Improving Functional Skills

Further improvements to our Functional Skills assessments from autumn 2016

Functional Skills Mathematics

Since the launch of our revised Functional Skills assessments in September 2015, we have continued to listen to customer feedback and monitor candidate performance carefully. As a result, we are undertaking some work to improve the experience for candidates using our on-screen Functional Skills Mathematics assessments at level 2.

We are focusing on usability and addressing the reading demand of the test. 

The enhancements made to the on-screen assessments will also be reflected in our paper-based Functional Skills Mathematics assessments at level 2.

All assessments will continue to reflect the rigour expected at this level and will continue to incorporate the improvements made following Ofqual’s 2015 Thematic Review.

There will be no change to Functional Skills Mathematics assessments at level 1.

These improvements will be introduced from autumn 2016.


Functional Skills English

We will also be making the following changes to timings for Functional Skills English assessments at levels 1 and 2.

  • Level 1 Reading – increase from 60 mins to 70 mins (additional 10 minutes)
  • Level 1 Writing – increase from 60 mins to 80 mins (additional 20 minutes)
  • Level 2 Reading – increase from 60 mins to 70 mins (additional 10 minutes)
  • Level 2 Writing – increase from 65 mins to 80 mins (additional 15 minutes)

There will be no changes to timings for Speaking, Listening and Communication assessments at levels 1 and 2. These will remain at 30 minutes each.

These changes will be introduced from autumn 2016.


Further information

We will communicate with you as soon as revised Functional Skills Mathematics level 2 on-screen and paper-based sample assessments are available to view on our website.

We will also provide detailed information about the introduction of the improved assessments as soon as we have confirmed these arrangements.


Sign up to regular updates

To help us keep in touch, sign up to receive regular Functional Skills updates.

If you have any questions relating to the changes and improvements to our Functional Skills offer please email

If you have any general questions, please contact our Customer Services team at or 08445430000


New e-Functional Skills

e-Functional Skills is an online Functional Skills teaching and learning resource designed to help a centre guide learners from initial assessment to exam success.

More about e-Functional Skills >


View our webinar, featuring a detailed overview of what's changing and presentations from our chief examiners.

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