Here’s a list of some of the frequently asked questions we hear from users of this site. They are organized in the following sections:

  • Registration/Login
    • I can’t log in. Can you help?
    • I never received the Welcome Email. What should I do?
    • I entered an incorrect email address. Can you help?
    • I have a coupon code. Where can I register to gain access to the site?
    • Coupon Code is Invalid. Can you give me a working coupon code?
  • Common Questions on Quizzes
    • Can you explain this question/answer?
    • Can you explain this question/answer? (Here’s the info so that you can find it.)
    • What is the order of volatility?
    • I answered the question correctly so why was it marked wrong?
    • Two questions in the 501 Extras test bank are the same. Is it intentional?
  • Pass the Exam
    • Am I ready?
    • I’m scoring xx% on the practice tests. Is this enough for me to pass the exam?


Registration/Login

I can't log in. Can you help?

Question: Help. I can’t log in.

Answer: Here are the steps to log in.

  • Go here: https://gcgacert.com/ucanpass
    • Use your email address or username
    • Use the password you’ve set when you receive the Welcome Email after registration.
      Passwords are case sensitive – PaSsWoRd is not the same as password or PASSWORD.

You’ll be taken to the Member-Home page where you can access the materials you purchased.

Did you forget your password?

  • Go here: https://gcgacert.com/lostpassword/
  • Enter your email address or username
  • Click on Get New Password button

The email is typically sent right away but it may go to your junk or spam folder.

I never received the Welcome Email. What should I do?

Question: What should I do if I haven’t received the Welcome email after registration?

Answer: Normally, the email is sent within a minute after registration. However, depending on a variety of different issues with the Internet, and Internet service providers, it might take as long as 30 minutes to arrive. If you haven’t received it after 30 minutes, try this:

  1. Look in your spam or junk folder. The email is sometimes sent to a spam or junk folder.
  2. Reset password using the link on the Log In Page:
    https://gcgacert.com/ucanpass
  3. Send us a message via this page: https://gcgacert.com/contact-us/. We’ll typically get back to you within one business day.

The most common reason why a person doesn’t receive the login email is because they incorrectly entered their email address during registration.

For example, if John Smith’s email is johnsmith@myisp.com and he enters johsmith@myisp.com (notice the missing ‘n’) during the registration process, the log-in information will be sent to johsmith@myisp.com and John Smith won’t receive it.

While it’s best to avoid the problem by correctly entering the email address, mistakes can happen. However, it does take a little time to identify and correct the problem after we’re notified.

I entered an incorrect email address. Can you help?

Question: Help. I registered an incorrect email address.

Answer: You may do either of the following:

  • Send us a message via this page: https://gcgacert.com/contact-us/. Let us know the correct email address. We’ll manually change your registered email address. We typically get back to you within one business day.
  • Contact the personnel that gave you the code, they will be able to help you correct it.
I have a coupon code. Where can I register to gain access to the site?

Question:Where can I register to gain access to the site?

Answer: Here are the steps on how to redeem your coupon code:

1) Register here:
https://gcgacert.com/student-registration/

2) Enter the required (*) data.
First Name *
Last Name *
Email address *
Enter Coupon Code*

3) After registering, a confirmation message will appear that the registration has been successful and an email with the login credentials has been sent to the email address provided during the registration.

4) You will receive an email with a link to reset password or you can use the  Log In page to reset password.

5) After resetting password, you can log in here to access the materials: https://gcgacert.com/ucanpass

Coupon Code is Invalid. Can you give me a working coupon code?

Question: Can you give me a working coupon code?

Answer: In most cases, the coupon code is valid but hasn’t entered correctly. Note that a single incorrect character will result to an invalid entry when redeeming a code.

Registering again using the code and ensuring the code is entered correctly often works.

If the issue persists, let us know on the student’s email address so we can go through the registration and code redemption process on behalf of the student.



Common Questions on Quizzes

Can you explain this question/answer?

Question:Can you explain this question/answer?

Answer: Not if I can’t find it.

However, if you send me a clear question and give me the information I need to find the question you’re asking about, I will give you a clear answer. 

I’ve written thousands and thousands of questions and while I have a good memory, I haven’t memorized all the questions I’ve written.

Most online questions are randomized so unless you give me specifics about the question so that I can find it, I have two choices:

  • Spend 20-30 minutes going through test banks and questions one-by-one until I can find it.
  • Ask you to help me help you by giving me specifics so that I can find it.

Please help me find the question by giving me some information such as:

  • the certification
  • the book or online package you’re using
  • the test bank
  • the first sentence of the question (a question number (such as 17) doesn’t work for online questions because questions are randomized)

Here’s an example of a query that I can answer.
“Can you help me understand this question in the Security+ (SY0-501) Extras Quiz 2 Learn Mode quiz.
“The first sentence is Users within an organization frequently access public web servers using HTTPS.
“My question is why isn’t OCSP the correct answer? It was the correct answer for another question that was similar.”

This query gives me the  certification (Security+ SY0-501), the quiz (Extras Quiz 2) and the first sentence makes it easy to do a search and land on the question within seconds after accessing the quiz questions.

*Note that this question is not in Extras Quiz 2 section, but instead it’s just an example.


Here’s an example of a question that I wasn’t able to answer.
“I also had questions about questions 35 and 38 on my random test. I think 38 was a subnetting question. Something about creating a subnet with only 12 hosts. But none of the options would provide 12 hosts. /29 would give 6 but only for a single subnet. The wording of the question suggested a single subnet, not two.”

Because questions on a random test are randomized, the question numbers don’t help me find it.

I could spend 20 to 30 minutes scanning through 500 or so questions. However, even I did so, there are multiple subnet questions and I’d have to guess which question the person was asking about.

Additionally, there isn’t a a clear question (and a search for a question mark comes up empty) so it’s difficult to understand what the reader is asking.


If I can’t find the question you’re asking about, or I don’t understand your question, I will ask for clarification.

You can choose to:

  • Give me the information I need to find the question and understand your query.
    • If you do, I’ll be able to give you a useful answer.
  • Not give me the information I need to find the question and not clarify your query with a clear question.
    • If you do, I probably won’t be able to give you a useful answer.

The choice is yours.

Can you explain this question/answer?(Here's the info so that you can find it.)

Question: Can you explain this question/answer?(Here’s the info so that you can find it.)

Answer: I’d much rather have you answer it.

As a slight twist on an old piece of wisdom, give a man an answer and he’ll keep asking questions. Teach a man how to read the explanation and he’ll be able to learn for a lifetime.

More, teach a man (or woman) how to read the explanation, and he’ll have a much better chance of passing the certification exam the first time he takes it.

Based on your knowledge the explanation might not make sense to you. This is especially true if you have holes in your prerequisite knowledge.

The performance-based questions are complex with multiple elements to them. If you have a question related to one of them, I’d suggest you break it down into simpler pieces. This blog post may help.

You can use the blog post to help you formulate one clear question related to the performance-based question and then try to answer it.

If you still can’t answer it, and want help from me, send me an email with the following information:

  • The certification (such as Security+):
  • The quiz bank or set (such as Set 1):
  • The first sentence of the question so that I can find it (questions are randomized so giving me a number doesn’t help me find it):
  • Your one clear question:
  • What you think the answer to your question is:

If you send me a question such as the following, you are unlikely to get an answer that helps you:
“please tel me what the graphic means in the simulated question”

  • There are multiple sets of performance-based questions
  • There are many performance-based questions within these sets
  • Many of these have graphics and/or diagrams

Also, I won’t open files that can be infected with malware. Most IT-security-conscious people know that malware is often hidden in .zip files. However, did you know that ransomware can be hidden in infected Word files too? Criminals continue to find new ways to steal money from innocent people, and use innocent people’s computers to send malware to others.

What is the order of volatility?

Question: What is the order of volatility?

Answer: It depends.

There are some questions in these quizzes that ask about order of volatility. However, they are different questions and they have different answers.

More, they are a great example of how CompTIA can slightly modify a question to completely change it. CompTIA does this to give you an opportunity to prove you truly understand the concepts and didn’t just memorize questions and answers.

If you memorize questions and answers (on purpose or inadvertently) it’s possible to see part of a question and assume it’s the same thing. However, a subtle change in the question results in a completely different answer.

As an example, compare the following two questions.

Q. Which of the following numbers is the greatest number?

                   A. 1
                   B. 2
                   C. 3
                   D. 4
                   E. 5

Q. Which of the following numbers is the greatest even number?

                   A. 1
                   B. 2
                   C. 3
                   D. 4
                   E. 5

Clearly the answer to the first question is 5. Of the given numbers, 5 is the greatest.

The answer to the second question is 4. If you overlook the word “even” in “greatest even number” you might answer this question with 5.

When you grade the test you might be confused on why it’s incorrect. However, if you read the explanation, it should give you insight.

How can you avoid this mistake? RTFQ and RTFE.

Read The Full Question.

And then Read The Full Explanation.

If you’ve purchased any of the Security+ packages that include practice test questions, you have 4 sets of performance-based questions. Do Performance-Based Question Set 4 to see how questions can be slightly modified to give different answers. Each of the explanations are accurate.

I answered a question correctly so why was it marked wrong?

Question: I answered a question correctly so why was it marked wrong?

Answer: Think you answered it correctly, but it was marked wrong?

Check out the section on the Member-Home page titled
“Think you answered it correctly, but it was marked wrong?”

You might also like to view this page titled “Think You Answered it Correctly?

Another resource that mentions this is the video on firewall rules and the Security+ exam

Last, and probably MOST important, is the value of reading the explanations in the questions.

Ideally you should be able to look at any question and know why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way no matter how CompTIA words the questions, you’ll be able to answer it correctly.

In some of the questions, you’ll see this at the beginning of the explanation:

  • The questions you answered correctly are highlighted with a green box.
  • The answers you answered incorrectly are highlighted with a red box (with the correct answer shown).
  • Note that this does not show what you actually selected.
Two questions in the 501 Extras test bank are the same. Is this intentional?

Question:Two questions in the 501 Extras test bank are the same. Is this intentional?

Answer: Yes. It is not an error.

First, if you read the explanations in both questions, it should explain it for you.

Second, it’s a type of question that requires the test taker to apply critical thinking skills, rather than just memorizing test questions and answers.

Consider these two questions:

Q1. Which number is the highest?
A. 1
B. 3
C. 7
D. 5

Q27. Which number is the highest?
A. 8
B. 3
C. 7
D. 5

Clearly the answer to Q1 is 7.

Imagine a test taker chooses to memorize “7” for the question, instead of taking the time to understand why 7 is correct and the other answers are incorrect.

Later, the test taker comes across Q27. He’s seen this before and “knows” the answer is 7 so he quickly selects C (7) and moves on.

He gets this question wrong, but doesn’t understand why.

People that use the same strategy when studying for the Security+ exam sometimes find themselves failing the exam repeatedly, but they don’t understand why.

The trick to avoid falling into this trap is to remind yourself why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. You can use the explanations to help you. This will help you accurately interpret the questions on the live exam and answer them correctly no matter how CompTIA words them.

Consider this alternative study method.

Imagine a test taker chooses to understand why 7 is correct for Q1 and why the other answers are incorrect.

Later, the test taker comes across Q27. He’s seen this before, but instead of jumping on a familiar answer, he looks at all the answers. He knows that 8 is correct in Q27 even though a previous question (Q1, which was identical to this question) had a correct answer of 7.

He answers both questions correctly because he understands the content.

More, because he has been taking the time to know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect, he is better prepared to accurately interpret the questions on the live exam and answer them correctly.



Pass the Exam

Am I ready?

Question: Am I ready?

Answer: Security+ (SY0-501) Certification Exam
Look at your quiz history on your user profile page. Click on Your Quiz History.

Did you use all the materials?

  • All the multiple-choice questions
  • All of the performance-based questions
  • All of the Extras quizzes
  • The Test Your Readiness quiz

If you haven’t used all the materials, you probably aren’t ready.

Are you consistently scoring higher than 90% on the quizzes?

If not, you aren’t as prepared as you could be.

Have you memorized the answers?

If you’ve been taking the same quiz repeatedly in the same day, you may have inadvertently memorized the questions and answers.

If so, you aren’t as prepared as you could be. Memorization is not a formula for success.

Ideally, you should be able to look at any question and not just know why the correct answer is correct, but also why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way, you have the best chance of accurately interpreting the actual questions on the CompTIA exam and answering them correctly.

Are you using a study guide?

If not, you may not be prepared. A study guide goes into topics in-depth and helps you understand the testable concepts.

If you aren’t prepared, you’ll find this exam very difficult and you may find that you need to take it again. In contrast, people that are prepared often find it difficult, but they pass.

If you drop the exam, I encourage you to look at the study self-assessment and answer the questions honestly.


Answer these questions

When people tell me that they’ve failed after using the materials on the site, I typically see one (or more) of the following issues:

  • They didn’t use all the materials.
  • They didn’t get recommended scores of 90% on all the materials.
  • They memorized the questions and answers.

Look at your scores. What do you see?

  • Did you use all the materials?
  • Did you ultimately score higher than 90% on all the quizzes?
  • Did you take any of the quizzes more than once in the same day?
  • Did you remind yourself why the correct answers were correct and why the incorrect answers were incorrect, or did you zip through the quizzes because you had memorized the questions and answers?

Example Timing that Indicates Memorization

  • January 09, 2018 10:14 am. Score – 82%. 40 out of 49 question(s). Points 40/51.
  • January 09, 2018 10:19 am. Score – 100%. 49 out of 49 question(s). Points 51/51.

Notice that the second quiz ended at 10:19, five minutes after the user took the same quiz.

  • 5 minutes / 49 questions = .10.
  • .10 * 60 seconds = an average of about 6 seconds per question.

While an average of 6 seconds per question is enough time to pick out the correct answer for a quiz someone just completed, it isn’t enough time for most people to review all the incorrect answers.

Why review the incorrect answers? Many people report that this method helped them when taking the actual exam.

In other words, they found that by understanding the incorrect answers in the practice test questions, it helped them to correctly answer a question on the actual exam. In contrast, when people memorize the questions and answers, it only helps them if they see the exact questions on the live exam, which isn’t very likely.

I'm scoring xx% on the questions. Is this enough for me to pass the exam?

Question: I’m scoring xx% on the questions. Is this enough for me to pass the exam?

Answer: No.

I repeat this often. The score you get on the practice tests are not as important as your understanding of the content. If you go through any practice tests enough times, you can memorize the questions and answers. However, if CompTIA slightly modifies any question, your memorized answer can be incorrect.

Ideally, you should be able to look at any practice test question and know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. That way you’ll be much better prepared to interpret the questions no matter how CompTIA words them.

This blog post discusses how to interpret Security+ questions and this blog post gives some additional info to help ensure you are ready for exam day.

Make sure you’re consistently scoring at least 90% on the following quizzes:

  • Each set of the performance-based questions
  • Each set of the extra questions
  • The Test Your Readiness quiz

Remember that the goal isn’t to memorize the questions and answers to get them correct. Instead, the goal is know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Update: Do this study self-assessment to evaluate your study habits.