Here’s an enjoyable article on the BBC web magazine about the relative difficulty of GCSEs. It’s hard on this evidence to make an argument that Media is the easy option the, er, media make it out to be. Snip:
Media studies is well into the bottom half of the pass rate. If we ranked the results by A* success, rather than A* to C, media studies is the seventh lowest (ie fewest A*) out of 44. So according to our first rule of argument, media studies must be considered one of the hardest subjects at GCSE and much harder than physics or chemistry.
My take on it is that a combination of factors make it harder to get a high grade than in some other subjects. The three main factors are: (a) it is indeed harder than a lot of people think, requiring both sides of the brain to be in fine fettle; (b) the negative press and commentary it receives does trick some lazy students into thinking it’ll be an easy ride; and (c) there are far too many non-specialists teaching the subject.