English Diagnostic Tests

English Diagnostic Tests

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PFS Team May 23, 2024


At Pass Functional Skills, we have free diagnostics tests for English and maths. In this article, we will focus on our English initial assessments. These are designed to help you identify the level you are working at and tailor your learning accordingly. Similar to our maths initial assessments, our English diagnostic tests are completely free, providing valuable insights into your proficiency and guiding you towards the appropriate level of study.

Please fill in the form below and one of our team will then be in touch to tell you more about our English initial assessments.

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English Functional Skills Diagnostic Assessments

We offer two types of diagnostic tests for English: the initial assessment and the subject knowledge assessment. Let’s delve into the specifics of each assessment:

Initial Assessment

Our initial assessment offers a comprehensive evaluation of the level that a learner is starting the course at. The assessment comprises of questions covering a range of difficulty levels across various topics. Each question is weighted based on its complexity, as well as the complexity of the topic itself. By analysing the number of correct answers and their respective weightings, we can determine a learner’s initial level. This valuable insight allows us to recommend whether level 1 or level 2 is more suitable.

Subject Knowledge Assessment

In addition to the initial assessment, we offer a subject knowledge assessment for English. This diagnostic test evaluates learners’ comprehension across the entire English curriculum, pinpointing areas that require improvement. Upon completion of the subject knowledge assessment, learners receive a list of recommended topics to focus on during their revision. Mastering these topics within the course prepares learners for their exams.

Current Level

As learners progress through the course, their current level dynamically adjusts based on their performance in practice questions and topic tests. Our current level metric provides learners with real-time feedback on their course progress, factoring in the difficulty of each question attempted. Once a leraner’s current level surpasses 2.5, they are typically deemed ready to undertake their level 2 exam.

ESFA Funding

It is an ESFA requirement to carry out an assessment of current level for those apprentices who do not have evidence of prior attainment of level 2 maths and English qualifications. These assessments must be carried out using tools based on the national literacy and numeracy standards and core curriculum, as stated by the ESFA funding rules. The Pass Functional Skills diagnostics tests help training providers to meet these requirements without incurring any cost.


While the initial assessment guides learners towards the appropriate course level it’s important to note that this recommendation isn’t binding. For instance, you may be advised to enrol on the level 1 English course. However, you may need the level 2 qualification. In this case, you may need to spend more time on the course and revision but you will be able to take the level 2 exam. Completion of the entire course equips learners with the skills needed for improvement and to pass their exam.

In addition to our English diagnostic tests, we also offer similar evaluations for maths. Click the link below to find out more about our diagnostic assessments.

English Diagnostic Tests


English Diagnostic Assessment Helpline: 020 4574 9155

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Written by

Pass Functional Skills Team

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