Two of the most prominent school level boards in India are CBSE and ISC boards. CBSE Boards are the most preferred by parents as it prepares students from Primary to Senior Secondary Levels.
Two exams are conducted by the CBSE Boards, All India Secondary School Examination i.e. AISSE for class 10th level and India Senior School Certificate Examination i.e. AISSCE for class 12th Level.
As for ICSE exams, it is conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) for 10th level examinations.
ICSE vs CBSE: The Difference!
- Style of Teaching – Both boards give due importance to the act of active learning, keeping in mind the needs of the next generation. Recently both the boards underwent changes regarding teaching methods by implementing a teaching method that allows students to learn through experience and experimentation rather
than rote memorization. There is a general belief that the education standards provided by CBSE are inconsistent with the standards provided by ICSE. In comparison, ICSE focuses on detailed teaching whereas CBSE fails to provide students with the academic freedom they need. However, both of these Boards are recognized by most colleges and universities.
- Syllabus Structure: If one goes through the syllabus for different competitive exams such as JEE or NEET, one would realise that the CBSE board syllabus is rather useful and prepares the foundation for theoretical knowledge required by these exams. Whereas, ICSE has an upper hand when it comes to imparting Practical knowledge.
- Ease of learning: Compared with the ICSE syllabus plan, the CBSE syllabus plan is easier, reasonably structured and compact. Although ICSE follows a higher level of English than other boards, CBSE has no particular preference for English. ICSE’s higher English proficiency helps students perform better in tests such as TOEFL.
- Interpretation level: The syllabus for ICSE is considered to be extensive, which may be an advantage for some people but a disadvantage for others. At the same time, CBSE courses are more precise and direct.
- Acceptability: Both boards are widely accepted. The qualifications acquired from CBSE boards are widely accepted by almost all universities, no matter what course you choose. But for foreign schools and universities, priority is given to ICSE certification.
- School Transfer: If your family has to constantly move due to work then it’s better to choose CBSE as there are much more CBSE schools in India when compared to ICSE. Relocating will be easier.
- Difficulty level: ICSE courses are considered more difficult than CBSE. This is because the ICSE syllabus has more internal assessments and concepts, thus increasing the pressure on students to constantly learn and get tested.
- Subject scope: ICSE covers a wide range of subjects, offering multiple languages, such as English, Hindi, Canadian, Tamil, Telugu, etc. It even offers courses in fashion design, agriculture, home science, and creative cooking. If you aspire to be an athlete, visual artist, scientist, or off-roader, the ICSE study program may be your best choice.
- Scoring system: CBSE’s scoring system is based on alphabetical order. For ICSE, the results are displayed in numbers, allowing students to clearly understand where they stand.
- Regular and private candidates: Students who are not affiliated with CBSE Board school or are non-regular candidates learning from home are eligible to take the CBSE exam. But It’s not the same when it comes to ICSE boards. In order to get qualifications under the boards, one must be affiliated with ICSE board school.
- Instruction medium: In CBSE school the language of instruction is not very rigid and both English and Hindi are used, whereas ICSE schools only allow English to be spoken inside the school premises.
Pros & Cons of ICSE Board
- The syllabus for ICSE Board is comprehensive and complete, an equal importance is given to all the subjects hence, securing the foundational learning.
- Students aiming to make a career in management, humanities, or any non-traditional path for them ICSE syllabus and study pattern will be more beneficial.
- The Global acceptance of ICSE school certificates is higher and is widely accepted when compared to CBSE schools.
- When it comes to English fluency exams such as TOEFL, then ICSE students score more as they have been thoroughly taught the language.
- ICSE students enjoy a good level of flexibility when it comes to selecting subjects, there are more options to choose from.
- Students might feel overwhelmed or burdened as ICSE boards follow an extensive syllabus and examination pattern.
- ISC exams which are a follow up of ICSE boards are very strict in checking and allotting marks.
Pros & Cons of CBSE Board
- CBSE Board students get an advantage while taking competitive exams like JEE Main, NEET, and more; as these exams are based on the syllabus of the CBSE Board.
- The Syllabus for CBSE is much easier and more compact in comparison to ICSE. There are fewer subjects to study, and subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are all grouped under one subject. In addition to this secondary subjects are not made mandatory.
- More number of CBSE schools make it easier to relocate.
- More importance and focus on subjects like Science and Mathematics, resulting in a stronger base.
- The board does not put major focus towards developing the core English language learning of its students, the focus is more on gaining learning on subjects like Science and Maths.
- More inclined towards theoretical knowledge and less towards gaining hands-on
There is a general belief that CBSE fails to provide the educational standard that ICSE schools have to offer. There is a scope of improvement in the teaching deliverance of the CBSE board when compared to the practical and detailed teaching method of ICSE schools. ICSE is flexible and puts extra emphasis on developing the reading and learning comprehension of its students. However, Both the schools are widely recognized and accepted and have their
own pros and cons. So, it really depends on the student and what career paths they want to head to.
ICSE VS CBSE FAQS?
Is ICSE more difficult than CBSE?
ICSE Board is considered to be more difficult than CBSE because ICSE has more extensive internal assessments and many subjects that are taught in a practical manner.
Which Board is best for my child?
Both the Boards have their own Pros and Cons, it depends on the child and what kind of career choice they have ahead of them. If your child wants to pursue a career in Humanities then ICSE will be a better choice but if they want to take part in competitive exams such as JEE, NEET then CBSE will prepare them better.
Which Board is best for the future?
Both ICSE and CBSE Boards have up to date syllabus that is rich in knowledge even for future generation students. ICSE is an Indian private board that aims to provide a more affordable alternative to international schools with international courses, while CBSE is a centralized board whose courses are suitable for all types of students.
Which board is toughest in India?
ICSE is one of the most stringent examination boards administered by CISCE (Indian School Certification Examination Board). It is similar to AISSE produced by CBSE. ICSE uses many NCERT structures. For tenth level examinations, ICSE is by far the hardest board exam.
Is ICSE Recognized in foreign countries?
The ICSE pass certificate issued after completing the level 10 exam is recognized nationally and globally. As it is equivalent to a foreign high school exam, it has been recognized by various foreign institutions.
Is the CBSE board tough?
The CBSE exams are difficult and the marking is very stringent. If students put in the effort and put in a considerable number of study hours, they can score a perfect score. Even though marks are not something students should chase, rather focus on learning.
If you find this article useful, then do share it with your friends or anyone who wants to get admission to schools. This will clear all of their doubts regarding ICSE vs CBSE.