Every GCSE students is on the lookout for the easiest GCSE so that they can do as well as possible with as little work as possible. We’ve put together a list of GCSEs with the highest percentage of students gaining As and above in 2017 so that you can see which the subjects in which most students achieve the top grades!
1. Modern foreign languages - 63.9% of students achieving As or above
Surprisingly, MFL had the highest percentage of students achieving top grades last year despite the fact that they are notoriously tough to learn. This may be due to lower grade boundaries or the fact that many students that are already fluent in foreign languages choose to take them as an easy GCSE course.
2. Classical subjects - 63.3% of students achieving As or above
Subjects like Latin and Greek also had a high percentage of students achieving top grades last year, in spite of the fact that they are usually seen as difficult subjects that are only taken up by the most able students.
3. Additional maths - 56.6% of students achieving As or above
Although this has a high percentage of students achieving As and above, it is likely due to the fact that only students that are comfortable in Maths undertake it. This results in more students achieving these grades than in other subjects where students of all abilities take the exams.
4. Irish - 44.3% of students achieving As or above
Irish is another outlier in this list; whilst it is likely that the ease of the course can be attributed to the high percentage of students achieving As and above, you also have to consider that many students who take this subject will have learnt Irish from being very young therefore most of them are achieving the top grades. This creates a similar scenario as the Additional Maths course where the percentage is higher due to a decreased range of abilities.
5. Chemistry - 42.3% of students achieving As or above
Despite being seen as one of the hardest A Level courses, GCSE Chemistry seems to be the exact opposite! Chemistry is one of the more ‘knowledge-based’ courses offered at GCSE in which your answers are either right or wrong, unlike English where there is a degree of subjectivity. This is one of the factors which makes it slightly easier than other courses like History or Religious Studies.
6. Physics - 41.8% of students achieving As or above
One key difference between Chemistry and Physics is the increased amount of maths required to succeed at GCSE Physics, something which may account for the difference in difficulty between the two subjects.
7. Biology - 41.4% of students achieving As or above
Unlike Physics and Chemistry, Biology GCSE tends to be more application based as it requires you to apply your knowledge to various scenarios. Despite the difference in approach, it doesn’t make any radical difference to its difficulty in comparison to its scientific counterparts.
8. Further additional science - 35.3% of students achieving As or above
Despite the fact that Separate Sciences and Combined Sciences should have similar difficulty levels (due to the fact that the content and exam style should be almost identical), there does appear to be a slight difference in the difficulty of the courses based on the percentages of students achieving top grades.
9. Music - 30.8% of students achieving As or above
Music is the only subject on this list which has an assessed practical component (aside from the sciences) which can make it easier due to the fact that at least some of your marks come from a non-exam situation which is typically less stressful.
10. Religious studies - 29.5% of students achieving As or above
Our final subject on this list is Religious Studies. This is an odd subject as it requires vast amounts of subject knowledge regarding various religions, however some exam boards also give students the luxury of using their opinions for certain answers. It is this combination which means that, as long as students learn the exam technique, it is relatively easy to gain the top grades.
Obviously this list is not definitive as there are several factors which may contribute to the statistics aside from the difficulty of the course. Similarly, there will always be a certain amount of variation between different people due to the fact that every student has different strengths and weaknesses. Another factor to consider is that these rankings are in relation to the old specification, therefore it isn’t easy to tell if this list will hold true for the new specifications being assessed for the first time this year.
It is never a good idea to pick your GCSEs based on perceived difficulty irregardless of statistics as it is important that you enjoy a subject if you are going to be studying it for two years. As long as you revise well, there is no reason that you can’t succeed in even the most difficult of courses!