidate acts dishonestly or fraudulently in order to circumnavigate the certification process. It can be of various types and is not limited to the use of unauthorized materials during the test.

Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT)

Also called Tailored testing, this is a method for administering tests that adapts to the examinee's ability level. The primary purpose of this methodology is to accurately determine the ability of a test-taker. Only a few of the existing Certification Exams employ this technology at present.
[ Source: Wikipedia ]

Computer-based Testing (CBT)

Also called e-exams or Computerized testing, this is a method of administering tests in which the responses are electronically recorded, assessed, or both. It can be administered through a standalone system or a virtual environment accessed through the web. It is exceptionally well suited for objective type questions. Most Certification Exams are a perfect example of this kind of testing.
[ Source: Wikipedia ]

Computer-based Training (CBT)

Also called e-learning, this type of training involves Self-paced tutorials, tests and simulations that a student can study on their computer. Most CBT products consist of classroom style video tutorials with a voiceover.
[ Source: mcmcse.com Certpedia ]

Core Competency

A core competency is fundamental knowledge, ability, or expertise in a specific subject area or skill set. For example, an individual who becomes certified as a MCSE is said to have a core competency in certain Microsoft systems and networks. Companies with specific strengths in the marketplace, such as data storage or the development of accounting applications, can be said to have a core competency in that area. The core part of the term indicates that the individual has a strong basis from which to gain the additional competence to do a specific job or that a company has a strong basis from which to develop additional products.
[ Source: SearchSMB.com ]

Exam Delivery Provider

Also called Exam Delivery Partner, this is a corporation that is authorized by a Certification Vendor to register Candidates as well as to conduct and administer exams at it's sites worldwide. For instance, Prometric and Pearson VUE are the two major EDP's with global coverage and are the chosen Delivery partner of most Certification Vendors.

Exam Discount Vouchers

A voucher that gives an aspirant a percentage discount, usually 15%-20% off of the exam fee.

Exam Promo Code

A promotional code that can be used in lieu of a Discount voucher to gain a percentage discount(usually 15%-20%) on exam fee.

Exam Security Agreement

See Non-Disclosure Agreement

Hired Gunmen

Hired Gunmen or Hired Guns are people that impersonate and take exams for others by proxy, in return for financial gain. They usually do this in collusion with Rogue Test Centers. The proliferation of Gunmen remains one of the primary reasons why certifications are becoming devalued.
For more information, see:
All about Gunmen

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

An Agreement between the Certification Vendor and the Candidate that is designed to protect the confidential or trade secret information of the Certification Vendor and most specifically prohibits the release of confidential information pertaining to the certification exam. Any Candidate is expected to agree to the NDA before he/she can go ahead with the exam.
For more information, see:

Practice Test

A self-assessment software or material that is designed to test a Candidate's conceptual understanding and preparation level on topics prescribed for a particular Certification Exam. Most Practice exams allow the test-taker to review his/her performance later by providing answers and helpful explanations. Some also provide graphical score charts which can accurately help a Candidate in identifying the areas he needs to work on.

Practice Test Provider (PTP)

A company that creates and sells (legitimate) Practice tests or other self-assessment material enabling certification aspirants to be better prepared for any given exam. Most PTP's model their tests closely on the format of the target Certification Exam, but any claims of "Actual questions" or "Pass guaranteed" should be viewed with suspicion.


An invigilator who is employed by the testing center and whose responsibilities include administration of the Certification Exam, general supervision, as well as ensuring that integrity of the exam process is maintained.

Proxy Test-taker

See Hired Gunmen.

Rogue Test Center

A Test Center that intentionally allows or condones the illegal practices Cheating which violate the exam NDA. The authorities at such centers are often in cahoots with Gunmen or take a cut from test-takers by allowing them to cheat.

Test Center

A facility which Candidates frequent in order to take Certification Exams. A Test Center needs to be a authorized branch or franchisee of an Exam Delivery Partner.


A secure online listing of a individual's certification history, which can be printed or shared with others. The information present in the transcript is considered highly confidential therefore it is hosted in SSL secured locations and requires the individual to explicitly authenticate himself. Sharing of the Transcript is usually done through a Transcript Sharing code.

Transcript Sharing Code

A secure code that can be used by a certified individual to share his Transcript with employers or colleagues.

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CertGuard Inc - Protecting your education and certifications
CertGuard Inc - Protecting your education and certifications
CertGuard Inc - Protecting your education and certifications
CertGuard Inc - Protecting your education and certifications by preventing and bringing awareness to cheating
CertGuard Inc - Protecting your education and certifications
CertGuard Inc - Protecting your education and certifications
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