Frequently Asked Questions
About Functional Skills
What are Functional Skills?
Previously known as ‘Skills for Life’, Functional Skills are English, maths and IT qualifications designed to give you practical knowledge, meaning you can take what you learn and apply it directly to your work or study. Functional Skills Level 2 courses aim to provide people with knowledge that they can apply to everyday life situations rather than teaching you things that you may never use again. Read more on our Functional Skills Blog.
Are Functional Skills equivalent to GSCE?
Yes! Level 2 is equal to GCSE grade A-C (4-9 new grading system). While the majority of universities and employers accept Functional Skills, we recommend that you check with them first before purchasing.
Starting an online course
When can I start?
Straight away! When you purchase any of our courses, we aim to get you started the very same day. There’s no need to wait for fixed enrolment dates.
I don’t know what level I should start at?
Don’t worry, everyone who starts a course with us will complete an Initial Assessment which looks at your current skill level and recommends a programme of learning. If you purchase a Level 2 course and your Initial Assessments show a need for Level 1 learning, we’ll include your Level 1 learning.
Our Functional Skills courses have a recommendation of 55 hours per level. But, we cannot really give a time scale for how long the course takes as it largely depends upon what level you are starting at, how fast you learn, and how much time you are willing to put into your learning. Please check each course page for the minimum guided learning hours.
Unlimited Tutor Support
Most courses come with unlimited tutor support via email (unless you purchase our “no support” option). Depending on your subscription package, you can also contact your tutor via telephone.
Are there any hidden fees?
We want to be as transparent as possible so if there’s any additional fees, we’ll let you know on the course pages. Most of our course packages are course only. If you want to sit your exams with us as well, you’ll need to pay your exam fees. Individual exam fees can be found on each course page.
Any age can take our online courses however, if you’d like to sit your exams with us you’ll need to be over 19 (due to centre policies). Other exam centres may have different policies to us.
Help for current students
I have bought a course. How do I get my login details? After purchasing a course, a member of our team will send you your login details via email. Make sure to check your spam/junk mailbox. Please be aware that our offices are open Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00 so purchases made outside of these hours may take slightly longer to receive an email.
Trouble logging in
If you’re having trouble logging in, please download the Login Guide on the My Account page.
Contacting your tutor
The best way to contact your tutor is via email. Your tutor should have sent you a welcome email within the first week of signing up. If you can’t remember your tutors email address, please get in touch at [email protected] and we will remind you. If you have paid for our higher support packages and want to schedule a phone call, please arrange this with your tutor via email.
You can cancel or pause your subscription at anytime. To do so, go to My Account and login. Click Subscriptions and choose the course you would like to cancel or pause. You will receive confirmation via email.
Unless specified otherwise, most courses do not include exam fees. See each course page for individual exam fees information.
Getting your results
Due to the reforms, it can now take up to 6 weeks to get your results. Once your results have been determined, we’ll send out your certificates in the post. If you need the certificate urgently, we can send written confirmation of your grade or an e-certificate while you wait for the certificates.
Exam only candidates
I don’t want to do the course. Can I go straight in for the exam? We strongly recommend doing the course before sitting your exam. If you would like to sit the exam straight away, you will need to come in for a “pre-assessment”. For more details about this, please go to the Book a Test tab in the main menu.
Exam Centre Locations
We have exam centres in Ashton-under-Lyne, Grimsby, Hull, Leeds and Stockport. You don’t have to sit your exams with us if you’re not close by. You can still take the course with us, but you’ll need to book your exam elsewhere. We’ve got a map of recommended exam centres who may also accept you for your final exams.
- 3A Tutors
- Alpha Tutorials
- Ark Exam Centre
- English Maths Science Tuition & Examination Centre
- Enter CIC
- Excel Exam Centre Catford
- Excel Exam Centre Dalston
- Excel Exam Centre New Cross
- Excel Exam Centre Stratford
- Excel Exam Centre Walworth
- Futures For Business
- Intech Centre
- IQ Plus Hemel
- IQ Plus Peterborough
- Learn for Life Enterprise
- Macclesfield Tutorial College
- SIEVEMK Gateway
- Think Employment Ashton
- Think Employment Grimsby
- Think Employment Hull
- Think Employment Leeds
- Think Employment Stockport
- Thomas Gainsborough School
- Tower Learning Centre
- Wallace College
- Workshop College
Question not answered here? Get in touch with us and submit your question . . .