This section provides guidance on paper-based tests for the following OCR Functional Skills qualifications, which are available on-demand:
Sample assessment materials are available via our past papers finder.
When offering Functional Skills external tests, centres must adhere to the following instructions:
This is a regulatory document for centres delivering Functional Skills and Digital Employability exams.
Centres timetable tests when they wish and there are no OCR-set test windows. Centres must inform candidates of the date and time of their tests.
Once you have made your entries, you will receive question papers within five working days.
You have 15 working days after making your entry to return all used and unused question papers to OCR.
Once you open a packet of papers, you have five consecutive working days in which your candidates may sit that paper. This is your 'test window' for that paper. You must make sure tests are taken and candidates only sit the paper once within this window.
You can make new entries without waiting until papers from previous entries are returned. This means you can run multiple five-day testing windows. The rules regarding timetabling of tests apply to each separate set of entries.
You can use our ‘dates calculator’ to help you working out the testing windows:
Question papers are confidential and must be stored in approved secure storage, as outlined in Section 1 of the OCR ICE.
All question papers must be accounted for and held securely by the centre. Question papers may not be issued to anyone other than the candidates taking the test or scribes/readers assigned to them. Question papers should never be photocopied without permission from OCR. All papers (used and unused) must be returned to OCR and must never be used for teaching or examination practice.
Question papers must not be marked by the centre or feedback given to candidates. No reworking of any part of the test is allowed once the test has been completed.
Each question paper has a ‘paper variant’ code to distinguish between the different papers.
For example, OCR Level 1 Functional Skills in Mathematics might have variants such as MA01, MC10, MB1 and MB19.
For ICT assessments, the variant code is associated with a set of data files.
Each paper variant will be ‘live’ for a selected period, after which it will be withdrawn.
Copying or retaining live papers or using a withdrawn paper will be treated as malpractice.
You can use the paper variants to track use of assessment within a ten-day period.
Maths and English Reading and Writing tests consist of scenario-based questions. ICT tests consist of practical tasks using a computer. These must take place under examined conditions as per the OCR ICE.
Centres must verify the identity of candidates taking the test and must be satisfied the candidate taking the test is the one whose name will be submitted to OCR.
Invigilators must know what equipment is permitted in each test and that candidates take into the examination room only that which is allowed.
Candidates will need a pen with black ink. In addition:
*ICT tests: We recommend candidates spend approximately 15 minutes on Part A and the rest of the time on Part B. Internet access is required to complete Part A but must be disabled before the candidates start Part B.
Centres must download data files so that candidates can carry out the Functional Skills Levels 1 and 2 ICT tasks:
For English and ICT tests, candidates can either handwrite their answers on the question paper or use a computer and print out their responses. Maths responses must be written on the question paper.
Pack and securely seal the following items in the envelope provided:
Responsibility for candidates’ work remains with the centre until it is received by the OCR examiner. You should use a secure form of delivery, e.g. Parcelforce, to send the candidate work to the examiner.