Functional skills is different to GCSE English. It's about your writing skills in response to a text. What they are looking for is:
- That you write the right kind of document. If they ask you to write an email, they expect your answer to look like an email. The same goes for a letter, forum post, article of report. Research the types of texts that your exam board may ask you to write, and then practice writing these.
- In the reading exam, they don't just want one-word answers, or you to write out a quote from the text. You need to use your common sense and paraphrase information to show you know what it means.
- You need to write with some detail. If the question is asking what features are used, you need to explain these. For instance, you could write 'They have used bullet points. This breaks information up so it is easier to read.'
- Everything you write needs to have structure and detail. You must have a logical structure and give examples and detail. They question may be asking you to write a letter of complaint about changes to a bus route. You need to provide logical points with detail and information. Each idea should be in one paragraph.
- Spelling, grammar and using the correct types of words are marked in Functional Skills. Don't confuse your homophones (there, their and they're) and don't write sentences that just go on and on and on. Use a range of sentence structures, but make sure they are grammatically correct. This is harder than it sounds: many people make errors that they don't even know they are making. Look into run-on sentences, apostrophes and the differences between 'its' and 'it's'.