CBSE vs ICSE – Difference Between CBSE and ICSE Board, Full Form

ICSE vs CBSE Board – ICSE and CBSE are the most well-respected boards in India. Many parents are unsure whether their children should be enrolled in the CBSE Board or the ICSE Board. The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education is the full form of ICSE, while CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. The boards have different educational patterns and learning outcomes.

CBSE Boards and ICSE Boards provide students with a rigorous, high-quality education. This prepares them for college and careers as well as life after high school. Both boards have their advantages and disadvantages. The main difference between ICSE & CBSE is that CBSE focuses more on theoretical concepts while ICSE focuses more on practical knowledge.

The ICSE syllabus, which provides practical and in-depth knowledge, is more complicated than the CBSE. The ICSE also aims at improving students’ analytical skills. The CBSE prepares students to take competitive exams at the national level within India. However, the ICSE prepares them for international exams (TOEFL, SAT).


Choosing between ICSE and CBSE is a big decision. Both boards have their own teaching styles and are equally rigorous in their examinations. Both are known for their different approaches to learning. Both emphasize the importance of experimentation and student experience.

Ultimately, the decision between ICSE and CBSE is a personal one. Whichever you choose, it is likely to be the best choice for your child. The ICSE syllabus is better for competitive exams, while the CBSE syllabus focuses more on practical knowledge and general education.

However, it is important to remember that the difference between the two boards is only temporary. Neither is better than the other.

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Overview of CBSE Board

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education, also known as the CBSE, is an Indian board that promotes education in public and private schools.
  • It falls under the Union Government of India.
  • The CBSE schools also include the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Kendriya Vidyalayas, as well as private schools.
  • The CBSE Class 10 or 12 final exams are usually held in March every year.
  • The CBSE board’s main goal was to develop a child’s intellect and personality.
  • CBSE education was also responsible for laying the foundations for cultural growth in children.

Overview of ICSE Board

  • The Class 10 and 12 exams are usually conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, a private national-level board of Education in India.
  • It was established in 1958.
  • If you look back at its origins in 1952, an All India Certificate Examinations Conference took place.
  • The main topic of the conference was to replace the Cambridge School Certificate Examination overseas with an All India Examination.
  • The council’s main purpose was to provide quality education for Indian children.

ICSE vs CBSE Board : Difference

The differences between the two boards are significant, and it is best to do your homework before choosing a school or board. This article will help you decide which one is right for your child.

  • Syllabus – The ICSE syllabus is more detailed and is designed for students who want to qualify for various competitive exams. CBSE syllabus, on the other hand, is more focused on language, arts, and science. Both are suitable for the same age groups, but ICSE is considered more difficult for students who wish to study abroad. Therefore, ICSE is preferred if you are looking for higher education opportunities. The CBSE syllabus is easier and less challenging, but it isn’t completely unchallenging.
  • Level of Ease – The CBSE Syllabus has a higher level of ease than the ICSE Syllabus. It is more concise, structured, and easy to follow. CBSE has no preference for a particular language, whereas ICSE uses a higher level of English than other boards. Students who study ICSE have a higher level of English language proficiency, which helps them to do better on exams such as TOEFL.
  • Acceptability – The CBSE Board marks are accepted by almost all universities, regardless of which course, you choose. ICSE Certification is preferable for foreign universities and schools.
  • The Level of Explanation – This syllabus is more detailed, which can be a benefit for some, but a disadvantage to others. The CBSE syllabus is more specific and direct.
  • Difficulty Level – The ICSE syllabus is more difficult than CBSE. The ICSE syllabus includes more concepts and internal assessments that can be applied in practicals.
  • Transferability – If you are planning to travel frequently, CBSE is the best choice. There aren’t many ICSE schools around.
  • Range of Subjects – The ICSE covers a wide range of subjects. ICSE provides a range of languages such as English, Hindi and Kanada, Tamil, and Telugu. ICSE also offers Fashion Design, Agriculture, and Home Science as well as Cookery for creative minds. If you are interested in becoming a scientist, athlete, or visual artist, the ICSE syllabus is a good choice.
  • Grading System – The CBSE Grading System is Alphabetical. The marks for ICSE are displayed in numbers. This gives students a clear picture of their scores.
  • Medium of Instructions – The instructions given by CBSE are in English and Hindi. However, the instructions were followed only by ICSE.
  • Teaching Style – The two boards have their own unique ways of assessing student learning. ICSE emphasizes internal assessments while CBSE places more emphasis on practical tests. Moreover, the ICSE syllabus focuses on evaluating lab work, whereas the CBSE syllabus relies heavily on theory. Nonetheless, parents should take the time to compare both curriculums and see which one suits their child best. The two systems have a lot of similarities.

ICSE vs CBSE Board Advantages and Disadvantages

Despite the similarities between the two boards, each has advantages and disadvantages. ICSE is considered the more challenging of the two systems. Its syllabus requires a higher level of learning than CBSE.

Moreover, the ICSE board is more flexible when it comes to language requirements. There are many schools in India offering both ICSE and CBSE. Both boards are regarded as the best for students in the country.

In general, both boards are similar in their syllabus and academics, but ICSE is the tougher of the two. The CBSE syllabus lays the foundation for national-level entrance examinations. Compared to ICSE, the ICSE syllabus is more difficult, but the ICSE curriculum is more transferable.

The ICSE syllabus is more creative and has more creative subjects. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that a broader range of courses is offered in the CISE board than the CBSE board.

Pros and Cons of CBSE Board

  • The syllabus of the CBSE Board is the basis of most competitive exams, such as JEE Main and NEET.
  • The CBSE Board’s syllabus is far more straightforward than ICSE. The CBSE syllabus is more concise and covers fewer subjects. Secondary subjects are optional. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geography are all included under Science and History, Geography and Civics under Social Science.
  • There are many CBSE schools in the country. CBSE schools are the best choice if you and your parents need to move from one place to another.
  • The CBSE syllabus places more emphasis on science and mathematics.
  • Practical subjects are covered, but the main focus is not on them. The CBSE board has not emphasized Core English Language as much as other boards.
  • CBSE focuses on theory and less on real-life concepts. Although application plays a major role in the CBSE Syllabus it places less emphasis on deep understanding.

Pros and Cons of ICSE Board

  • ICSE Board follows a more extensive and comprehensive syllabus, covering all subjects of equal importance.
  • Students who want to go into management or the humanities will find ICSE exciting and valuable.
  • ICSE certificates can be recognized worldwide and used by universities and schools around the world, in particular when compared to CBSE certifications.
  • Students have an advantage in TOEFL exams because English is more important than other languages.
  • Students have more freedom when choosing specific subjects.
  • Some students might feel overwhelmed by the subject matter.
  • The syllabus can be useful for future education. However, ISC Exam requires more rigorous checking, which could affect the marks.

CBSE Vs ICSE Pedagogy

Let’s compare the ICSE pedagogy to CBSE pedagogy. The boards are strict in accepting children. Parents can only switch from ICSE or CBSE if they have moved recently. They will only accept children for the 12th if they have completed the 1-10 exam under the CBSE board.

If you are accepted, it will make competitive exams easier as the CBSE board’s main goal is to build a solid foundation. ICSE, on the other side, focuses more on lab work and project management. This is why 20% of marks are awarded to internal assessment.

The curriculum differs from CBSE in that it is more structured and flows, while ICSE is more focused on detail and application-based learning. Parents can therefore compare the two curriculums and decide which one is best for their children.

CBSE Vs ICSE Exam Pattern

The ICSE exam pattern stipulates that the ICSE Class 10 mathematics question paper should be completed in 2.5 hours. Part A will contain short, compulsory questions and 40 marks. Part B will contain 7 questions.

If 4 of them are correctly answered, you can get 40 marks. For Science subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Physics, each paper lasts 2 hours. Part A has a 40-mark question and 6 questions in part B. The student must answer at least 4 of these questions to earn another 40 marks.

Students will receive two types of assessment for the CBSE board: summative and formative. Each term will end with an exam for formative assessment. Each paper has 100 marks according to the CBSE Class 10 exam patterns.

80 marks are for the theory paper, and 20 marks are for internal assessment, projects, and practicals. Each subject’s theory paper is 3 hours long. This includes Maths, Science and Social Science.

CBSE Vs ICSE Marking Scheme

Three groups make up the ICSE Class 10 Board Exams marking system. There are three groups: Group 1, which covers all subjects, and Group 2, which allows students to choose from any two subjects.

Finally, there is Group 3, where a student can only select one subject. The board’s marking system is based on 80% of externals for Group 1 and 2, and 20% from internals. For Group 3, however, the marking scheme for Group 3 is 50% from externals and 20% from internals.

According to the CBSE system, however, there is no grading system. Students who are below the mark range of 91 to 100 receive an A1 grade and a 10.0-grade point, respectively. Here’s a look at the CBSE grading system:

Mark Range Grades Grade Point
91-100 A1 10.0
81-90 A2 9.0
71-80 B1 8.0
61-70 B2 7.0
51-60 C1 6.0
41 -50 C2 5.0
33-40 D 4.0
21-30 E1
0-20 E2

CBSE Vs ICSE Syllabus

The all-India curriculum is followed by the CBSE board with some modifications. The CBSE syllabus is recognized by the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training). The ICSE syllabus is also created by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination.

The CBSE schools have a higher percentage of students who are inclined to science and mathematics. The board also attempts to balance science, arts, and humanities. ICSE, however, focuses more on science, language, and arts subjects.

CBSE students are better prepared to follow the traditional route because they are better equipped to take competitive exams such as engineering, medical, or banks. ICSE guides students towards literature and management while ICSE guides them towards arts subjects.

They are able to pass the TOEFL and scholarship exams much easier. Students in Class 10 of the CBSE board study Science subjects, which include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Chemistry. Science subdivisions begin in Class 11. ICSE Board: Biology, Chemistry, and Maths are separated before Class 10.

CBSE Vs ICSE Syllabus Changes and Exam Patterns During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Both ICSE and CBSE schools were closed long-term due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both boards have reduced the syllabus for the 2020-21 academic school year. Annual and board exams were also delayed. The board also reduced the syllabus for the session 2021-22. CBSE also splits the exams into 2 terms, i.e. terms 1 and 2.

The CBSE board has a special assessment scheme that students can find complete details about. Students of the CBSE and ICSE can continue their education online. Both boards are focused on the health and well-being of students. Both ICSE and CBSE boards now concentrate on creating an online education system that is strong for students.

We hope that this article on ICSE vs CBSE provided useful information for parents, students, and teachers. Keep learning, and keep checking back for more information on CBSE and ICSE exams. To access interactive study videos, download the BYJU’S app and subscribe to YouTube Channel.

ICSE vs CBSE Board: History of CBSE and ICSE Board

Let’s now look at the history of ICSE vs CBSE board.

CBSE Board History

Established in 1921, the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education was the first Indian education board. It was administered by Rajputana, Central India, and Gwalior. The Board of High School and Intermediate Education was established by the Indian government in 1929 as a joint board.

Merwara and Central India were selected as the cities. Vindhya Pradesh, Bhopal, and Ajmer were the last states where boards were established. 1952 saw the establishment of the Central Board of Secondary Education. The Central Body of Secondary Education (CBSE) is managed and controlled by the Government of India. It is a national board of education for public and private schools in India.

The newly formed CBSE Board was a landmark in secondary education integration. It brought together all the states of India in education and cooperation. There are approximately 26,054 schools across India, and 240 institutions from 28 other countries that are associated with CBSE. All CBSE-affiliated schools use the NCERT curriculum. The current chairperson of CBSE is Manoj Ahuja, IAS.

ICSE Board History

In 1952, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad was the Minister of Education and chaired the All India Certificate Examinations Conference. The conference’s main purpose was to determine if an All India Examination should be used in place of the Cambridge School Certificate Examination.

In October 1956, the Inter-State Board for Anglo-Indian Education met and a proposal was made to create an Indian Council. This council would administer the University of Cambridge’s Examination in India, as well as advise the Syndicate about how to best adapt the examination to Indian needs.

On November 3, 1958, the Council held its first meeting. The Societies Registration Act of 1860 created the ICSE board.


Is ICSE recognized in other countries?

ICSE is a foundation-level program that will assist your child if they plan to go abroad for higher education.

Is the CBSE board difficult?

Students should be able to comprehend the syllabus and concentrate on difficult areas.

Is ICSE harder than CBSE?

The ICSE Board courses have extensive and thorough research.

ICSE vs CBSE Board, which board is the best for the future?

ICSE, an Indian private board with an international curriculum, is a cheaper alternative to international schools. CBSE, on the other hand, is a central board with a curriculum that is accepted by all types of students.

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