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How important is English and Maths?

With University applications looming, students are now turning their attentions to Functional Skills, realising these subjects will be necessary to gain entry. To Uni. Whilst everyone concentrates on A Levels, the basics of English and Maths are usually forgotten.

Although it is relatively quick to gain a Functional Skills qualification, if you undertake this privately, it should not be left until the last minute and ideally you should allow at least 3 months to complete your studies.

There is normally a choice of completing examinations online or by written paper and if students have a preference, they should state this when booking exams.

Lastly, always remember to complete practice exam papers before your examination date. This will ensure that you are familiar with the layout of the papers and will help everything flow, during your exams.

Whilst some people may doubt the usefulness of gaining an English and Maths qualification, no one can deny the fact that these two subjects form the building blocks of any career or future education. Functional Skills English and Maths Level 2 has become the popular option for learners wishing to obtain a level 2 qualification in a short space of time.

Although for some jobs, you will not use your English or Maths skills, employers still expect individuals to be educated to at least a level 2, before they will even invite them for an interview and applicants are finding that they may be disadvantaged because of this.

There are various ways to achieve a level 2 in English and Maths and below, we will look at some of the options:

GCSE English and Maths

GCSEs were introduced in 1988, predominantly for learners who wished to leave school at the age of 16 not wishing to further their academic studies, by way of A Levels or University degree. The intention was to create a national qualification that included more subject options. International GCSEs are the international option, and these allow learners to study in over 100 countries throughout the world gaining a valuable qualification.

If you were not able to complete these GCSEs at school, you can still gain these qualifications at a conventional college or by distance/online learning.

Examinations can be sat two to three times a year at set times depending on the qualification, so therefore are not always suitable if you are required to gain this qualification in a short space of time.

Functional Skills English and Maths

Functional Skills English and Maths were introduced in 2007, initially on a three-year pilot programme, with the intention of developing qualifications that would be suitable for all learners. There are five levels to this qualification and three subject areas. Functional Skills Level 2 are equivalent to a GCSE pass and accepted by universities and employers.

Functional Skills English and Maths were reformed in 2019 with the intention that the reform process would ensure that these qualifications better meet employer needs in terms of the knowledge and skills that learners achieve. Functional Skills ICT will undertake reforms in 2021 with this qualification being renamed Digital Functional Skills qualification.

Functional Skills examinations are available regularly throughout the month and are useful if you need to gain a qualification quickly.

English and Maths Level 2 Certificate of Achievement

Unlike Functional Skills and GCSE, a certificate of achievement is not a recognised qualification but still serves a purpose. The level of difficulty is equivalent to GCSE or Functional Skills and is a recognition that you have completed the necessary assessments to prove your capabilities in this area. This is still useful to employers and colleges as an indication of your skill set and will provide you with confidence in these areas.

Normally you would be able to complete this at your own pace without the need to sit examinations on completion.

As you will see from the above, there are various different ways to obtain skills in English and Maths, it is just a case of choosing the correct option for your particular circumstances.


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