Difference Between CBSE and ICSE Board

Education is not a cup of tea either by parents or the education system prevailing, students and parents both need to be a decision-maker while choosing exam boards as it becomes a lifetime mark of the 10th board passed. There has been a number of debates for which one is better ICSE or CBSE but both have got its own importance. One can not deny the fact that the most common myth about these two is CBSE being popular and ICSE being tougher as compared between the two.

Let us have a detailed study of each board one by one so that we can reach a proper conclusion.

CBSE Board (Central Board of Secondary Education)

CBSE is a Board of Education for public and private schools, under the Union Government of India


  • CBSE school has a large share of pros, as it is not only confined to school but also all the major competitive exams in India are based on CBSE syllabus. These examinations include Joint Entrance Exam (IIT-JEE), the All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) and the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT)
  • CBSE syllabus is recommended by NCERT (National Council of Educational Research & Training)
  • CBSE follows a functional way of teaching English and for communication with students, CBSE implements new policy so as to reduce the stress on students specially from class 9th to 12th
  • As per new pattern, CBSE has adopted the semester method so as to divide the syllabus into two sections so as to reduce the burden on students for final examinations held from February to March
  • CBSE also deals with ASL (Assignment of Speaking & Listening Skills) for class 9th & 11th
  • ASL is an initiative by CBSE which brings out the speaking skills of students
  • As compared to other Boards, CBSE has a good gap between the Board exams so as the students can thoroughly do the final revision
  • Moreover, most parents prefer CBSE as it is more helpful while preparation of competitive exams
  • CBSE approves both English and Hindi language as medium of instructions.
  • Certification from CBSE is valid not only in country but also in foreign universities for higher education
  • CBSE is easily accessible all over India


  • CBSE does not include much practical as it mostly focuses on bookish knowledge
  • Syllabus and subjects are bit lengthy as compared to other boards
  • Sometimes the exam pattern is unpredictable
  • High fees in some schools still an issue
  • No exposure in field of Arts & Literature
  • English Speaking is not a focus neither its importance as it is overtaken by marks in major subject especially after 10th class.

ICSE Board:

ICSE is Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, comes under State Government


  • ICSE board follows comprehensive syllabus including all aspects with equal importance
  • Students those who want to pursue careers in field of management and humanities will find curriculum under ICSE to be more fruitful and interesting
  • ICSE emphasis on English and they also provide scholarship for various exams
  • Practical knowledge is much enhanced along with textbook knowledge
  • Students can also opt for careers in English Literature or language through ICSE
  • Internal assessment is equally weighted as similar to external assessment
  • Students have immense flexibility while selecting the specific subjects
  • Students need not stress for PCM as like CBSE
  • Syllabus deeply facilitates better analytical skills
  • Balanced focus on language, arts and science


  • Subjects are more as compared to CBSE
  • Lack of evaluation after exams
  • Less gap between the exams
  • ICSE does not approve Hindi language as medium of instructions
  • Little tougher when comes for class 10th and 12th
  • ICSE does not allow candidate for exams who has not been in ICSE affiliated school
  • ICSE does not focus on PCM
  • ICSE has less recognition in few parts as compared to CBSE
  • ICSE has no transferability as compared to CBSE
  • No grading system as like CBSE
  • Curriculum is tougher than that of CBSE
Overall Conclusion:
  • One gives an overall growth while other gives you vital push for a selected oriented subject/field
  • It is the key responsibility of the school management irrespective to the Boards, they must maintain an equilibrium between curriculum and sports.
  • At the end of the day matters is child’s academic performance, so Board is not a parameter for deciding the school, although for some extent it can be counted.
  • Parents need to discuss along with their kids and also listening to the views of kids while choosing the school or Boards
  • Students need to enjoy their skills at schools along with their studies so as to not to be confused between the Boards.
  • Counselling can be provided from school management while choosing or changing the schools from one board to another.
  • Most importantly is what the students like, if students are not happy with school, Board can’t help much in this case.
  • Better parents and students together discuss on career prospective and finally choose the best. 

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Date: 05 Feb 2019

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