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Atom vs. Century Bond: online learning review and comparison

Nov 23, 2023, 6:01 PM

Choosing an online learning platform


It’s no surprise that online home learning has taken off. It’s an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional tuition and revision books.

But how do you choose the right platform for your child? We hope to make that process a bit easier by comparing the features and customer experiences of two popular options.

When it comes to your child’s education, it’s understandable that you want to give them all the best opportunities to reach their potential. And if they’re preparing for entrance exams, you want to choose the right resources to help them get into a school where they will flourish. So, here are some things to consider.

1. What is the quality of the teaching?

Quality teaching should be at the heart of any home learning platform.

Unfortunately, many platforms are more geared towards cramming than learning. As well as being stressful for children and parents, cramming is simply not effective for retaining knowledge in the medium and long term.

But when preparing for an exam or looking to progress at school, there can be a vast amount of content to cover and it can be hard to know where to start.

The solution? Look for a platform built by people who understand the science of learning. Every child is unique, and Atom adapts to your child, taking them through the curriculum at the best pace for them.

Clear explanations

Timely feedback is vital for developing children's knowledge and confidence across the curriculum. It allows children to learn from mistakes, progress independently and develop a growth mindset.

When a child answers a question on Atom, they don't just see 'correct' or 'incorrect'. They get step-by-step instructions on how to work through the problem, setting them up for success next time.

Explore some questions and explanations on Atom:

"This app makes learning fun and luckily, unlike other apps, there's a helpsheet, video and a 'not sure' button you can press for an easy explanation. There are also a variety of quests that are really educational. You can even see your progress and score card."

Bidhara, via Trustpilot

questions on Atom
questions on Century

2. Is it enjoyable for your child?

Imagine your child is self-motivated to learn because they genuinely enjoy the experience. No nagging or reminding needed. Exam preparation doesn’t have to be a chore when you choose a platform that's designed to be engaging and age-appropriate.

"My 10-year-old daughter really enjoyed using it and was willing to do exercises on Atom when she would have a fit about doing schoolwork!"

Emma, via Trustpilot

We learn better when we’re engaged with it – even more so when we feel some ownership over our progress. Online platforms have a unique opportunity to tap into the psychology of learning, but some are more effective than others.

Exploring multiple worlds on Atom Nucleus

Atom harnesses children’s natural curiosity to keep them motivated.

  • The thrill of exploring and unlocking exciting new worlds as they build knowledge

  • The power of earning coins by completing tricky questions

  • The autonomy of being able to customise their experience

"My daughters really enjoyed using Atom as it was so user-friendly and fun. There was no cajoling them to do their practice and it made for a very stress-free process."

Expat Mom, via Trustpilot

We make sure children actually enjoy learning and keep coming back for more.

3. How are practice tests used?

Children don’t learn by repeating practice papers. So at Atom, we prioritise developing a strong foundation of knowledge.

To help children become confident with the exam curriculum, we use:

  • Carefully-constructed curricular sequences

  • Regular practice with feedback

  • Precise age-appropriate explanations

Then, at the right stage in their revision, we introduce our mock tests to build exam technique and time management skills. We enhance your child’s exam preparation by helping them get fully familiar with formats.

Our mock tests mirror all UK grammar schools, over 70 top private schools, ISEB, CAT4 and other major exam boards for 11+ and 13+, as well as SATs. We've replicated everything, from the curriculum and format down to the scoring.


We make sure that on exam day your child will know exactly what to expect.

SATs made simple with smart online learning

How are the practice tests scored?

When your child takes school entrance exams, they are ranked in order of their standardised age score and the highest-scoring children offered a place.

Each time your child completes a mock test on Atom, they get a standardised age score calculated in the same way as the real exam. This is the most accurate way to know how your child is performing relative to their cohort.

4. Can you track your child's progress?

It's also important to consider the types of insights the platform gives you into your child's progress. Can it give you full confidence that your child is on track to perform their best?

Atom’s mock test transcripts let you track your child’s standardised age score, telling you how your child would score in the real exam at their current level of knowledge.


We provide a clear pathway to achieve the entry requirements of your target schools. Our data lets you compare your child's scores to the average Atom user applying to your target school.

Know that your child is on track – and have the data to back it up.

With Atom you can also set work for your child. The platform identifies topics to revise, but you also have the option of targeting any areas you would like to. Setting a custom practice is quick and easy, and you get your child’s results instantly.

"Atom is a fantastic platform and was invaluable in helping my son prepare for his 11+ assessments for some of the top schools in the UK. The adaptive mock tests and custom practice functions aided specific revision and the parent side of the portal helped me understand his strengths and areas to work on. Money well spent!!!"

AKS, via Trustpilot

5. What support is included?

Our platform is built on the combination of quality teaching and smart technology. But there’s a third ingredient that makes over 25,000 families glad they chose Atom. We hear from parents time and time again that extra support from Atom has made all the difference to their child’s education journey.

Our parent webinars and WhatsApp groups offer up-to-date advice from leading educators and admissions specialists.

We're here to help, whether that's with tips to support your child with key subjects or to secure a place at their dream school.

So when choosing an online learning platform, make sure it has the human touch.

  • Are there real people ready to help you and answer any questions?

  • Do they understand that each child and family is unique?

  • Will they tailor your experience to help your child achieve their goals?

We're parents and teachers. We've been there and we want to share what works.

"I wanted to highlight how fantastic their customer service is... super responsive live chats as well as WhatsApp groups for parents on various themes. I'm on the ISEB one, moderated by George, and he's a fount of knowledge... I'm seriously impressed by the whole package."

Sara, via Trustpilot

Compare features & prices

Subjects covered

Century Bond

✅ English

✅ Maths

✅ Verbal reasoning

✅ Non-verbal reasoning

❌ Science not included


✅ English

✅ Maths

✅ Verbal reasoning

✅ Non-verbal reasoning

✅ Science


Century Bond

✅ 20,000+ questions

✅ Suitable for GL, CEM and ISEB (premium subscription)

❌ No school-specific preparation plans

❌ No explanations provided


✅ 90,000+ questions

✅ Suitable for GL, CEM, ISEB, CAT4 and SATs

✅ School-specific preparation plans for over 70 top private schools and all grammar consortiums

✅ Clear, step-by-step explanations


Century Bond

✅ £34.99 per month

❌ Discounts not available


✅ £39.99 for key stage 2 learning

✅ £59.99 or £69.99 (with unlimited mock tests) for grammar and private school entrance

✅ Discounts available (20% when billed annually, 20% sibling discount, £30 referral bonus)

Progress tracking

Century Bond

✅ Automatic marking

❌ Cannot set work for your child

❌ No standardised age scores

❌ No target school estimates

❌ Cannot compare scores


✅ Automatic marking

✅ Set work for your child

✅ Standardised age scores

✅ Target school estimates

✅ Compare scores with other applicants

Education advice and support

Century Bond

✅ Introductory product webinar

❌ No contact details on website


✅ Weekly webinars from subject experts and admissions specialists

✅ Phone, email, WhatsApp and LiveChat support

Experience the Atom difference for yourself – for free!

Discover how much your child can achieve when you choose the right home learning platform for them. Start your free 5 day trial today.

Start free trial

Ask us anything

We understand how important this decision is for them, and for you. Our Education Experts are on hand to answer any queries you may have.

Get in touch


Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.