Is GCSE physics hard?

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Physics is generally one of the subjects that students struggle the most with at GCSE. Physics, often included in the ‘triple science’ scheme for the most academic students in the school year, GCSE physics could be argued as hard to some extent, although this discussion is down to individual opinion.

Every student is different

The fact is that every student is different, making the question of whether GCSE physics is hard or not a rather difficult question to answer.

Students who have a passion for science and are generally academic may find physics at GCSE quite straightforward, whilst other students who are weak with learning theories, concepts, and mathematical formulas could find this subject very challenging indeed.

Whether this subject at this level is difficult or not, therefore, is down to the individual student. You may find that the skills you have are perfect for GCSE physics – including problem-solving skills, application, and analysing data.

Students with strengths lying more in the essay-based subjects could find approaching GCSE physics difficult since a lot of it is based on maths. Whether this subject is hard or not also depends on how much work a student puts into it.

Hard-working students who have memorised the specification inside out will find exams much easier than students who have abandoned revision and walk into their examinations practically blind of knowledge.

Students who are motivated to learn may also seek a teacher or to seek online physics tuition in order to help to understand certain things more – if you’re having trouble with a homework question, the students who seek help might be more likely to succeed as they are willing to learn from their mistakes.

Comparisons to other subjects

GCSE physics might be argued to be one of the most challenging GCSEs alongside maths, with the biggest demand of application questions.

As a science, physics requires a solid, correct answer to gain marks, whilst essay-based subjects don’t really have a right or wrong answer – this could be to your advantage or disadvantage, depending on your individual strengths.

When looking into further study, A levels are a huge step up from GCSE. Therefore, GCSE physics is argued to be quite easy when put into perspective with A level physics – the formulas, theories, and concepts are a lot less complex, and the same goes for any other GCSE subject too. 

Things get even more complicated at degree level, so when looking at GCSE physics in comparison to other levels of study, it could be considered very basic, with a lot of the marks based on memorising the simple content out of the course textbook rather than putting complex scientific skills into full use.

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There’s a lot to consider with whether GCSE physics is hard or not. This question, as mentioned above, is always going to be down to the opinion and the abilities of each student, making its difficulty almost impossible to measure. In comparison to other subjects, it’s relatively respected, although compared to other levels of further study, it can definitely be considered simple.

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