What Are the Easiest GCSEs Subjects? (To Fast-Track)

What Are the Easiest GCSEs Subjects? (To Fast-Track)

January 18, 2024 | 4months | General

In the British educational system, GCSEs set the end of high school and the beginning of one’s professional career. Up to that moment, students are taught certain subjects that they must pass to move from one year to another. However, at this point, pupils have their first chance to decide what they want to study and start to shape their professional future

In this instance, students take Maths and English, which are the Core subjects that all students must study, and they get to pick other eight subjects, approximately. Nevertheless, having to choose among the +80 subjects available can be difficult, and many students prefer taking the easiest ones to smooth the path ahead.

Let’s analyse which are the easiest subjects on offer, and what exactly makes them easier.

What Makes a GCSE ‘Easy’?

Students usually share their thoughts about subjects on forums and blogs, but their opinions are extremely varied, due to the sheer number of subjects available. Of course, nobody has taken all of them and, thus, can have an objective and comprehensive view on this matter. Fortunately, the UK Department of Education not only regulates examination boards but also collects data from them. Based on the gathered data, they can spot trends and analyse metrics, which allows them to identify the easiest and most difficult GCSE subjects.

To establish the easiest and most difficult subjects, the Department of Education analyses what percentage of students who take each subject actually passes it. This determines the subject’s Pass Rate. The higher the pass rate, the easier it is reckoned to be.

Student working on laptop

Moreover, we can consider what enables more students to pass these subjects more easily. Based on their comments on forums and other parameters taken into account by exam boards, exams are considered easier when they involve skills students have already acquired throughout their high-school education (essay writing, for instance), when the topics included are interconnected and those with clearer and easier tasks to solve.

Aside from the difficulty of every subject, we highly recommend pondering how these choices will play out in your future. If you already have a plan in mind, the best is to research the requirements to enter your desired university or job and select your GCSEs in alignment with those aspirations. Choosing subjects that provide you with the skills necessary to perform well in certain jobs is highly valued by employers, either as a young adult looking for their first job, or as a mature student who wants to resit GCSEs for better working opportunities.

GCSE pass rates by subject (ranked easiest to hardest)

Because exam results are assessed every year, this scale is updated and can vary constantly. This is what the 2019-2023 average statistics show:

1. Biology (~90% Pass rate)

2. Physics (~90% Pass rate)

3. Chemistry (~90% Pass rate)

4. German (~78% Pass rate)

5. Music (~78% Pass rate)

6. Art and Design (~78% Pass rate)

7. Drama (~78% Pass rate)

8. English Literature (~75% Pass rate)

9. Physical Education (~70% Pass rate)

10. Maths (~70% Pass rate)

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Top 10 easiest GCSE subjects (ranked by students)

Apart from official statistics, students have their own take on the easiest subjects, influenced by personal tastes and experiences. For this reason, the top 10 can vary from that created by examination boards and the Department of Education. From this point of view, the top 10 chosen by students places subjects in the following order, from easiest to hardest: Geography, Film Studies, Religious Studies, Media Studies, Hospitality and Catering, Business Studies, Drama, Physical Education, and Sociology.

Which GCSE subjects saw the biggest fall in results?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, GCSE methodologies were changed during 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2020 and 2021, students didn’t sit for these exams at all and instead were graded by their teachers based on coursework and class performance. In 2022, exams were reinstalled but suffered several modifications. For instance, exams came with a more lenient grading system, considering that many students taking exams during that year had taken most of their classes online. This led to an increase in grades, which eventually fell back to pre-pandemic values in 2023.

Based on the latest data, the subjects that presented the biggest fall in results from 2022 were Business Studies, Computing, English Language, Geography and French.

Fall in Top Grades

Bonus Track: Less-known strategies for easier GCSEs

Aside from choosing subjects with a high pass rate, there are also a few strategies that can help in making GCSEs easier.

Combining subjects with similar content

A very good approach is is to select similar subjects. This way, you will be able to interconnect the topics you need to study and increase your chances of achieving good results. A good combination could be Biology, Chemistry and Physics, all Science-related. However, aim at finding the right balance. You don’t want to choose subjects which are redundant, such as Maths and Further Maths, as some universities may frown upon this.

Taking GCSEs privately

The traditional way to study for GCSEs is at school in group classes. But studying online can be a much better option for many, as it provides more flexibility. This can be done at private colleges, online academies or through homeschooling. Here is how to take GCSE privately at online academies.

Online and distance learning

One form of private learning is enrolling in online academies, which allow students to study at their own pace, and from anywhere, and even fast-track courses, reducing the regular two-year study time to just a few months. This way, learners can adapt their study schedule to their personal lives, increasing commitment and engagement towards study. Find out how to do GCSE online here.

CloudLearn offers an exclusive exam centre selection process, where we will help you skip the hassle of finding the right private GCSE exam centres to sit for exams as a private candidate.

1:1 Tutoring

Studying on one’s own can sound challenging, as you need to be responsible and consistent with studying. However, the best GCSE online courses include 1:1 tutoring with an appointed tutor who can guide you along the process, explain topics in-depth and present studying techniques to ensure success.

Exam board selection: Which exam board is the easiest for GCSEs?

Although the same subjects are offered by different examination boards, all of these are regulated by Ofqual, belonging to the UK’s Department of Education. This ensures that there are no significant differences between the options available, making all of them equally difficult.

At CloudLearn, the vast majority of exams are evaluated by Edexcel.

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Have you chosen the subjects you want to study? Now is time to enrol in preparation courses. By Choosing CloudLearn, you are on track for a smooth GCSE experience, regardless of your subject choice. Enrol today to access exclusive seasonal discounts!


What is the least picked GCSE?

In 2023, one of the least popular GCSEs was Leisure and Tourism, with just 151 enrolled students throughout the entire UK.

How easy is it to pass GCSEs?

It is true that GCSEs are not easy, as they require lots of effort and study hours. However, you can make them easier by choosing some of the easiest subjects on the list above and adopting some smart study strategies.

Are GCSEs harder every year?

GCSEs are carefully crafted to be fair and equally difficult throughout the years. It is true, however, that students from 2020 to 2022 had it easier, as exigencies were lowered during and after the pandemic, but requirements have now returned to pre-pandemic times.

How common is it to fail a GCSE?

Technically, everyone scoring a 1 or above has passed GCSEs, but a minimum of 4 is necessary to be admitted to most A-level and university courses. Having said that, only 2% of students get a U grade (“ungraded”, i.e., failed), and less than 40% achieve grades below 4, which is considered “a strong pass”. Even so, students can resit GCSEs as many times as necessary, either to pass exams or to achieve higher scores.

What to do if you don t know what to pick for GCSE?

First, we advise you to think about what you want to do in your future professional life, research the university requirements for that pathway, and choose accordingly. If you are still unsure, you can select some of the statistically easiest GCSE subjects and learn general skills that you will find useful later in life, regardless of your professional goals.

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