We here at the Sheffield Tutor Company offer one to one sessions on the functional skills qualifications. We aim to help inform you about the Functional Skills qualifications. Here, you will find the information you need about the Maths and English qualifications, and the five levels.

The Levels

There are five levels for the Maths and English functional skills qualifications. Both subjects start at entry-level 1 and continue with entry-level 2, entry-level 3, level 1 and, level 2. Altogether there are five levels: however, the Level 2 qualification is the only GCSE equivalent. Many higher education establishments, such as universities, accept this equivalent qualification.

The Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications are equivalent to a GCSE grade C or level 4. If you did not achieve a grade C or level 4 in your Maths and English GCSEs, the Functional Skills Maths Level 2 and Functional Skills English Level 2 qualifications may be required when applying to a university course or other forms of higher education. 

There are also Entry levels 1, 2 and, 3, as well as; Level 1 Functional Skills Qualifications available. These aim to prepare you for the Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications. Pass Functional Skills are an expert provider for these qualifications; they offer Ofqual regulated exams and comprehensive revision materials to support your learning.

Exam Boards

Many of the awarding bodies provide both the Maths and English functional skills qualification. City and Guilds are one of the major exam boards, and every year many people sit exams with City and Guilds. This exam and many other major exam boards have the same curriculum. All exam boards follow the same government-set curriculum, meaning there are no differences between the topics you will have to learn. Do consider which functional skills course you wish to take, as every subject course offers different features.

Sheffield Tutor Company has outlined the frequently asked questions. Hopefully, these will help you understand what the functional skills qualifications are and what establishments accept them.


What is a functional skills qualification?

Functional Skills are qualifications that allow learners to apply Maths and English to the working world and real-life contexts. The Functional Skills Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE grade C/Level 4. Many universities and employers accept these qualifications, and establishments often require these if you do not have a GCSE in Maths or English. 

What is the difference between a GCSE and a Functional Skills Level 2?

There are not many differences between the two. One difference to know before choosing between the two exams is that GCSE exams have more content and tend to be more abstract than the Functional Skills exams. Functional Skills aim to apply to real-life situations, making the content easier to understand and grasp. Pass Functional Skills offer past papers for Functional Skills Maths Level 2 and, Functional Skills English Level 2 to aid your learning. These are useful as they show you the kinds of questions included in the exam. 

Are the Functional Skills exams easier than GCSE?

There is not a yes or no to this question as it all depends on each learner. Functional Skills Level 2 are equivalent to a GCSE. Some people find the Functional Skills exam easier since the questions are modelled toward real-life situations, making them more relatable.

How long will it take me to complete a functional skills qualification?

There is no exact time to complete it since it depends on the person. We can make a personalised programme for you, this 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 Functional Skills Level 2 qualification can get you a job, and it’s beneficial since it is a GCSE equivalent qualification. It can also help you access further education.

What is the pass mark for Functional Skills Level 2?

The pass mark changes for the functional skills exam. It depends on the exam and difficulty levels; it is usually 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 exam. MME and Pass Functional Skills are both providers who offer this exam.

Can I get a free Functional Skills Level 2 exam?

If you do not have the funding, you can browse MME and Pass Functional Skills websites. They provide the cheapest online Functional Skills exams, but the government funds some functional skills courses. If you are in full-time education or 19 years of age or younger: the government can offer you funding. Otherwise, you can look at other options such as apprenticeships programmes.

Additional Support

If there are any questions you still may have about the Functional Skills qualification or, want to get involved in the Functional Skills community, then look no further than the Functional Skills Support Page on Facebook. This page is a hub of the Functional Skills community, where you can seek advice from both tutors and other learners.

As an alternative provider to MME, we also recommend Pass Functional Skills as a top-notch provider of Functional Skills exams.