CBSE School VS ICSE School: What Indian Parents Should Pick for their Child?

CBSE School VS ICSE School: What Indian Parents Should Pick for their Child?

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) are both popular choices for Indian parents to schooling for their children. The dilemma which is best for your child, an ICSE school or a CBSE school, is the most difficult to answer. But not to worry – we suggest some factors you could consider before deciding on the best course of action.

What is the CBSE Board?

The CBSE curriculum is recognized across India. Some of the best schools in Pune are affiliated with the CBSE board. This board runs under the Ministry of Education, Government of India. The courses offered by the CBSE have been developed concerning best practices within the country and also internationally.

The primary purpose of the CBSE is to provide stress-free, child-centered and holistic education for all children without compromising on quality.

23460 schools across India follow this board. The government-run Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya and many private ones follow their syllabus.

What is the ICSE Board?

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) exam is known as ‘CISCE’ or the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations. It’s an academic assessments series program conducted by the board headquartered in India. It offers 1st through 12th grades classes available only in private schools across different states throughout India. English is a compulsory subject matter upon enrolment into this course load alongside five other subjects.

Now let’s understand the difference between these two boards.

Medium of Instruction:

The schools affiliated with the CBSE can choose the medium of instruction between Hindi and English. Most government-run schools follow the Hindi medium of education, whereas the public and private schools follow the English medium of instruction. On the other hand, the ISCE only recognizes the schools that follow the English medium of instruction.


One major factor in deciding between these two boards is the syllabus. The CBSE follows a more theory-based syllabus, and most entrance exams held in India base questions on this syllabus.

ICSE syllabus takes a practical approach to education and skills applicable in any situation. If your child wishes to prepare for any entrance exam, he will have to study the CBSE syllabus alongside.


The CBSE follows a grading pattern from grade VI onwards. There are different brackets like 90-100 graded A1 and 81-90 A2 and so on till 0-20 as E2, which is the lowest grade.

In the ICSE board, both internal and external assessments result in the final grade scored. The internal is indicated by an alphabet and external by point value. Because The final result is 1-9, where 1 is the best and 9 is the lowest.

Exam Pattern:

The CBSE has a more objective paper with four sections. Because Section A and B have 6 questions, each of 1 and 2 marks. While Section C has 10 questions each of 3 marks and D has 8 questions each of 4 marks, with some variations for a few subjects. Because This makes CBSE exams easy and more scoring for children.

ICSE has a more subjective paper with two sections. Section A has 4 questions of 10 marks, and section B has 7 questions of 4 marks each. Again some variations from subject to subject are there. Because  the exams have longer answers, they become less scoring.

Now it depends on what you are looking for in a school. If you want a school with a more traditional syllabus and based more on theory, then the CBSE would be a better choice. But if you want a more practical approach to education with less emphasis on exams, then ISCE is your way to go.

The CBSE envisions a robust, Because vibrant and holistic school education that will engender excellence in every sphere of human endeavour.


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