10 Easiest GCSE Subjects In 2019 Ranked

The 10 Easiest GCSE Subjects – Ranked for 2024

In GCSE by Think Student Editor29 Comments

Choosing your GCSEs will often be the first time that you’re able to pick the subjects you want to study for yourself. Due to not having done this before, it can be difficult to know what that even is. One way to make picking your GCSE options more straightforward is to pick subjects that you’re good at or ones that are easier.

Be advised.  The information that this ranking is based off is explained in the below section. If you wish to skip over to the rankings, understand that this list is not definitive. Although we’ve tried our best to use the most appropriate metrics for this ranking, judgements on the difficulty of a GCSE subject are heavily dependent on the individual student. Everyone’s approach to learning is unique and while some may find a particular GCSE subject easy, others may struggle.

Easiest GCSEs: Student Perception vs Pass Attainment Rates

Below you can find the visualisation GCSE subject difficulty rankings (top – easiest, bottom – 14ᵗʰ easiest). Displayed on the chart are both our own internal polling results and our analysis of pass attainment rates (a grade C/4 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 GCSE during our polling. You can learn more about how we collected this data below.
(**) Pass attainment rates refer to the proportion of students in 2022 who achieved a C/4 or above. This data was collected from both this page of Ofqual’s website and the this page by the JCQ.

How were these rankings decided?

For each GCSE subject on this list, we discuss both of the following metrics:

  1. Our findings through student polling (ranking factor): Over the past few years, we’ve asked thousands of students what their opinion is on the easiest GCSE subject. When we refer to student polling, we are referencing the results of these polls. If you wish to add your vote to the list, please navigate to the questionnaire below.
  2. Our research on pass rates (based of Ofqual’s data release): As student polling doesn’t always tell the whole story, we’ve added a more quantitative metric to this ranking: the proportion of students who achieve C/4 or above. This also isn’t a perfect metric but in combination with the polling, it should steer the rankings in the right direction.

To prevent the complexity of attempting to combine our polling data and the official pass rates, the rankings for each subject are based solely on the student polling results. However, these rankings aren’t perfect, and students should be taking these with a pinch of salt.

How was the polling data collected?

Between February 2021 and January 2023, we displayed a poll on this page which prompted readers to vote on which GCSE subject was the easiest. Within this timeframe, we collect 777 votes, excluding submissions that were disregarded from the data set due to formatting issues or other errors.

In an effort to be transparent with our readers, 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 GCSE 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 GCSE subjects: In an effort to increase readability, a previous iteration of our voting form only displayed a small subset of GCSE subjects. This removed any chance of certain GCSEs making it into this ranking. We have since remedied this issue by expanding the size of our subject subset within 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 GCSE 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 about the 10 hardest GCSE subjects.

Which GCSE 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.

Walkthrough of the GCSE difficulty rankings

Continue reading to learn more about the 10 GCSE subjects that students consider the easiest. This section of the article will give you more information about how easiness compares to pass rate and explain why students might consider these subjects easy.

10. GCSE Media/Film/TV studies

3.99% of the poll considered GCSE Media, Film or TV Studies as the easiest GCSE, putting it in 10th place. In 2022, 73.6% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. To put this into perspective, the average pass rate for all subjects was 73%. As GCSE Media/ Film/ TV Studies is higher than this it would suggest that it is one of the easiest GCSEs as it enables students to pass more easily.

During GCSE Media, Film or TV Studies, students will study the different areas and key themes of their specific course. These may be to do with how certain aspects of media, film or TV are produced and students may even get the chance to create something of their own.

This makes GCSE Media/ Film/ TV Studies three of the easiest GCSEs as the content is very straightforward. This is because students will probably already be constantly exposed to different forms of media or film/ TV content, allowing then to be more familiar with what they’re learning before they even begin.

Also, these GCSEs are often considered fun. This makes it even easier as students will often be more engaged, making it easier to learn.  To learn more about the GCSE Media course, check out this guide by Eduqas.

9. GCSE Hospitality

5.28% of the poll considered GCSE Hospitality as the easiest GCSE, making it the voted 9th easiest GCSE subject. The pass rates for GCSE Hospitality are unclear as it is not very common and is only offered by one exam board in the UK.

However, students most likely consider it one of the easiest GCSEs due to the content. When taking GCSE Hospitality, students will learn about the industry through topics, such as diet and health, first aid, customer care and marketing. As this course is aimed at developing students’ skills for a role in the hospitality industry, this content is mostly like very straightforward, making it one of the easiest GCSEs.

Also, as 50% of this GCSE is coursework, less pressure is put on the exams and so students may find this easier. To learn more about GCSE Hospitality, check out this page by CCEA and its CCEA specification here.

8. GCSE Design and Technology (DT)

5.41% of the poll voted GCSE Design and Technology as the easiest GCSE, putting it in 8th place. In 2022, 71.5% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. While it is slightly lower than the average pass rate for all GCSEs, GCSE Design and Technology’s pass rate and consideration as one of the easiest GCSE subjects match up quite well.

When taking GCSE Design and Technology, students will be assessed with both an exam and more practical coursework. While it may slightly vary by exam board, the written exam will mostly be short answer questions. The coursework that you will have to complete will test your ability to apply what you have learnt throughout, such as with designing or technical skills.

Due to this, students most likely consider GCSE Design and Technology as one of the easiest GCSEs as it enables them to actively apply what they’re learning, which is often more engaging for students, who have picked this subject. Also, the extent of the course that is practical work may mean that students consider it easier as it is easier to manage and build on throughout the course rather than it solely relying on the exams at the end.

To learn more about how GCSE Design and Technology is assessed, check out this guide by AQA.

7. GCSE Music

6.31% of the poll chose GCSE Music as the easiest GCSE subject, this puts it in 7th place for the easiest GCSEs. In 2022 82.8% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. As the pass rate is clearly higher than the previous rankings, it would suggest that GCSE Music is most definitely the next easiest of these.

This is likely due to the fact that during GCSE Music, students learn more about music and develop their own skills of it. As it only builds on what students already know, GCSE Music may be considered one of the easiest GCSEs as the content is straightforward and easy to understand.

Also, as GCSE Music is only building on what students already know, they will need to have some musical talent and interest outside of school. In fact, this may even be a requirement for students to be able to take the course, although this will depend on what the school has set. Due to this, GCSE Music may be perceived as even easier to students as they will already be very familiar with it.

To learn more about what students are taught and how they’re assessed for GCSE Music, check out this page by AQA.

6. GCSE Drama

7.34% of the poll voted GCSE Drama as the easiest, which makes it the joint 5th most voted GCSE subject along with GCSE Physical Education. In 2022, 80.8% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. With the pass rate being slightly lower than GCSE Physical Education, GCSE Drama has been placed as the 6th easiest GCSE in this ranking with GCSE PE as the 5th.

The GCSE Drama pass rate is slightly lower than GCSE Music, which could suggest that it is actually harder than it. However, both GCSEs are very similar due to both being focused on students learning about the subject in an academic sense as well as actively participating and performing. Due to this, it would seem that these subjects are about as easy as each other, with the main difference being how students, such as in this poll, perceive them.

GCSE Drama is often considered easy as it is assessed through combination of written exam and practical exam. The written exam, in particular, may partially explain why GCSE Drama is considered easy, as it may also be open book, allowing students to focus on what they learnt and understood in the text rather than having to remember quotes and specifics.

Also, as students would have chosen GCSE Drama as it’s something they enjoy, the large focus on practical assessment rather than written would make it easier for these students as well. To learn more about how GCSE Drama is assessed, check out this page by AQA.

5. GCSE Physical Education (PE)

As mentioned above, as 7.34% of the poll voted GCSE Physical Education it is the joint 5th in terms of being considered easiest. In 2022, 81.9% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. Due to this, it appears to be easier than GCSE Drama and so has been placed in 5th place and GCSE Drama in 6th.

During GCSE Physical Education, students will learn about different aspects of sport and fitness, including some biological aspects as well as social ones. Due to this, students may find GCSE PE easy as it the content can be easier to understand due to having some routes in what they’ve already learnt in core subjects like science.

Like many of these subjects that are considered easiest, GCSE PE is also assessed with an element of coursework/ practical exam. This may also add to why students consider it one of the easiest as it allows them to play to their strengths, especially as students, who choose GCSE PE will often be very active and may do sports outside of school. To learn more about how GCSE PE is assessed, check out this guide by AQA.

4. GCSE Geography

9.78% of the poll considered GCSE Geography as the easiest GCSE subject, which puts it in 4th place. In 2022, 72.1% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. As its pass rate is lower than GCSE Music, GCSE Drama and GCSE PE, it would suggest that GCSE Geography is actually harder than these.

However, this may be due to the fact that GCSE Geography is a more common option, especially as it is considered one of the subjects that students need to take (unless they choose GCSE History) in order to complete the English Baccalaureate. Due to this, more students may be familiar with GCSE Geography, meaning that there are more students to have chosen it as easiest as well as more students to be counted in this pass rate.

In GCSE Geography, students will study 6 main themes, including human geography and physical geography. While this can sound like a lot and may slightly vary based on exam board, it seems that students may find GCSE Geography easy due to there being not a lot of content, compared to other subjects. For example, for GCSE Physics, there are 10 main themes that students will have to cover.

On top of that, the content GCSE Geography may be considered quite straightforward as students will probably have briefly covered some of these topics before. To learn more about GCSE Geography, check out this governmental guide. For more on how this compares to GCSE Physics, check out this governmental guide.

3. GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

12.74% of the poll chose GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition as the easiest, making it the 3rd easiest GCSE in our ranking. In 2022, 72.6% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. Being higher than the pass rate of GCSE Geography suggests that GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is in its rightful place as the 3rd most voted easiest GCSE.

However, while only marginally, the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is lower than the average GCSE pass rate of 73%. While the reason for this is not clear, it could be due to the nature of the GCSE itself. This is because GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is considered easy and so some students may not realise how much effort they have to put in before choosing it.

When taking the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition course, students will be assessed in both a written paper and practical assessment. This allows GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition to be easier as there is less writing in exams and with the coursework element, students can work towards improving. Also, students may find that as long as they’re interested in cooking or baking, the content can be quite easy to follow.

To learn more about how GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is assessed, check out this page by AQA.

2. GCSE Business Studies

16.34% of the poll voted GCSE Business Studies as the easiest, making it the 2nd easiest GCSE in this ranking. In 2022, 75.2% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. With a higher pass rate than GCSE Food and Nutrition and GCSE Geography, this would suggest that GCSE Business Studies really is what students find the 2nd easiest GCSE.

In GCSE Business Studies, students will generally be taught about the basics of running a business. This includes key topics in business, such as profit, business plans and the basics of business law, as well as the calculations behind these.

Students will find GCSE Business Studies easy for a variety of reasons. Personally, I found that for the most part, GCSE Business Studies mostly comes down to common sense and reasoning.

This is because the majority of content is fairly straightforward once you’ve wrapped your head around it and can be easy to apply to the questions. If you would like to learn about how it compares to A-Level Business Studies, check out this Think Student article.

1. GCSE Religious Studies (RE)

17.37% of the poll considered GCSE Religious Studies as the easiest, meaning that in our ranking it was the most voted as the easiest subject. In 2022, 76.7% of students achieved a grade C/ 4 or above. This would suggest that GCSE Religious Studies is one of the easier subjects as it enables students to pass more easily.

However, compared to the likes of GCSE Music, GCSE Physical Education and GCSE Drama, GCSE Religious Studies’ pass rate is a bit lower. As mentioned in their respective section, this is likely due to the fact that people who study these 3 subjects are likely to be very interested in it, particularly outside of their course. While this can make it easier for them, particularly in regard to more of them passing, it doesn’t particularly show that they are easier than GCSE Religious Studies.

This is especially as when studying GCSE Religious Studies, students will be tested on their understanding of the religions they have studied. This will be done in a series of short answer questions as well as some longer questions, where students will have to analyse or evaluate to answer the question. The setup of this will depend on the exam board and the paper you take.

However, due to these mostly being short and largely memory based, students will often find GCSE Religious Studies easy as it can be straightforward to answer the questions. To learn more about how GCSE Religious Studies is assessed, check out this guide by Ofqual.

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Lucas
3 years ago

what gcse should i take if im struggling in school right now

Izzy
Izzy
Reply to  Lucas
3 years ago

the one you enjoy the most! the more engaged you are in your lessons, the more likely you are to succeed. you don’t want to be taking a GCSE that you are not interested in, because the you won’t want to learn, and this could mean an affected result at GCSE. take a subject you enjoy, because you could then take this subject further and perhaps even turn it into a career! everyone is good at something, and the same applies to you. don’t be disheartened, believe in yourself, and think positively.

Hannah
Hannah
Reply to  Lucas
2 years ago

Honestly, take the ones you enjoy the most and know you can do well in! No point taking a subject you hate just because a) you’re parents told you to or b) your friends are taking it – I also recommend you try to choose a range of subjects e.g a humanities subject + a creative subject + a language.

Lucas
Reply to  Lucas
2 years ago

computing

Bea
Bea
3 years ago

I am picking my options his year but I have to do German so I can only pick 2 but I want to do triple science art and food technology but I can’t because if I do German I can only pick two and triple science is one of the enrichment options so then I can only pick one if I do triple science. What should I pick?

helen
helen
Reply to  Bea
3 years ago

You could try asking the school if you have to do German. I’m sure that if you tell them that you want to do art and food technology along with triple science but wouldn’t be able to do both if you did German they might understand. They will probably push you to do German as it does widen opportunities for after high school. If the university or college you want to go to needs art then I’d recommend that over food tech. My advice would be that if your school tells you that you must do German as a GCSE… Read more »

Nathan Peake
Nathan Peake
Reply to  Bea
2 years ago

Talk to your school about not doing German, however if it is your only language you will have to do it as everyone is required to take at least one language. Think about what you want to do for a living, if you are into science I would definitely recommend taking triple science as it is pretty much a must have for most science related jobs. If you aren’t interested in science, then take the other two. For deciding between art and fold tech, again, think about what you enjoy more and what you would prefer to do as a… Read more »

Katharine
Katharine
3 years ago

Personally I would disagree with you about Geography and Music, as neither of them are particularly easy. Geography requires a lot of different case studies to be learnt with many facts and statistics about each one. Music, likewise, involves memorising knowledge about 8 set works for the written exam, which I found quite hard and a large step up from Year 9.

Aoibh
Aoibh
Reply to  Katharine
3 years ago

I’m so glad someone pointed this out! Especially for music – composition requires hard work and musical talent, so I was very surprised to see it on this list. Everyone, my friends included, say geography is just a little easy subject everybody passes, and people just do it for the trip, but as someone who is very passionate about the environment and hope to do geography in the future I strongly resent that view. Also, what can you do with, for example, a history GCSE if you don’t become a historian, and forget the lessons from the past which could… Read more »

Rita
Rita
Reply to  Aoibh
2 years ago

Well yes but being fair if you do not want a future in geography, history may be more useful for some going in to such things as law, business etc.. While i am someone passionate about helping with the problem of climate change, learning about gauges and rivers and what way the wind blew in a hurricane in 1865 don’t interest me so much. Lastly, in history you can learn about causes of climate change and pollution and in what point it all happened, for example the industrial revolution changes. We cannot understand the present without learning about the past.

Debra Cook
Debra Cook
3 years ago

Food tech is definetely not the easiest its so much content kill me 🙂

aypo
aypo
Reply to  Debra Cook
2 years ago

What did you need to do in food tec im pretty intrested because im picking this for my option!

ur daddy
ur daddy
Reply to  aypo
2 years ago

You do both a practial and non practial (theory) which is just food science…learning about fats and all that

Hannah
Hannah
2 years ago

Personally, I disagree with music and PE. Firstly, not everyone can do music because it’s such a ‘specific’ subject and therefore doesn’t really count as easy. As well as this, each component to the course can be different difficulties; for example, I found the composition aspect the hardest because I wasn’t experienced in having to write a piece and also I disliked it, but the amount of effort I put in certainly wouldn’t be classed as easy! A lot of people underestimate how challenging GCSE music is, so only take it if you’re sure you enjoy each component and know… Read more »

kayden
kayden
2 years ago

i disagree computer science is the easiest by far

Binyamin alam
2 years ago

so helpfull

GillJo
GillJo
2 years ago

GCSE music isn’t easy…30% if it is if you can sing/play an instrument…. Unless you also have theoretical understanding to a grade 3 level the remaining 70% is incredibly difficult. Please don’t go off this recommendation just for an easy GCSE because you’ll end up really disheartened.

Megan
Megan
2 years ago

Can I just say, music is NOT easy

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

geography is one of the hardest…

zozo
zozo
2 years ago

kinda surprised computer science wasnt on this list. I’m doing it rn and its stupidly easy. Esp paper 2. There is some application in paper 1 but if youre looking for a subject that mainly questions you on retainment of knowledge and doesn’t require much paperwork then computer science is the one.

Aurora
Aurora
2 years ago

Best friend- why is food tech there, I revised sm for it and it utterly destroyed me

Salma
Salma
Reply to  Aurora
7 months ago

Stop the cap,it’s the easiest subject ever
I would prefer it to arts and design and technology.

Godwin
Godwin
2 years ago

Have to say that most of the people I knew taking GCSE Geography and GCSE Drama would have totally disagreed with their placement on this list.

Both have very hard exams for GCSE Level and a lot of time pressure. I wrote more in my first two Geography exams than any of my English lit exams.

Este
Este
2 years ago

As someone who took gcse drama I am telling you it is not easy. It is easily one of my least favourite subjects and it takes so much work. There are so many components, you have to spend hours rehearsing the practical elements and there is still a written exam which requires you to remember a lot of information all about different plays. I would not recommend it to anyone who doesn’t really enjoy drama and even if you do there’s a good chance it’ll ruin it for you. Not to mention how high the grade boundaries are. There is… Read more »

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

As someone who takes EP (what my school calls religious studies), it is not easy. Although the content is simple enough, the amount you have to write in the exams is too much for the time allowed. We are given 4 sections (a section is around the same size as History paper 3) and given 1hr 45m to do all of them, meaning that if you split your time equally, you have around 26 minutes to do each section.

Jen
Jen
1 year ago

This is a terrible list… if every student did music GCSE, the pass rate would be 3% but only a carefully selected and skilled group choose it; Drama is essay writing which is not easy; Religious Studies is a lot of knowledge and writing; Business has the skill of applying the knowledge which is hard; PE is only easy if you are ‘sporty’; DT + FT, if you aren’t precise, these subjects are a disaster! There is also a difference between passing and doing well. Everyone is different and has different skills, so what is easy to one person is… Read more »

Blah
Blah
1 year ago

What a load of rubbish! You have no idea what philosophical reasoning is – hence ‘it’s all easy’ – try to use apostrophes correctly too….this list is so painful it makes my brain hurt,

Simcard
Simcard
1 year ago

how do u pass food and tec mock GCSE I am in year 10

Jenifer kylie Smith
Jenifer kylie Smith
8 months ago

this did not help that much but thanks for the effort anyways