Frequently Asked Questions about Online A Levels and IGCSEs/GCSEs

Thinking of using online learning to improve your learning for GCSE or A-Levels? We have answered some of the more popular questions we get asked about online learning


Everything you need to know, but were afraid to ask about Absorb Online Learning.

What qualifications do I need to study an A Level or IGCSE/GCSE?

Most of our A Levels and IGCSEs/GCSEs are open to everyone and don’t have any entrance requirements. Some higher level or A Levels may require previous level of study, if this is the case it will be detailed on the content page.

How long do I have to complete the IGCSE/GCSE or A Level?

You have 12 months from the date of purchase. Within this timeframe you can move through the course as quickly or as slowly as you want.  You can extend your course for a further 6 months for a nominal fee.

* This does not apply to our A-Levels which have 24 months.

When can I start?

None of our IGCSE/GCSEs or A Levels have a deadline for enrolment. However, if you are studying for an A-Level you must bear in mind that exams always take place in the summer unless they are CIE (International A Levels) which can also be taken in January.

When will I get my e-book?

For online e-books you should get your login details within a couple of hours, for paper copies we aim to deliver within 3 working days.

What is included in the e-book?

Most of our e-books will include all of the learning materials you need to complete your studies, including study guides and even software where necessary. However, particularly with A-Levels like English Literature, it may sometimes be necessary for you to purchase additional texts. Your tutor will offer guidance on the specific editions you require.

Will there be assessments?

Yes, each A Level and IGCSE/GCSE has a number of Tutor Marked Assessments (TMAs). If you have purchased the tutor support option you will send these back to your tutor who will mark them and give you feedback on your progress.

How do assessments work?

Your course will include all your assessments. As you work through your course you will complete each assessment as and when you get to it, and then if you have tutor support you will email it to your tutor. Your tutor will mark your work within 10 working days, normally quicker. If you pass then you will be free to start working towards the next assessment. If your work is ‘referred’ then you will have a chance to implement the recommended improvements and re-submit.

Do I need to sit an exam?

All GCSE and A Level courses require you to sit final exams. This will be detailed within the e-book. Each A Level and GCSE is different, but the e-book will help you prepare for your examination and if applicable your tutor will be on hand to answer any questions.

Where to I sit my IGCSE/GCSE and A Level exams?

iGCSE, A Level exams and practicals are sat at an exam centre local to you. On enrolling Absorb Online Learning will provide you with a list of local exam centres.

The practicals are not marked, but you will need to be observed by an examination centre to demonstrate competence in the different techniques. The practicals are usually held in Spring of each year, while the written exams are in May/June.

All exam fees will be paid by the student directly to their chosen exam centre.

Do you offer payment plans?

If you require a payment plan then please email and we will do our best to make arrangements for you to spread your payments.

What’s the difference between GCSE and IGCSE?

The GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education) and the IGCSE (or International GCSE) are essentially the same thing, in that they are both world-class, Level 2 qualifications that have been accredited to the same standards, grade for grade, and should be recognised in the exactly same way by employers and academic institutions.

The key difference between the GCSE and IGCSE is the emphasis on the exams. In the past, GCSEs allowed an element of coursework to count for final grades, which was viewed as lowering the standard of the qualification. However, the UK government toughened these rules, bringing it more in line with the difficulty of the IGCSE.

All colleges and universities in the UK accept the IGCSE equally and many private and international schools choose to offer the IGCSE in preference to the GCSE. It’s currently studied in 55 countries worldwide and is offered at over 350 independent schools in the UK alone.

Browse through our wide selection of IGCSEs, safe in the knowledge that they are all gold-standard, international qualifications that will take you wherever in the world you want to go.

What if I am an international student?

We welcome international students, all our tutor support is by email and we can ship your paper copy to you anywhere in the world. Absorb is a great choice for those living abroad and international students.

How do I cancel?

If you want to cancel please email us at, you have the right to cancel within the first 14 days.

Where is your registered office?

Absorb Online Learning Ltd is registered at company house. Our company number is 09424662 and our registered office is Absorb Online Learning Limited, c/o 1 Parliament Street, Hull, HU1 2AS

Can’t find what you are looking for? – Contact us

Most popular courses

Offer 10% off Checkout Now & Save
Get 10% off your order for until the counter runs out.