The 10 Easiest A-Level Subjects (Ranked)

The 10 Easiest A-Level Subjects – Ranked for 2024

In A-Level by Think Student Editor34 Comments

As a step up from GCSEs, A-Levels can be entirely different from them. This can make it hard to figure out how well a subject might suit you, even if you’ve studied it at GCSE. Seeing how other students have found the course can be a great way of learning more about the courses you can study without having to experience them for yourself.

Continue reading to learn which A-Level subjects students consider the easiest. This article will take you through the rankings and give you some insight into why students may feel that this course is easy.

Be advised. The ranking of the A-Level subjects in this list is not definitive. Every student will have individual strengths and weaknesses, and so will find some subjects more challenging than others. Additionally, judgements about the hardest A-Levels depend on the criteria that it is based on. In this article we have tried to take into account many different factors that make certain A-Level subjects challenging, but still, keep in mind that the list here is formed of opinions which are based on polling. Although you may want to take them into account when choosing your A-Level subject, you should also think about what your specific skills are and what it is that interests you when choosing your A-Level subjects.

Easiest A-Levels: Student Perception vs Pass Attainment Rates

Below you can find the visualisation A-Level subject difficulty rankings (top – easiest, bottom – 11ᵗʰ easiest). Displayed on the chart are both our own internal polling results and our analysis of pass attainment rates (a grade C or above) for the 2022 cohort.

Click a chart legend (colour key) to filter the ranking by specific metric.

(*) Difficulty perception represents the proportion of students who voted that specific subject as the easiest A-Level during our polling. You can learn more about how we collected this data at the end of this article.
(**) Pass attainment rates refer to the proportion of students in 2022 who achieved a C or above. This data was collected from both here on Ofqual’s website and the this page from JCQ.

Walkthrough of the A-Level difficulty rankings

This section will explain if there’s a relationship between the easiest subjects and the pass rates as well as explain why students may feel these subjects are the easiest. If you want to have your say, please vote in the poll at the end of this article.

10. A-Level Maths

2.12% of the poll considered A-Level Maths as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 10th place. In 2022, 78.5% of students achieved a grade C or above and 22.8% of students achieved an A*. As the average for all subjects was 14.5% achieving an A*, it would seem that A-Level Maths, really is one of the easiest A-Level subjects as it allows students to do so well.

However, A-Level Maths is also considered one of the hardest A-Levels and on our ranking is in 4th place for the most difficult. As this doesn’t quite add up, it’s important to note that how different students perceive A-Level difficulty is entirely personal and can vary greatly, as shown with this subject.

Students may consider A-Level Maths easy due to there often being restriction on who can take it. This means that students will generally already have very good mathematical skills before even beginning the A-Level.

Due to this, students are quite likely to take other subjects that are considered difficult, such as A-Level Chemistry, A-Level Physics or even A-Level Further Maths. This may mean that they consider it easy in comparison to their other subjects, which are considered difficult. For more on this, check out our article on the most difficult A-Level subjects.

9. A-Level ICT

2.54% of the poll considered A-Level ICT as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 9th place. In 2022, 80.5% of students achieved a grade C or above and 9.6% of students achieved an A*.

The proportion of students getting above a grade C suggests that A-Level ICT is easier than A-Level Maths. However, it is still slightly lower than the average of all subjects, which has 82.1% of students gaining a grade C or above.

Students will often find A-Level ICT easy as a large portion of the course will be coursework. This means that students will have the chance to work towards part of their assessment rather than having to do it all through exams. This can make it easier as students have the opportunity to improve their work and make sure it’s their best.

During A-Level ICT, students learn about presenting information, networks, how ICT is used, database systems and more. While it will be in-depth and complex than at GCSE, students may find this easier as it is still quite straightforward. For more on this, check out this guide by WJEC.

8. A-Level Business

4.66% of the poll considered A-Level Business as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 8th place. In 2022, 83.2% of students achieved a grade C or above and 7.3% of students achieved an A*. This suggests that A-Level Business is one of the easiest A-Levels as the proportion of students who received a C or above is higher than the average.

In A-Level Business, students learn about different business-related areas, such as management, marketing, operations, finance, HR and business strategy. While this includes some theories and calculations, this content is fairly straightforward and easy to apply.

As an A-Level Business student myself, I find that similarly to at GCSE, A-Level Business is largely down to common sense and reasoning in order to answer questions, which makes it a lot easier than other subjects. Also, the exams come with a range of questions and so even if essays aren’t your strong point, you may still be able to bank enough marks on the shorter questions to still get a good grade. To learn more about how A-Level Business is, check out this Think Student article.

7. A-Level Religious Studies

6.78% of the poll considered A-Level Religious Studies as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 7th place. In 2022, 87.6% of students achieved a grade C or above and 12.5% of students achieved an A*. This suggests that A-Level Religious Studies is easier than A-Level Business as more students were able to achieve a grade C or above.

In A-Level Religious Students, students will learn about both a specific religion and the philosophy of religion as well as ethics. Due to this content, students may find A-Level Religious Studies easy as it is straightforward and easy to understand. To learn more about A-Level Religious Studies, check out this page by AQA.

6. A-Level Art and Design Subjects

8.47% of the poll considered A-Level Art and Design as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 6th place. In 2022, 90.3% of students achieved a grade C or above and 18.7% of students achieved an A*. This suggests that A-Level Art, in particular, is an easy subject that allows students to get the top grades as well.

This is likely due to the fact that students who choose A-Level Art or similar subjects are likely to be serious about this subject and very interested in it. This is especially as creating the art portfolio throughout your coursework will take a lot of time and effort.

Due to being something that students enjoy and even find easy themselves, A-Level Art and Design can be considered as one of the easiest subjects as there isn’t any actual content to learn or anything difficult except the actual application of your artistic skills. To learn more about what is studied, check out this page by AQA.

5. A-Level Law

8.69% of the poll considered A-Level Law as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 5th place. In 2022, 71.3% of students achieved a grade C or above and 8% of students achieved an A*.

As these figures are relatively low, it could suggest that A-Level Law is actual more difficult than students perceive it to be. The reasoning for this is unclear, which suggests that it may be a subject that some consider easy and other consider hard.

In A-Level Law, students learn about how the law works, and will study topics including the legal system in the UK, human rights and criminal law. Students may consider A-Level Law easy if they find the content of this straightforward. To learn more about A-Level Law’s content, check out this guide by AQA.

4. A-Level Geography

11.44% of the poll considered A-Level Geography as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 4th place. In 2022, 85.6% of students achieved a grade C or above and 11% of students achieved an A*.

This suggests that it is one of the easiest A-Levels as students performed much better than with A-Level Law and achieved above the average for all subjects. However, as the percentage of students that got an A* is slightly lower than it is for all subjects, it may suggest that getting the top grades is more difficult.

In A-Level Geography, students learn about both physical and human geography, focusing on topics, such as the water cycle, ecosystems and resource security. Due to this, students may find A-Level Geography easy as the content is often quite straightforward and easy to understand. Also, compared to other subjects, there isn’t that much of it, allowing it to be studied in greater depth and in more of a paced way.

Also, like with many humanities A-Levels, part of the course is examined with an NEA. This can make it easier for students as it means that not everything is relying on their final exams.

To learn more about A-Level Geography, check out this guide by AQA. For more information about the A-Level Geography NEA, check out this Think Student article.

3. A-Level Drama

12.50% of the poll considered A-Level Drama as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 3rd place. In 2022, 91% of students achieved a grade C or above and 14.9% of students achieved an A*. This suggests that A-Level Drama is an easy A-Level as so many students were able to do so well in it.

This is likely due to the fact that students who take A-Level Drama already have the basic skills needed to put together performances and to study different pieces, making it easier for them to access the new A-Level content.

Also, A-Level Drama may be considered easy due to the nature of the exams. This is because instead of their only being written exams as there are with most A-Levels, A-Level Drama also has practical exams, which make up large percentages of the assessment.

This may make students feel that A-Level Drama is easy as these students would have picked it due to their interest in the subject and so will likely also be good at the practical side of A-Level Drama. To learn more about how A-Level Drama is assessed, check out this page by AQA.

2. A-Level Film/Media/TV Studies

20.13% of the poll considered A-Level Film/ Media/ TV Studies as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 2nd place. In 2022, 87.5% of students achieved a grade C or above and 6.3% of students achieved an A*. While it is slightly lower than A-Level Drama, A-Level Film/ Media/ TV Studies still has a very high rate of students achieving a C or above, suggesting that it is one of the easiest A-Level subjects.

In A-Level Film/ Media/ TV Studies, students learn about different aspects of media or film/ TV content. This may include learning about the industries these exist in and studying specific aspects in depth, such as magazines or social media in A-Level Media, or studying specific films or TV shows in A-Level Film/ TV Studies.

Due to this, students may consider these A-Levels easy due to the content being straightforward. Also, as students may already be familiar with some of this content due to their wider world knowledge, this can make it even easier.

For more on what is studied in A-Level Media, check out this guide by AQA. For more on what is studied in A-Level Film Studies, check out this guide by OCR.

1. A-Level Sociology

20.76% of the poll considered A-Level Sociology as the easiest A-Level, putting it in 1st place. In 2022, 82.1% of students achieved a grade C or above and 9% of students achieved an A*.

While the figures for the proportion of students that achieved a grade C or above is high, suggesting that it is one of the easiest subjects. The proportion of students that received a grade A* is quite low, especially in comparison to the average of all subject being 14.5%.

This is likely due to students’ perception of A-Level Sociology being easy. This is because if they view it in this way, which clearly many do from even this ranking, some students may not realise how much effort they still need to put in to get the top grades.

In A-Level Sociology students learn about different aspects of society, such as education, crime, culture, poverty, the media and health. While students learn about this with some theory, the rest will be key elements, some of which they may already be aware of.

Due to this, students may feel that A-Level Sociology is easy due to the uncomplicated content. To learn more about A-Level Sociology, check out this page by AQA.

It is important to remember for A-Level Sociology and the rest of these subjects that students may find them easy for different reasons and that the ones suggested here may not apply to all students.

How were these rankings decided?

For each A-Level subject on this list, we discuss both of the following factors:

  1. Our findings through student polling (ranking factor)
  2. Our research on pass rates (based of Ofqual’s data release)

To prevent the complexity of attempting to combine these, we rank each subject by solely its student polling results. As stated, it isn’t perfect, and students should absolutely be taking these rankings with a pinch of salt.

How was the polling data collected?

Between January 2021 and January 2023, we displayed a poll on this page which prompted readers to vote on which A-Level subject was the easiest. Within this timeframe, we collect 472 votes, excluding submissions that were disregarded from the data set due to formatting issues or other errors.

Listed below are some key limitations of our polling methods that could’ve swayed results:

  • Static ordering of subjects on voting form: A previous iteration of our survey form listed A-Level subjects in the same order each time. It could be argued that this would favour the subjects that were listed at the top. This issue has been fixed in our updated voting form below.
  • Voting form displayed only a subset of A-Level subjects: Previously, only a small selection of A-Level subjects was displayed on the survey. We have since expanded the size of this selection on the voting form.
  • Potential bad actors: Despite having anti-spam software in place, it is possible repeated entries were made by single individuals. With respect to privacy, we don’t ask for more information than we need and as a result, it is almost impossible to identify submission users to check if they are unique.

This article is a member of a series of A-Level ranking articles listed on this site. If you find our data and analysis within this article helpful, you may also wish to take a look at this Think Student article to find out which A-Level subjects are considered the hardest.

Which A-Level do you think is the easiest?
Our goal is to update this article as regularly as possible so that it acts as a reflection of current student opinion on the topic. That means we'd really appreciate you taking a few seconds to give us your opinion.

* This poll is anonymous. Only your vote and the time it was submitted will be sent to Think Student Ltd.
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Arnab Halder
4 years ago

Are these list of subjects under Cambridge or ial edexcel?

Bonnie Burton
Bonnie Burton
4 years ago

I’m sorry but I do OCR philosophy and ethics (religious studies) and it is not easy. Its 80% for an A, there is tonnes of content to learn (depending on your desired grade) and your own opinion gets you nowhere unless you have strong analytic skills (AO2) and good, extensive knowledge and even extra ‘nuanced’ knowledge to reach high grades (AO1). It is laughable to say religious studies is easier than art, film, drama etc.

Archie
Admin
Reply to  Bonnie Burton
4 years ago

Hi Bonnie,

Hope you are doing well. The problem we have is that there are many other people who contact us with the opposite opinion saying the same things as you, just for different subjects. Therefore, this article is ONLY based off what we have observed from interviewing students. Due to this being an “opinion piece” article, many people will disagree with it and others will agree with it.

That being said, your opinion has been logged and if enough people share your opinion, these rankings will change accordingly.

Guido Rowe
Guido Rowe
Reply to  Bonnie Burton
3 years ago

I completely agree, I do AQA RE and I can assure anyone that it is the hardest humanities subject out there. I do Geography (which is in fact fairly easy), History, Psychology and RE.
And this is not me being dumb, I am predicted A*s for all my subjects, but RE is BY FAR the hardest.

Mariah
Mariah
Reply to  Guido Rowe
3 years ago

Oh gosh no! Geography a-level is very difficult! You have to be able to write and argue multiple different opinions and facts, write under time pressure, learns lots of content!

James
James
Reply to  Mariah
3 years ago

Writing under time pressure and learning lots of content is something all essay-based subjects require

Darren
Darren
Reply to  Bonnie Burton
2 years ago

Definitely the easiest course I took. It may be difficult to get the highest grade but it’s equally difficult to fail.

Pancakes
Pancakes
4 years ago

For A level RS you need at least a 45/50 in each of the three two hour papers to get an A star, usually even higher. For example, I believe the 2018 new testament paper had a 47/50 grade boundary for an A star

Guido Rowe
Guido Rowe
Reply to  Pancakes
3 years ago

Yep an A* is just over 90%

James
James
Reply to  Guido Rowe
3 years ago

The grade boundaries are adjusted based off of how many people get that many marks, meaning that easier subjects have higher grade boundaries, and harder ones have lower grade boundaries. It takes more marks to get the grade because it’s easier to get marks. This isn’t based on the content, it’s based off of how well people actually do.

Anna
Anna
Reply to  James
3 years ago

I think that these grade boundaries and opinions may be formed based on the old modualr specifications which, by admission, were relatively easy. The current grade boundary for an A is around 55% and a pass is 17%. Linear A-Level is a challenging A-Level.

Emily
Emily
Reply to  James
2 years ago

Well James that is utter nonsense, RS is an extremely challenging subject, the content is difficult to grasp and there is a shed tonne of it, unless you have studied it you have no right to comment

Codge
Codge
Reply to  Emily
1 year ago

I think the problem here is there are different exam boards and different courses for RS. Friends from other schools took other ones from me and they definitely found it easy – and when looking at my course (Edexcel modules: Philosophy of religion, Religion and Ethics, New Testatment), they couldn’t believe how intellectually difficult it was on top of the amount of content and theories etc you have to comprehend – including Kant’s categorical imperative, Hume, Aristotle. I have done a Philosophy degree and can factually say they new A level RS from Edexcel with above modules is like the… Read more »

kyle
kyle
Reply to  Emily
3 months ago

its not but alr

Zakia Shahid
Zakia Shahid
3 years ago

how many minimum sujects we need to take to complete A level. how British council can help in teaching the subject? can we give exam from BC without enrolling in any accademic institutions? what is the minimum time we need to study for sitting for exam after enrole ment of name

Andrew Midgley
Andrew Midgley
3 years ago

I am Head of Year 13 at a Sixth Form. This list is potentially very misleading, since many of the subjects it features are much more demanding than the impression given by the author. While it is certainly true that some A levels are easier than others, this list goes against not only the opinions of any student I can think of who has been through our sixth form in the last decade (many of whom struggled greatly with RS in particular), but also with the views of such colleges as Trinity College, Cambridge University, who publish a list of… Read more »

haider
haider
Reply to  Andrew Midgley
3 years ago

sorry to bother you but i just wanted to ask how difficult alevel law is?

Alyssa Cara
Alyssa Cara
3 years ago

In my opinion, a-level religious studies should not be ranked as number one for easiest subject. I strongly feel as though the course is filled with many complex and intelligent ideas that you have to know and understand enough to enable you even a average grade.

Emily
Emily
Reply to  Alyssa Cara
2 years ago

preach

Amitch
Amitch
3 years ago

I don’t think your assessments are accurate

Emily
Emily
Reply to  Amitch
2 years ago

I agree, they are very much incorrect

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

I had to smile when I saw your number one easy A Level – RE. I never took any A levels, but one of the O levels I took (and failed) was RE. Am I just a dumbo? Well, I got good passes in Maths, Physics, French and English, so maybe not that dumb. I also failed another one of your ‘easy’ subjects at O level – Geography. So I’m going to give you a C- for this list. Ciao.

Alisha
Alisha
3 years ago

As an RS teacher I can inform you that it is definitely not the easiest A Level. If only, my job would be far easier but as others have suggested getting 92% on any exam to get an A* is incredibly difficult. This is actually laughable and likely based on some sort of bias by the author, as opposed to actual evidence. If only any subject was based on someone’s opinion alone and a couple of theories. How about more than 100, if done correctly? Thank you though for adding to the nonsense already assumed by students when they take… Read more »

Bruno
Bruno
3 years ago

I see a lot of people quoting high grade boundaries as a reason why a subject is hard; it is, in fact, the opposite. The grade boundaries are adjusted based off of how many people get that many marks, meaning that easier subjects have higher grade boundaries, and harder ones have lower grade boundaries. It takes more marks to get the grade because it’s easier to get marks. This isn’t based on the content, it’s based off of how well people actually do.

Emily
Emily
Reply to  Bruno
3 years ago

Yes, that may be true but by that logic an E in RS can be achieved with 18%, which is good bit lower than quite a few subjects, such as history, geography, psychology, etc. and around the same as Bio. Thus indicating it is difficult by your standards, particularly for weaker or lazy students. So, even by your logic you ultimately are still refuted. Grade boundaries act to level the playing field between subjects to some extent, so at the end of the day just work hard to achieve a good grade in a subject you love.

James Johnson
James Johnson
3 years ago

Yeah no, I do Law and trust me it isn’t easy, this is biased and you have no proof whatsoever if these A levels are easy since I doubt you actually took them all and don’t even get me started on how some other learn. Depending on the person it could be hard or easy deciding on their rank of learning like one person might find religious studies easy but the other won’t (might I also add religions are associated with ethics and philosophy but I dont see them on the list so it doesnt add up). Everyone has their… Read more »

RsTeacher
RsTeacher
3 years ago

As an RS and Geography A-Level teacher I suspect there must be some bias from the author. It is misleading to suggest that all you need in RS is ‘an opinion’. I’m not sure whether they have actually looked at the extensive specification, or the extremely low grade boundaries (indicative of a difficult subject). I suspect that they may be referring to the old modular exam which was, by admission, relatively easy.

Another RS teacher
Another RS teacher
Reply to  RsTeacher
2 years ago

I agree with you. As another RS teacher I think the author must be referrring to the old specification. The new one is demanding, the subject is less than easy.

Another RS teacher
Another RS teacher
Reply to  RsTeacher
2 years ago

Your claim does not seem to have any supporting evidence as you point out. The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University stated that the old RS spec was ‘in the middle difficulty range, similar to Geography and more demanding than English’. This was replaced in 2016 with a more robust course which many students find challenging. I am just asking for fairness here as you are simply wrong. Have you studied the A level yourself?

Emily
Emily
Reply to  Another RS teacher
2 years ago

Very insightful comment, thank you

Lou
Lou
2 years ago

‘Most of A-Level Religious Studies is your own opinion and ability to voice that opinion’ I think youre confusing A level with GCSE, have you looked at the A level Spec? Good luck trying to blag your way through comparing and critically analysing the strengths and weaknesses of various philosophical and theological thinkers such as Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Descartes, Fletcher, etc, armed only with your own opinion!

Emily
Emily
Reply to  Lou
2 years ago

this is so true!!!!!! don’t forget about GE Moore, John Locke, Irenaeus, Skinner, Jeremy Bentham, Freud, Hume, William James, Augustine and so many more!!!

Heather
Heather
1 year ago

If anyone just so happens to read this comment please don’t use this article as a reason to do A level Geography!!! As someone who does A level geography, maths and biology I can say without a doubt that Geography is my most difficult by far! There’s about 16 case studies in total (which in an exam you’re expected to be able to write 3+ sides in 18mins) and the whole exam is extremely rushed compared to any other exam I’ve ever done.
The case studies don’t even form half of the exam 🙁

Last edited 1 year ago by Heather
Dramaquizzy
Dramaquizzy
1 year ago

A Level Drama easy? You have got to be kidding. 3 Hour written exam – yes, you can take in the scripts, but they must be clean copies, so no notes. Two 3000 word pieces of coursework/exam work One devised performance in the style of a recognised practitioner, who’s socio-economic and historical background you need to know and techniques you need to apply. One scripted performance with the same demands. You also have to negotiate your way through all the group work. So if you are a performing Psychologist/Sociologist with an understanding of economics and history, with the innate ability… Read more »