How to pass your Functional Skills English Writing Exam

Do you have a Functional Skills English test coming up? Did you know, Functional Skills English exams usually have 3 sections. Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.

We’ve got a few tips for you to help you pass the Writing part of your Functional Skills English exams. There’s also some common mistakes and easy ways to pick up marks.

Top Tips

Tip 1: Before starting, read all the questions.

Read through all the source documents and questions you have been given carefully. Then, make sure you fully understand what the question is asking you to do. By doing this, you will be more prepared to answer the questions to the best of your ability. Don’t be tempted to skim read as you may mis-read the question and your answers will be incorrect.

Tip 2: Make a plan.

After you have read the source material and question, quickly jot down a plan for what you’re going to write. Don’t spend too much time on it (5 minutes will do). By making a plan, it will make it easier when you start to write your answers. You will already have the main points you’re going to cover.

Tip 3: Source documents are there to help, use them!

Source documents can be used to help you plan your main points. If the document includes bullet points, use them to help plan your main points.

Tip 4: What have you been asked to write?

Make sure you know the purpose of your writing taks. Does it need to be persuasive or informative? Biased or unbiased? Is it a letter, email, article or report? Knowing these basic things will allow you to write in the appropriate manner.

Tip 5: Decide if the writing should be formal or informal.

Make sure you know the formality. This will influence the language and style that you use when writing your answer. You’ll be able to gauge this by knowing your audience. Throughout the exam, you’ll be expected to write for different kinds of audiences so be sure to tailor your styles.

Tip 6: Take note of the length.

Have you been given a word count? If yes, make sure you’re hitting the minimum but don’t go too much over – too many words and you’ll have included too much information. If you haven’t been given a word count, think about the task you’ve been given and decide on an appropriate length.

Common Mistakes and Easy Marks

An easy way to guarantee a few marks in checking your Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. You will be marked on this in every task so it’s really important that you get this right. If you score little to no marks in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, it’s going to be tricky to get enough marks to pass in the other elements.

Make sure you’re using the correct format for your writing. For example; include paragraphs, introductions and conclusions where necessary. Letters will need an address. Articles and Reports need heading and subheadings. Just be sure to include all the parts needed for that type of writing task.

Another common mistake people make is not answering all the questions. You’d be surprised at how many students do not answer all the questions. This usually means an immediate fail as you cannot gain enough marks to pass from only one question. Check and then double check that you have answered all the questions before submitting your test.

Finally… Check your work! It’s so easy to pick up a few extra marks by going back and correcting your silly mistakes. It’s a good idea to leave yourself about 5 minutes to check at the end. Read your answers slowly and carefully to check for any simple mistakes or bits that don’t make sense.

That’s it! With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to passing your Functional Skills Writing exam. Good luck! Let us know in the comments if these tips helped you or share it with other students to help them, too!

If you still need to do some revision for Functional Skills English, you can take our online course for as little as £14 per month! Click here to start an English Course today!

Or for more information, call us on 0800 433 7896.