The modern GCSE questions that baffle adults


Distance learning provider Oxford Open Learning Trust created the Would You Pass? quiz to put adults’ knowledge to the test and find out which questions from recent exams – like Citizenship and Health & Social Care – they can answer correctly.

Many people have challenged themselves already with questions from recent GCSE exam papers and these were the questions they found the hardest:

Environment Science proved to be confusing for Brits, with the below question showing just 4 per cent of UK adults were clued up about selective breeding:

Which of the following cannot be produced by selective breeding?

A more uniform crop

A higher yielding crop

A crop with a greater environmental tolerance

A crop with genes not present in its parents. – correct answer

Less than a third of UK adults knew the answer to this Citizenship question:

Which of the following rights is granted to people seeking asylum in the United Kingdom?

To become a UK citizen straight away

To be given a job

To have the support of a lawyer. – correct answer

To get a decision on their asylum application within 28 days


Brits were also unsure about various Health and Social Care questions, with only 36 per cent correctly identifying a fine motor skill:

Which of the following is a fine motor skill?


Writing – correct answer


Watching TV

1,000 British adults were also surveyed to find out which modern subjects they wish were an option when they took their GCSEs.

The top five modern GCSE subjects Brits wish they could have taken:

Computer Science – 40 per cent

Law – 24 per cent

Psychology – 24 per cent

Business Studies – 22 per cent

Economics – 21 per cent

One in five 18 to 24 year olds said they would have taken Food Preparation & Nutrition, while respondents over 55 years old showed a keen interest in Computer Science.

Dr Nick Smith, Courses Director and founder of Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “Modern GCSEs are great for teaching a more vocational set of skills, but core subjects are still extremely important to overall education and job prospects.

“It’s never too late to learn new skills or take another GCSE and our Would You Pass? quiz gives adults an idea of what some of the new modern GCSE exam questions are like.”

Click here to test whether you’d pass some of the modern GCSEs now: