“Functional skills” is a phrase that you may see and hear quite a bit, but what does it mean? Put simply, functional skills in maths mean that instead of just learning how to do mathematical operations, you learn how to apply maths to real life situations.

In newer textbooks, you may see some questions marked with FS or FM. These questions are functional maths questions, intended to give you practice in using maths in ways that are useful in life, not just in a school textbook.

If you started GCSE Maths in September 2010 or later, the course you are studying will include functional skills, and the exam papers will include functional skills questions. This should help you by making the maths more relevant to you, and more useful in every day life.