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Apprenticeship Learning Support

Speaking, Listening and Communicating 

As part of Functional Skills English (Level 2), you will need to pass a Speaking, Listening and Communicating exam.


Key facts about the Speaking, Listening and Communicating exams:

  • The exams take place in a groups of no more than 3 students.
  • The exams will take place on Microsoft Teams.
  • The exams last approximately 3 hours.
  • In the exams, you are required to (1) give a short presentation, (2) ask questions about other learners' presentations and (3) take part in a group discussion.
  • You will be provided with a list of presentation topics before the exam so that can pick one and prepare.
  • In order to take part the official exam, you must take part in a mock exam.


Mock exams

Purpose of the mock exams:
  • to familiarise you with the format of the final exam
  • to practice and get some feedback before the final exam
  • to meet some of the other students who may be presenting in the final exam with you
  • to ensure that you are ready for the final exam
Before the mock:
  • You will be see the exam paper in advance to allow you to prepare.
  • You may book one-to-one sessions to help you prepare.
  • You will be emailed a Microsoft Teams meeting link to allow you to join the exam.
After the mock:
  • You will be emailed your mark (pass/fail) along with feedback within 10 working days.
  • You will be offered an optional one-to-one with an Academic Skills Advisor to discuss the feedback.
  • The official exams are currently being scheduled.

More detailed information can be found in the PowerPoint presentation here:

Official exams

The official Speaking, Listening and Communicating exams are very similar to the mocks.

However, the official exam requires you attend a preparation session.

The preparation session...
  • takes place remotely via Microsoft Teams
  • allows you to read the question paper, conduct research and prepare any materials you want to use (e.g. PowerPoints and notes)
  • is up to 4 hours long (3 hours to prepare the presentations; 1 hour to prepare for the discussion)
  • will have an Academic Skills Advisor present to answer questions discuss the question paper with you
  • takes place because the exam paper is confidential and cannot be emailed to students in advance
When is the preparation session?
  • The date is flexible, but should take place no more than two weeks before the exam

  • The date will be confirmed with you by an Academic Skills Advisor

What happens after the preparation session?
  • Your preparation materials will be saved in our secure area, ready to be emailed back to you at the start of the exam. During the exam you will have time refamiliarise yourself with your pre-prepared materials (20 minutes before the presentations and 20 minutes before the discussion).
Revision - how else should I prepare myself for the official exam?
  • Re-read your feedback from the mock exam
  • Remind yourself of the marking criteria for each part of the exam (these are included in your mock feedback)
  • Explore the Functional Skills Speaking and Listening advice on the Apprenticeships Hub Brightspace page
  • Book a one-to-one with an Academic Skills Advisor to discuss or practice your skills
The exam - who will be there?
  • 3 learners, in most cases.
  • 2 staff members (one assessor and one quality assurance assessor)
  • If 3 learners are not available, members of Learning Services staff will make up the numbers
  • Where possible, the groups will be the same as the mock
What happens after the exam?
  • The exam will be marked and written feedback provided.
  • Marking and feedback is subject to a quality assurance process.
  • We aim to provide results and feedback with 15 working days.
What happens if I don't pass the exam?


Essential paperwork

You will need to complete, sign and return the forms before the exam.

If you are unable to sign these forms electronically, you can confirm your permission in an email message and attach the form. Please email the completed forms to:

If you have any further questions about the Speaking, Listening and Communication exam process, please email:


Using PowerPoint

If you would like to use PowerPoint for your presentation, you are welcome to do so. Some students are used to presenting with PowerPoint and so feel most comfortable doing it this way. However, there is no requirement to use a PowerPoint. You will be marked on your presenting skills, not you IT ability.

If you are not sure whether you want to use PowerPoint, you can discuss this with an Academic Skills Advisor. They can support you with using PowerPoint and how to share your presentation on teams.

How to share a PowerPoint presentation on Teams: