Definition of GCSE in English:

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Pronunciation: /dʒiːsiːɛsˈiː/


[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
  • In school, he achieved straight As at GCSE, while on the sports scene he played for West Ham and Wimbledon.
  • Gaine and George claimed that 'girls are outstripping boys at almost every subject at GCSE'.
  • Bias, as every GCSE pupil now knows, is often a problem in the presentation of history.
1.1 [count noun] A GCSE exam or pass: you need five GCSEs
More example sentences
  • Tickets were due to go on sale at 10 a.m. the following Friday - the very morning I was due to sit my History GCSE.
  • The academic teaching was good and Isabel passed 11 GCSEs.
  • Finding herself expelled three months before her GCSEs, she ran off to Barcelona.


1970s: acronym from General Certificate of Secondary Education.

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