Functional Skills courses teach people the fundamental English, Maths and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) skills that are useful in work and everyday life.
Typically, English and Maths are classed as essential subjects for the majority of training and education programmes. At least a GCSE grade C/4 in both subjects are often listed as one of the minimum entry requirements for University, A Level study, Diplomas, Foundation Learning Programmes and Apprenticeships.
Functional Skills qualifications are available at several levels, depending on what it is you are looking to achieve and the level of knowledge you desire to gain:
Functional Skills Entry Level 1, 2 & 3 – These Functional Skills courses are all below GCSE level and are often studied to teach learners the basics in Maths and English that they would use in everyday life. They can act as a refresher course in instances where you need to utilise basic skills, such as helping your children with their homework.
Functional Skills Level 1 – These Functional Skills courses are equivalent to up to a GCSE Grade D (3) and are often studied in preparation for Functional Skills Level 2.
Functional Skills Level 2 – These Functional Skills courses are equivalent to GCSE grade C/4. They are often studied in place of GCSE resits to gain the qualifications needed for entry to the workplace or further education.
Functional Skills courses are also of excellent value both in terms of cost and time. Unlike GCSEs, Functional Skills courses can be completed in a matter of weeks. With the average Functional Skills course requiring 55 guided hours of study, just 2 hours of study a day would see you potentially qualifying within 4 weeks.
Functional Skills exams can also be taken on a date of your choosing, streamlining the process even further. So, before you know it, you could have a nationally recognised qualification in Functional Skills Level 2 English and Functional Skills Level 2 Maths.
These alternate qualifications are now well-recognised by employers and most universities throughout the UK and are widely accepted as GCSE grade equivalents.
Their Difficulty in Comparison to GCSEs
Functional Skills courses focus on the key skills needed for everyday life. They teach you how to problem-solve and challenge your ability to apply this knowledge to real-life scenarios. As such, Functional Skills courses help people overcome their anxieties surrounding these subjects and build confidence.
Functional Skills qualifications provide adult learners with the knowledge to confidently use English, Maths and ICT skills in everyday life and the workplace. GCSEs on the other hand, have a greater focus on theory and testing your academic ability in addition to providing you with those core skills.
For instance, Functional Skills Level 2 English will concentrate on your reading and writing comprehension, whereas GCSE English Language explores the science behind the written and spoken word, delving into the analysis of the syntax, morphology and phonology of the English language.
Arguably, Functional Skills provide students with lasting knowledge by testing their ability in ways that they will utilise throughout life. While of the vast number of people who pass their GCSEs at 16, many admit to not remembering much of what they learned.
The applied knowledge of Functional Skills subjects in a work context, such as how to format and write a formal letter or email, tends to prove more valuable to students who have tried both types of qualification.
Functional Skills Level 2, therefore, is a more hands-on qualification, exploring only the topics and understanding required to provide real-life application and problem-solving. While Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and Functional Skills English are simpler and quicker to complete, their recognition as C/4 GCSE grade equivalents does mean you will be required to meet a certain level of subject proficiency to pass the Functional Skills exam.
To give you a better overview of what to expect, below is a quick rundown of what is involved in each Functional Skills Level 2 course.
Functional Skills English Online Courses
To equip you with the practical skills to communicate effectively and independently at home and in the workplace, Functional Skills English Level 2 will focus on:
Reading – This Functionals Skills English module focuses on reading for information such as looking at biased pieces of work to help you to work out how much the opinions of certain authors can be trusted. The different types of layout features and how these can impact the reader.
Writing – You will learn during this portion of your Functional Skills English course the best way to write certain pieces such as letters, newspaper articles, emails and blogs in this Functionals Skills English module, testing your spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.
Speaking, Listening and Communication – This Functionals Skills English module focuses on how to consider information and give a relevant, cogent response, as well as how to contribute to discussions, presenting ideas and information clearly and persuasively, adapting this to suit different audiences, purposes and situations.
Functional Skills Maths Online Courses
Functional Skills Maths Level 2 will provide you with all manner of useful mathematical knowledge to help you through the day-to-day, whether it’s how to budget your money or working out discount prices when shopping. Functional Skills Level 2 Maths focuses on:
Using numbers – Explore everything from whole numbers to decimals, fractions and percentages in this Functional Skills Maths module. Learn how to solve real problems using these skills, including making decisions about purchases, using ratios in recipes and work or working out whether your bills are correct.
Understanding measure, shape and space – Look at topics like area and distance, time, speed and temperature in this Functional Skills Maths module. You’ll understand how to solve problems involving time to plan your home or work life, and how to use your understanding of shape and area to do anything from reading a map to plan a house renovation.
Handling data – Find out how to work with information, such as summarising and presenting information you’ve found and how to understand the information that other people are sharing with you. In this Functional Skills Maths module you’ll also look at probability and how likely certain things are to happen. You will learn how to spot patterns and see how even data and statistics can be biased.
Functional Skills ICT Online Courses
Functional Skills ICT helps you to develop the practical skills needed for using technology in daily life, study and work. Completing Level 2 in this subject will demonstrate you have mastered everyday ICT. Functional Skills (ICT) Levels 1 and 2 covers topics that are explored at both the first and second level:
Fundamentals – Find out the fundamental aspects of using a computer such as managing files, folders, passwords, security and how to deal with common IT issues in this Functional Skills ICT module.
Using email software and the internet - This Functional Skills ICT module examines how to use email software to send and receive emails, send attachments and organise your contacts in an address book, along with how to use the internet effectively and safely.
Word processing - The different features of word processing software to create text-based documents are explored in this Functional Skills ICT module. You will also learn how to create engaging documents using images, tables and other formatting features.
Spreadsheets – Find out how to use spreadsheets to record information, how to complete calculations to analyse your data in more detail, and ways to present data using charts and graphs in this Functional Skills ICT module.
Presentation – This Functional Skills ICT module teaches you how to use presentation software programs to create a slideshow with text and images, transitions and animations.
Database – Learn the use of database software to record larger amounts of data and how to complete more detailed searches for specific information in this Functional Skills ICT module.
Taking Functional Skills Online
Studying online Functional Skills courses allows you the freedom to qualify and upskill without interrupting your work and other day-to-day commitments. Functional Skills benefit everyone that wants to study further but don't have the grades. Should you decide to study an online Functional Skills Level 2 course, you’ll be the one in the driver’s seat of your learning. You can choose when and where you study, how often and therefore how soon you can complete the Functional Skills course and gain your qualification.
Online Functional Skills courses equip you with essential knowledge and skills, as well as specialised support to help you succeed. When you enrol you will benefit from tutorials with an expert tutor, giving you the chance to practice what you’ve learnt in a mock exam.
The Functional Skills tutorials use virtual classroom technology to give you one on one time with your tutor to go through parts of the course you would like more help with. This allows you to get personal guidance and support, and an opportunity to address any questions or problems you may have about Functional Skills English, Maths or ICT topics.
Once you have completed your Functional Skills course material and mock exams, your tutor will determine if you are ready for your exams. This way you only go in for it once you have been given the green light, meaning you will be much more confident in your ability when you take your Functional Skills test.
If you want to demonstrate to employers and further education institutions that you can work independently, solve problems and apply your knowledge to real-life situations, enrol in one of the Functional Skills Level 2 courses provided by learndirect today. Give us a call on 01202 006 464 or contact us online. Alternatively, click below to view these in more detail.