How Many GCSEs Do You Take?

April 12, 2023 The Spark Tutoring Team

Different schools offer varied options for students to choose General Certificate of Secondary Education, but teachers will help you provide plenty of information and notices.

What GCSEs should you take?

Typically, you can take around nine subjects for GCSE, including Mathematics, Science and English as the core subjects. Since the English language is a compulsory subject in every school, along with English Literature in most of the schools, you may have to choose them mandatorily. However, there are some exceptions as well, and you need to check them to make sure what the compulsory subjects are. Sometimes, regional language is also made compulsory. For example, if you are studying in Wales, you have to choose Welsh.

Science can be either divided into three distinct sciences like Physics, Chemistry and Biology or as a combination of two science subjects in GCSEs. Contrarily, some schools may even make other subjects compulsory. So, it is best to ask your teachers to know the rules of your school.

Optional subjects

It can be fun to choose your optional subjects. The choices of subjects in every school are different. Depending upon the preferences your school provides, you may choose among them.

Modern foreign language

The most common subjects taught in school are German, French and Spanish. There are some schools where languages like Japanese and Mandarin are also offered. Some schools have a rule set for students to choose a modern foreign language as GCSEs. So, ask your teacher to get detailed information on whether it is compulsory or take them as a part of the options.


Humanity subjects like geography, history or religious studies are also given as options. In addition, you can also get the options of subjects like art and design, music or media studies.

Technical Subject

Technical subjects such as food technology, computer science, design and technology are some of the options you can get for GCSEs.

PE: The students can do PE in 10 and 11 years, but it can also be taken as a GCSE option.

How to choose the right GCSE options?

If you cannot make up your mind and come to a decision, it is better to take the help of teachers about the subjects that you have more inclination. They can make it easier for you to decide by explaining the course and teaching part of the subjects you like but are yet to take.

In the UK, all students must take GCSE examinations by the end of the 11th year. The group of children are mainly 15-16 years of age after studying the GCSEs options for a whole two years. However, it is for the very first time that the subjects which you choose depend on you.

Nonetheless, it is no less than a challenge to choose GCSEs, especially when you have additional compulsory subjects. Therefore, it is significantly more crucial to understand the number of GCSEs you must opt for in order to work on the options.

In most UK-based schools, you may take up to as many as ten distinct subjects for your GCSE. However, every student should take up English language and Mathematics.

Besides, most educational institutions have a rule of taking English Literature and two science subjects. The majority of the students then opt for three or four subjects from a wide variety of subjects from the list of arts, humanities and languages.

How many GCSEs are possible to choose from?

GCSEs are something that thousands of children take up every year in the UK. Fortunately, there is liberty for the students to choose the subjects they would want to study from the varied options.

The best part about selecting GCSEs is the flexibility in taking the number of subjects. Since every school has separate rules and regulations regarding GCSEs, make sure to check the information regarding the GCSE on the official website of your school.

How many GCSE subjects are compulsory?

It generally depends on the school how many subjects they make compulsory. In the UK and Wales, the students of GCSE must select GCSE English language, GCSE Science and GCSE Mathematics.

However, some schools also ask you to do other subjects as well. You may take GCSE English literature along with the options of science as three different subjects or combined science.

Again, most schools ask students to complete ten GCSEs. Nonetheless, they allow you to choose more than ten or fewer options. Along with other compulsory GCSE subjects, the school you attend may also ask you to take a language paper. Here you may get full freedom to select the preferred subject you want to pursue. This is going to occupy the place of one of the three or four GCSE options.

What is the minimum number of GCSEs you can take?

For students in the age group of 15-16 years, GCSE exams are compulsory. Technically, you can take a minimum of two subjects.

However, if you aim to progress in education and further in employment, it is indeed a good idea to get more than two GCSE options. In most of the UK schools, you can take a minimum of eight to nine subjects for GCSEs.

What are the maximum GCSEs you can take?

There is specifically no limit on the number of subjects you can choose for GCSEs. All students are usually expected to choose ten subjects, but you can try out an additional one. Speak to the teachers and the school authorities so that they can arrange extra classes outside your timetable to gain qualifications.