This page will help provide you with details about the functional skills. The three main categories are the levels, the exam boards and most frequently asked questions we get here at Bradford Tutor Company.

The Levels

There are 5 different levels that it progresses through for both the maths and English functional skills qualification. The levels start at entry level 1, then entry level 2, entry level 3, level 1 and the last level is level 2. The last level is the GCSE equivalent that is recognised by employers and establishments such as universities.

Exam Boards

Functional skills is a popular qualification but the City and Guilds functional skills level 2 qualifications are by far the most popular when compared to other exam boards. Thousands of people sit their exams each year. Edexcel is also up there with City and Guild as being one of the largest exam boards. There are some differences between the functional skills courses but majority of the exam boards have the same curriculum that the government has set.

Below we have answered some questions that we get asked about the functional skills qualifications.


What is a functional skills qualification?
A GCSE equivalent qualification that you can require if you are applying for university or employment. This qualification is mainly for people who didn’t successfully achieve a level 4 or grade C in their GCSEs.

Is functional skills easier than GCSE?
This is subjective since it depends on what sort of questions you would rather have, for example if real life examples are the questions then you might find functional skills easier.

What is the difference between functional skills and GCSE?
The difference between GCSE exams and functional skills exams is there is some more content in the GCSE exams that you will need to learn.

Can functional skills get you a Job?
The level 2 qualification is accepted by employers so the answer is yes you can.

How long does it take to complete a functional skills qualification?
This isn’t easy to answer since there isn’t a set time that most people complete it in, it all depends on the individual learner but we will have a programme for you to follow.
The level 2 qualification is accepted by employers so the answer is yes you can.

What is the pass mark for the functional skills exams?
This is another difficult question to answer because it changes, on average it is around 50-60% but this could change depending on the paper and how difficult it is.

Can I take an online functional skills maths level 2 exam?
There is an option for you to take this exam, MME can provide you with the online functional skills maths level 2 exams.

Can I get a free functional skills exam?
You might be able to get a free functional skills exam. The government funds people who are in full time education or are 19 or younger. However if you are older, the government doesn’t fund the functional skills courses for you but you can apply through apprenticeships programmes to see if you can get some help. Otherwise the cheapest exam provider is MME and provides online English functional skills exams as well as other exams.

Additional Support

In addition to our expert tutoring and other helpful resources, we also recommend using the Functional Skills Support Group on Facebook for those who still have questions abut the exam. The group consists of tutors as well as other learners who will be there to support one another and answer questions to help prepare for your exam.

If you are looking for a different provider to sit a Functional Skills exam with, we can also recommend Pass Functional Skills.