Frequently Asked Questions

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:

  • A puzzler
    • Can you answer this question?
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A Puzzler

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Answer: Can you tell me what the question is?

Even if you could read Latin, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to find a meaningful question in the “pain itself” text. Similarly, I sometimes receive queries where it’s difficult to identify the question or how I can help.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to even understand what the question is or what someone wants to know. I sometimes point them to the blog post “3 Simple Steps to Learn Anything.

I really do want to help you “Get Certified” and “Get Ahead” and if you have a question, I do my best to ensure you have an answer in a timely manner. However, if I don’t understand the question, my answer may not help. If you want the best response, I ask that you help me.

  • If you have a question
    • Include a short, clear question (with a question mark).
  • If you have a question about a question
    • Please let me know what test bank it’s in along with some details on the question.
    • If you’re using the A+ training materials, you know you’re asking about an A+ question but that may not be clear to me.

 

 


Questions from Potential Customers

Can I purchase the Security+ performance-based questions separately?

Question: I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Security+ performance-based questions. Can I purchase them separately?

Answer: I’m grateful that so many people are finding these useful. However, they are not available as a separate purchase.

They are available with any of the practice test question packages and any of the Security+ study packages. All of these are priced relatively low when compared to other vendors.

 

How do I get access to the online products?

Question: After I pay, how do I get access?

Answer: After your payment is received, an email is sent to the email address you provided during the payment process. It’ll look something like this:

Thanks for your purchase of __________.

Please login at: http://__________________

Email: email@your.provider

Password: xyz123

Log in at that page and you’ll have access to all the content you purchased.

Do these packages work on a MAC/PC/tablet?

Question: Do these packages work on a MAC? Do these packages work on a PC? Do these packages work on a Tablet?

Answer: Yes.

You access the practice test questions and flashcards through a web browser. If you have a web browser, you can access the content. You can see how it works here:

You download the audio via your web browser, and then put it on your MP3 player.

Do you have PDF files available?

Question: Do you sell PDF files?

Answer: Sorry but no. PDF files are not available for the practice test questions, the flashcards, the study guide, or any other resources on this site.

If you’re looking for an eBook type of file, Kindle versions are available for many of the study resources (for $9.99 or less) and Amazon created free apps for just about any platform.

And the Kindle versions have a Table of Contents with hyperlinks for almost every subsection throughout the books. They also have a search function allowing you to search on any text. This allows you to click to what you want quickly, focus on what you need, and click back to the Table of Contents. Or you can read through the book from front to back.

If you’re looking for a printed version, printed versions are available for many of the resources such as:

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide and CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Practice Test Questions.

Last, if you bought the printed version of either book, you can get the Kindle edition for only $2.99.

Can you give me your online products for free?

Question: I purchased your book(s) from Amazon.

  • Can I get the audio for free?
  • Can I get the online flashcards for free?
  • Can I get the online practice test questions for free?

Answer: Sorry but no. These are separate products and have their own set of costs. Some of these costs include:

  • Renting a server to host the products
  • Buying software to serve the products
  • Paying a professional voice actor to record the audio
  • Paying assistants for data entry and to help maintain the site

However, I have done my best to keep the costs reasonable, especially when compared to some of the other organizations selling resources to help people pass certification exams.

Can you give me a special discounted price?

Question: Can you give me a special discounted price?

  • because I purchased your book(s) from Amazon.
  • because I purchased another product.
  • because of my special situation.

Answer: Sorry but no. These are separate products and have their own set of costs. Some of these costs include:

  • Renting a server to host the products
  • Buying software to serve the products
  • Paying a professional voice actor to record the audio
  • Paying assistants for data entry and to help maintain the site

However, I have done my best to keep the costs reasonable, especially when compared to some of the other organizations selling resources to help people pass certification exams.

How do I access the (fill in the blank)?

Question: How do I access the audio files? or….

  • How do I access the simulated performance based questions?
  • How do I access the test banks?
  • How do I access the flashcards?
  • How do I access the (fill in the blank)?

Answer: After your payment is received, an email is sent to the email address you provided during the payment process with login information and directions to access your content. To access the content you purchased, follow these steps:

  1. Login using the information from the login email. This will bring you to the member’s page and all the content you purchased will be listed with links to the appropriate pages.
  2. Click on a link to access the content: For example, if you purchased audio files, click on the link for the audio file page. If you purchased practice test questions, click on one of the links for the practice test questions. If you purchased the flashcards, click on one of the links for the flashcards. And so on.
  3. Follow the instructions on that page.

How can I buy using an APO address?

Question: I have an APO, AE address but the purchasing software doesn’t have entries for APO or AE in the billing address. How can I complete the purchase?

Answer: Use New York, NY. You can use the same for FPO addresses.

There are two important points related to this.

  1. Your billing zip code needs to match the zip code of the credit card you’re using.
  2. Nothing is shipped.

Where are the free labs?

Question: Where are the free labs mentioned in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.

Answer: The gateway to all the free labs is here: http://gcgapremium.com/labs/.

You do not need to log in to access these free labs.

This is the same URL mentioned in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide for Security+ labs.

However, I’ve recently expanded it to include free labs for SSCP and Network+. As time goes forward, I hope to add more free labs for these (and possibly other) certifications.


 

Questions from Customers

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://gcgapremium.com/log-in/
    • Use your email address as your username
    • Use the password you received when you first registered. 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?

Log In

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

I never received the login email. What should I do?

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

Answer: Normally, the email is sent within a minute after your payment has been received. 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. Send us a message via this page: http://gcgapremium.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 the payment process.

For example, if John Smith’s email is johnsmith@myisp.com and he enters johsmith@myisp.com (notice the missing ‘n’) during the payment 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.

Why aren't the questions appearing?

Why aren’t the questions appearing?

Try this first: Log-in here: https://gcgapremium.com/log-in


Note: Some browsers attempt to use HTTPS for all pages you access during the session if you start anywhere else (other than the log-in page) with HTTPS. This can cause problems for some of the practice tests in some browsers. Specifically, the questions do not appear.

This problem doesn’t occur as long as you start by logging into this page: https://gcgapremium.com/log-in

If you’re seeing this problem after you start your sessions (by starting on another page with https), here is the workaround.

1) Click on the practice test you want to take such as: 100 Random Security Questions from Full Test Bank (Test Mode).

2) If there is an “s” in the url, such as https://gcgapremium.com/security/ptqs-100/ delete the “s” so that it is http://gcgapremium.com/security/ptqs-100/.

3) Press Enter and the practice test will work.

You can avoid these steps by starting with this page: https://gcgapremium.com/log-in.

Can you explain this question/answer?

Question: Can you explain this question/answer?

Answer: Not if I can’t find it.

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.

Give me 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

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

Question: Can you explain this question and the answers? (I’ve included the information 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 10):
  • 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 meenss in the simulatedquestion”

  • There are ten sets of performance-based questions
  • There are more than 55 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.

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

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.

Can I play the audio on my phone?

Question: Can I play the audio on my smartphone?

Answer: Yes.

Most (if not all) smartphones can play MP3 files. After downloading the MP3 files, you can transfer them to your smartphone and play them from there.

How do you transfer the files to your smartphone? It depends.

A Google search should help you find the steps to copy the MP3 files to your phone.

How can I copy mp3 files to my iphone?

How can I copy mp3 files to my Android phone?

If your phone doesn’t play MP3 files, you can copy the MP3 files to an MP3 player. This is my favorite: Sandisk 8GB Clip Jam MP3 Player

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

Question: I’m scoring 80% (or 90% or some other %) on the practice tests. 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:

  • Set 10 of the performance-based questions
  • The Test Your Readiness quiz
  • The extras 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.

Where can I find the voucher code?

This page has step-by-step directions on how to redeem the code.

Why doesn't the voucher code work?

Question: Why doesn’t the voucher code work?

Answer: I’m frequently asked this question but when I check, it works. Here are the common issues.

  • This coupon code is good for any CompTIA vouchers. However, it is NOT valid for any of the CompTIA packages at this time.
  • This coupon code is good for vouchers purchased on the CompTIA website. It is NOT valid on other sites, such as the Pearson Vue site.

This page has step-by-step directions on how to redeem the code.

How can I see my past quiz scores?

Your scores are available on the User Profile page.

Note that you need to be logged in to access this page.

How can I get an invoice?

Question: How can I get an invoice for my purchase(s).

Answer: We used to do these manually. However, you can now get them yourself by following these steps.

  1. Log onto your account from here: https://gcgapremium.com/log-in. This will take you to the Member-Home page.
  2. Select Member Home -> User Profile
  3. Scroll down past your user profile. You’ll see the product(s) you have purchased.
  4. To generate a PDF invoice, click View PDF.
  5. Download or save the PDF using your browser

How can I renew my membership?

Question: How can I renew my access to the Network+ and Security+ materials?

Answer: If desired, you can renew your access to Security+ products by purchasing the Security+ (SY0-401) Full Access Package or the Network+ Full Package at a reduced price using these steps:

1) Log in to your account. If you’re unable to log in, follow the instructions in the FAQ.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

3) Click on the down arrow for the Security+ SY0-401 Renewal Options (or the Network+ N10-006 Renewal Options).

renewal3

4) This will open the section and show the Buy Now button.

RenewLink

5) Click on the Buy Now button.

Note: This offer is only available while your current access is active and the link will not be available after your access expires.

Can I renew my membership for 3 days, 6 days, 10 days, xx days?

Question: Can I renew my membership for 3 days, 6 days, 10 days, xx days?

Answer: Sorry, but no. It takes a significant amount of time to create special products for each person that makes these types of requests.

Am I ready?

Question: Am I Ready?

Look at your quiz history on your user profile page. Click on Your Quiz History.

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

  • Set 9 of the performance-based questions
  • Set 10 of the performance-based questions
  • Extras quiz
  • Random Test Your Readiness quiz

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

Have you memorized the answers?

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

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 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 the quizzes?
  • Did you ultimately consistently score higher than 90% on the important quizzes?
  • 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, 2017 10:14 am. Score – 82%. 40 out of 49 question(s). Points 40/51.
  • January 09, 2017 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.

  • Five 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.


 

Questions About Other Products

Do you have a book on CASP?

Question: Do you have a book on CASP? If not, can you recommend one?

Answer: I don’t have a book on CASP though I have begun developing practice test questions and mini-tutorials for them. You can sign up for a free sample of them here or purchase a test bank here.

I haven’t researched CASP books so I don’t have a recommendation.

Do you have any books on N10-006?

Question: Do you have any books on Network+ (N10-006 version)?

Answer: Yes.

I have created the CompTIA Network+ N10-006 Practice Test Questions (Get Certified Get Ahead) Kindle book and the CompTIA Network+ N10-006 Practice Test Questions (Get Certified Get Ahead) paperback book .

Additionally, I’m publishing some Kindle shorts on Network+. The CompTIA N10-006 Network+ Basic Networking Components (A Get Certified Get Ahead Network+ Kindle Short) is now available.

I am in the process of developing resources for N10-006. This link shows you what is available on Amazon as of today.

Note that the N10-005 exam is no longer available. However, many of the objectives are still relevant so I’ve left them available on Amazon using their Kindle Unlimited version allowing Kindle Unlimited subscribers to read them for free.

You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books. Amazon created free apps for just about any platform.

Do You Have 901/902 Study Materials?

Question: Do You Have 901/902 Study Materials?

Answer: We now have online 220-901 and 220-902 study materials available.

You can check out a demo here.

 

Microsoft changed publishers for The CompTIA A+ Training Kit (Exam 220-801 and Exam 220-802) (Microsoft Press Training Kit). The new publisher chose not to update the book for the 900 series exams and was unwilling to revert the rights back to me in a timely manner. As I write this, I still don’t have the rights so a 901/902 study guide doesn’t look promising.

 


 

Generic Questions

Do you have any information on CEUs?

Question: Do you have any information on CEUs?

Answer: There is one course available here.

This page includes many FAQs on CEUs.