When you first attend college, the world of academia and textbooks can be overwhelming. Quite often, you may hear professors discussing ‘access codes’, but what are they? Do you need them? And how can you purchase them? Here are our top 10 questions that people commonly ask about access codes and the answers you need. Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Access Codes For Textbooks

Access codes for textbooks are often given a number of different names such as student access codes, student access kits or textbook access codes, but in general, they all mean that same thing. They are a code made up of both numbers and letters, which you can input online in order to access additional study materials linked to a specific textbook or online courses and assessments linked to the topic in question.

These codes can only be used once (as after this, they become invalid) and generally last a set amount of time, giving you access to the content only for a period. They are often included alongside textbook purchases from the publisher, which can incentivise students to buy them as they feel like they are getting more value for their money.  They can also be purchased separately to go alongside textbooks that do not come with the code.

These codes are often used on popular academic websites such as WebCT in order to gain access to their online content, which go alongside the textbook itself.

Can You Buy Access Codes For Textbooks

Yes, you absolutely can. While many textbooks come with an access code, they are available to purchase separately online if you do not have one. The process is easy and should not take a lot of time. Use comparison sites such as BookScouter.com to help find the best price for the access code that you are looking for?

How To Get Access Codes For Used Textbooks

Used textbooks are undoubtedly cheaper and can be an attractive option if you are working with a tight student budget. There are many unused access codes available online for you to purchase. This is because as some professors do not use access codes, many students who had purchased them but not used them sell their unused code online.

Where Can I Buy Access Codes For Textbooks

Access codes are generally included in the textbook price from many different retailers as an incentive to purchase their products. If you are using second hand textbooks or have bought a textbook alone without an access code, there are also many online platforms that sell the codes by themselves. Take BookScouter.com, for example, which can compare the prices of access codes from a number of different platforms, allowing you to find the most affordable option quickly. Simply search for the access code that you are looking for and find all the information that you need on the one, easy to read page. It couldn’t be easier.

Do you Really Need Textbook Access Codes?

Whether or not you need access codes is entirely dependent on your educational establishment. When considering whether or not to buy an access code, it is important to do two things – check the syllabus and talk to your professors. Your syllabus should have a list of online components and supplementary materials that you may need throughout your studies. Additionally, it may also say that you will have assignments online that are graded, and you will need an access code for these. If there is no mention of any of these on the syllabus, then you may be able to get away with simply buying the normal textbook by itself, which is more affordable.

On top of this, even if your syllabus is clear, it is advised that you contact your professor and those running the course to double check that you do not need any codes to access content or tests online. This will give you peace of mind that you do not need an access code.

How Long Will I Be Able To View The Online Content Provided By My Access Code?

This depends on the access code that you have purchased. Generally, you should be able to view the content online for the full length of the course that you are studying, which tends to be between 6 and 12 months long.

Does My Access Code Include A Copy Of An E-Book?

The answer to this varies depending on the access code that you have purchased. Some, on occasion, might include a copy of the e-book that you can access electronically, however, most will not. Instead, the access codes will only provide additional material and information that goes alongside the physical textbook. Think of this as top-up material.

Can I Share An Access Code With Another Student?

No, as each access code is for one student to access the content available. This is especially important as many tutors will use the interactive activities that you can access with this code and will track your progress and record your grades. Therefore, you must each have your own access code to complete these activities.

When I Finish My Course, Can I Sell My Code?

You cannot sell your code after you have used it. This is because access codes are simply rented for a period of time, and after this time, the code will not work to access the content of the course. Therefore, another person would not be able to access the material.

Can I Return An Access Code?

Once you have purchased a code and activated it, you will be unable to return it as the code has been used. If you do not activate your code, however, you may be able to return or resell the code to someone else.