Functional Skills for Adults

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AS Team March 27, 2024

A prerequisite for many higher education or apprenticeship programs is achieving a minimum grade of 4/C in the GCSE. However, a significant portion of individuals may find themselves without GCSE qualifications due to various reasons, such as lost certificates, unsuccessful attempts at retaking the GCSE, or never having taken the exam at all. In such situations, individuals are faced with the decision of either retaking the GCSE or pursuing an equivalent credential, such as a Level 2 functional skill. Functional skills offer a year-round option, catering to individuals seeking a swift certification process, unlike GCSEs, which are only available twice a year. Moreover, the curriculum covered in functional skills for adults is more focused compared to traditional GCSEs. We recommend exploring Pass Functional Skills’ adult functional skills program here at A Star Equivalency.


Advantages of Functional Skills for Adults


Functional skills serve as a worthy alternative to GCSEs, providing a simplified approach for adult learners. Pass Functional Skills, in particular, offers courses and exams in both mathematics and English, making the learning process more accessible. Notably, functional skills demonstrate remarkable efficiency, with some individuals able to schedule, take, and receive exam results within a mere two weeks. This accelerated process makes functional skills a convenient choice for individuals balancing childcare or job responsibilities, in contrast to the lengthier procedure required for GCSEs.


Examinations are offered by Pass Functional Skills every week, from Monday through Saturday, with different time slots available each day, providing flexibility for individuals with busy schedules to pursue their education without significant hindrance.


Functional Skills Courses and Exams




The comprehensive curriculum of Pass Functional Skills’ maths course covers every significant test topic. Thorough preparation is ensured through numerous practice questions and review videos. Mock exams are included in the curriculum to aid in preparation for the two-hour test. Examinees complete the mathematics component of the exam from home under the supervision of an online invigilator. The exam consists of a 90-minute calculator section and a 30-minute non-calculator section.




Pass Functional Skills’ English course evaluates speaking, listening, and communication (SLC) skills, as well as reading and writing, through three separate tests. The course includes review sections and exam-style questions. AI-powered mock tests facilitate practice with lengthy response questions. The SLC test is administered on a separate day, while the reading and writing exams are typically scheduled within a two-hour window. Success in all three components, proctored online from home, is necessary to obtain the functional skills qualification.



In conclusion, functional skills offer a flexible and effective pathway for individuals seeking to further their education. Pass Functional Skills provides a convenient solution for those balancing the demands of adulthood and education, with easily accessible courses and exams.

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Written by

A Star Equivalency Team

We help thousands of students each year with revision, courses and online exams.