CBSE and ICSE | What’s the Difference?

Blog » CBSE and ICSE | What’s the Difference?

As students approach their high school years, some might question which curriculum suits their academic needs. The two most popular tracks in India are CBSE. While the concepts have similarities, there are enough differences between the two that families should consider. 

Curriculum Overview

CBSE is the most popular track in India and stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. Next is ICSE, which stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. Students and their families often decide which board is better for them based on their future academic goals. Some universities look for CBSE while others look for ICSE. CBSE tests students on an Indian National standard. On the other hand, ICSE is based on more foreign requirements. Furthermore, ICSE isn’t a National board but a private, non-governmental board. 

5 Key Differences –

  1. The Importance of Concepts – CBSE focuses heavily on Maths and Science concepts. Students looking to study engineering or medicine in India, who perform well on their 10th grade CBSE boards, have a better chance to succeed in their undergraduate programs. On the other hand, ICSE also focuses on Maths and Science but distributes equal importance to other subjects and concepts such as languages, agriculture, and even fashion design (source).
  2. Language Focus – The official languages offered are major differences between the two curriculums. On the CBSE board exams, both Hindi and English are offered. However, ICSE is only in English. The benefit of students taking the ICSE curriculum is that they’re better prepared for English exams such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Most universities and/or occupations abroad require applicants to take exams like these as a part of their application.
  3. Greater Ease of Transferring – For students in India who have to move often because of parents’ work, CBSE has greater ease for transfers. As stated previously, CBSE is a national board, while there are state and non-governmental boards. The national board means that all students throughout India are studying the same things simultaneously. This makes transferring seamless, if necessary.
  4. Scoring System –  Another core difference is the grading system. CBSE uses alphabetical scoring such as A1 (91-100), A2 (81-90), and so on. On the other hand, ISCE uses a numerical system such as 1-2 means “very good,” 3-5 means “credit,” while 8-9 is a fail.
  5. The Syllabus – Lastly, one of the greatest differences is each curriculum’s syllabus. ICSE, because of the mere about of concepts, has much more detailed material to cover. In comparison, CBSE is simpler and more compact because it puts most of its focus on Maths and Science. 

Studying at ConnectEd

Undecided on which curriculum is best for you? The good news is that at ConnectEd, we’ve developed a holistic approach to teaching both curriculums. Whether you’re taking ICSE boards or CBSE, our classes will prepare you for both Maths and Science concepts.        

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