Board of education

Battle of the Boards—CBSE & ICSE

admin / February 2, 2019

All parents have to go through a big task of choosing the right board of education for their children. Obviously, a board plays an important role in shaping every child’s future. The two most recognized boards of education in India are CBSE and ICSE.

CBSE- Central Board of Secondary Education

ICSE- Indian Certificate of Secondary Education

Both CBSE and ICSE boards are decades old institutions in India and have large enrollments. Despite unavoidable similarities, given that they serve the education needs of India, there are differences between them, which this post will explore.

Recognition & Reach:

Only CSBE is recognized by the Indian government, resulting in better subsidies and support for it; ICSE is not recognized. CBSE is meant only for the public, not private schools. ICSE is accepted by the UK and other Commonwealth countries, while all major national entrance tests in India follow CBSE.


CBSE is more flexible and adaptable to India, as it can be taught in both English and Hindi. ICSE is restricted to English and one which has a higher standard than CBSE English.

Depth of the curriculum:

  • ICSE is more comprehensive and diverse, and therefore more difficult.
  • CBSE is easier and also less competitive.
  • ICSE emphasises the English language, CBSE’s focus is on Maths and Science.
  • CBSE places less emphasis on practical knowledge and the English language.

Grading style:

  • CBSE students need to take 5 subjects in 10th and 12th, while ICSE students have to take 6 subjects for both tests.
  • CBSE gives grades for 10th and percentages for 12th, while ICSE always gives percentages, and marks are calculated and expressed as percentages.

IB, or International Baccalaureate, is a relatively new entrant into the Indian scene. It is different from both CBSE and ICSE and will be covered in my next blog.

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