This page is here to help inform you about the functional skills qualification. You will find the information on the English and maths qualifications and the 5 levels.

The Levels

There are 5 levels for the maths and English functional skills qualifications. They both start at the entry level 1 and then go to entry level 2, entry level 3, level 1 and then finally the last level, level 2. Level 2 is the qualification that is accepted by establishments such as universities since it is the GCSE equivalent qualification.

Exam Boards

For the functional skills exams in maths and English, there are many awarding bodies that provide this qualification. City and Guilds is up there with Edexcel as being one of the largest exam boards. The qualification that is popular and has thousands of learners sitting it each year is the City and Guilds functional skills level 2 qualification. This exam and most of them the exams from the major exam boards have the same curriculum since the government has set it, so there is no difference between the topics you will have to learn. But, every course offers different features so you should consider which functional skills course you want to take.

Sheffield Tutor Company has put together the most asked questions to help you understand what the functional skills qualification is and what establishments accept it.


Can you explain what a functional skills qualification is?
Well functional skills qualification level 2 is an option for you if you need a GCSE equivalent qualification. This qualification is accepted by universities and employers.

What is the difference between functional skills and GCSE?
There aren’t a lot of differences but one that we believe you need to know before choosing between the two exams. The GCSE exams have more contents that you will have to learn and the questions don’t use real life examples like the functional skills does.

Which exam is easier, the functional skills or the GCSE exam?
There isn’t a yes or no for this question, it all depends on each learner. Some people find the functional skills exam easier since the questions are based on real life situations so they are more relatable.

How long will it take me to complete a functional skills qualification?
There isn’t an exact time to complete it since it depends on the person. We will make a personalised programme for you which will take into account what time you have spare to revise and the knowledge you already have to understand how long we think it will take you to complete this qualification.

Can functional skills get you a Job?
Yes the level 2 functional skills qualification can get you a job and it’s beneficial since it is a GCSE equivalent qualification.

What is the pass mark that I need to achieve the level 2 functional skills qualification?
The pass mark changes for the functional skills exam depending on the exam and how difficult it was but it’s around 50-60% but this could always change.

Can I take an online functional skills maths level 2 exam?
Yes you can take an online functional skills maths level 2 exams and MME is one of the providers that offer this exam.

Can I get a free functional skills level 2 exam?
If you don’t get funding then look at MME since they provide the cheapest online English functional skills exams, but the government does fund some of the functional skills courses. If you are in full time education or 19 year of age or younger then the government will fund it for you otherwise you need to look at other options such as apprenticeships programmes.