Student Info & Guide

The most popular vs the most useful A level subjects

by on March 27, 2020 | Top Stories

The most popular vs the most useful A level subjects -

When choosing an A level subject, should you go for what’s easiest, what’s most popular or what’s most useful? This table will give you a look at what subjects most students have chosen, and what they think are the most difficult. Then take a peek at the last column—here are subjects that give you the most flexibility when applying for a bachelor’s degree.

Most popular A level subjects (in 2018) Hardest A level subjects (ranked by students) Most useful A level subjects, also known as facilitating subjects (listed in no particular order)
  1. Maths: 12 per cent of all entries in 2018
  2. Biology: 7.9 per cent
  3. Psychology: 7.4 per cent
  4. Chemistry: 6.7 per cent
  5. History: 6 per cent
  6. English Literature: 5.5 per cent
  7. Art and Design subjects: 5.3 per cent
  8. Physics: 4.7 per cent
  9. Sociology: 4.3 per cent
  10. Geography: 4.1 per cent
  1. Modern foreign languages
  2. Further maths
  3. History
  4. Physics
  5. English literature
  6. Chemistry
  7. Maths
  8. Psychology
  9. Biology
  10. Music


  • Mathematics and Further mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages (classical and modern)


Note to students: Before you decide, you are advised to check the application guidelines of the course providers. Every course has different requirements, and may specify a combination of requirements: e.g. SPM or Pre-U or its equivalent), specific subjects at a minimum grade, language proficiency, etc. Finding out more from the respective universities’ admission department will enable you to work towards achieving the required subject grades.

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