Functional Skills: Do You Know Your Timings? | English & Maths | learndirect
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Functional Skills: Do You Know Your Timings?

Posted on 19/07/2019
Functional Skills: Do You Know Your Timings?

Want to go to university?

Then you will need (at least) a level 2 qualification in English or maths (the equivalent to GCSE grade 4/C). Now, if you don't have this qualification, you may be thinking that you need to resit a GCSE to gain the relevant qualification in English or maths, but there could be another option.  A level 2 Functional Skills qualification could be the solution you are looking for. Even though they are more flexible than GCSEs, there are still some timings that you need to be aware of in order to successfully get your qualification in time for your university application.  

The great advantage of Functional Skills qualifications are that you can sit your exam on any date of your choosing. There is no set exam period and this can be excellent if you need a qualification in a hurry. With this being said, exam boards still need time to mark your paper, which can take up to 20 working days, and you will also need to work out how much time you can commit to your learning. Our Functional Skills qualifications have been designed to give you a well-rounded knowledge of your chosen subject so you need to set aside around 45 hours of your time to learn everything and be ready for an exam.

To put this into perspective, if you think you will be able to study for an hour a day then it will take you around 45 days to complete the learning material. If you think you might be able to commit 3 hours per day, then it will take you around 15 days to complete the learning material.

If you would like to buy one of our supported or specialised packages then you also need to factor your tutorials and mock papers into your schedule, which can add further time to your study. Once you’ve sat your exam, you also need to bear in mind that it can take up to 20 working days for the exam board to mark your exam and get the result to you. With this all in mind, let’s take a look at a couple of example learners:

Learner 1

Learner 1 is a standard learner and can commit 1 hour per day to their learning:

Activity

Total learning time (days)

Completing the online learning

45 days

Waiting for exam result

20 days

Total time

65 days

 

If this learner starts their course on the 1st August, we would expect them to finish around 4th October if they stick to their commitment.

Learner 2

Learner 2 is a supported learner and can commit 3 hours per day to their learning:

Activity

Total learning time (days)

Complete the online learning

15 days

Complete tutorials and mock paper (including time for tutor to return marked mock)

6 days

Waiting for exam result

20 days

Total time

41 days

 

If learner 2 starts their course on the 1st August, we would expect them to finish around 10th September if they stick to their commitment.

Other things to consider...

There are also a couple of other factors you need to consider before choosing a Functional Skills course. Firstly, it is your responsibility to find your own exam place; you need to research and make sure that there is a test centre in your area before you book in for a test. Secondly, if you don’t feel that you will have your exam result in time for starting university in September, talk to your university. Many universities will be happy to accept a results slip (this confirms a pass while you’re waiting for your certificate to arrive). Other universities may be content that you have started your Functional Skills and give you an extension deadline for providing your certificate. However, it is essential that you confirm this directly with your university before beginning your course in order to avoid disappointment. It is also important to check with your university that they will accept Functional Skills as a level 2 equivalent.

If you would like to know more about any of our courses or have any questions related to them you can email us at upskilluk@learndirect.com. You can also call us on 01202 006 464.

Ready to get your qualification? Then head over to our website for more information about the different Functional Skills qualifications we offer in English and mathematics.