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Apprenticeship Learning Support

Functional Skills examinations

On this page, you will find details on:

  • Date(s) of the Functional Skills Exam(s)
  • Format of the English and Maths Functional Skills Exams 
  • Requirements for sitting the Functional Skills exams
  • Mock exams
  • One-to-one support to help you prepare for mock exams


Dates of the Functional Skills examinations 

The next English and Maths exams will take place at the University of Suffolk, Ipswich, on the following dates:

  • 18th October 2021: Maths
  • 20th October: English (Reading and Writing)
  • 13th December 2021: Maths
  • 15th December English (Reading and Writing)

Dates for the Speaking, Listening and Communicating exam (English) will be arranged directly with you by an Academic Skills Advisors.

If you have not heard from Learning Services about the Speaking, Listening and Communication exam, please contact us: 

All Functional Skills exams will be computer based and will take place according to the University’s social distancing policies.  


Format of the English exams

The English exams will consist of:
•    Writing - on campus computer-based exam exam (1 hour)
•    Reading - on campus computer-based exam (1 hour)
•   Speaking, Listening & Communicating - remote exam via Microsoft Teams (2 -3 hours)

For more information about the Speaking, Listening & Communicating exam, please click here.

Format of the Maths exams

The Maths exams will be comprised of a single on-line assessment with two separate sections which will be completed in one continuous sitting: 

•    Non-calculator - on campus computer-based exam (30mins; 15 marks)
•    Calculator - on campus computer-based exam (90mins; 45 marks)


Requirements for sitting a Functional Skills examination

In order to take a Functional Skills exam, you need to demonstrate that you are ready.

Therefore, before you can be entered into an exam you must:

  • Achieve Level 2 or above in the Diagnostic Assessments on BKSB (you can re-take these as many times as you like)
  • Complete and pass a mock paper in the relevant exam.
Mock exams:

Mock exams give you an idea of what the exam will be like and the kind of questions you will have to answer. They are also a valuable opportunity to get some feedback to help you revise for the final exam.

Here are the key facts:

  • Mock exams can be completed at home
  • When you are ready to take a mock exam, an advisor will email you the paper along with instructions
  • Your mock exam papers will be marked and returned to you with feedback
  • The pass mark for the mock exams is based on the current pass mark as defined by the exam board (NCFE)
  • You can arrange with an advisor to talk through your feedback and next steps
One-to-one support to help you prepare for Functional Skills exams:

If you have any questions about the exams or how to prepare for them, Learning Services are here to support you. 

You can email with any questions

Book a one-to-one appointment with the Maths and Stats Advisor here:

Book an appointment with Adam Devine, Jack Rundell or Elle Wills (English) here: