Honest ABC360 Review – The Truth about Teaching There (2021)

ABC360 Review

ABC360 Review Summary

ABC360 accepts both Native and Non-Native Speakers and offers a high referral incentive, however, the pay is relatively low, which they have a history of cutting, and you must have a degree, teaching certificate and be willing to commit to 18+ hours a week.

Pay (per hour):$2-11
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?Yes
Diploma / degree required?Yes
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):18-25*
*depending on the number of days you choose to work

ABC360 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Accepts both Native and Non-Native Speakers
  • High referral incentive

Cons:

  • Both a degree and a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate are required
  • Low salary
  • A history of pay cuts
  • High minimum hours requirement
  • Reports of poor treatment and disrespect

Is ABC360 Legit?

ABC360 is a legitimate online ESL company, formerly known as English Break and founded in 2011 by Li Jing. Since then, they have grown to have more than half a million registered students between the ages of 5 and 18 years, with 50,000 active daily. Their legitimacy is underlined by financial backing from large brands like Alibaba, Hujiang and Tencent, and they are a sister company of online English brands Dazao and Landi (using the latter’s teaching materials).

Below is a corporate video giving a bit more background behind the company and its ‘mission’:

Where is ABC360 based?

ABC360 has offices in Hangzhou, China, and Iloilo and Baguio cities, the Philippines. It hires more than 600 full-time employees and over 2000 online teachers globally.

How Much does ABC360 pay?

Like many Chinese ESL companies, the ABC360 pay rate varies depending upon nationality (which they don’t openly advertise) and was cut following the COVID-19 pandemic. While US teachers could once expect up to US$15 per hour, now the highest amount we’ve heard being offered (in February 2021) was $11, with South Africans typically receiving between $6-8, and Filipinos just 90-150 pesos (around $2-3). The company’s website states that the average monthly ABC 360 salary is 30,000 PHP, meaning a Filipino has to work between 200 and 333 hours a month (50-83 hours a week) to earn this amount, which is quite a time commitment.

The ABC360 mode of payment is through Airwallex, processed on the 10th and 25th of every month.

ABC360 is (at the time of writing) offering a 1,000 PHP signing bonus to new teachers, while their referral incentives can also be quite lucrative at 5,000 PHP per hire.

The ABC360 contract lasts 12 months and is renewable, depending upon ‘teaching performance and your discipline’.

ABC360 Working Hours

Mixed information is put out by the company regarding the ABC360 teaching schedule. Their website’s FAQ page says that you must either commit to teaching at least 18 hours a week between 6-9pm (Beijing Time) over 6 days, or 20 hours between 5pm-9pm over 5 days. However, recruitment posts on ABC360’s Facebook page state that the minimum commitment is 25 hours: the 20 hours over 5 days between 5-9pm PLUS 5 hours on the weekends chosen between 9am-9pm. Either way, this is a large time commitment that won’t suit teachers looking for flexible part-time work to fit around other employment.

There are no maximum hours, and you are free to open up additional slots between 6am-11.40pm, Monday to Sunday.

As classes can be booked up to 10 minutes in advance, you have to be available during your scheduled teaching slots even if you have no students, which is time you will not be paid for.

ABC360 Requirements

The ABC360 teacher requirements are:

  • A neutral accent
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Be creative and energetic in class
  • Passionate about teaching
  • Bachelor’s degree or above
  • International teaching certificate, e.g. TEFL, TESOL or CELTA
  • Teaching experience is preferred

ABC360’s Facebook ads also mention an age requirement of 20-45 years. We’ve seen this before with Dazao, which initially smacked of age discrimination. However, a recruitment manager from that company explained that older teachers would not be discounted so long as they were technologically proficient and energetic/lively during their teaching demo. Since the two companies are part of the same stable, we presume the same rule applies to ABC360, however, do let us know in the comments below if you experience anything different.

Does ABC360 Require a Degree?

ABC360 requires all of its teachers to have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree. While the company’s website says a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate is preferred, recent recruitment posts indicate that this qualification is now mandatory.

ABC360 Technical Requirements

  • A laptop or desktop computer (with a processor equivalent to at least Intel Core i3), and a smart phone
  • Internet connection with at least 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed (you can test your internet speed here)
  • Noise-cancelling headset and HD webcam
  • A quiet, bright and clean teaching environment
  • Backup power and internet connections preferred

How to Apply to ABC360

The ABC360 hiring process should normally take between 3-10 days. Begin by registering your account on the company’s website. You will then be asked to complete and submit a short ABC360 application form, which includes the following basic information:

  • Profile picture
  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Residential country
  • Mobile phone number
  • Skype account
  • How you heard about ABC360
  • Highest level of completed education
  • Do you have a teaching certificate? (TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/None)
  • Do you have teaching experience? (Yes/No)
  • Have you ever worked for ABC360? (Yes/No)

ABC360 Interview Process

Should your initial application pass screening, you should receive an email within 1-2 days inviting you to an online interview. This will take place via Skype, so you’ll need to download the software onto your computer and have connected with the recruiter’s Skype account ahead of the interview (their ID can be found above your interview time when logged into the ABC360 website). They also suggest testing your equipment beforehand, as the computer and internet speed will be evaluated during the interview.

The interview usually lasts around 30 minutes and will include a demo lesson you’ll have to teach.

Here is a video with some general advice ABC360 gives on how to be successful at their interview:

ABC360 Interview Questions

Here is a list of genuine questions that ABC360 candidates have previously been asked (so we suggest you prepare answers in case they come up again):

  • Tell me something about yourself.
  • What is your motivation to work?
  • Why did you choose to be a home-based ESL Teacher?
  • Why would you like to teach?
  • Why do you want to work in our company?
  • Will you be part time or full time?
  • Do you have other jobs?
  • What experience do you have teaching on-line or in the classroom?
  • What is your education?
  • Do you have teaching qualifications?
  • Are you TEFL certified?
  • How would you teach a beginner?
  • How would you deal with a student who was not paying attention during class?
  • Describe a good online ESL class.
  • Share a moment when you felt overwhelmed and how did you deal with it?

ABC360 Demo Lesson

You will receive teaching materials (including slides) to prepare with ahead of your ABC demo class. Your interviewer will be playing a young, beginner-level student, so bring lots of energy, TPR, props, a rewards system, and positive reinforcement.

Here is a recorded sample of a successful ABC360 demo lesson, to give a sense of what’s expected:

Within 2-3 days you’ll hear whether you were successful, in which case you’ll then receive an onboarding email.

ABC360 Online Teaching Reviews

The ABC360 Glassdoor page gives the company an average score of 2.6 out of 5, with only 28% of reviewers willing to recommend them to a friend (among the lowest figures we’ve seen in the industry). Generally, there is resentment at the pay cuts that were implemented, which feeds into a wider sense of poor treatment and disrespect from the company towards its teachers.

Here is a summary of the most common positive and negative ABC360 experiences that are mentioned:

Conclusion – Is ABC360 Good?

A relatively low rate of pay that the company has a history of cutting when it suits them, the high number of minimum hours they require teachers commit to, and wider reports of teacher dissatisfaction and poor treatment, means ABC360 is not a good job for many, unless you’re particularly desperate and have exhausted other options.

The ABC360 sign up page can be found here.

PLEASE NOTE – THIS COMPANY HAS DISSOLVED THEIR SOUTH AFRICA DEPARTMENT FOLLOWING CHINA’S NEW REGULATIONS (08/05/21)

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