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Mathematics Functional Skills


The mathematics functional skills qualification aims to give learners the opportunity to demonstrate that they have a strong grasp of mathematical problem-solving skills and have the ability to solve mathematical problems in familiar situations. The qualification also aims to give learners a strong foundation for progression into employment.

By taking mathematics functional skills assessments, learners can grow their confidence in fundamental mathematical knowledge and skills.


There are various areas of content for the mathematics functional skills qualification, including:

  • Using numbers and the number system – whole numbers:
  • Read, write, order and compare whole numbers up to 20.
  • Use whole numbers, including zero to count to 20.
  • Add numbers that total up to 20, and subtract numbers from 20.
  • Recognise and interpret the symbols +, – and = appropriately
  • Using common measures, shape and space:
  • Recognise coins and notes and write them in numbers with the correct symbols (£ & p), where these involve numbers up to 20.
  • Read 12-hour digital and analogue clocks in hours.
  • Know the number of days in a week, months and seasons in a year; be able to name and sequence.
  • Describe and make comparisons in words between measures of items including size, length, width, height, weight and capacity.
  • Identify and recognise common 2-D and 3-D shapes, including circle, cube, rectangle (including square) and triangle.
  • Use everyday positional vocabulary to describe position and direction, including left, right, in front, behind, under and above.
  • Handling Information and Data:
  • Reading numerical information from lists.
  • Be able to sort and classify objects using a single criterion.
  • To read and draw simple charts and diagrams such as tally charts and block graphs.


Solving Mathematical Problems and Decision Making

Learners will also be expected to use the knowledge and skills from the other components of the qualification to recognise and answer simple mathematical problems. Simple means there will only be one step before they are able to obtain the answer.

As the levels of the qualification progress there may be additional content added to the components, and the mathematical problems in the Solving Mathematical Problems and Decision Making component will become more complex.