The Initial Assessment Tool (IAT) BETA Test


We need your feedback – your chance to help us improve this Initial Assessment Tool


IAT - Try the BETA test versionWe're currently in the process of developing an Initial Assessment Tool for functional skills, and we'd really like your feedback to help us improve this for you. 

The BETA test version is now available - try it now. Then, why not give us your feedback


o How do you use the Initial Assessment Tool?

IAT - Give us your feedbacko What changes and improvements would you like to see?


We look forward to hearing and incorporating your suggestions for improvement. 


What does this Initial Assessment Tool offer me and my learners?

The Initial Assessment Tool (IAT) provides a simple way of helping teachers and tutors to screen a learner's existing skills and gives an indication of their level of ability in Functional English reading and Functional mathematics from Entry Level 1 up to Level 2.  It can also be used as part of Information Advice and Guidance practice.

There are 10 questions for each level and the learner is able to progress through the levels as appropriate.  Learners proceed to the next level only after completing the one before. An indicator at the end of the test which summarises the learner's answers.


What range of skills does the Initial Assessment Tool cover?

We hope you will find this useful as one of a range of tools you might use to assess the right level for your learners before they start studying functional skills.

However, if you are looking for support with other aspects of diagnostic assessment not covered by the IAT, we’ve listed a few possible areas below with some further guidance:


Skill area 


1. Full range of problem-solving skills required for formal functional skills assessment.







2. Writing and Speaking & Listening skills



3. Readiness for formal functional skills assessment


Does the IAT cover this?


1. Formal functional skills assessment requires a mix of open and fixed responses.


The IAT questions are multiple choice and fixed response only, so it cannot help with assessing a learner’s ability to answer open-response questions.  We recommend you use other methods to assess this.


2. The IAT cannot cover these skills in any depth, so we suggest the use of a separate writing task to gauge your learners’ writing ability.


3. As one of a range of tools, the IAT can help you assess your learners before they begin their course so they can start studying functional skills at the level appropriate for each individual. So, they can start studying functional skills at the level appropriate for each individual.


It is not designed to assess whether – or at what level – learners are ready to be entered for formal assessment, nor whether they have acquired the requisite skills and knowledge to pass that assessment.


Again, we suggest you use other methods to assess this.


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What do you think?