This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
"Do you mean a factory class can be used as a base class, from which required classes can be derived?"
That doesn't really encapsulate the expectations of what a factory class is,
"The Factory Pattern is all about "Define an interface for creating an object, but let the subclasses decide which class to instantiate. The Factory method lets a class defer instantiation to subclasses" Thus, as defined by Gamma et al, "The Factory Method lets a class defer instantiation to subclasses".
However the SCJP exam has absolutely no expectation of an understanding of Design Patterns so don't worry about it too much. Design patterns are a big deal in the world of Java programming, but not the SCJP. Design Patterns are covered by the SCWCD exam (but as it so happens not the Factory pattern).