Functional Skills for Adults

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MME Team 20 February 2024


When applying for higher education or an apprenticeship, it is very often a requirement that you need to have at least a 4/C at GCSE. For adults, it is often the case that they didn’t pass their GCSEs and never resat or they cannot find their certificate. In this case, you will need to sit a GCSE or an equivalent qualification like a level 2 functional skill. Although GCSEs are an option they are only sat twice a year which makes them quite inconvenient, especially if you need to get your certificate fast. A great alternative is functional skills because they are run year round. Another great thing about functional skills for adults is they contain less content than a traditional GCSE.

Advantages of Functional Skills for Adults

As we’ve already mentioned a great alternative to GCSEs are functional skills. We recommend that you take a look at Pass Functional Skills. They offer courses and exams for both maths and English. One of the best things about functional skills is how quickly you can go through the process, in some cases you can book, sit your exam and have results in as little as 2 weeks. While GCSE maths contains lots of content, which takes students 2 years to learn in school. Obviously this is not feasible for those with other commitments like a job or children. This is where maths and English functional skills for adults are a great solution. The specification contains a fraction of the content meaning it can be covered much quicker.

Pass Functional Skills run exams Monday to Saturday, with a range of times available each day. This makes their exams ideal for those with a busy schedule. 

Functional Skills Courses and Exams


The maths course from Pass Functional Skills offers comprehensive coverage of everything you will need to know for your exam. With revision video and lots of practice questions, the course should prepare you to pass your exam. There are also a selection of mock exams on the course to help you prepare as your exam date approaches.

Maths Course

The exam for maths is 2 hours long and is split into a 30 minute non-calculator section and a 90 minute calculator section. This is sat at home with an online invigilator.

Maths Exam


Pass Functional Skills’ English course is split into different sections by exam. There are three exams involved in the English functional skills qualification, each assesses a different skill, these are reading, writing and the SLC (speaking, listening and communication). When working through the English course you will find a mixture of revision sections and exam-style questions to help you test your knowledge. There are a number of mock exams, with AI marking, to help you practise your long responses to questions.

English Course

The reading and writing exams are typically sat back to back in a two hour slot (each exam is 1 hour), the SLC is then sat on a separate day. In order to achieve the functional skills qualification you must pass all three components. This are all sat with an online invigilator at home.

English Exam



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MME Team

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