Almost every student likes to claim that they are doing the hardest subjects for GCSE, but it’s very rare that people can agree what these subjects are. Usually people tend to struggle with a particular ‘type’ of subject depending on their personal strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, this article will help you to understand what it is about particular subjects which makes them seem harder than others!

1. History

A common subjects that students typically struggle with is GCSE History. The seemingly endless amounts of knowledge required can be difficult to apply to the various sources and questions presented to you in the exam. Couple this with the specific exam technique required to gain top band marks and you have an essay that appears impossible to complete within exam time constraints.

2. Essay-based courses

This is a similar issue in subjects like English Literature, English Language and other essay-based courses. The key to success in essay-based subjects is exam question practice! By doing questions once you have finished making notes, you will begin to see how examiners can ask about the information that you have just studied. It is most effective if you get your teachers to mark them for you afterwards as they typically have a better idea of what the examiners are looking for, however you should always try and look at the mark scheme yourself so that you understand where you are losing marks and where you are gaining them.

3. Maths

Another subject that many students struggle with is GCSE Maths. One of the primary difficulties with this subject is that there is very little wriggle room when you’re answering questions as many of the answers are either right or wrong. For those aiming for the top grades it can be especially difficult because many of the harder questions directed towards these students require complicated multi-step techniques; something that can be difficult to work out in the heat of the exam.

Once again, succeeding in GCSE Maths is all about practice. One of the biggest issues with the new specification is that there are very few past paper questions available for students to use for revision. Resources like textbooks and workbooks specific to your exam board are the next best thing to try and keep your revision methods as close as possible to the real exam. When doing practice questions, you should aim to keep going back to it until you can’t get it wrong as opposed to just doing it until you get it right once.

4. Science

The many variations of science at GCSE can also prove difficult for some students when it comes to revision. Unlike the other subjects covered here, one of the biggest problems with GCSE science is the vast amount of content that you have to learn. Like Maths, many of the exam questions are either right or wrong so it is vital that you know as much of the content as possible before you enter the exam.

The best way to handle learning this mountain of content is by using your specification as a checklist. This will ensure that you cover everything you can possibly be tested on in the exam and it can help you to create an effective revision schedule. Another way to the information is to check out our GCSE science videos which are coming out soon!

Obviously, this isn’t a definitive list of difficult subjects at GCSE as people will always find things slightly harder or easier than other people. If you do find any of the subjects mentioned in this article difficult, hopefully our tips and tricks will help you to get ahead and reach for those top grades in the exam!