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SAP Education has worked hard together with the Certification & Enablement Influence Council over the last 18 months to enhance the value of certification and improve the exams. An increasing number of customers and partners are now looking towards certification as a reliable benchmark to safeguard their investments. Of course, certification is just one of several criteria by which one can measure expertise; it cannot and should not be considered a sole marker of proficiency in an SAP solution. Real, hands-on project experience, years of acquired skills, educational background – – these remain at the top of the list of most hiring managers for organizations and project teams. So there is still work to be done, but the Global Certification team has achieved good results in 2012 by focusing on increasing the value of certification in a number of ways, including: tying our exams to valid job profiles; implementing industry standard production processes; and increasing our engagement with the SAP Mentors and the SCN community at large.

A caution against sharing exam questions

Unfortunately, the increased demand for certification has brought with it a growing number of people who to try and attain SAP certification through unfair means. I am talking about cases of cheating, using brain dumps to distribute exam questions, and even the efforts of some companies to turn this into a business opportunity: attracting test takers who don’t believe they have the skills and knowledge to pass the exam by fair means to pay money for “exam questions”. These are often either SAP’s own sample questions which are made freely available or outdated questions, but sometimes also real exam questions are exposed.  2012 has been a year of stark realization for the certification team in terms of discovering the lengths to which some test takers go to achieve SAP certification through unfair and unethical means. Any time a cheating incident goes undetected, we are potentially putting our customers at risk. Here’s a recent example that was detected though our test analytics team: a group of four test takers from the same institution all passed with very high scores but hit our “Watch List”. Based on the evidence, their certification was withheld and they were asked to take another version of the same exam. This time, they all failed. So in this case the cheaters “lost” and some fortunate customer(s) won; you can probably imagine how much damage these individuals could have done in a customer project.

Increased focus on test security

Over the years I have found that exam questions are also frequently passed on to others out of less selfish grounds – out of a sense of “doing the right thing”, helping a friend or colleague, or just out of a lack of awareness of the need for security and the consequences this can bring. I have also noticed that some people don’t even realize that they are risking their own certification status – and in severe cases, legal consequences – by distributing test questions based on the Certification Agreement they sign before taking their exam. Regardless of intentions, passing on exam questions puts our customers at risk and gives the less skilled an unfair advantage over those who work and learn hard to gain their certification. 

Tackling the problem

This ongoing issue has prompted SAP Education to place a new focus on test security, and 2013 will be the year when all elements of test security will be very much at the forefront. This is a holistic approach which covers all elements of exam production and delivery. The Global Certification team have taken a long, hard look at every step of the process and tightened up wherever we felt it necessary. We will be working to ensure we reduce the amount of exam question “sharing” by helping people to understand the consequences of their actions; this blog is a first step in that direction. For another example of our approach in combatting dubious practices and raising awareness, see the blog http://scn.sap.com/community/training-and-education/blog/2012/09/19/sap-education-india-s-commitment-to-quality-ethics by Maggie Ramaiah.

We will be sharing updates with you on what we are doing, so we ask you to please support us where you can in protecting the integrity of our exams – for the sake of our customers and those who have worked hard to earn their certification status. If you become aware of any cases of exam question distribution, or if you observe activities during an exam which lead you to believe someone has cheated, please notify me directly. And please help us to spread the word on SCN that cheating on a certification exam brings no long term rewards to the test taker, their employers, or to their customers.  

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41 Comments

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  1. Anjan Paul

    Hi Susan,

       

         Nice post. It is the responsibility of genuine certified people not to distributed question to the people who don’t believe on them that they can pass the examination.

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  2. Bill Wood

    This is tremendous progress and I am thrilled there are a number of changes taking place.  It sounds as though the certification process is being looked at as a serious, value added asset.  To that end it is good to see SAP doing something to slow the widespread fraud and abuse…

    My curiosity is around the verification process of certifications, or something like a “transcript” service similar to what colleges do.  Something where a prospective individual who claims to have a certification can authorize another to verify their credentials. 

    Here is an idea, in this day and age, maybe you could provide a special self service “authorization tool.”  An individual who claims certification can go into their online SAP transcript, “open” it with some temporary user ID and password which they can then provide to a prospect who wants to VERIFY their certification.  This way anyone the certified user provides temporary access to could log onto an SAP domain (i.e. you know it is legit) and verify their credentials.

    Something like that, widely publicized, would begin to stem the tide of rampant FRAUD!  And just think, the small amount of FRAUD you have caught in the test taking process how widespread it is everywhere!

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    1. Susan Martin Post author

      Hi Bill

      there are a couple of ways that we are implementing the credential verification in Q1. Firstly, as you say, with the new Credential Manager can ublish their credentials to a potential customer/employer via the self-service or secondly they can give permission to be “found” via location/certified skill search in a registry. Both of these functions will b handled via the Credential Manager which will be made available to all those who certify round the world. We are really looking forward to getting this launched.

      Thanks

      Sue   

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  3. Ravi Sankar Venna

    Good article Sue

    It is the everybody’s ethical responsibility NOT to discuss the questions in open forum. Hope everybody respect this.

    It is a great to know that SAP is taking number of initiative to maintain the value of SAP Certification. Looking forward to hear such initiatives from you.

    Best Regards,

    Ravi

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  4. Sagar Mukherjee

    Hi Susan,

    A very enlightening post. The real term of learning is getting lost at the cost of getting “Certified”. What some people fail to understand that certification is just an acknowledgment of knowledge not the real knowledge?

    Strange.

    I absolutely share your views and support SAP Certification Council on this effort.

    Regards
    Sagar

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  5. ritika guha

    Really a good post,being a certified candidate we can understand its really important to save guard the certification exam.

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    1. Susan Martin Post author

      Many thanks Ritika!

      I said in the original blog I would keep you up to date on the developments to safeguard the value of certification so there are a couple of highlights I would like to add to that..

      Firstly we had an excellent CEIC Meeting at SAPPHIRE and we will soon have the credential management platform in place in order for customers and partners to easily be able to check credentials. Here is an update on that http://scn.sap.com/community/training-and-education/blog/2013/06/03/certification-enablement-influence-council-update–sapphire-orlando-may-2013

      And secondly we have introduced more rigorous identity verification processes for SAP candidates taking their tests at Pearson VUE test centers to ensure that we eliminate the possibility of so called “proxy testing”. This means that a photograph is taken of the candidate which will appear on the certificate and a digital signature is captured. Here is a short video on what to expect at a PV test center if people are taking an SAP test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn7yRDV1tck&list=UUy21pJcLIfThj3AtBbSeWDw

      Sue

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  6. Leila Lappin

    Hello Susan,

    Thank you for sharing this information.  I am SAP employee and I have two questions about the logistics of taking the certification exam.  I have to been to SAP link for HANA curriculum (https://training.sap.com/v2/certification/c_hanaimp_1-sap-certified-application-associate—sap-hana-10-g/) and it seems to be only for customers and partners.  It requires entering credit card and billing information.

    1-      Is there an internal SAP portal for SAP employees to register for the certification exam without having to enter a credit card number? 

    2-      It seems that currently the exam is being offered only in SAP office in NSQ on the East Coast US.  Is there a plan to offer the test at any other facility on the East coast US?

    I would greatly appreciate if you could please direct me to someone or a link where I can get more information? 

    Best Regards

    Leila Lappin

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    1. Ravi Kumar Kari

      Hello Leila Lappin,

      In US you can appear for SAP certifications in PearsonVue, for SAP employees you might have an internal promo code  to waive the fee and to use the promo code you must register with your i-number.

      PearsonVue is available every where in US and it’s most convenient to go and take exam as in when you are ready to take exam, more flexible dates and timings.

      Please visit the site: http://www.pearsonvue.com/

      Thanks & Regards,

      Ravi Kumar.

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      1. Leila Lappin

        Hi Ravi,

        Thank you for the information.  I contacted pearsonvue and they confirmed they offer the exam.  I just have to find the promotional code for the internal SAP employees to be able to register.  Thank you again.

        Best Regards,

        Leila Lappin

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    2. Susan Martin Post author

      Hi Leila,

      I have sent you an e-mail with details of where you can register internally. As Ravi says, the exams can be taken anywhere in the US at a PV center of which there are hundreds.

      Best of luck!

      Sue

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      1. Leila Lappin

        Hello Susan,

        I called pearsonvue and they confirmed they offer the test but I can’t find the internal SAP link to register for it.

        SAP learning center link does not have HANA certification listed.   Thank you

        Regards,

        Leila Lappin

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  7. Kevin Pepper

    Is there a method to report someone that has offered questions to an exam. I have recently completed the TADM70 course in Walldorf but know of several individuals that offered the questions from a recent exam.

    I have worked on SAP for over 23 years and get very frustrated how people continue to abuse the value of Certification. We all suffer when people with inadequate skills develop and deploy SAP Systems.

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  8. Vinod Vemuru

    Recently I took FI certification. I was amazed with the quality of questions and way of testing one’s knowledge about SAP product. Great to see test is based on conceptual understanding of the product and not on bookish knowledge. This makes SAP certification stand at peak.

    Kudos to certification team for constantly investing efforts to produce quality certifications and keep them ever fresh.

    Regards,

    Vinod.

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  9. Prathamesh Parkar

    I found many dumps online and people sharing SAP Question it happened to me i asked one of the application going for certification and he has a list of question and when he came out i was surprised to hear maximum question came out of dumps. i just wanted to know do SAP updates its test module often just for a fair practices. Initially 2 years back when we completed our certification we use to score 79 but now a days I surprise to see people scoring 98/99 percentage but they don’t possess knowledge as per acquired marks.

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  10. Dimitar Georgiev

    Hi Susan,

    Is there any update on the the credential management platform you refer to in the earlier posts. I am independent FI and CO consultant and have paid for training and certification out of my pocket so I have skin in the game. I always wondered why there is no way to verify if someone who claims is certified is indeed certified.

    At some point the SAP certification was viewed in the industry as just another way of SAP to make a bit more money.

    I’love to hear from you. Thanks.

    Dimitar

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    1. Susan Martin Post author

      Hi Dimitar

      we are just starting to roll it out now so depending on your gegraphy you should get an e-mail from us in the next couple of months.

      All the best

      Sue

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      1. Dimitar Georgiev

        The couple of months are up and still no tool to verify whether a person who claims to be SAP certified is indeed certified. Or the roll-out has not picked pace yet. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, Dimitar

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        1. Dimitar Georgiev

          It starts to look like I am talking to myself, but I recently wrote and passed the SAP IS Retail certification and found that the credential management platform is live for my region (Canada). One needs to have a recent certification and can opt in to be listed on that registry. FYI, the URL is www.sapconsultantregistry.com

          It looks like it is run by a third party, not SAP itself.

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  11. Ousmane ba

    How about creating a new type of test instead just multiple choice questions.

    For example

    bury some data in the system have them find it.

    Finish some config

    Recover a malfunctioning system etc…

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  12. Paula Luiz

    Hi there,

    I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am SD certified and wrote the exam in December 2007. I didn’t cheat. I am very glad that I didn’t. At this point though there are websites such as (NOTE: link removed by moderator) that offer replica papers. This means that somewhere within SAP itself as an organization, there are people stealing papers and selling them to places like this who in turn will sell it to you at a nominal fee. There are too many people going from completely failing an exam twice to passing with over 90% in the space of a few weeks for this not to be suspicious. It makes the entire system a farce and people with certifications obtained illegally are managing to weasel their way in to jobs and bargaining for more money. SAP should change the exams more regularly. It’s extremely difficult now without a blind retest to see who actually deserves their certification and who doesn’t. These courses are crazily priced and obtaining a certification legally is a very big deal. It’s a great achievement, at least it used to be but if every Tom, Dick or Harry can just pass these papers, suddenly, surely there has to be a flaw within the system.

    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Paula

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    1. Susan Martin Post author

      Hi Paula,

      You are absolutely right that there are (unfortunately sometimes successful) attempts to steal exam questions and they land on the web sites for sale such as the one you mention ( we have removed that reference but are aware of this site). We tackle this in a four-pronged way.

      1) We have become much more vigilant in pursuing these sites and similar with legal measures and have had an impressive track record of having our exam questions removed and fines set.

      2) we have tightened up security in all our processes and interactions

      3) we use sophisticated forensics to identify exam irregularities and evidence of cheating  and withhold or withdraw certification as a result. If we find people giving away exam questions we also withdraw their certification status.

      4) We exchange exam questions much more frequently. Since we stepped up this activity we have identified that the time lag between new exam questions being published and them appearing on web sites has been longer than the refresh cycles so that by the time they appear the questions have already been retired. That unfortunately doesn’t stop people spending their money on them but they are wasting their money in most cases.

      Admittedly much of this activity is like playing “whack-a-mole” as there will always be people or companies willing to exploit the desperation of others if they can earn money on it. You get rid of one and the next one pops up round the corner. But it is incredibly important – as you rightly point out it is thoroughly unfair to those who have gained their certification properly and it is a risk to our customers’ projects that we do not relish being responsible for.

      Thanks

      Sue

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      1. Paula Luiz

        Hi Susan,

        With regards to known cheats on these exams, what does SAP actually do about them? We have a situation where the first cheat offered the papers to a good few others so as to not be the only one implicated. Three others wrote the IS-Retail Certification and passed based on those illegal documents. There is an investigation underway but what can SAP South Africa do? Can they be stripped of their certifications? Can they be marked as cheats in the industry? Unfortunately, it seems that these people are not going to be dismissed but issued with a final written warning instead which I find an extremely soft approach to fraud.

        I would appreciate a response as I don’t find it fair that so many cheats are making headway in a tough industry.

        Thanks.

        Regards,

        Paula

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  13. Shalima Nazreen

    Hi all,

    I registered under SAP FI in 2009 and I took an attempt but failed in 2009. Is it possible to take the exam now? Its been 5years to take the 2nd attempt. I don’t know the rules for taking this exam. May I follow my old books for my 2nd attempt? Do I need to register again?

    Can anyone answer my questions, it would be really helpful for my career.

    Thank you all,

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Sankar Venna

      Hello Shalima,

      Usually, you should be able to attend for 3 times, provided if you have taken the training. You also need to check which version you have written and are you intending to write the same version. If so, you need to check whether the same exam is available. Otherwise, you need to check with SAP whether you can write an exam for upgraded version. Usually, you should have one month gap between exam to exam. If you have not taken training or attended through your employer, then you again need to contact SAP Education to pass the evaluation process. These points are applicable if you are intending to write exam in India.

      Meanwhile, I would advise you to contact your local SAP Education team for further guidance.

      All the best.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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  14. Shalima Nazreen

    Hi Ravi,

    Thank you for your answer. I attended training but took the exam only once. Your advice guide me to the next level. I am willing to take the exam in US as I am a resident here. I will call SAP Education and update my process.

    Thank you,

    Shalima

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    1. Ravi Sankar Venna

      Hi Shalima,

      If you reside in US, you do not need to follow anything.

      You can just contact SAP Education, pay the fee, write the exam, pass the certification, get the hard copy of Certificate. 🙂 The process in US is much simpler.

      All the best.

      Kind Regards,

      Ravi

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  15. Shalima Nazreen

    Hi Ravi,

    Thanks much for your soothing words. Its a very simpler process.

    I will call and make sure with SAP Education because of older version.

    Thank you,

    Shalima

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  16. Irala Damodara reddy

    Hello Susan Martin

    SAP can  restrict the Certification course / test also by imposing the minimum experience as requirement like 3 to 5  years, to avoid just Degree / PG Holders without any real time work experience in the SAP Modules ,with functional/domain experience in the respective areas  i.e for SAP-FICO modules ,like CA/CMA qualification with experience on  Finance/Costing / Treasury, or  for MM -Material Management, SD- Selling and Distribution,Production Planning,Plant Maintenance etc..  in the industry exposure,so as to know the real time process and understood the SAP process very well and with stand in the market as a SAP-Consultant. 

    SAP can  encourage experienced candidates only to appear for certification and upkeep the value of certification and avoid freshers not to get certify with out any real time SAP hands on experience ,to avoid the above mentioned problems.
    Thanks and Best Regards
    idreddy
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    1. Irala Damodara reddy

      Hi All

      THOSE BOGUS/FAKE Institutes Name and Address may be provided ? this is a DAMAGE the SAP name of HYDERABAD? in the entire SAP student Community around the World??.

      Pls provide the FULL ADDRESS of these DUBIOUS institute? let us Check and UPDATE YOU ALL ASAP.

      Thanks

      idreddy

      29.6.2015

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  17. Moinuddin Shaik

    Hi,  Susan Martin

    I am working at Oil & Gas Drilling Company in Saudi Arabia Saipem Co Ltd as AMOS Officer(Asset Management Operating System) Officer, from last 2.5 years of experience,

    I have knowledge of SAP SD, but did not take certification, now i want to take Training in SAP IS-OIL Certified Application Associate – Supply Chain Planning and Execution with SAP for Oil & Gas with SCM 7.0 EHP1. from india where can i get this Training and certification, 

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  18. prasad uppaladhadium

    Bonjour Susan,

    Récemment, je franchis B1 Test global de certification de SAP . quel est le lien pour vérifier les détails de notre certification en ligne .

    des conseils de bien vouloir

    Cordialement

    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Recently i cleared B1 Global certification test from SAP.  what is the link to check our certification details online.

    kindly advice

    Regards

    (0) 
  19. Jazib Tariq

    Dear Susan,

    I want to appear in SF exam. What should be the criteria and what is the difference between 2 exam code for Employee Central.

    Regards

    Jazib Tariq

    (0) 
  20. Nishant Wadvalkar

    I have taken course of SAP PS in Lithan India. I am totally disappointed due to:
    1] As no proper mock test taken
    2] Also lecturer was not available to answer query and give outline of exam
    3] Later I have been informed that 2016 dec PS module is latest version and EVen SAP dont have suitable expert support.

    I am trying to contact SAP Banglore but no one  attending to clarify.

    IS THERE ANYONE WHO CAN HELP TO RESOLVE MY QUERY????

    THANKS
    NISHANT

    (0) 

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