Who is eligible to participate in the Cyber Discovery programme?

To participate in Cyber Discovery and be eligible for all stages of the programme, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be no younger than 13 and no older than 18 as of 2nd June 2020.
  • The student and a member of their immediate family must live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.

If you don't meet the above criteria you are not eligible to participate in Cyber Discovery. If you're still interested in learning cyber security even though you aren't eligible, please check out the CyberStart site where you can purchase CyberStart Game licences.

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I don't live in the UK but I still want to play CyberStart Game, what can I do?

You can purchase a licence for CyberStart Game at the CyberStart site. There are great Solo, Family, Education, and Enterprise plans available there.

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I took part last year, but I'm now over 18. Can I join again?

Anyone over 18 who previously participated in Cyber Discovery are invited back for one bonus year of alumni access. You'll be able to take part in CyberStart Assess and (if you previously made it through to these stages) Game and Essentials too. However, to keep things fair, those older than our age limit won't be eligible for CyberStart Elite, regardless of performance.

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I took part last year and made it through to CyberStart Game. Do I have to do CyberStart Assess again this year?

You don't have to do Assess again if you made it through to CyberStart Game in previous years. However, all the challenges in Assess are brand new, so we definitely encourage you to give them a go!

This year, CyberStart Game is open right away. That means you can jump right back into Game and pick up where you left off, whether you decide to try Assess or not.

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What is the criteria for getting through to CyberStart Game?

Invites to Game are based on your scores in CyberStart Assess. We don't release any specific information about our selection criteria, but we can tell you the best way to make it through to Game: complete as many Assess challenges as you can! The more you complete, the more likely you are to be invited to CyberStart Game.

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When are you sending invites out for Game?

Since we have both Assess and Game open at the same time this year, our team will be frequently inviting eligible students who do well in Assess into Game. Your best strategy to gain access to Game quickly is to do as many Assess challenges as you can.

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How/when will I know if I've made it through to CyberStart Game?

If we invite you to CyberStart Game we'll send you an email: that's why it's so important to make sure you can receive our emails and that they don't go into spam or junk mail. Keep an eye on your email inbox for an invite... you never know when you might be picked!

If you're invited, you'll also see an invite appear on your Cyber Discovery dashboard timeline.

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I'm sure I've done well enough in Assess to get a Game invite but I haven't got one yet?

First, make sure you meet our eligibility criteria. If you don't, you won't be selected to move on to CyberStart Game no matter how well you do in Assess.

Second, we may not have run a new selection since you aced Assess so give our team at least 2 weeks. And if you still have a few challenges left incomplete... keep trying! The more challenges you complete in Assess, the more likely you are to get a Game invite... and the faster that invite is likely to come to you!

Third, maybe you have been sent an invite but you haven't seen it yet! Make sure our emails aren't going to your spam or junk mail, and check your Cyber Discovery dashboard.

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I'm really stuck on an Assess or Game challenge, give me a hint!

To keep things fair for everyone, the Cyber Discovery team doesn't provide hints or guidance on how to solve challenges, except where we do so in places like our blog for everyone to see. If you message into support or DM us in social asking for a hint... you'll receive only a "keep trying" reply from us.

If you're stuck try teaming up with some friends or other students in your class working on challenges: often 2 or 3 heads are better than one. If you're stuck on a challenge in CyberStart Game, make sure to read through the Field Manual: it's a great place to go to when you're stuck.

You're also expected to make use of all the tools at your disposal... and that includes Google! Unfamiliar with a word or technical term in a briefing? Do an internet search and see what you can learn, often just getting a little clarity on some unfamiliar language or new commands can get you unstuck.

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I think an Assess or Game challenge is broken, what should I do?

First, are you certain the challenge is broken? Usually if a challenge is doing something unexpected it means you may need to re-read the briefing and approach it in a different way.

If you are really sure a challenge is broken or that you've found a bug, please do email into support@joincyberdiscovery.com with the challenge name, whether it's in Assess or Game, and a detailed walkthrough of exactly how to re-create the problem. If after an investigation we determine the challenge is working as expected, we'll let you know. While you wait to hear from us, keep trying using a different approach (some of our challenges can be solved in a few different ways), and keep working on other challenges.

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I'm part of the Virtual Cyber School, can I join Cyber Discovery?

Absolutely, you can be part of both programmes at once. However, you should keep in mind these are 2 different programmes, and you can't use the same account with both. If you already have a Virtual Cyber School account, you will need to use a different email to sign up for Cyber Discovery. You will be registering, signing in, and playing under new account, all at the joincyberdiscovery.com domain, which is different from the Virtual Cyber School domain of joincyberstart.com.

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If I've played Game in the Virtual Cyber School do I have to do Assess?

Every student who gets access to CyberStart Game as part of the Cyber Discovery programme has been selected after high performance in Assess, and that's true as well for all Virtual Cyber School students. If you've already been playing CyberStart Game and made it through a few levels of HQ, you'll definitely enjoy working through Assess and are very likely to be selected to move into Game.

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Will I be able to bring my progress in Game from the Virtual Cyber School to Cyber Discovery?

Because the programmes are different and you will be using different accounts, your progress and scores in the Virtual Cyber School cannot be shared with Cyber Discovery. This is because Cyber Discovery includes multiple learning phases with even more content than the Virtual Learning School - and there is a competitive element to Cyber Discovery, with top-scoring participants qualifying for life changing opportunities and resources.

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