Using ChatGPT to pass technical certifications

Let’s get this out of the way right now: as of May 2023, ChatGPT (or any other publicly available AI) is not likely to help you cheat past most technical certifications. There are a few reasons for this. First, its training corpus is capped at 2021, so it likely does not have the most up-to-date technical changes to information. Second, it can generate incorrect answers (hallucinations), particularly when it comes to technical questions. The issue with the hallucinations is that they sound very convincing.

So what can we use ChatGTP for?

Personally, I used ChatGTP as a study partner. A relentless digital counterpart that would happily provide me with sample quiz questions all day long. I use it like digital flashcards.

The first step in this technique is to compile a list of questions and answers based on your study material. You can do this manually using your notes, or you can compile practice exam questions from the internet or any other valid source. It’s important to vet the answers since we will provide them all in a prompt for the Chatbot to use as fact. I compiled my list in a simple two column Google Spreadsheet that I then exported as a CSV text file.

Once you have your questions, you can use the following prompt to generate a customized simulated practice exam:

Act as an instructor giving me an exam. Choose 25 random questions from the list below and then give me the test one question at a time.  Do not ask the same question twice.

Provide the question and then wait for my response.  
Only tell me the right answer if I get the answer wrong.
Then ask me another random question from the list. 
Make all questions multiple choice and create convincing fake answers. 
Make sure the answer is not always first.  
Write all questions and answers with proper case and punctuation.

At the end of the test, give me my score and list out the questions I got wrong in a table format.

Respond OK and let's begin the test.

With this prompt, you just need to paste in the question/answer list at the bottom of the prompt and let the bot give you the test. One of the neat parts of this prompt is telling the AI to create the wrong answers for the multiple-choice questions. You do not have to provide these. You are just giving it the question and the correct answer. This saves a ton of time but also gives you, the test taker, a more nuanced experience since the text won’t all be familiar. Additionally, telling the bot to move from one question to the next and only giving you corrections when necessary also speeds up the experience.

I have found 25 questions to be an optimal number for both GPT-3 and GPT-4 without it getting lost in its own memory limitations. More than that, and it seems to stall out. It’s definitely a best practice to clear the chat before each practice exam, giving it full memory to complete the test and give you the summary.

By utilizing the prompt I have provided, you can turn ChatGPT into a personalized study partner, generating customized quizzes and helping you retain information more effectively.

Happy Testing!