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What is the Difference Between CBSE and ICSE Board?

What is the Difference Between CBSE and ICSE Board?

Giving your child the best education is one of the challenges that are concomitant with being a parent. Choosing the right education board between ICSE vs CBSE for your child takes up the top slot in the list of parenting dilemmas. Parents are grappled with several questions when it comes to ensuring the right education for their children.

The problems that surface in every parent’s thought process when it comes to starting their child’s academic journey.  India has more than a million schools, with a significant percentage of them lacking quality education and adequate resources in that CBSE schools. Children are the future of the world, and parents are their custodians. Parents are entrusted with the responsibility of raising educated and mindful citizens. 

Choosing the education board that is right for your child can help nurture young minds to become progressive global citizens who can contribute to the development and growth of the world. 

The Indian education system offers national and state-level education boards that cater to the educational needs of the country’s demographic. The selection of education boards and schools are significant changemakers when it comes to determining the overall development of your child.

Each education board has its advantages that can help mold your child’s future. However, they cannot be clubbed together because of their differences. The kind of exposure offered, the education system followed, and the relevance of curriculum in each education board plays a pivotal role in the career and personality development of your child.  

While the education system is divided into three stages, namely- Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary; the boards that offer education are as follows:  

  • CBSE Full Form: Central Board of Secondary Education)
  • ICSE Full Form: Indian Certificate of Secondary Education)
  • State Level Boards that go by the name of the state- U.P Board, Delhi Board, Bihar Board, and so on.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Boards are limited to the top-tier cities of the country.

Which school to choose? What is the difference between ICSE vs CBSE? What is better for my child? Which board is good for overall development? These are the questions that often trouble parents when their child is all set to step into the world of formal education. 

What is the Full Form of ICSE and CBSE Board & Overview

ICSE Full Form: Indian Certificate Of Secondary Education

CBSE Full Form: Central Board Of Secondary Education

The two most prominent boards for school education in the country are the ICSE & CBSE boards. Both boards teach almost the same subjects, the difference in approach lies in the syllabus covered, the scope of knowledge delivered, and the learning goals achieved. Choosing the right board is a determinant of your child’s future and overall development. 

Parents and children often come across the tussle surrounding education boards when they are selecting a school for their children. They find themselves introspecting about which board is best for their child. Which among these two major Indian boards, is good for the overall development of their child? The battle around this topic can be brought to a sound conclusion by looking at the pros and cons of education boards. It will also help you determine the best schools in India concerning the learning objectives of your child.


The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education(ICSE) was established by the Local Examinations Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. It conducts the ICSE Examination at the end of the 10th grade and the Indian School Certificate (ISC) Examination at the end of the 12th grade.


The Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE). It conducts national-level exams for students that serve as standard minimum eligibility to pursue higher education. The most striking feature of CBSE is that it conducts national-level entrance examinations for admission to different engineering and medical courses at the undergraduate level.

Classroom | CBSE schools in India | ICSE vs CBSE

Differences between CBSE and ICSE Board 

Education boards put maximum effort into shaping a child’s achievements and career goals by contributing to his growth and development. However, it is recommended that you do proper homework before deciding on a school for your child. Let’s uncover some characteristic features that can help you oversee the differences between CBSE and ICSE boards.

CBSE vs ICSE: The Difference in Syllabus

  • The first difference in syllabus lies in the fact that CBSE focuses on Science and Mathematics while ICSE Board gives equal importance to other subject streams, including Art, Language, Science, Mathematics, and even Humanities.
  • Another difference lies in the structure of the syllabus, which is detailed, and comprehensive. In contrast, the CBSE board has a precise and easy syllabus that delivers subject matter in a very light way. 
  • The difference between CBSE and ICSE board syllabus can be sharply seen in its teaching methodology as well. ICSE board teaching methodology is based on the application of theoretical concepts and is more inclined toward real-life ideas by an adequate understanding of the subject matter.  
  • CBSE offers a compact syllabus with fewer subjects to study.
  • ICSE offers a range of languages to study, including Hindi, English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and others. Some ICSE schools also offer creative subjects like agriculture, home science, humanities, arts, and cooking. ICSE is a winner when it comes to talking about the scope of the syllabus in the ICSE vs. CBSE debate.

CBSE VS ICSE: Which Board Provides a Better Competitive Edge?

  • The syllabus of CBSE is fruitful for students aspiring to sit for national levels entrance examinations such as IIT-JEE, and NEET. The abundance of theoretical information helps students gain knowledge from an exam point of view. However, ICSE Boards help cultivate better analytical abilities, and an in-depth understanding owing to the extensive and complex syllabus. Choosing an education board for your child by understanding the competitive advantage offered can help your child achieve his career goals in the long run. It is possible if you know the difference between CBSE and ICSE boards. 

CBSE VS ICSE: Medium of Instruction

  1. ICSE boards give more emphasis to the English language as the medium of instruction. It gives them leverage when appearing for TOEFL, IELTS, and other standard exams that serve as a standard score for entry to foreign universities. On the contrary, the CBSE board doesn’t prefer any language. 
  2. ICSE Board also lays particular emphasis on teaching literature and language skills that help build their personality. It is another strong point that gives some weightage to the ICSE board in the ICSE vs CBSE debate. 

Teacher writing on White board | International Schools in India | ICSE vs CBSE

CBSE Vs ICSE: Acceptance

  • ICSE Board has better acceptability than any other board, particularly in foreign lands. While CBSE Boards are also widely accepted, students with an ICSE certification get the upper hand in foreign schools and universities. If you wish to send your child to a foreign education program, it is essential to consider these differences between CBSE and ICSE Board.

CBSE Vs ICSE: Ease of Transfer

  • For those parents who work in professions that involve a lot of traveling, it is preferred that you choose the CBSE Board. CBSE is the preferred certification across India. CBSE Schools are more in number and can help your child get admission to a similar board without any hassles. The innumerable schools affiliated with the CBSE board indeed give an upper hand to CBSE in the ICSE vs. CBSE discussions. 

CBSE Vs ICSE: Grading System

  • CBSE offers an alphabetical grading system while ICSE evaluates its students in the form of a score. 

Teacher using Whiteboard for Graph Explanation | CBSE schools in India | ICSE vs CBSE

CBSE VS ICSE: Which Board Is Better for the Overall Development of Your Child?

Looking at the differences mentioned above, between ICSE and CBSE Boards, the mystery of choosing an education board can be easily solved. While ICSE can help your child in the development of his core personality traits and hone his skills, CBSE can help him achieve his career goals. Parents also need to consider other factors when choosing a school by looking at the differences between CBSE and ICSE education boards. These include schools that promote online learning, reading, performing arts, sports, and a relevant curriculum that can help attain your child his learning objectives. Parents also need to take a calculated move and focus on the quality of education imparted when choosing an education board. 

Hence, both boards have their pros and cons. Dissecting both boards based on their advantages and disadvantages will help students and parents alike to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right education board for your child.


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