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

Acadsoc Review

Acadsoc Review Summary

Acadsoc is geared more towards newer teachers starting out. If that is you, then they offer an opportunity to become TESOL qualified (for free) and gain valuable experience, though many teachers don’t appear to stick around long-term. To find out why and whether you should apply, continue reading this in-depth and impartial Acadsoc review.

Pay (per hour):$2-12
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No
Degree / diploma required?Yes
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):25

Acadsoc Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate required to apply
  • They offer free (50 hour) TESOL certification
  • Range of bonus schemes available

Cons:

  • Relatively low wage
  • No pay for unbooked classes
  • Many strict penalties
  • Last-minute bookings
  • Predominantly negative or mediocre teacher reviews

What Does Acadsoc Mean?

Acadsoc is the common abbreviation for the Academic Society Online.

What Is Acadsoc and Is Acadsoc Legit?

Acadsoc are a legitimate company founded in June 2011, and while it has a Philippines web address and hires a large number of Filipino teachers, it is based in Shenzhen and serves China’s student market (with branches in the Philippines, Hong Kong, London and New York). Acadsoc claims to have more than 10,000 teachers around the world, serving over 40 million Chinese students, most of whom are at elementary school or are adults with no English foundation.

How Much is the Salary for Acadsoc?

(But for how many hours…?)

Acadsoc’s website promises teachers up to 60,000 Philippine Pesos (US$1250) a month working for them (as displayed above). This amount varies wildly, however, depending upon your nationality, not country of residence, and is not divided down the normal Native/Non-Native Speaker lines. Americans can expect to receive US$12 per hour, while ‘Europeans’ receive a lower rate of 7 Euros ($8.5), and Filipino teachers get only 90 Pesos ($2) per hour. Unfortunately, Acadsoc are not very transparent with their nationality pay scales and we’ve had to take these figures from anecdotal accounts of teachers who have worked for the company.

What is obvious though is one would have to work very hard to reach the 60,000PhP monthly salary that Acadsoc claim is achievable with them. For example, an American would have to teach around 104 hours a month (or 26 hours a week), a European might have to teach 146 hours a month (36.5 hours a week), while a Filipino teacher would be working a whopping 666 hours a month (or 166 hours a week) which is totally unrealistic! Thus, we have to question the integrity of Acadsoc’s salary claim on their website.

New teachers are required to plot at least 25 hours a week, though not all of these will be booked by students. A standard class is 25 minutes long.

Acadsoc Bonuses

Thankfully, Acadsoc offer several bonus schemes which teachers can use to boost their basic pay. These include schemes for performance bonus, enrollment bonus, perfect attendance bonus and referral bonus.

Its performance bonus comprises an extra 10% of your base pay if you open classes for at least 4 hours in a day and complete 75% of those classes; you will receive a 20% bonus if you complete all your classes over that 4 hours. In realistic terms, that would raise an American teacher’s pay to $14 per hour (reducing the amount of time they’d need to work to around 22 hours a week in order to earn 60,000PhP a month), and a Filipino teacher might be able to reduce their workload from 166 to 138 hours a week, so the utility of this bonus scheme should not be ignored.

You can receive an enrollment bonus if a brand new student decides to continue and register with Acadsoc after your trial lesson with them. This one-off amount (per first-time student) amounts to between 50 and 300PhP (approximately US$1-6).

If you’ve had ‘perfect attendance’ over the course of a two-week pay cycle, i.e. 60 hours over 14 days without any bad ratings, then you can receive a bonus of 1,000PhP (approximately $20).

You can also receive 1,000PhP ($20) when one of your referrals starts plotting 5 classes, and another 1,000PhP once they become a regular teacher. So if you see someone actively promoting Acadsoc on social media, take their experience of the company with a pinch of salt as they’re likely hoping to earn this referral bonus by signing you up! (To remain impartial, we never recruit.)

How and When do Acadsoc Pay?

Acadsoc pay their teachers’ salaries on the 1st and 16th of every month (barring Chinese public holidays). Payment is made via PayPal.

Does Acadsoc Pay Unbooked Classes?

Acadsoc used to pay for unbooked classes, but this ended in 2020. This has caused resentment from many teachers who are still required to make themselves available for last-minute bookings during their plotted hours, but are not financially compensated for any waiting time.

You might receive notification of a last-minute booking, literally, one minute before the class is scheduled to begin, and so this can be quite stressful for teachers who like to extensively plan and prepare.

Beware Acadsoc Penalties

Penalties are one of the most common complaints that teachers level against Acadsoc, and this is another area where the company are not exactly transparent. Anecdotal evidence says teachers receive a $15 penalty for turning up late to a class, while penalties for absences due to illness, outages and emergencies, can cost a teacher twice or three times their hourly pay.

What are the Requirements for Acadsoc?

Qualifications

While at one point, Acadsoc’s requirements did not include a Bachelor’s degree, this has now changed, and you will need to provide a copy of your diploma before you start teaching. You must also be at least 20 years old to apply.

One factor in Acadsoc’s favor is that, unlike the majority of ESL companies, you DO NOT need a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate before applying (Acadsoc offer you the opportunity to get certified with them after passing their interview and demo class, and at no cost to yourself). Neither do you need any prior teaching experience. Acadsoc thus might be a good option if you’re just wanting to test out teaching English online and don’t want to commit investing the time and money to get fully qualified just yet.

Acadsoc Technical Requirements

  • PC or laptop (running at least Windows 7, with 4GB RAM and Intel Core i3 processor or equivalent)
  • A stable DSL/Broadband/Fibre internet connection with at least 3Mpbs Download and 2 Mpbs Upload speed (you can test your speed here)
  • Noise-canceling headphones and a HD webcam
  • If you’re using an Apple/IOS computer, then you must notify your HR in the interview

Top tip: Crisp and clear audio and video quality can improve your interview score.

How do You Get Hired with Acadsoc?

There are seven steps to become a fully-qualified Acadsoc teacher:

Step 1: Register, submit your basic info. and upload your CV/resume

Step 2: Schedule and sit your online interview

Step 3: Receive and accept your offer to join

Step 4: Complete teacher training

Step 5: Conduct your live demo class

Step 6: Gain TESOL certification through Acadsoc

Step 7: Start teaching

How do I Register for Acadsoc?

You can register for Acadsoc by completing a short form here (enter your email address to receive a verification code, and then fill in your mobile number and chosen password).

Here is a video from Acadsoc walking you through the process of registering, submitting your basic info., and scheduling your interview with them:

How do I Prepare for the Acadsoc Interview?

Your interview can last around 15-30 minutes, and be conducted online via Skype or Zoom, potentially alongside 2-3 other candidates. Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of a possible group interview, it can be to your advantage. Not all applicants are fluent English speakers, and so if you have a good command of the language and have prepared proper answers (to the questions below), then you will shine next to them.

Acadsoc Interview Questions

Here are some specific Acadsoc interview questions that past candidates were asked. While you’re unlikely to be asked all of these (as it’s quite an exhaustive list), it would be advisable to prepare answers for each as you don’t know exactly which will come up in your own interview:

  • Can you introduce yourself and tell us some things about you?
  • Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume.
  • Where are you from?
  • Is this your first job?
  • What is your current job?
  • Why did you leave your last online employer?
  • How did you find out about Acadsoc?
  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • Why did you choose to apply at Acadsoc?
  • Why do you want to work here/be part of the company?
  • Tell me something about the company.
  • What are the qualifications of an ESL teacher?
  • Do you have any certificates? / What certifications do you hold?
  • What is your educational background?
  • What is your experience teaching or with children/How many years of teaching experience?
  • Do you have any teaching experience handling children 3-6 years old?
  • Do you have any online teaching experience?
  • Do you have any experience teaching in an actual class?
  • Have you taught ESL to other foreign students?
  • Why do you want to teach English/be an ESL teacher?
  • Of all online jobs, why do you want to be an online English teacher?
  • What are your expectations in a working environment?
  • How do you handle students, with one English word only? (e.g. patience/compassion/positivity)
  • How patient are you?
  • What is a recent experience where you had to be patient and how did you handle it?
  • What personal traits make you a good teacher?
  • Besides patience, what other qualities must a teacher possess?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you motivate your students?
  • How will you build students’ confidence?
  • How will you get a student’s attention?
  • How do you accommodate students of varying levels?
  • How do you handle students of different ages? / How can you differentiate teaching adults and kids?
  • Can you handle kids?
  • How would you teach children?
  • How would you teach ESL to adults?
  • How can you teach an adult student who has zero English knowledge?
  • What would you do if you had a student who thinks s/he knows the lesson too well and they keep interrupting or disrupting the flow of the class?
  • What will you do if a student does not participate in your class?
  • What will you do if you encounter a stubborn or difficult student?
  • How will you handle your teenage students who are not willing to talk in class?
  • How would you keep your student engaged in your lesson?
  • What will you do if a child parrots you?
  • Would you want a student to have their webcam on or off?
  • How will you handle a student who doesn’t want to show themselves on the camera? / What would you do if a student refuses to open their webcam and you know they are doing something else? / How would you act if a child turned off their camera and played a video game?
  • How do you manage a child who has tantrums?
  • How will you handle racism from a student?
  • Are you willing to sing and dance?
  • What will you do if the student is dancing during the class?
  • What makes you, you?
  • What can you contribute to the company?
  • Are you willing to be booked on your free time?
  • How do you see yourself in five years?
  • What is your Internet Service Provider?
  • Can you have headphones and wired or stable internet connection?

You may also be asked some basic grammar questions, most commonly, what is the difference between two homonyms they’ll give you.

Top tip: The interviewer is assessing whether you can bond with young students, so be open, friendly and lively. Consider grabbing their attention with props or singing!

According to Glassdoor, the Acadsoc interview poses an average difficulty of 2.2 (out of 5). 59% of candidates reported a positive experience in the Acadsoc interview, 22% had a negative experience, and 19% were neutral.

Here is an example of a successful interview for Acadsoc:

What is the Passing Score in the Acadsoc Demo?

Rather than being a simple pass or fail, your demo class will be scored. Unfortunately, Acadsoc don’t reveal how they calculate their scoring or what the lowest mark for a pass is. Anecdotally, candidates have revealed that they successfully passed their Acadsoc demo with a score of 85%.

Be aware, your score is a factor in attracting student bookings, so aim to achieve the best score possible by thoroughly preparing and demonstrating all your teaching skills in your demo class.

You will be expected to use either ClassIn or A-Classroom (Acadsoc’s standard teaching platforms) for your demo class, and it should last 25 minutes (the standard lesson length for Acadsoc).

Here is an example of an Acadsoc demo class that was successful and achieved a high score:

How Long is the Training in Acadsoc?

Acadsoc have two sets of teacher training, one concerning ‘Process’ and the other for ‘Material’. Each takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to complete.

If you don’t already have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA qualification, then Acadsoc will also make you take their own TESOL course. This 50-hour certificate is a Level 4 teaching award, and is accredited by the UK-regulated Ascentis. There are two compulsory units, ‘Introduction to 1-to-1 TESOL Online’ and ‘Tutoring Skills 1-to-1 TESOL Online’, each with an exam for which you need to achieve a combined passing score of 120 (out of 200), or 60%.

Here is a video with advice on how to pass the Acadsoc TESOL course:

Acadsoc Peak Hours

Most classes takes place between 5pm and 10pm (Beijing time) on weekdays (Monday to Friday), and between 10am and 10pm during weekends (Saturday and Sunday).

Lessons last 25 minutes, and new tutors are required to plot at least 25 hours during these times.

Acadsoc Teacher Reviews

Acadsoc receives an overall employee rating of 2.8 out of 5 on Glassdoor, with 41% willing to recommend the company to a friend, though there is now an alert stating that this score might have been artificially inflated. In recent months, there appears to be more negative or average reviews than positive ones (only one of the last 45 reviews, at time of writing, earned a 5-star positive recommendation, though solely on the point of Acadsoc being ‘very considerate to their employee’s time schedule’). There are many complaints about the extreme number of penalties that the company levies.

Here is a relatively-balanced recent Acadsoc teacher review:

An Acadsoc teacher reached out to us sharing concerns with changes they had witnessed at the company (following China’s new regulations), namely that their students were being prevented from booking with them in favor of lower-paid tutors:

Conclusion – Is Acadsoc Worth It?

Acadsoc used to be worth considering if you were new to ESL teaching and had not gotten a TESOL/TEFL certificate yet, as they would still consider your application and provide a free path to acquiring one. However, the company’s high penalties, low pay, decreasing hours, poor staff satisfaction, and an uncertain future for Chinese ESL companies, means that we suggest you look at alternatives to Acadsoc instead (a list of non-China companies can be found here).

You can apply to Acadsoc here.

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