All you need to know about choosing a PE GCSE

4 mins
May 3, 2022
The great thing about your GCSEs is that there are exams for everyone, whether you’re arty, musical or sporty - you can really let your strengths shine. In this article, we’re going to walk you through what it’s like to sit the PE GCSE and what the course really entails! So without further ado…

PE GCSE: What do you study?

In the PE GCSE, you’ll learn about a wide variety of topics from why athletes take performance-enhancing drugs to what constitutes a balanced diet (and no, it's not a cupcake in each hand!). In the GCSE you’ll cover two main themes, with further subtopics in each. These topics are:

  • The human body and movement in physical activity and sport:
  • Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Movement analysis
  • Physical training
  • Socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport:
  • Sports psychology
  • Socio-cultural influences
  • Health, fitness and wellbeing 

It’s worth noting that the PE GCSE does contain a healthy dose of science: you’ll be drawing on your biology knowledge to explain bodily systems (like the cardiovascular system and aerobic system) and human anatomy. You’ll be applying your knowledge of physics to explain how we move and the stress this can put on our body and you’ll even have to consider chemistry when thinking about why athletes take performance-enhancing drugs. 

If you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s worth stating that the PE GCSE has a huge crossover with other mandatory and optional GCSE subjects. Plus it’s great for students that are sporty/athletic as it allows you to be marked in other areas, not just written exams!

How to pass PE GCSE? 

To know how to pass your exams, you’ve got to understand what the examiner wants you to know and the best way of getting this information across. A good starting place is to look forward to the exam format, by knowing this you can make sure you’re focusing your revision on the stuff that's really relevant. So let’s take a look together.

  • Practical (40%) - all students will need to perform to a competitive level in three sports; this can either be two individual sports (like athletics or golf)  and one team sport (like netball or football) or the other way round. * There’s a huge list of both individual and team sports to choose from, so once you’ve decided which sport you’re going to be assessed in, head over to the AQA website to see what areas the examiners/teachers will be looking to grade you in. 
  • Theory (60%) - this is split into two written exams, each worth 30% of the GCSE. In the exams, you’ll have a mixture of multiple-choice, short-form and mediam-form questions. The first paper covers the human body and movement in physical activity and sport, while the second covers socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport.

Is PE GCSE hard?

Interestingly, the PE GCSE has gotten slightly tougher in the last few years, this is because the emphasis on ‘theory’ has become greater, the GCSE used to have a split of 40% theory and 60% practical. Whereas now, the split has switched with 60% theory and 40% practical.

What jobs can you get with a PE GCSE? 

While no single GCSE can guarantee you a job, the PE GCSE can provide a great diving board for you to discover career paths that appeal to you. It’s no secret that the more we research health and wellbeing the higher it is in our agenda, in fact in 2020 in the UK alone the health and wellness industry was valued at a whopping £12.4 billion, yes that’s right billion! That’s a motivator, right there!

The PE GCSE doesn’t just cover sports, it looks at the fuel you put into your body as well as how your body recovers and heals from an injury. If you really like the idea of the PE GCSE (or you’ve already taken the course and loved it), you might want to think about the following career paths:

- Allied health professional
- Dietician
- Fitness instructor
- Masseuse
- Nutritionist
- PE teacher
- Personal trainer
- Physiotherapist
- Policy advisor 
- Professional sportsperson
- Sports coach/consultant
- Sports science

In your PE GCSE, you’ll learn about all of these roles in some detail, and the GCSE could be a great stepping stone to some jobs like a personal trainer!

How can we help? 

Unfortunately, at the moment we don't have any resources that will help you get a winning grade in your PE GCSE. But, we do have something that might help you decide whether a PE GCSE is the right choice for you. Our pathfinder quiz will help you work out what type of career you’re suited to and will thrive in so you can see if completing a PE GCSE will help get you there!

Our aim at Springpod is to empower you students so we’re going to point you to some resources that might be able to offer a little more help! Have a look at the list below: 

Revision world

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