What is the Equivalent of Math and English GCSEs?

Level 2 functional skills, mathematics and English are widely accepted by universities and employers as the closest equivalents to GCSEs. These qualifications are equivalent to a GCSE of Level 4 or Grade C. Taking courses equivalent to GCSE is beneficial for students who want to continue their education and take additional classes before starting their A-levels and applying to college. Level 2 mathematics and English, often referred to as functional skills, are accepted by employers and universities as GCSE equivalents.

These qualifications are for subjects outside of mathematics and English, so they are not as relevant to higher education. The United Kingdom considers mathematics, English and science subjects to be compulsory for which everyone must take exams. BTEC Level 1-2 is a GCSE equivalent that students can take in college, with a focus on vocational subjects aimed at specific job sectors and industries without GCSE equivalents in mathematics and English. All students wishing to access a higher education course must have a level 2 degree in mathematics and English that is recognized through its formal regulations.

Scottish national titles are not a substitute for GCSE, but rather a direct equivalent, as grades A to C of the Scottish national certificate directly correlate with GCSE grades 4 to 9.The importance of having a solid knowledge of English and mathematics is more evident than ever after the announcement that more measures will be put in place to help schoolchildren who fall behind in these subjects. Functional Skills Level 2 is a GCSE equivalent that college courses and employers accept as Grade C or Level 4.For those looking to enter college courses or improve their employment prospects, Level 2 functional skills qualifications are often the most relevant equivalent of GCSE. Most universities accept Level 2 as a GCSE equivalent, allowing students to access courses such as nursing, midwifery, and many more. Progression functional skills are a qualification in their own right and are a necessary requirement for learning if GCSEs in English and Mathematics have not been obtained.

This varies from exam to exam and exam board to exam board, but generally the score for passing the Level 2 math exam is around 55% and reading and writing in English is similar.

Shahid Lakha
Shahid Lakha

Shahid Lakha is a seasoned educational consultant with a rich history in the independent education sector and EdTech. With a solid background in Physics, Shahid has cultivated a career that spans tutoring, consulting, and entrepreneurship. As an Educational Consultant at Spires Online Tutoring since October 2016, he has been instrumental in fostering educational excellence in the online tutoring space. Shahid is also the founder and director of Specialist Science Tutors, a tutoring agency based in West London, where he has successfully managed various facets of the business, including marketing, web design, and client relationships. His dedication to education is further evidenced by his role as a self-employed tutor, where he has been teaching Maths, Physics, and Engineering to students up to university level since September 2011. Shahid holds a Master of Science in Photon Science from the University of Manchester and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Bath.