ICSE vs CBSE - Which board is suitable for your child?

ICSE vs CBSE - Which board is suitable for your child?

There are two boards which are popular amongst students, teachers and parents. They are ICSE and CBSE boards. ICSE stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. However, the subjects taught by both the boards is same but selecting the right board since the inception of education is very important because the right education determines the future of the child. There are pros and cons in both the boards and it is indeed a challenge for the parents to make the right choice. The choice of the board should entirely depend on the core strength of the child which he displays currently.


The central board of secondary education in India is a national level education for schooling children. This board also includes All India Senior School Certificate each year for students who have passed their twelfth standard board examination. This certificate allows students to pursue higher education within and outside the country. The Central board also provides an access to AIEEE exams. AIEEE exam is an entrance exam for several undergraduate engineering courses.

The merits of going for CBSE schooling are as follows:

  • Biggest advantage of opting for a CBSE school is the benefit of entrances which the students have an easy access too. Entrance exams like IIT-JEE, AIEEE and AIPMT are accessible for students because the syllabus for these exams is similar to the CBSE syllabus. If you feel your child may be inclined towards sciences, engineering or medical, CBSE would be the right choice for you.
  • CBSE board is far easier when compared to ICSE and other international boards. Subjects like Environmental education and Physical Training in theory is not compulsory under the CBSE board. Subjects like physics, chemistry and biology are combined under science. And subjects like history, geography and civics come under social sciences. The subjects are more compact and less in number making it a stress free education for students.
  • CBSE board education certificate is well recognised and accepted in the country. CBSE has an application based approach other than theoretical. They put more focus on the practical knowledge other than book knowledge.

The demerits of CBSE schooling are as follows:

  • CBSE fails in giving importance to English language, literature and core grammar skills. They give more importance to maths and science. They try to bring out the best in the subjects which are more based on understanding and day to day applications.
  • The chapters are very short and do not lay much emphasis on regular studying pattern. The chapters are small and very practical. There is very little scope of practice and revision. However, the most a student can practice is by re reading the notes given in class. Nothing beyond the textbook and notebook. There are no guides or self-help books available for CBSE syllabus currently.


Initially established by the University of Cambridge, ICSE was introduced to students, parents and teachers. The syllabus for ICSE and CBSE boards are completely different from one another. The boards differ from each other on the grounds of pattern, subjects and capacity. Children studying under this board have to take the ICSE board examination which happens at the end of the class ten. Post this, students who continue to go for this board are required to take the ISC board examination which takes place at the end of class twelve. ISC stands for Indian School Certificate, this certificate helps them to undertake studies abroad with less difficulty.

The merits of going for an ICSE school are as follows:

  • ICSE syllabus is vast and more comprehensive in nature. They focus on each and every subject. Other subjects like Environmental studies and Physical training is compulsory for students. There are plenty of papers to solve in each subject, giving the child enough practice.
  • Those parents who feel their children would do well in the line of management of any kind, or into humanities, ICSE education would lay a very strong foundation for the same. Since, ICSE has many subjects and a lot to perform, thus management skills are built in students from a very young age. Apart from this, subjects of humanities act as a base for the student to take it to the higher level.
  • ICSE is globally recognised and appreciated.
  • Since, ICSE gives primary importance to the English language, students with ICSE schooling do much better in competitive exams like TOEFL and many more.

The demerits of ICSE schooling are as follows:

  • The portion can take a toll on students since the syllabus is huge and it may become difficult for an average student to cope up with it.
  • Although ICSE education can inculcate life skills in a student, there could be a problem in higher education due to stricter rectification of papers when compared with ICSE and ISC.

Lastly, both the boards have their pros and cons, it is for the parents to determine the child’s interest and go for an education board accordingly after keeping in mind the quality of education and the best interests of the future.

You can find detailed solutions of all questions from CBSE or NCERT textbooks from our new NCERT solutions. NCERT solutions provide step-by-step answers to all questions such that homework becomes as easy as a piece of cake. You can find all NCERT solutions for class 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. You will also get free CBSE Video Solutions, Previous Year Question Papers and NCERT Sample Papers on this platform.


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