1 A collective noun for learners, used to refer to a group of pupils or students taught together. Used in this sense, we find such expressions as ‘top of the class’ and ‘class size’. In secondary schools, the term may be used synonymously with form. In schools, classes usually consist of pupils of the same age, except in those minority of primary schools where vertical grouping is applied.
2 May be used synonymously with lesson, as in ‘After break, the pupils have their geography class’.
3 Denotes level of achievement in an honours degree, which may be awarded at first, upper second, lower second, or third class. See also pupil–teacher ratio.