Functional Skills for Adults

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ASINT Team March 27, 2024

In the pursuit of higher education or apprenticeships, a common requirement is achieving a minimum grade of 4/C at GCSE. However, numerous adults might find themselves in a situation where they haven’t passed their GCSEs, failed in their resits, or misplaced their certificates. In such scenarios, opting for a GCSE resit or an equivalent qualification like a Level 2 functional skill becomes necessary. While GCSEs are only available biannually, functional skills offer a year-round alternative, catering to the needs of adults aiming for a swift certification process. Additionally, functional skills for adults cover a more condensed curriculum compared to traditional GCSEs. Here at A Star Equivalency, we recommend exploring the adult functional skills offered by Pass Functional Skills.


Advantages of Functional Skills for Adults


Functional skills emerge as a commendable substitute for GCSEs. Pass Functional Skills, in particular, provides courses and exams in both mathematics and English, offering a streamlined pathway for adult learners. Notably, the efficiency of functional skills stands out, with some individuals being able to book exams, sit for them, and receive results within as little as two weeks. This expedited process contrasts with the prolonged duration required for GCSEs, making functional skills an appealing option, especially for those juggling work or childcare commitments.


Pass Functional Skills conducts exams throughout the week, from Monday to Saturday, with various time slots available each day. This flexibility accommodates individuals with busy schedules, enabling them to pursue education without significant disruptions.


Functional Skills Courses and Exams




Pass Functional Skills’ mathematics course offers a comprehensive curriculum, covering all essential exam topics. Featuring revision videos and ample practice questions, the course ensures thorough preparation. Mock exams, integrated into the course, further assist in readiness for the 2-hour exam. The mathematics exam comprises a 30-minute non-calculator section and a 90-minute calculator section, both taken conveniently from home with an online invigilator.




Pass Functional Skills’ English course is structured around three distinct exams assessing reading, writing, and speaking, listening, and communication (SLC) skills. The course includes revision sections and exam-style questions, with AI-powered mock exams facilitating practice for long response questions. The reading and writing exams are typically scheduled consecutively within a two-hour slot, while the SLC exam is held on a separate day. Success in all three components is necessary to attain the functional skills qualification, and all exams are proctored online from home.



In conclusion, functional skills offer a flexible and efficient avenue for adults seeking educational advancement, providing a viable alternative to the traditional GCSE route. Pass Functional Skills, with its accessible courses and exams, stands out as a convenient and expedited solution for individuals navigating the complexities of adult life while pursuing further education.

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Written by

A Star Equivalency International Team

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