top of page

Functional Skills for Adults

Alternative pathways for admission to apprenticeship programs or higher education often necessitate a minimum GCSE grade of 4/C. However, many individuals may face challenges such as lost certificates, failed GCSE attempts, or a decision against retaking the exam. In such scenarios, one must weigh the options of either retaking the GCSE or pursuing a functional skills qualification, typically at Level 2, as an equivalent alternative. Functional skills present year-round opportunities for certification, unlike the biannual availability of GCSE exams. Moreover, adult functional skills courses are notably shorter compared to conventional GCSE programs. We strongly recommend considering Pass Functional Skills' adult courses for those seeking efficient certification.

Advantages of Functional Skills for Adults

Pass Functional Skills specialises in providing comprehensive courses and examinations in mathematics and English. Functional skills offer a swifter route to qualification, with some individuals able to complete the process within two weeks, accommodating those managing childcare or work responsibilities. Unlike the infrequent scheduling of GCSE exams, functional skills assessments are available weekly from Monday to Saturday. Pass Functional Skills further facilitates busy schedules by offering multiple daily time slots for study sessions, ensuring minimal disruption.

Functional Skills Examinations and Courses


Pass Functional Skills' mathematics course covers all essential topics, incorporating ample practice materials and review resources to ensure thorough preparation. Mock exams integrated into the coursework enhance readiness for the two-hour assessment, which includes a 90-minute calculator section and a 30-minute non-calculator portion. Examinees can conveniently undertake the examination from home under online invigilation.


The English course comprises three distinct tests evaluating speaking, listening, and communication (SLC) skills, alongside reading and writing proficiency. Review sections and exam-style questions, including AI-powered mock tests, facilitate practice, particularly for lengthy response questions. While reading and writing examinations are typically scheduled within a two-hour window, the SLC test is administered separately. Successful attainment of the functional skills qualification necessitates passing all three exam components, which are proctored online from home.


Functional skills offer a rapid and adaptable pathway for adults seeking to further their education, serving as a viable alternative to traditional GCSE routes. Pass Functional Skills streamlines access to examinations and courses, catering to individuals aiming to balance educational pursuits with adult responsibilities.


The Harrogate Tutors blog has been set up to keep parents, students and tutors informed about changes and updates to our website and service. 

For information on our tutoring services in the Harrogate area

bottom of page