Functional Skills Maths Level 1 Guide

Functional Skills Maths Level 1 will help you learn maths skills for the workplace and at home.

Level 1 maths is a government backed course. Accredited by awarding bodies including; AQA, City & Guilds, Edexcel, OCR and Pearson.

The Level 1 Maths course covers three topics: 1) number and the number system, 2) common measures, shape and space and, 3) information and data.

Level 1 Maths – Solving Maths Problems And Decision Making

The learning aims of Functional Skills Maths Level 1 include solving maths problems and decision making. This is to ensure that you’re able to apply your maths skills to real-life situations. During your level 1 maths course you’ll learn the following;

  • Read, understand and use mathematical information and mathematical terms used at this level.
  • Address individual problems as described above.
  • Use knowledge and understanding to a required level of accuracy.
  • Analyse and interpret answers in the context of the original problem.
  • Check the sense, and reasonableness of answers.
  • Present results with appropriate explanation and interpretation demonstrating simple reasoning to support the process and show consistency with the evidence presented.

Level 1 Maths – Using Numbers & The Number System

You’ll learn about whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages at level 1 maths. To successfully complete level 1 maths, you’ll need to be able to:

  • Count in steps of various sizes, including negative numbers, and understand positive whole numbers up to 1,000,000.
  • Order and compare whole numbers of any size, fractions, ratios and decimals.
    Recognise the effect of multiplying and dividing by the powers of 10, 100 and 1,000.
  • Identify, compare and extend a range of numerical and spatial patterns, use, understand and calculate with fractions, decimals and percentages and calculate simple interest.

Numbers And The Number System: What You’ll Learn

The content areas you’ll cover at level 1 maths about numbers and the number system are:

  • Read, write, order and compare large numbers (up to one million)
  • Recognise and use positive and negative numbers
  • Multiply and divide whole numbers and decimals by 10, 100, 1000
  • Use multiplication facts and make connections with division facts
  • Use simple formulae expressed in words for one or two-step operations
  • Calculate the squares of one-digit and two-digit numbers
  • Follow the order of precedence of operators
  • Read, write, order and compare common fractions and mixed numbers
  • Find fractions of whole number quantities or measurements
  • Read, write, order and compare decimals up to three decimal places
  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide decimals up to two decimal places
  • Approximate by rounding to a whole number or to one or two decimal places
  • Read, write, order and compare percentages in whole numbers
  • Calculate percentages of quantities, including simple percentage increases and decreases by 5% and multiples thereof
  • Estimate answers to calculations using fractions and decimals
  • Recognise and calculate equivalences between common fractions, percentages and decimals
  • Work with simple ratio and direct proportions

Level 1 Maths – Using Common Measures, Shape And Space

You’ll learn the following maths skills when working with measures, shape and space.


  • Work out simple relationships between common units of measurement to define quantities, also involving mathematical terms for position and direction
  • Apply and use calculations with common measures including money, time, length, weight and capacity
  • Visualise, draw and describe 2-D and 3-D shapes and use properties of 2-D shapes in calculations

Using Common Measures, Shape And Space – What You’ll Learn

  • Calculate simple interest in multiples of 5% on amounts of money
  • Calculate discounts in multiples of 5% on amounts of money
  • Convert between units of length, weight, capacity, money and time, in the same system
  • Recognise and make use of simple scales on maps and drawings
  • Calculate the area and perimeter of simple shapes including those that are made up of a combination of rectangles
  • Calculate the volumes of cubes and cuboids
  • Draw 2-D shapes and demonstrate an understanding of line symmetry and knowledge of the relative size of angles
  • Interpret plans, elevations and nets of simple 3-D shapes
  • Use angles when describing position and direction, and measure angles in degrees

Level 1 Maths – Handling Information And Data

You’ll learn about handling information and data at maths level 1. At level 1, you’ll learn how to:


  • Select, construct and interpret a range of statistical diagrams in various contexts; select and use methods and forms to present and describe outcomes.
  • Extract and interpret information from tables, diagrams, charts and graphs.
  • Apply simple statistics and recognise features of charts to summarise and compare sets of data.
  • Recognise and use the probability scale and interpret probabilities.

Handling Information And Data – What You’ll Learn

  • Represent discrete data in tables, diagrams and charts including pie charts, bar charts and line graphs
  • Group discrete data and represent grouped data graphically
  • Find the mean and range of a set of quantities
  • Understand probability on a scale from 0 (impossible) to 1 (certain) and use probabilities to compare the likelihood of events
  • Use equally likely outcomes to find the probabilities of simple events and express them as fractions