Are There Any ‘Easy’ GCSE Sports You Can Pick?

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If you are currently studying GCSE PE, you are bound to know that you will be practically assessed in 3 sports that you will choose. This can be seen as daunting to most students, as they must find the GCSE sports they will perform the best in. This puts a lot of pressure on the decision, as the grade they get depends just on how they perform during the day of assessment! Consequently, it’s no wonder that students try to find the easiest GCSE sports possible, to ensure that they will get a good grade.

The answer to whether there are any easy GCSE sports is specific to each individual. This is because everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses regarding sports. One GCSE sport may be easy to one student but not to another and vice versa! However, there are a few popular GCSE sports that students continue to choose, suggesting they may be easier than others for most students.

If you want to find out more about whether there really are any easy GCSE sports, check out the rest of this article!

What is the easiest GCSE PE individual sport?

As already mentioned, the easiest GCSE PE individual sport depends on each individual. If you are in a gymnastics club or have played table tennis all your life, you are bound to find these sports easy! Consequently, which ever sport this is will probably be the best one for you to choose.

However, this exam report from Pearson Edexcel explains how the most popular individual sports in 2018 (pre-Covid) seemed to be trampolining, athletics and swimming. The popularity of these sports could potentially mean that overall, students find them easier than other individual sports.

Alternatively, these sports may have just been more accessible to students and easier to film. In comparison, individual sports that have to be completed off site, such as skiing and cycling, may be less easy to get a good mark in.

This is because there may be less time to practice, as training can’t be done in school. These activities are also more difficult to film, which is highlighted in the report mentioned, meaning examiners may give lower marks as they are unable to accurately judge the performance.

What is the easiest GCSE team sport?

Again, the team sport that an individual finds easiest depends completely on them and their own strengths. After all, some students have great hand-eye coordination, meaning that netball or basketball could be extremely easy sports for them to complete.

However, if you are like me and have terrible foot-eye coordination, you may find football notoriously difficult! This just emphasises how the ease of a sport really is subjective.

Although, this report from Pearson Edexcel, also linked above, explains how netball, handball and football seemed to be popular team sports chosen. This again could potentially be due to the accessibility of these sports and the fact that all PE teachers will be trained in them and know the rules very well.

However, just because these sports are the most popular, it doesn’t mean that they are the easiest! In fact, examiners may be more stringent, as they are also likely to know the games very well in comparison to other obscure team sports, which are less popular.

Regardless, to summarise, the easiest GCSE PE team sport will be based on your own subjective opinion and nobody else’s! Therefore, it could be useful to spend the years before you do GCSE PE testing out different team sports and finding the one which is right for you.

Is it easier to get good marks on a team or individual GCSE PE sport?

To complete GCSE PE, you will need to do a practical assessment on an individual sport, a practical assessment on a team sport and a practical assessment on any sport of your choice! This last sport can be individual or team, meaning that you could do two individual sports if you really wanted to.

As a result, you may be wondering whether an individual sport or team sport would get you the higher marks! This question is difficult to answer, as there seem to be benefits and drawbacks for both.

For example, if you do a team sport as your third choice, examiners may find it hard to focus on you. This means that they may miss any potential mistakes you may make, leading to higher marks by default. However, if you don’t participate enough in the team or get overshadowed by other teammates, this could lead to lower marks.

Similarly, if you choose to do an individual sport as your third choice, you could get higher marks because the attention will be fully on you, allowing you to present your skills to the best of your ability. However, this fact could also lead to lower marks, as examiners are more likely to see any mistakes that you may potentially make.

Consequently, it is hard to say whether you would get higher marks doing an individual or team sport as your third choice. Therefore, you should just do the sport you know you have the most skills in!

After all, GCSE PE is not a compulsory GCSE. This means that if you chose to do GCSE PE, you probably enjoy a variety of sports. If you want to discover which GCSE subjects really are compulsory, check out this article from Think Student.

Which GCSE PE sports cover most of the marking criteria?

You may be thinking that the best GCSE sports to choose are the ones which will cover the most points on the marking criteria. However, the truth is that any sport you choose will have the potential to demonstrate all the criteria each exam board requires.

This is because for each individual sport, there is a specific marking criteria. After all, the skills presented in boxing will be extremely different to the skills demonstrated in netball! (Only if you are playing by the rules of course)!

An example of this is the marking criteria for volleyball. Students are assessed on their techniques for hitting the ball and decision-making strategies. They will also be assessed on their ability to be strategic or tactical when in the context of a challenging game.

Therefore, as long as you stick to the rules of the sport you are playing and try to do the best techniques and skills possible, you should cover all of the marking criteria. The full marking criteria for each sport, including volleyball, can be found on this page of the AQA website.

How do you choose your GCSE PE sports?

Choosing your GCSE sports can definitely be a difficult decision! However, as already stated, you should start with thinking about the ones you really are the best at.

Perhaps you have been playing some sort of sport for many years or are on a sports team? This would be useful, as the sports you have the most experience in will probably be the best ones to choose!

However, if you are only confident in one or two sports and realise that you have to pick a totally new one to complete your assessment, don’t panic! Have a play around with many different sports and discover the one which you enjoy playing the most.

If you are really stuck when trying to decide, consider asking your PE teachers. They are there to help you after all! Check out this document from the government website to discover the full list of GCSE sports you could do.

It may be difficult to begin a new sport you have never done before. However, this article from Think Student suggests that GCSE PE is actually one of the easiest GCSEs!

How is the GCSE PE practical graded?

Regardless of the GCSE sport you do choose, you will be assessed in a standardised and fair way. The AQA specification describes how students will be assessed in progressive drills in each sport, to display their skills. The drill for each sport is worth the same number of marks.

Students will then be assessed in the full context of each of their three sports. Each sport performance is also worth the same number of marks.

Additionally, an evaluative report will have to be written about one of their own sport’s performances. You can find out more about this on the AQA website here.

The specifications for GCSE PE from OCR and Pearson Edexcel are pretty similar and you can click here and here respectively to visit their websites.

The practical assessment contributes less to your overall grade than the written exams. Check out this useful table below to discover what percentage of your overall GCSE PE grade the practical section makes up for each specification:

Specification Number of marks available from paper exams Number of marks available from practical exam Number of marks available from practical report Percentage of grade dependent on practical exam
AQA 156 75 25 30%
OCR 120 60 20 30%
Pearson Edexcel 140 105 20 30%

As you can see, all exam boards place the same amount of weight on the practical exam in determining each student’s overall GCSE PE grade. This practical exam can be seen as coursework.

If you want to discover what other GCSEs require students to complete coursework, check out this article from Think Student.

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