CBSE and ICSE are considered to be among the top board exams in the country for class 10 students. Both are well-received and recognised domestically and internationally. That being said, there are a number of differences between the two exams, and these differences play a vital role in helping students make the right choices when preparing for their 12th board exams and subsequent college admissions.
Let’s start with the basics:
What is the full form of ICSE?
ICSE stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. It was made to provide an examination in the general education course in line with the requirements of the New Education Policy of 1986 for English medium schools.
What is the full form of CBSE?
CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. It is a national-level Indian education board meant for private and public schools regulated and operated by the Indian Union Government.
What is the ICSE board?
ICSE is not a board; rather it is an examination conducted by The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), a national-level board for school education in India. They conduct two examinations in India – namely the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate Examination (ISCE) for Classes 10 and 12 respectively. The board was established in 1958. Over 2,300 schools in India and abroad are affiliated to the CISCE. The board, being privately held, is recognised as a ‘Non-Governmental Board of School Education’.
What is the CBSE board?
The Central Board of Secondary Education or the CBSE is a national level board of education in India for private and public schools. It is managed and controlled by the Indian Government. The board gives affiliation to roughly 26,054 schools in India and 240 schools in foreign countries. The CBSE is amongst the most popular education boards in India and schools affiliated to the CBSE strictly follow the NCERT curriculum.
What is the difference between ICSE and CBSE board?
Here are the key differences between ICSE and CBSE, based on data from 2020.
|Point of Comparison||ICSE||CBSE|
|No. of students who appeared for the exam||2,07,902||18,85,885|
|No. of affiliated schools||2,341||20,387|
Advantages and disadvantages of CBSE and ICSE:
Each board has its own set of pros and cons. Let’s look into them:
|Point of Comparison||ICSE||CBSE|
|Syllabus difficulty||Relatively Harder||Relatively Easier|
|Number of subjects||Relatively High||Relatively Low|
|Private candidates allowed?||No||Yes|
|Medium of instructions||English||English & Hindi|
|Global recognition||Highly Recognised||Relatively Good|
|Focus on practical knowledge||High||Moderate|
|JEE & NEET preparedness||Moderate||Relatively High|
|English language skills||High||Relatively Low|
|Internal assessment weightage||High||Relatively Low|
|Subject selection flexibility||High||Relatively Low|
|Evaluation or Checking||Strict||Relatively Lenient|
|Type of board||Private||Government|
|School Fees||Relatively High||Relatively Low|
*Deduced from our interaction with students from both these boards.
Advantages of CBSE:
Disadvantages of CBSE:
Advantages of ICSE:
Disadvantages of ICSE:
Difference between CBSE and ICSE:
It is important to understand how CBSE and ICSE differ from each other before opting for either of them. Each board has advantages over the other and depending on what future the student wishes to aim for, the choice might change:
CBSE vs ICSE: Grading system
The CBSE offers a grading system based on alphabets whereas ICSE evaluates its students based on scores. Grades awarded by the CBSE boards depend on the number of students enrolled under the board for a given academic session. ICSE grades fall in a range from 1 to 9 with 9 being the lowest and 1 being the highest.
ICSE Grading system:
|3,4,5||Pass with Credit|
CBSE Grading system:
|Grade||Grade Point||Marks Range|
|A1||10||91 to 100|
|A2||9||81 to 90|
|B1||8||71 to 80|
|B2||7||61 to 70|
|C1||6||51 to 60|
|C2||5||41 to 50|
|D||4||33 to 40|
|E1 & E2||0||21 to 32|
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