Functional Skills Level 1 Equivalent

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PFS Team November 21, 2023


Functional skills level 1 is equivalent to a D/E at GCSE level, they provide a stepping stone to gaining higher level qualifications like functional skills level 2 or GCSEs. Functional skills level 1 can be sat in both maths and English with Pass Functional Skills.

Submit the form below and one of our support team will be in touch, who will be able to talk you through your options in regards to level 1 qualifications.

English Functional Skills Level 1 Exams

The functional skills level 1 English exams can be sat at home, all year round including weekends and evenings, the team will be able to find a time that suits your schedule. A level 1 functional skills qualification contains less content than a traditional GCSE, there are no entry requirements, all you need is a computer.

The functional skills English qualification is split up into 3 separate exams: Reading, writing, and speaking, listening & communication. Usually, the reading and writing exams are sat back-to-back in a two hour slot and the SLC is sat on a separate day.

You can find out some more information about what the level 1 functional skills English exams involve below.

Functional Skills English Level 1 Exam

Maths Functional Skills Level 1 Exams

Level 1 qualifications for maths can also be achieved by an exam sat at home with an online invigilator. Maths functional skills level 1 exams are sat as one paper, which is split into two sections: calculator and non-calculator. There are three separate topic areas that you will be assessed on, these are: Using numbers, understanding measure, shape & space and handling information & data.

Below you will find a link to find out more about the topic areas and how you can book your exam.

Functional Skills Maths Level 1 Exam

GCSE Exams

Here at Pass My GCSE, we offer GCSE Maths and English exams that can be sat in Autumn or Summer each year. Sitting one of these exams will get you a full GCSE qualification, graded 1-9. There is some more information on our GCSE exams here.



How much below a GCSE is a level 1?

A level 1 maths equivalent is a grade 2/3 at GCSE. This is one level below a GCSE, as can be seen here on the government website. A level 1 English equivalent is also a grade 2/3 (E/D in old money) at GCSE.

Would I need a level 1/2 qualification before I sit a GCSE?

No, as long as you are over 16 then you can sit a GCSE. Most learners tend to do level 2 functional skills if they need a GCSE equivalent as it is pass/fail so you don’t have to worry about what grade you get, however, you may prefer to get the full GCSE. It’s whatever works best for you!

Is a level 1/2 qualification easier than a GCSE?

There is less content involved in a functional skills qualification than a traditional GCSE so is viewed as easier, especially for adult learners.


If you need any support with your functional skills level 1 equivalents then you are welcome to 

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Written by

Pass My GCSE Team

We help thousands of students each year with revision, courses and online exams.