FAQ - Functional Skills Exam - English - At the centre

Q. Which examination board do you use for Functional Skills tests?
A. The Functional Skills tests are administered by Pearson / Edexcel.

Q. What do I need to pass the Functional Skills English Test?
A. Candidate must complete and pass all three components of the English exam. The Functional Skills English Test comprises of: Writing Test, Reading Test and a Speaking Test. The writing and reading tests can be taken on the same day. The Speaking Test is conducted a few days after online via Zoom.

Q. Which Functional Skills level is equivalent to GCSE?
A. Level 2 is generally accepted as equivalent to GCSE.

Q. Are there pass grades in Functional Skills?
A. Functional Skills Tests are either Pass or Fail. There are no grades awarded.

Q. How long does it take for results to be issued? 
A. Results are usually available and emailed to candidates 10-14 days after the tests but in exceptional cases this could take up to 28 days.

Q. Where are the functional skills tests held?
A. The Functional Skills tests are held at our centre in Birmingham.

Q. How long are functional skills test
Functional Skills English - The writing test lasts 60 minutes and
The reading test lasts 75 minutes. We would advise candidates to allow 60-90 minutes for the speaking test which are conducted via Zoom.

Q. What happens if I fail my Functional Skills Exam
A. Once you have received your results you can book another test. Instructions concerning re-takes will be emailed with the results.

Q. Are the Functional Skills tests paper based?
A. The Functional Skills tests are taken on a computer. There are practise tests available on our website so candidates can familiarise themselves with how the tests work.

Q. What is the Functional Skills English Speaking Test?
A. The Functional Skills English Speaking Test is an important part of the Functional Skills English assessments. This is taken over Zoom along with other candidates who each prepare a short presentation of between 7-9 minutes in length. Candidates prepare a talk on any topic of their own choice and can use brief notes or bullet points. Following the presentation, questions will be posed by the other candidates. Although the Speaking Test does not contribute to a candidate’s overall mark, the candidate must achieve the minimum standard in order to complete the requirements for the award. The Functional Skills English Speaking Tests are generally available once a month on Sunday.

Q. Can I request a re-mark?
A. Remark is available for Onscreen Functional skills exams. The fee is £50 and must be requested within 28 days after receiving your results.

Q. How can I book a Functional Skills test?
Book your Functional Skills test by completing the Book Functional Skills section below.
A confirmation of your booking will be emailed to you.

Q. Do I receive a hard copy certificate?
Yes, these are usually sent out 10-14 days after you received your results. These are posted by recorded delivery. Please keep your certificate safe as there is a charge for replacements.
All three components of the English Functional skills must have a PASS to receive a Certificate.

Q. I have learning difficulties.
Candidates with learning difficulties can apply for 25% extra time.  Candidates must supply either a recent psychologist report, an Education Health and Care plan (EHC Plan) or a report from your Doctor listing your learning difficulties and must mention that extra time is required during educational examinations before booking the exam. Please note this arrangement does not apply for GCSE and A Level.

Q. Is there any age limits taking the functional skills tests?
A There is no set age limit for taking Functional Skills tests.

Q. How many times can resit on-screen Functional skills test?
A. Learners can resit the tests as many times as required. Resits can be booked after the results have been released.

Q. What is the cancellation policy?
To cancel a functional skills test and to receive a full refund we must be informed by email five days prior to the test.  No refunds will be issued after the five day cancellation period.

email to cancel: cancelexamfs@examcentrebirmingham.com