Sure, you can cheat on your certification test (SAFe,, Scrum Alliance). Just find a bank of questions, or have someone else take the test in your name, or buy a book, or take the test as a group. Yeah, maybe you’ll pass, but are you proud of yourself? Did you really learn anything about Scrum or how to bamboozle your way into a job?

In a world where morality is individually determined and based on getting more money, cheating seems like a perfectly legitimate approach. At the end of the day, you may land a job with higher pay without having to exercise very much of your brain at all!

While you’re at it, why don’t you steal someone’s wallet? After all, you need money more than whoever you’re stealing from. You determine the morality of your actions and make your life better with minimum effort by stealing. What a seemingly excellent but self-centered goal!

Cheating on your exam is worse for you than stealing a wallet. You will list the certification on your resume but will be unprepared for the job it helps you land. There’s a good chance you will be seen as an agile fool, fired, and then have a reputation as a babbling doofus. You will also give employers and others the idea that certification is not valuable because everyone cheats. You might even harm the impression that agile is helpful.  You damage the industry as well as your reputation – double whammy!

The purpose of the exams (at least within is not to present a barrier to pass nor to getting a Scrum Master job. The exams are not about making money, or we’d charge far more than $150, and we’d require recertification every year or two. The exam gives you a data point to inspect your misunderstanding in Scrum.  Now you know where to study and learn more about Scrum’s intent. 

If you take a class, you even get two chances to pass the test. If you fail the first attempt, have an idea of where to focus your studies and then verify your knowledge with a second attempt. You can verify you’ve improved your knowledge!

I must point out that employers who rely heavily on certification as a job qualification must consider it a component of a person’s whole picture. Those who list certifications as a job requirement are contributing to the urge to cheat (but not responsible). A few certifications are worthy barriers, and they are also very, very hard to scam (e.g., PMP).

I also want to point out that some of the books, websites, and test banks that supposedly help to cheat on the test are created by people who don’t even have the related certification. I’ve looked at a few and see explicitly incorrect statements related to the tests. Do you want to cheat by using test banks and “pass the first time” guides? Maybe you’re the one being cheated! How’s it feel?

So if you’re going to cheat, go right ahead. Nobody can stop you. But would your mamma be proud?

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