Hardest GCSE Subjects

GCSEs will lead you to your next stage of education and your future career. It is therefore important that you get the highest grades in your exams.

This is a legitimate concern, as the difficulty of GCSE subjects can make a big difference in a student’s life.

Different subjects have different workloads, difficulty levels, questions that are difficult, complexity, length of the syllabus and examiner marking.

To help you choose the right combination, here is a list of the most difficult GCSEs. You should not be discouraged from choosing a subject, particularly if it is required for your A-level Subjects or University Courses.

What are the most difficult GCSE subjects?

1. GCSE Additional Maths

GCSE Further Maths has more difficult content than any other GCSE. It is difficult to comprehend and even regular GCSE maths students have trouble understanding it.

GCSE Additional Maths is not the same as regular GCSE Mathematics, as many people might believe. This subject covers work you would normally do at A Level.

This GCSE is only available to a few students, while some schools do not offer it. This is because this subject is very difficult and they don’t want to see a lot of students fail.

2. GCSE Chemistry

GCSE Chemistry is one of the most difficult subjects because of its extensive syllabus, complex concepts, enigmatic content, ruthless mark-making, and difficult questions that require students to use their knowledge in unfamiliar situations.

Chemistry is a difficult subject for most students. It’s not enough to simply memorize the book. Students must apply a lot to GCSE Chemistry questions.

3. GCSE Physics

GCSE Chemistry had a high pass rate in 2018 at 89.7%. This is slightly higher than GCSE Biology and slightly lower than GCSE Chemistry.

Because there are more students getting lower grades than in GCSE Biology, the pass rate is higher. This means that most students achieve a higher grade in GCSE Biology than in GCSE Chemistry.

GCSE Chemistry has a lot of complex content that even the most bright students can’t understand. This subject is difficult if you don’t put in the effort and work hard.

4. GCSE English Literature

English Literature is also one the most difficult GCSE subjects. English Literature is known for being difficult because of the large amount of content within the syllabus, difficult questions that require essays style and evidenced-backed answers, as well as extended readings whose meaning can be confusing.

5. GCSE Maths

GCSE Maths has many different equations and formulas that you need to know how to use. This subject is complex and interconnected, so the content will tie together in many different ways.

GCSE Maths is difficult because you need to understand all the connections between the content. You need to be prepared for whatever might happen when you show up to your exams – and there are many.

6. GCSE Computer Science

Computer Science is a moderately challenging GCSE. Computer Science is difficult because it requires critical thinking and involves a lot of mathematics. It also includes a large syllabus and many challenging questions.

GCSE Computer Science had a pass rate in 2018 of 61.6%. This is a very low pass rate for any GCSE with only 3.7% students achieving the highest grade of a 6.

This subject requires that students are proficient in problem solving and programming in order to succeed.

7. GCSE Economics

Economics is another GCSE subject that can be difficult. Students find the wide syllabus, which includes content from both Microeconomics as Macroeconomics, difficult. Complex graphs, critical thinking and complicated concepts are all part of GCSE Economics.

8. GCSE Biology

CSE Biology contains a lot of information you should know and some difficult techniques that you will need to master.

It’s easy for people to lose sight of things like meiosis and mitosis or the theory of evolution.

GCSE Biology contains the most maths, with only 10% of marks being maths-related. This can be good or bad depending on your math skills.

9. GCSE English Language

As of 2018, the pass rate for English Language was 70.2%. This is a high pass rate for any GCSE and partly explains why GCSE English Language does not rank higher on my list.

GCSE English Language is about displaying your writing talent without needing to know much about content. You only need to be familiar with a few techniques and their use.

Uncertainty about what might be on the GCSE English Language exams is one of the reasons it’s so difficult.

You will be provided with a few unrevealed texts, which you are expected to analyze and even compare.

10.GCSE Modern Foreign Languages

Modern foreign language GCSEs include Spanish, German, and French. The pass rate for GCSE Spanish is 70%, GCSE German 75.2% and GCSE French 69.8% (all data as of 2018).

The pass rates for these GCSEs are not very high, but this is because students who take them are determined to succeed.

Modern foreign language GCSEs are not higher up on my list because of their content.

The GCSE version doesn’t contain a lot of content and doesn’t go into too much detail.

Which GCSE is the most difficult to pass?

Double Science is the most difficult GCSE to pass. 58.1 percent of students get a four- or lower in 2021. Only 1.5 percent of Double Science students got a nine.


This is a guideline based on student consensus. Do not be afraid to take a GCSE even if it is considered difficult by the majority.

How difficult you find a topic depends on your prior knowledge, interests, or inclinations.

You can achieve a high grade by practicing consistently and detemination.

It is a big decision that you will make and one that you need to take seriously. Good luck!

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