Discussion Board : CBSE And ICSE In A Nutshell

Here’s everything that you need to know about the two most popular nationalized secondary education school boards in the country

Differences between the school boards( CBSE V/S ICSE)

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) are among the most popular nationalized boards in the country. Both these school boards are considered to be of high merit and are internationally recognized. They vary in terms of teaching methodologies, focus on extra-curricular activities, levels of learning, practical knowledge, a structure of lesson plans, delivery of knowledge and so on.

The CBSE is recognized by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCRET) with the purpose of operating a chain of central schools

(Kendriya Vidyalaya), which was established with the aim of catering to individuals who worked in the government sector and were subject to frequent transfers. Today, various private schools also offer CBSE syllabus. The predictability and consistency of the syllabus type maintain a standard form of teaching and learning.

ICSE is run by a similar board similar to the NCERT called CISCE (Council for Indian School Certificate Examination). A much older board in comparison to the CBSE, the ICSE is an offshoot of the erstwhile Cambridge IGCSE that was in practice during the British Raj. This board was taken over by the Anglo Indian Board and is now counselled under the governing body of the CISCE. The modern ICSE has adopted various learning and teaching structures from the NCERT and has retained some of the major principles of the early form of education. Thus, parents looking for a blend of modern yet convent from of education tend to opt for the ICSE board for their children.

Some factors to consider to choose school boards

Apart from management and governing structures, there are other factors that contribute to the differences between CBSE and ICSE. Some factors that parents take into consideration before placing their child in either of these two boards are:

Intake type

Since CBSE board has tie-ups with a larger number of schools across the country, there is a higher degree of leverage when it comes to allowing students from other boards or private students to take the public level exam conducted by the board. ICSE board, on the other hand, does not allow students from other boards or private learners to take up the public level exam conducted by it.

Medium of instruction

CBSE encourages both, English as well as Hindi as a medium of instruction. There are numerous schools across the nation that follow the CBSE board of teaching with Hindi as the primary source of instruction. ICSE, on the other hand, does not recommend Hindi as a medium of instruction.

Curriculum and course design

There is a general assumption that CBSE is usually more difficult to master in comparison with ICSE. This is perceived so because most entrance exams for medical, engineering, commerce or arts is based on the syllabus set by the government in consultation with the CBSE. ICSE has a more detailed approach when it comes to teaching style. The methodology emphasizes in-depth research on every topic.

Career options


While both boards present equal opportunities upon completion of the public level course, it is often perceived that students who aspire a career in languages and/or English Literature opt for the ICSE board, and those aspiring a career in the sciences or commerce opt for the CBSE board.

Also read: Points to consider while choosing a school for your child

                          Differences Between CBSE, ICSE, IB, IGCSE & State Board

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