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GCSE Line breaks: GCSE
Pronunciation: /dʒiːsiːɛsˈiː/

Definition of GCSE in English:


[mass noun]
1(In the UK except Scotland) a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 14-16, at a level below A level. The equivalent in Scotland is Standard Grade. Compare with A level, O level.
Example sentences
  • Although girls do well in science subjects at GCSE, they often fail to take these subjects further.
  • The figures released give a breakdown of the percentage of all 15-year-old pupils in each Local Education Authority who took at least one of the three languages at GCSE last year.
  • I didn't feel particularly challenged by any of my GCSE subjects.
1.1 [count noun] A GCSE exam or pass: you need five GCSEs
More example sentences
  • He took his GCSEs at Ilkley Grammar School, but has continued his education at Skipton College, where he is retaking his English GCSE.
  • She left Cardinal Langley High School in Middleton with 10 GCSEs - nine of them grade A - and A-levels in physics, chemistry and maths.
  • Lucy, who is preparing for her GCSEs, has been given the top-floor room so she can escape to a quiet retreat to revise.


1970s: acronym from General Certificate of Secondary Education.

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