Unknown Differences between CBSE Board and ICSE Board

The Indian Board of Education is divided into two boards, CBSE and ICSE. According to the different features of the boards people choose to study in the board the prefer more.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a national level board of education conducted and run by the Union Government of India. It was formed 56 years ago on 3rd November 1962. It is for public and private schools and it asks all the affiliated schools to follow NCERT curriculum. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India. 20,299 schools in India have been affiliated by the CBSE board.

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The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) is a private board for examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. It was formed in the year 1958. It follows the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986. Private candidates are not permitted to sit in this examination.

Differences between CBSE and ICSE

CBSE and ICSE are two well-known boards of India and every parent at some point of time struggles with choosing from the two of them for their child. The choice that the parents make shapes the career of their child. So, it is very important to know and understand the differences between the two boards. Some of the features that distinguish the two boards from each other are mentioned below.

Syllabus:The syllabus that both the boards have to offer is very different. CBSE board offers a syllabus that provides the students with good theoretical knowledge and is good for preparing for competitive exam like NEET. Whereas, ICSE board offers a vast syllabus that provides the students with good practical knowledge.

Medium of Instruction:The language that the boards permit and follow also plays a very important role in a child’s education. CBSE board allows and uses English and Hindi as the medium of instruction. But, ICSE board allows and uses only English as the medium of instruction.

Board Recognition:CBSE board is recognized by the Indian Government but, ICSE board is not. However, ICSE board is now recognized by various foreign institutions. So, CBSE board is better than ICSE board in terms of recognition.

Teaching Methodology: Many parents nowadays are unsatisfied with the teaching method of CBSE board. They want the learning to be more thorough and detailed as in ICSE board. Unlike CBSE board, ICSE board provides vast and detailed teaching of the subjects.

Difficulty Level: ICSE board is considered to be difficult than CBSE board. The syllabus of ICSE board required remembering a lot of information which isn’t there in CBSE board. So, the students find it easy to perform in CBSE board. Also, click here to get cbse 10th english textbook in PDF form.

Assessments: The ICSE board places high importance to the internal assessments and practical marks are aggregated with the student’s scores. Unlike CBSE board, ICSE board focuses more on the labs and the practical knowledge of the subject.

Transferability: In situations where the student has to transfer frequently such as in the case of transfer of parents’, CBSE board is better than ICSE board. A CBSE affiliated school is much easier to find but, there are not as much ICSE schools in every region. The syllabus followed by the CBSE board is the same all over the country so the student does not face any difficulty in situations of transfers.

Range of Syllabus:The range of syllabus covered by the ICSE board is vast than the CBSE board. ICSE board covers various languages like Kannada, Tamil, English, Hindi, etc. CBSE board does not cover such a huge range of syllabus.

Grading System: When it comes to evaluating the scores of the students, ICSE board is better than CBSE board. ICSE board grades the students in numbers so the students are able to know exactly how much they scored but, CBSE board grades the students in terms of alphabets so students are not able to know how much they scored exactly.

Examination:In case of CBSE board, students who are not from the CBSE board or who are non-regular can appear for the CBSE board examination. But, it’s not the same in ICSE board. For giving examination of ICSE board the student has to be from a ICSE affiliated school.

Depth of Syllabus: ICSE board syllabus is more extensive and it can be an advantage for some and a disadvantage for some. Whereas, CBSE board syllabus is precise and to the point.

Schools: The infrastructure and the environment in which the student is placed also plays an important role while deciding for a student’s education. ICSE board affiliated schools are generally on the higher side when it comes to facilities provided by the school and the infrastructure of the school. CBSE board affiliated schools are pretty basic and does not provide much facilities as does the ICSE affiliated schools.

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Some Pros and Cons of CBSE Board


1.   Most of the competitive exams like NEET and JEE are based on the syllabus offered by the CBSE board. So, it is easier for the students of the CBSE board to clear the competitive exams than the ICSE board students.

2.   The syllabus offered by the CBSE board is much easier for the students to understand than that of the ICSE board syllabus.

3.   There is more number of schools affiliated by the CBSE board in the country than the ICSE, so if the students have to transfer from one state to another they don’t face any difficulties.


1.   The syllabus covered by the CBSE board is not much detailed and vast as that of the ICSE board syllabus.

2.   There is not much focus on the practical knowledge of the subjects, though there are practical subjects.

Some Pros and Cons of ICSE Board


  1.  A more vast and detailed syllabus is offered by the ICSE board.
  2. There is more focus on the practical knowledge of the subject unlike in CBSE board.
  3. The medium of instruction is English so, the students of ICSE board have an advantage while appearing for exams like TOEFL.


  1. The syllabus offered by the ICSE board is much more difficult for the students to remember than that of the CBSE board syllabus.
  2. The students may feel burdened with such an extensive knowledge given to them.
  3. There are less number of ICSE affiliated schools than CBSE affiliated schools. So, in case of transfer students may face difficulties in finding schools.


Youthkiawaaz.com. (2019). » Battle Of The Boards, ICSE vs CBSE: Here Are Six Major Differences. [online] Available at: https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2013/05/battle-of-the-boards-icse-vs-cbse-h... [Accessed 29 May 2019].

Embibe Exams. (2019). ICSE vs CBSE Board | Pros and Cons of both ICSE & CBSE Boards. [online] Available at: https://www.embibe.com/exams/icse-vs-cbse/ [Accessed 29 May 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Central Board of Secondary Education. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Board_of_Secondary_Education [Accessed 29 May 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education [Accessed 29 May 2019].

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