This page is the functional skills qualification page, where you will find information about the different levels, exam boards and most frequently asked questions.

The Levels

The level for English and maths functional skills starts at entry level 1, the second level is entry level 2, then entry level 3, level 1 and the final level that is the GCSE equivalent qualification is level 2. The last level is also the qualification that universities recognise.

Exam Boards

The most taken exam each year is the City and Guilds functional skills level 2 qualification. Edexcel and City and Guilds are two of the largest exam boards that provide both English and maths functional skills. Even though there are many functional skills exams that are provided by different awarding bodies, the majority of them have the same curriculum since the government is the one that sets it. There are a number of functional skills courses that offer different things so it would be beneficial to look at them.

The most asked questions have been answered below about the functional skills qualifications to provide you with more details.


What is a functional skills qualification?
The functional skills qualification is a qualification you can use when applying for higher education courses if you didn’t achieve a GCSE grade C or a level 4.

What is the difference between functional skills and GCSE?
There are a few differences between the two qualifications but one of them is the content that is in the exams. The GCSE exams have more content in them compared to the functional skills exams.

Which out of the two exams is easier?
Depending on what questions you prefer, depends on if you think functional skills is an easier exam or not. The exam questions for functional skills are everyday situations that happen so if you prefer these sort of questions then you will find functional skills easier.

Is this qualification recognised by employers?
The functional skills qualification level 2 will be beneficial for you since it is a GCSE equivalent qualification, so yes this will help you.

What is the pass mark for the functional skills exams?
This is always changing so there isn’t a set pass mark but it is normally around 50-60%.

How long does it take to complete a functional skills qualification?
There isn’t a set time that people complete the functional skills qualification since everyone has a different timeline for it. Bristol Tutor Company will put together a personalised programme for you and look at when we w]think you will complete it.

Is there funding for the functional skills exam?
There is some funding from the government for the functional skills courses but not everyone can apply for it. If you are an adult, over the age of 19, you won’t be able to get any of the funding from the government. There are other routes such as apprenticeships programmes but we can’t guarantee that you will get funding. If you want the cheapest exams, you should look at MME who provides online English functional skills exams.

Can I take an online functional skills maths level 2 exam?
Yes you can and MME provides the online functional skills maths level 2 exams.

Additional Support

If you still need additional help and support and you don’t know where to go next, you can always try the Functional Skills Support Group on Facebook. Here, both tutors and students collaborate to help each other answer questions and support each other in preparation for your exam.

For those wanting to sit with a provider other than our recommendation of MME, we can also recommend Pass Functional Skills for those wanting to sit Functional Skills exams.