Definition of GCSE in English:

GCSE

noun

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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘New specifications for all GCSE subjects have been approved by the QCA.’
    • ‘She managed 11 A* s at GCSE, and was captain of both hockey and athletics teams, as well as being a talented oboist.’
    • ‘At GCSE, a staggering 95.1 per cent of students achieved the "headline figure" of at least five passes at A - C levels.’
    • ‘The school comes bottom in the town's league table - based on pupils who achieve five or more A - C grades at GCSE.’
    • ‘League tables published this month showed boys made better progress from key stage three to GCSE than any other school in Kingston.’
    • ‘A huge range of interactive program guide children from the absolute basics through to GCSE level and above.’
    • ‘Arsonists destroyed part of the school - leaving blackened roofs, timbers and ruining two years of vital GCSE coursework.’
    • ‘At GCSE, only 44.7 per cent of boys managed to get at least five A* to C-grades, compared with 55.1 per cent of girls.’
    • ‘I didn't feel particularly challenged by any of my GCSE subjects.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although girls do well in science subjects at GCSE, they often fail to take these subjects further.’
    1. 1.1count noun A GCSE exam or pass.
      ‘you need five GCSEs’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘"Well I'm sorry, you won't get anywhere in engineering without GCSEs," she says.’
      • ‘We keep running out of electricity, have no gas for heating and this week I had to borrow the bus fares so my daughter could get to school to take her GCSEs.’
      • ‘He went to college to take his GCSEs but dropped out.’
      • ‘I've been really, really busy with coursework and revision and getting stressed and refusing to think about my GCSEs.’
      • ‘I'm already struggling to find work, despite having several GCSEs.’
      • ‘Daughter number two, by contrast, will not be satisfied with anything less than 10 As in her GCSEs.’
      • ‘Sixty-five per cent of students achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C.’
      • ‘Despite his health problems, he attended Russell Hall School in Queensbury and went on to get eight GCSEs.’
      • ‘He grew up in Gloucester with his Malawi-born parents and obtained 10 GCSEs as well as A-levels in biology, chemistry, physics and general studies from Crypt Grammar School.’
      • ‘However, some students will be keen to improve their exam results, so it might be worth their while re-sitting their GCSEs and combining these qualifications with either GNVQs or BTEC First or National qualifications.’
      • ‘The courses are aimed at people who already have a range of qualifications from GCSEs to A-levels or HNCs.’
      • ‘Attendance rates had dropped to between 70 to 80 per cent, and only eight per cent of pupils were achieving five A-C GCSEs.’
      • ‘Lucy, who is preparing for her GCSEs, has been given the top-floor room so she can escape to a quiet retreat to revise.’
      • ‘She left Cardinal Langley High School in Middleton with 10 GCSEs - nine of them grade A - and A-levels in physics, chemistry and maths.’
      • ‘He took his GCSEs at Ilkley Grammar School, but has continued his education at Skipton College, where he is retaking his English GCSE.’

Origin

1970s acronym from General Certificate of Secondary Education.

Pronunciation

GCSE

/dʒiːsiːɛsˈiː/