This page offers information about functional skills that we here at Leeds Tutor Company provide one to one sessions in. The functional skills exam provides people with the opportunity to increase their knowledge in maths and English.

The Levels

There are different levels in the functional skills exam for both maths and English. They both follow the same level process which is entry level 1, entry level 2, entry level 3, level 1 and level 2. Altogether there are 5 levels but it is the last level of the functional skills qualifications you need for the GCSE equivalent and that is the qualification that is accepted by higher education establishments.

Exam Boards

There are a lot of different awarding bodies that offer both English and maths functional skills qualifications. The City and Guilds functional skills level 2 qualifications is one of the most popular qualifications with thousands of people sitting the exam each year and City and Guilds is one of the main exam boards. There are different functional skills courses that you need to consider before you book the exam to see what they offer. However, even though there are different courses, most exam boards use the same curriculum that the government has set.

People over the years have asked us many questions. We decided here at Leeds Tutor Company to put them together and answer them to help provide more information about the functional skills qualifications.


What is a functional skills qualification?
Functional skills enables learners to improve their maths and English skills in real life contexts. The level 2 qualifications are also very useful for those who do not have a GCSE to grade C or level 4.

What is the difference between functional skills and GCSE?
The difference between functional skills and GCSE is the amount of content within the exams and also the contexts. GCSE exams can be more abstract whereas functional skills are applied to more real life situations and as a result learners find the content more relatable and easier to learn.

Is functional skills easier than GCSE?
The functional skills exams are different to GCSE but equivalent, Some people consider them as easier simply because they are less contextualised and more relatable to real life situations.

How long does it take to complete a functional skills qualification?
The length of time taken to complete a functional skills qualification varies from person to person and is often determined by the learners base knowledge. At Skipton Tutors we assess each learner as an individual and devise a specific learning programme for them.

Can functional skills get you a Job?
Yes the level 2 qualifications are a GCSE equivalent and consequently enhance employment prospects. They can also enable learners to gain access into higher education courses.

What is the pass mark for the functional skills exams?
The pass marks for functional skills exams vary depending on the difficulty of the papers. As a guide the level 2 maths qualifications are often around 50-60% to pass the exam but this can change.

Can I get a free functional skills exam?
Some functional skills courses are funded by the government and therefore are free for the learner. However, these are usually only for those in full time education and aged 19 or under. There are some adult funded routes through apprenticeships programmes but these are few and far between. Most people will need to fund their course and qualification themselves. For the cheapest online English functional skills exams, use MME.

Can I take an online functional skills maths level 2 exam?
Yes MME offers online functional skills maths level 2 exams.

Additional Support

If, for whatever reason, you are still struggling and need some advice from other learners in the Functional Skills community, or you simply need help with a question that you have been stuck on, the Functional Skills Support Group on Facebook is here to help. There, you can discuss any Functional Skills questions and topics with other learners to help solve problems together.

Pass Functional Skills is also another recommended provider for Functional Skills exams.