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Understanding Adult Skills Levels

This page provides a comparison between adult numeracy levels in the UK. It also shows why you should not rely on Functional Skills alone to ascertain a numeracy level.

In England and Wales, the adult numeracy levels are measured across five levels, from Entry Level 1 (equivalent to the standard expected for ages 5 to 7) up to Level 2 (GCSE A*-C). Scotland and Northern Ireland use a system similar to international levels to measure adult skills.

The National Numeracy Challenge measures the numeracy you need in daily life at work and at home, and does not directly follow these levels, but the table below shows how scores roughly equate to adult skills levels. Scoring 80 or more on the Challenge shows that you have the Essentials of Numeracy, the core skills needed for daily life and work.



At National Numeracy, we also offer a version of the Challenge which is designed specifically for healthcare, with questions matching the context of an everyday clinical position. Please contact us on: for more information.  



What is the problem with relying on Functional Skills alone to support numeracy in the NHS: