What are the Best GCSE Subjects to Take?

GCSE students can now choose from over 30 subject options. Selecting a good GCSE subject combination is an important decision to make. This article will go over the best GCSE subjects and help you determine which ones are the most suitable for you to take.

The GCSEs you select should facilitate your Career Aspirations, University Courses, and A-levels. The list of the Best GCSEs to take should only be used as a guideline as it is based on the general consensus of students. Your GCSE Subjects may be completely different and that is perfectly alright.

Here is a list of the Best GCSE Subjects:

  1. GCSE English Language
  2. GCSE Maths
  3. GCSE Chemistry
  4. GCSE Physics
  5. GCSE Biology
  6. GCSE Economics
  7. GCSE English Literature
  8. GCSE Further Maths
  9. GCSE History
  10. GCSE Modern Foreign Languages

1. GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language is the finest and best GCSE subject you can possibly take. GCSE English is a compulsory subject and helps develop essential communication skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. GCSE English Language is needed to study all other subjects which explains why it is considered the best GCSE.

The ability to communicate well is one of the greatest assets you can possibly have. GCSE English Language will help you master your communication skills. English is the language of international communication and the most widely spoken language.

GCSE English Language also focuses on critical reading and analysis. Instead of rote learning and regurgitation; the English Language specification places emphasis on understanding and interpretation.

GCSE English Language is a moderately hard subject. You will be tested on your ability to communicate effectively. This will be in the form of writing, reading, and speaking. Most students find GCSE English Language moderately difficult and many claims that the subject becomes easier with practice.

The medium of instruction for all the GCSEs, A-levels, and University courses is in English. So many of the subjects require extended essay answers. In such scenarios, your ability to write well can make a huge difference in your grade. Producing clear, coherent, and impactful text is a skill that will help you immensely in both your academic and professional life.

2. GCSE Maths

Maths is the second-best GCSE subject to take. GCSE Maths is a facilitating and pre-requisite subject for many A-level combinations and University degrees. Maths is a good GCSE subject as it will help you develop critical thinking, logical, and analytical skills. Maths will train your brain to seek the best solution in a logical manner.

GCSE Maths is considered such a good subject because of its importance in our lives. Math is used practically everywhere; from calculating discounts at the supermarket to building skyscrapers.

Maths develops reasoning, problem-solving, and analytical skills in students. These skills are highly transferable and relevant to many spheres of our lives. Employers also want to see these very skills in their potential employees.

Although GCSE Maths is compulsory, it is extremely useful in the following subjects:

  • GCSE Further Maths
  • A-level Maths
  • A-level Further Maths
  • A-level Physics
  • A-level Chemistry
  • A-level Biology
  • A-level Economics
  • A-level Accounts
  • A-level Business Studies
  • A-level Architecture

If you plan to study any Science or Commerce subject in the future you must study Maths up until the GCSE level at the very least. The sheer number of subjects where GCSE Maths is a requirement makes it the second-best GCSE subject to study.

Moreover, a good grade in GCSE Maths is highly regarded by colleges, universities, and employers. Strong mathematical reasoning and analysis will help you understand the world better and be more equipped to solve the challenges that come your way.

3. GCSE Chemistry

GCSE Chemistry is also on the list of the best GCSE subjects to take. Chemistry is highly regarded by colleges and universities as it is a facilitating subject. GCSE Chemistry is an important such for both Medicine and Engineering related courses at A-levels and University.

Most students taking Chemistry find it to be amongst the most difficult GCSE subjects. Chemistry has a reputation for being extremely challenging and having highly complex subject matter. Despite this many students do well in Chemistry every year.

The plethora of online resources for Chemistry could explain why students manage to get good grades in the subject. Studying GCSE Chemistry will help you develop several skills such as time management, mathematical reasoning, and critical thinking.

GCSE Chemistry is considered one of the best GCSEs because of the A-level and University options it opens up for students. Pretty much any Engineering or Medicine related course requires Chemistry up until the GCSE level at the very least.

4. GCSE Physics

GCSE Physics is considered one of the best GCSE subjects because it is a requirement for many Engineering and Mathematical courses, helps students develop mathematical and physical reasoning, and encourages them to advance their problem solving and critical thinking abilities.

Unlike many other GCSE subjects where you can sneak a decent grade by regurgitating the textbook; Physics is a subject where this is not possible. Physics specification places emphasis on understanding, analysing, reasoning, and evaluating the question before attempting it.

Most students struggle big time with GCSE Physics because a sheer amount of mathematical application is needed in unfamiliar contexts. Each exam paper requires students to apply their knowledge in various scenarios instead of simply restating it.

GCSE Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and Literature require the greatest amount of application. This helps explain most students find these 4 subjects challenging and tough.

Students claim to learn a great deal from GCSE Physics especially in terms of their mathematical reasoning and critical thinking skills.

5. GCSE Biology

GCSE Biology takes the fifth spot on the list of the best GCSE subjects because of its importance in pursuing Medicine and other Science related careers. GCSE Biology is a strict requirement for studying a competitive course like Medicine. Getting a good grade in Biology will increase your chances of studying Medicine.

Although GCSE Biology has a strong focus on the application and implementation of prior knowledge, a recapitulation of facts will take you farther in Biology than Chemistry or Physics.

best gcse subjects

Chemistry and Physics require a great deal of critical analysis and mathematical reasoning. Biology on the other hand is an easier and more straightforward subject. It has fewer challenging questions and less complex subject material to cover. The Biology syllabus, however, is quite massive.

Overall most students manage to do well in Biology. The vast number of online resources to support self-study for Biology students is one of the main reasons students get decent grades easily. A good grade in GCSE Biology is the fundamental step to win a ticket to a Medical career.

6. GCSE Economics

GCSE Economics is considered a really good subject. Economics is one of the most important subjects for a commerce career. Studying Economics will greatly improve your ability to mathematically analyse economic activity, understand the allocation of resources, and write extended essay responses.

Economics is possibly the best GCSE subject for a commerce career. It is more important than Finance, Business, Accounts, and Entrepreneurship. The study of economics helps you explore the economy at both a micro and macro level.

The entire Economics syllabus can be studied online. So if your school is not offering this option then you can study it yourself. The extensive online resources available to GCSE Economics students makes it one of the finest subjects to select.

Accounting jobs are fast disappearing with the introduction of technology particularly A.I. and Automation in the various sectors of society. Business Studies is not a highly respected subject. Economists continue to be highly regarded by universities and employees and they are not at immediate risk of losing their jobs due to the proliferation of technology.

7. GCSE English Literature

Although GCSE English Literature is not officially made compulsory by the examination boards, many schools in the U.K. have made it mandatory for students. This goes on to show how important and essential GCSE English Literature is and why it is considered one of the best GCSE subjects.

GCSE English Language teaches you the basics of communication whereas English Literature focuses on you becoming highly proficient in correspondence and critically reading and analyzing texts.

English Literature is considered one of the most difficult GCSE subjects. Remembering a few quotes, characters, and events from the play or novel is not sufficient to get a decent grade in literature. Instead, you must learn to involve yourself and carefully dissect the characters and happenings of the text.

Literature teaches you to pay attention to detail and understand the finer parts of the story. The examiners are quite harsh with the grading and expect you to back your answers with evidence. Although most students struggle with GCSE English Literature, you will learn a great deal if you study this subject.

8. GCSE Further Maths

Further Maths is a very important subject for pursuing a wide variety of degrees such as Engineering, Maths, and other science courses. GCSE Further Maths is considered one of the best GCSE subjects since it prepares you for complex mathematical reasoning and ultimately a better problem solver.

Further Maths is the most difficult GCSE subject. It requires the greatest level of application and implementation of prior knowledge amongst all the GCSE subjects.

About 40% of the A-level Mathematics subject matter is the same as the GCSE Further Maths syllabus. Moreover studying Further Maths will also improve your understanding of GCSE Maths and Physics.

Many commerce and science courses at the university level require Calculus and other complex mathematics. Further Maths will be your first introduction to Calculus; learning Calculus early on will make your life much easier.

9. GCSE History

History is a very good GCSE subject. History helps you learn from the mistakes of the people in the past. It will also help you develop critical thinking skills and learn to write extended essay responses.

Although the GCSE History syllabus is huge, it is extremely interesting and enjoyable. Moreover, there are a large number of online resources in the form of videos, revision websites, and flashcards to help facilitate your learning.

However, the reason the GCSE History is not at the top of this list is that the jobs for History degree holders are not as high paying as those of Engineering or Medicine related careers.

Moreover, you can easily cope with A-level History without studying GCSE History since it is not a very difficult subject. Studying A-level Physics or Chemistry without their GCSE counterparts is almost unheard of.

10. GCSE Modern Foreign Languages

GCSE modern languages such as French, Geman, or Spanish are considered good subject choices as well. Modern Foreign Languages are highly respected and you get a chance to learn a second language. You will learn to read, write, and speak the language of your choice under the GCSE curriculum.

You will learn a great deal by studying a second language. A second language can improve your memory and overall mental capacities, increase your ability to rationalize, magnify your concentration and enhance your visual and hearing skills.

However, a second language has little utilitarian value within the borders of the United Kingdom. A degree in a foreign language will not pay you as well as a degree in STEM.


The list of the best GCSE subjects is based on the general consensus of students. Studying a subject that is not on this list is a perfectly good decision especially if it aligns with your college, university, and career aspirations. Good luck with choosing your GCSE subjects!