to ace an exam (to get a very high score)

epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
As far as I know, you ace an exam when you get the highest score. It can be an A+ or a 4.0. But a non-native speaker used ace to mean to get a very high score (not the highest).

For example, the highest score in your exam is 100%, and your classmate got 96%, which is the highest score in your class. Can you say that he aced the exam?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Ace" doesn't really have a fixed meaning. In BrE, it is not used to indicate a grade A (that I am aware of), but to say that the person passed (or thinks they have passed) with ease. This does not necessarily mean getting full marks, and it is not used as a comparison between different people's scores. Several people might ace an exam, or no-one might ace it.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Unlike Simon and Jack, I have never heard this verbal use of "ace". I don't think it is common, at least not in Britain.
    :thumbsup: I haven't heard this verbal use of "ace" either. A search for "aced the exam" produces no results from Google Ngram's BrE corpus. Ngram picks up the expression in AmE sources from 1980 onwards.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To me "aced" generally means you got a perfect score. So the answer to the OP for me is no.
     
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