What are Maths and English Functional Skills?

Study skills, Apprenticeships | Kiran Kapur | 20 June 2022

All apprentices must have both Maths and English at GCSE (or equivalent) at a minimum grade of 4 or C.

If you don't have these (or you cannot find your certificates), you will take Maths and/or English Functional Skills. The College employs professional Maths and English tutors to support you.

What does it involve?

You would take 3 exams for English and 2 for Maths.

The English exams are:

  1. Speaking, Listening & Communicating - you give a formal presentation and Q&A for 15 minutes and a group discussion on a pre-defined topic for 15 minutes
  2. Reading - a written examination based on three texts based on real-life concepts (one hour)
  3. Writing - a written examination of two writing tasks (one hour)

The Maths exams are:

  1. calculator test (110 minutes)
  2. non-calculator test (40 minutes)

We expect our apprentices to settle into their training programme before starting their Functional Skills, so you will start in Quarter 2 (three months after starting your apprenticeship).

How long does it take?

The exact amount of time depends on your initial assessment of Maths and English. Typically, the government suggests 55 hours for each of Maths and English, on top of your apprenticeship training. So if you were studying two hours a week, it would take you 3 months for each of Maths and English.

How will I learn?

You will have one to one tutorials with our supportive Maths and English tutors, you will also be given hard copy books for personal learning and have some revision sessions. Functional Skills are different from GCSEs. GCSEs are academic; Functional Skills are more practical and useful in your personal life and at work such as managing money, problem-solving, engaging in discussions and meetings, and business writing.

Here's what our tutors say.

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