The Ins and Outs of the Functional Skills Exam Process

If you are a student who is about to take your functional skills exam, or if you are the parent of a student who is about to take their functional skills exam, then you may be wondering what the process will be like. In this blog post, we will discuss the ins and outs of the functional skills exam process. Let’s get started!

What is a Functional Skills Exam and Why do you Need One

A functional skills exam is an examination that assesses an individual’s ability to perform certain tasks and skills related to their job. It is a computer-based test and is taken at an approved testing centre. Applicants will be given a username and password to access the online portal where the examination papers are located.

Functional skills exams are often required for certain positions, such as those in the medical field, and can be used to measure an individual’s proficiency in a particular area. 

If you are interested in pursuing a career in a specific field, it is likely that you will need to take a functional skills exam at some point in your journey. Individuals can demonstrate to potential employers that they have the necessary skills and knowledge for the role they are applying for by taking and passing a functional skills exam. Functional skills exams can be used to assess a variety of different skills, including but not limited to:

  • Math skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing ability
  • Verbal communication
  • problem-solving ability

Functional Skills exams are not easy, but with some hard work and practice, you can pass them with flying colours.

What Subjects Are Tested in the Functional Skills Exam?

Functional Skills exams test your ability to apply practical skills in mathematics, English and ICT. The level of difficulty depends on the specific exam you take, but all exams aim to assess your ability to use these skills in real-world scenarios 


The Maths Functional Skills exam tests your ability to solve mathematical problems using a variety of techniques. You will need to be able to understand and apply mathematical concepts, and use mathematical reasoning to solve problems 


The English Functional Skills exam tests your ability to communicate effectively in writing and speech. You will need to be able to express yourself clearly, use appropriate grammar and punctuation, and structure your ideas logically 


The ICT Functional Skills exam tests your ability to use information and communication technology (ICT) to solve problems. You will need to be able to use a range of software applications, including word processing, spreadsheets and databases, and you will be assessed on your ability to select and use the most appropriate tools for the task at hand.

Who Takes the Functional Skills Exam?

Anyone who wants to improve their skills in Maths, English or ICT can take the Functional Skills exam. There is no age limit and no previous qualifications are required. The exam is taken at a level that is appropriate for the individual, so it is suitable for people of all abilities.

The exam consists of two parts: a written paper and a practical test. The written paper assesses your subject knowledge, whereas the practical test assesses your ability to apply what you have learned. 

Two papers, one for each subject, make up the test. Each paper is worth 50% of the total mark and lasts an hour. In order to pass the Functional Skills examination, applicants must achieve a score of at least 4 in each paper. Those who don’t get this score will have to retake the exam. 

Functional Skills exams are available at three levels: Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2. The level that is right for you will depend on your current skills and abilities.

To take the Functional Skills exam, you must first register with an approved provider. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) website has a list of approved providers.

Once you have registered, you will be given a date for your exam. You will need to bring proof of ID with you on the day of the exam, such as a passport or driving licence.

The exams can be taken at a school or college, or they can be taken online.Results are usually released about six weeks after the assessment date. 

The Functional Skills exam is not easy, but it is a great way to improve your skills and boost your CV. Good luck!

How can I Prepare for my Functional Skills Exam

You can improve your chances of passing your functional skills exam and advancing your career by properly preparing for it. Follow below tips and prepare yourself. 

  • Make sure you understand the exam format and the types of questions that will be asked. Then, go over the exam material again and familiarise yourself with the concepts. 
  • Practice answering questions under timed conditions to get a feel for how you will need to pace yourself during the actual exam. 
  • There are numerous resources available to assist you in studying for your functional skills exam, and it is important that you use all of them. 
  • Enrol in Level 2 maths and English for adults to improve your maths and English skills; this is just one example; there are many more.
  • Seek additional assistance from your tutor or instructor.


The functional skills exam process can be confusing and overwhelming for students and their families. However, with the right information and support, it can be a smooth process that leads to success. Hope this article has been helpful in providing you with the information you need about the Functional Skills Exam Process. Good Luck!

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