20 Hardest A Levels Subjects: Official Research

Yes, there is a huge leap between GCSE up to the A-Level. As you begin the A-Level course, you’ll soon realize that there’s an explanation for why you choose a handful of (usually three) subjects, in comparison to the 10 or so GCSEs that you must study. The amount of work you’ll be able to engage in will significantly expand, and you’ll have to work more independently , both of which are extremely difficult to become comfortable with.

Deciding the best A-Level subjects and the number of subjects to study can feel like the most difficult task! We’ll give you some fantastic suggestions and tell you which is the toughest A-Level in the top 10, and which is the toughest A Level exam board. Do not worry, at time you’ve completed this post, you’ll have less confusion regarding how to make a choice.


The A-Level ranking of subjects on this list isn’t conclusive. Each student has their own strength and weakness, so they might find some subjects more difficult than others. Furthermore, the judgements regarding the toughest A-Levels will depend on the criteria it is based upon.

What are the toughest A-Levels?

It is important to remember that the level of difficulty you consider the A-level you’re studying is based on your personal learning style and kinds of subjects that you currently excel in. 

In the end there’s an overall consensus that certain A-level subjects are certainly more difficult than other subjects. After conducting some research and looking over the numbers we’ve compiled our list of the subjects we believe to be the toughest A-Level subjects to be.

. What are the most difficult A-Levels to pass?

We’re going to present the toughest A Level subjects straight up because we’re sure that’s the reason you’re here. Before you can scratch those off your list there are other factors to consider when picking subjects for your A Level subjects:

  • You must think about subjects that you’ll need at at university (regardless of the fact that they’re deemed difficult)
  • The exam board that your school is under will affect in the difficulty of an area of study is (we’ll reveal the toughest exam boards in the future)
  • You might want to think about the most highly regarded A Levels also (and it’s true that there’s a separate list to consider this as well)
  • What others find challenging could be the subject you enjoy most.

20. Art

First of all, what a lot of students don’t realize before they begin the course is Art A-Level actually demands strong analysis and essay writing skills. While you’re required to write Art to pass the exams but you are only able to achieve a high score if you write a convincing ‘Personal Studies analysis that you can include with your.

Art is a very deceitful subject because so many people believe it’s easy to master in A Level. The way we discuss Humanities subjects in our society could result in us shaming subjects such as Art in comparison towards STEM subjects. If you’re thinking of taking it as a “soft” alternative, reconsider! A-Level Art is likely to be the most demanding subject you can choose, so it’s best to only consider it if you’re truly committed to it. If you’re having trouble with another subject at A-Level The Art A-Level can be a real challenge.

If you’re not a skilled essayist, then it can be extremely difficult for students, particularly because it can impact your grade if you don’t write it at a sufficient quality.

However, if you’re extremely passionate about studying the subject of your choice at university and you are interested in pursuing your own creative career, the Art A-level could be extremely useful.

19. Is it difficult to master A Level Further Maths?

A mere 2percent of students who take A-levels are studying further Maths. Students who are successful in their GCSEs and other A-levels will have difficulties getting a good mark on Further Maths.

It’s not a question that the Further Maths exams are long and tough with a lot of questions that will get your brain working at its peak.

Maths is widely regarded as one of the most difficult A-level subjects. The focus is on three areas namely Pure Maths, Mechanics and Statistics. It can be difficult to believe that you’re taking on three subjects instead of just one, and it can be difficult to keep track of. It is necessary to have a minimum mark of 6 for the Maths section of your GCSE to be able to complete this course.

The vast syllabus demands dedication both in and out of class and includes popular subjects like kinematics, vectors and probability. It is estimated that only 2 percentage of students who have completed their A-levels will explore further Maths (or might need to).

The primary reason A-level Maths is difficult is because of the material. The first year follows from GCSE and is focused on learning skills, but it is the next year where things become a bit more difficult.

18. History

It is a difficult A-Level because it is not just many topics to learn, but you also need to acquire the necessary ability to structure the material to pass an exam. A Level History consists of three pieces of work namely Paper 1 and Paper 2 and Paper 3 (for A2 only). Edexcel offers, for instance, provides a variety of options to study A Level History, but the most popular choice is to focus on Russia 1918-1991 (Lenin from Yeltsin) and later look at communist countries in Paper 2 (for example, Mao’s China 1949-76). In the third paper You’ll be required to submit an assignment of 20 you can choose the topic, such as poverty and public Health or The State in Britain (1780 to 1939).

17. A-level Modern Foreign Languages

For instance, in the case of Spanish A Level It’s not enough be able to type in Spanish You’ll also be evaluated on your pronunciation and speaking. You’ll be required to complete three tests that you must master: Paper 1 that includes listening, reading, and Writing, which is evaluated through the 2 30 minute written exam as well as a listening exam and Paper 2 which is an 2 hour written exam as well as Paper 3 that is a spoken paper. You’ll be required to present orally your own research project like the aspects of Hispanic society.

Level A Modern Foreign Languages are extremely difficult subjects to choose from. You can pick among Spanish, French and German. Many students avoid modern foreign languages as they are difficult to learn at the level required by A-level Examiners.

16. Music

A Level Music is extremely difficult due to the technical aspects you need to comprehend. You must be flexible to master the subject because it encompasses three different aspects . For instance, Edexcel Music A-Level has an exam component (i.e. the musical evaluation of set works) as well as compositions, as well as a recital of the instrument you have chosen. It’s not enough for you to do well in the A-level music course if you’re a superb performer, since the performance portion of the course is only counted at 30% of the marks. It is also essential to be able create your own music using all the technical skills required and be able to pass the tough exam.

15. Physics

It’s an extremely fascinating subject if you’re interested in the science behind such things as how the universe functions. It is necessary to learn challenging topics like Further Mechanics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Thermodynamics, Nuclear Radiation and Oscillations at a high degree at this level, so If you’ve only managed to scrape your score at GCSE you may encounter a difficult subject. If you’ve had trouble in Maths GCSE it will be an especially difficult A-Level because there are some papers that contain questions that focus on mathematics at GCSE or higher.

14. Design & Technology (Product Design)

Over the last three years, the A-level entries in the subject of Design and Technology have fallen substantially, by 63.8% With increasing numbers of students finding it to be one of the most difficult of design to study at the A-level level.

In addition like an art A-Level, students tend to underestimate their time commitments and the time that they be required to spend on Design and Technology.

13. Which is the most difficult A-level in Science?

The most difficult science is Chemistry because you’ll require a solid understanding of Maths to be able to answer complex problems, as well as an amazing memory, and lots of minutes of revising.

12. What is the most difficult subject in A Levels, excluding humanities?

The most difficult A Levels subject among all Humanities are Modern Foreign Languages. It’s not a surprise given how much time and energy needed to be put into these subjects.

We have professional and trained tutors who are eager to help you master all difficult subjects. Be aware of this and select what you’d like to learn in line with your career goals and what subjects you like.

11. A-Level Psychology

A-Level Psychology is identical to GCSE English because of the sense you’re required to write a large amount in very short time. If this isn’t you, I would not recommend taking this course.

While Psychology A-Level is among of the most sought-after subjects that students can choose to study but it’s also one one of the highest rates of drop-out which is why only 73 percent of females and 63 percent from male pupils taking the subject from the first year up to the second year (AS up to Level A2).

One thing that make it difficult is the science component of it. A-level Psychology requires sciences and english skills and blends them and takes students off guard.

10. Business Studies

With a 98 percent pass rate. A-Level Business Studies remains among the subjects that have the highest marks however, it is a subject that many students are unhappy about the difficulties.

The challenge lies in the amount of information you need to be able to cover. Exams depend on you being able to comprehend and use information and business terminology and jargon that is foreign to you, may be a massive memory test. So, if your school has the subject, you should be encouraged to pursue Business Studies as a GCSE subject in the event that you’re contemplating studying it in the sixth year.

9. Computer Science

Drop-out rates as high as 4.9 percent (June 2018) among the highest of A-Level students Computer Science is surely regarded as being among the most difficult A-Level subjects.

If you are studying the subject at the A-level the focus is on two distinct topics: theory and programming. In essence, the programming part exposes you to the fundamental and universal programming languages, and the theory subjects help students to understand the complexities of the functioning of computers, right down to the micro-details.

The A-Level in Computer Science is among the most popular A-Levels, and increasing numbers of students taking it each year. It can give you essential skills to succeed in the workplace world, but how difficult could it be?

The theoretical part of the course covers the functioning of a computer from the smallest details. This is the toughest section for the majority of students because it’s not as hands on’.

The A Level Computer Science is an A-Level with high risk and high reward. It’s not easy however it’s well worth the effort when you’re able to succeed.

8. Biology A-Level

A-Level Biology is more independent than it’s GCSE counterpart. There’s a lot less support and also a smaller number of resources that you can utilize in your favor.

When it comes to the A-levels in science, Biology actually is one of the more straightforward choices. It’s not a surprise that this science A-Level is thought to be a bit difficult by a lot of students. For contrast, people estimate that the A-Level Biology course is at a minimum, 2-3 times harder than the GCSE equivalent. The figure doesn’t take into account the amount of tasks you have to complete to be able to be able to pass the exam.

That’s why many students choose to be unable to complete A-Level Biology. They believe they will be able to work in at the same level as they did at GCSE. This won’t work because A-Level Biology is much more challenging and more challenging than GCSE.

If you have trouble in spelling or language and spelling, it can be a difficult aspect of Biology A-Level, particularly due to how similar these words can be. It is essential that if you’re not able to grasp the topic, you work to grasp it, since when it comes time to revise for the exams, you’ll really struggle if have a solid foundation of understanding.

However, if you’re able to do it, then A-level Biology is an excellent A-level to include on your resume. It’s a popular subject that makes it easier to enter the university system and find work.

7. Computer Programming

AQA Computer Programming A-Level is divided into three components – Coursework Paper 1 (coding) and Paper 2 (theory). Learning to comprehend the programming language can prove difficult, especially when you’ve never encountered these previously. The theory section is the most content-driven portion of the exam which focuses on every aspect of the way computer systems function. It can be a bit challenging especially if you’re learning more effectively through practical exercises. 4.9 percent of A Level Computer Programming students fail the course, making it one of the most high A Level fail rates.

6. Politics

What makes students at ease with the topic is the volume of debate and discussion that takes place during classes and examinations. The majority of classes concentrate on difficult debates like “Is Britain truly democratic and why guns are so differing in the US in comparison to the UK or the UK?’ You have to be confident about your understanding and perspective to make an argument that is convincing. In this sense students who are introverted may find these classes to be a bit more challenging.

5. A-Level English Literature

The A Level English Literature is a difficult A-Level due to the contentand the much you must write. There’s a lot of long-form writing you’ll need to complete and you’re expected to put a lot of depth into the things you write, as well.

Furthermore when it comes to the analysis of texts and other writing, you’ll have to look at these texts more thoroughly than you would at GCSE in order to develop original ideas to construct arguments in essays or other assignments.

In addition, you need to remember information from books however, you must also be able to revise the context of the book and incorporate it into your essays and tests. This is a challenge for many students, who must learn these abilities in their own studies.

. When you take the English Literature AQA course A, you’ll be required to write two assignments, which include course work – Paper 1 as well as Paper 2. There’s a lot to read and you’ll have to develop your own ideas, which means you won’t be able to depend on SparkNotes to summarize books for you, as you did at GCSE.

4. Economics

In addition A-Level Economics also offers a wide range of subjects which means that memory retention is an essential capability to achieve success. While studying A-Level Economics, you’ll study the subject in two different ways macroeconomics, which covers the larger areas of the economy like taxes and budgets for government and impacts on large populations as well as microeconomics, that focuses on how major variables affect small-scale companies and individuals like pricing structures, market structure and the price of life.

3. A-Level Physics

In reality 40% of grades for your A-Level Physics tests is derived from maths. The ability control numbers, and apply crucial equations is a key element in the A-Level curriculum, even more than GCSE.

Students typically take A-Level Maths, along with Physics at A-Level. This is due to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to finish the A-Level Physics course with no knowledge from the A-Level Maths course.

A-Level Physics is an enormous improvement over the GCSE It pushes the best students in science to the limit. There is not only an abundance of mathematical concepts, also the real-world physics content is hard to comprehend.

2. Chemistry

If you take AQA Chemistry, you’ll take two tests. They are divided between Physical Organic as well as Inorganic chemistry. Physical Chemistry is in both papers, whereas Organic and Inorganic are only in one of them.

In the top 3 most difficult A-level subjects Chemistry is believed to be to be among the most difficult subjects. When you go from GCSE up to the A-level, it’s an enormous leap in both the difficulty of the content and the amount of duration required to learn independently. But it is also a huge leap in terms of passing rates of 96.1 percent Most students will be able to pass in the event that they understand the dedication required before deciding on the topic.

The A level Chemistry requires a significant amount of applying prior knowledge in contexts that are largely unexplored. Every year, new questions appear on the tests that test students’ ability to think critically and analytically.

Chemistry is difficult because it has three distinct topics to learn about each with its own vast list of subjects. This can be a challenge since while you might be able to master one subject more easily comprehend, you could be struggling with another which could seriously drag down your score.

1. History

Despite having one of the highest pass rates at A-Level (98.9 percent) A lot of students believe that History is among the toughest A-Levels because of the amount in time, effort and time required for it. The depth and depth at the study of historical issues is a major step up from GCSE and can prove quite difficult for students.

In addition, students studying History at A-Level need the ability to write for long periods of time and an excellent memory, which can be difficult for those students who aren’t sure of these skills. The way you will be assessed on the subject will take place through essays and coursework, which will require you to be accountable to remember all the crucial dates and details required to compose your essay with conviction.

What A Level board is the most difficult?

Most of the time, exam boards are said to be more difficult in certain areas and more easy in other. Just a quick look on student forums, and you’ll realize that this is a hugely subjective, however.

Which exam board is the most difficult AQA Exams like Edexcel CIE as well as OCR? Each has its own strengths and will suit different students better (although there isn’t an option unless you switch schools! ).

The final thoughts regarding the most difficult A Levels

We hope that you’re now more confident in picking the A Level subjects now. You’ve got an excellent base and a structure that you can work with. Don’t be afraid of the most difficult A Level if you’re passionate about it and want it to prepare for the future. Best of luck!

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