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CBSE VS ICSE: Differentiate between CBSE and ICSE Board?

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) are the most sought-after school board formats in the country. And while they offer similar subjects, there are quite a few differences between the two that can easily confuse parents. So, if you are unable to differentiate between the boards, here is a complete overview for you that will assist you: 


The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recognizes the CBSE syllabus while the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) creates the syllabus for ICSE schools. CBSE schools have a syllabus that is more suitable for clearing entrance exams for various professional courses and even competitive exams like JEE or NEET. But on the other hand, ICSE schools have a very vast and detailed syllabus that also focuses on practical knowledge. 


CBSE conducts the final examinations for students in class 10th and 12th. It also conducts the AISSCE (All India Senior School Certificate Examination) every spring along with the entrance exam for Engineering Student (AIEEE), and for Medical Students (AIPMT). 

On the other hand, The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) conducts the examination for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and ISC (Indian School Certificate).

Note: After the 10th standard, ICSE becomes ISC. 

Another important factor that parents need to know is that the grading system for CBSE is based in alphabetical order. However, for ICSE and ISC students, marking is done in numbers, giving a better idea of how much the student has scored.

Also Read: Top 5 Essential Life Skills that helps your child Succeed


Both CBSE and ICSE follow different teaching styles. While CBSE allows both English and Hindi as its medium of instruction, ICSE does not allow Hindi. This is because it has a greater focus on the English language. ICSE also focuses on different and innovative subjects such as Fashion Designing, Agriculture, and even regional languages like Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu.

On the other hand, CBSE schools offer a well-structured and compact syllabus to the students while focusing more on subjects like Maths and Science that can help students in clearing competitive examinations. However, both CBSE and ICSE are recognized by some of the leading international schools and universities. 

Regular and Private Candidates

A student who does not belong to a CBSE affiliated school or who is a non-regular candidate is eligible to appear for CBSE exams. However, a student needs to belong to an ICSE affiliated school in order to appear for ICSE exams. 


Both The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) have their own perks that can help in building a strong foundation for a child. Moreover, both certificates have global acceptance that makes them equally acclaimed. And since both boards offer help an individual towards slightly different career goals, it is better to consult your child before you pick a school for him/her. 

We hope that this information will help you distinguish between both the boards in a much better way and make a prudent decision.

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