10 most popular GCSE subjects in 2018

With the new GCSE results out, Ofqual has published the 10 most popular subjects this year.

1. Combined science – 744,185

This replaces science and additional science, with over 700,000 students taking the subject.

2. Mathematics – 715,775

Maths showed a slight drop of number of entrants from last year although as a core EBacc subject, enrolments are high.

3. English language – 706,255

Numbers are slightly up for entries in the language exam.

4. English literature – 537,990

Meanwhile, entries have dropped by over 10,000 for the literature exam.

5. Religious studies – 260,300

Still the highest-ranking non-EBacc subject on the list, religious studies has nevertheless seen a drop of over 30,000 entries between 2017 and 2018, as a higher proportion of students opt for EBacc subjects.

6. History – 248,925

Entries for the EBacc subject of history have gone up by around 7,000, perhaps catching some of those who would otherwise have gone for religious studies.

7. Geography – 244,925

Similarly, geography has seen an increase of more than 10,000 from 2017.

8. Art and design subjects – 168,765

Another non-EBacc subject, art and design remains steadily popular for GCSE entries.

9. Biology – 167,075

Despite trailing behind many humanities subjects, entries for biology have gone up by over 30,000 from 2017. It is worth noting that with the removal of further additional science, the only way in which candidates could receive three science GCSEs in 2018 was through taking separate sciences.

10. Chemistry – 160,110

Similarly, chemistry has seen huge increases of around 28,000 to bring it into the Top 10.

26th August 2018

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