Frequently Asked Questions about Online Courses

Thinking of using an online course 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 get on to a course?

Most of our courses are open to everyone and don’t have any entrance requirements. Some higher level courses may require previous level of study, if this is the case it will be detailed on the course page.

How long do I have to complete the course?

You have 12 months from the date of purchase to complete the course. 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-Level courses which have 24 months.

When do the courses start?

None of our courses 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. Many of our new A-Level courses do not have any available exam dates until 2017, so make sure you read the course description carefully.

When will I get my course?

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

What is included in the course?

Most of our course packs 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-Level courses 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 course had a number of Tutor Marked Assessments. You will send these back to your tutor who will mark them and give you feedback on your progress. For some courses, such as A-Levels, you will also need to sit some exams.

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 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?

Some courses require exams. This will be detailed in the course page. Each course is different, but your course will help you prepare for your examination and your tutor will be on hand to answer any questions.

Where to I sit my iGCSE and A Level exams?

iGCSE, A Level exams and practicals are sat at an exam centre local to you. On purchasing the course Absorb Online Learning will provide you with a list of recommended 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 course 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, 35 Firs Avenue, London, United Kingdom, N11 3NE

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