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Difference between CBSE and ICSE Board

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cbse vs icseThe principal difference between CBSE and ICSE education is that while CBSE is a board, ICSE is an Exam conducted by CISCE. CBSE and ICSE, both are most popular school board formats in India and is widely spread across all states. The subjects offered for study are almost same in these two.

As far as the education of children is concerned, many parents are curious and at the same time confused to know which board of education will offer quality education CBSE or ICSE. As the educational method of these two is based on learning by experience, it was difficult for them to make selection between the two.  This article shed light on the two, so read out to know which one is better.

Content: CBSE Vs ICSE

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. About
  3. Key Differences
  4. Syllabus
  5. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

Meaning Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is an educational board that affiliates public and private schools in India and other nations. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education is an examination conducted in the course of general education as per New Education Policy, 1986.
What is it? It is a board that conducts the exam. It is an exam conducted by CISCE.
Medium of Instruction English or Hindi English only
Recognition by Indian Government Yes No
Result sheet Displays grades only Two result sheets are announced, one displaying grades and the other showing marks obtained.
Syllabus Comparatively easier. Quite difficult


About CBSE

CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. It was formed on November 3, 1962, and headquartered in New Delhi, India. It affiliates over 16000 schools in India and about 24 other countries of the world. The affiliation granted to the schools is up to a higher secondary level which includes all Kendriya Vidyalayas, all Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, private schools, and most of the schools approved by central government of India.

The Board is responsible for conducting final examinations for the students of class 10th and 12th, All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) for Class 10 and 12, every spring as well as an Entrance Exam for Engineering Student – AIEEE, and for Medical Students – AIPMT.

About ICSE

Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) conducts an examination known as Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The Council is a non-governmental education board in India up to class 10, and after 10th standard, ICSE becomes ISC (Indian School Certificate). There are more than 1000 schools affiliated with the board, in Indian and other countries of the world.

ICSE is heavy on languages and gives a good choice of subjects. It provides a wider range of subjects including home science, agriculture, fashion design, cookery, etc.

Key Differences Between CBSE and ICSE Board

The difference between CBSE and ICSE board can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:

  1. CBSE is an acronym for Central Board of Secondary Education, which is top most education board that affiliates public and private schools in India and other nations. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education is an examination conducted in the course of general education as per New Education Policy, 1986.
  2. CBSE is a Board while ICSE is a School Certificate Examination. After 10th standard, ICSE becomes ISC (Indian School Certificate). As compared to Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE), ICSE has Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) which is a private /non-governmental board of education.
  3. Syllabus wise, both are quite different. Normally, the ICSE / ISC syllabus is considered more challenging for students as compared to CBSE, since ICSE’s syllabus is usually designed on the basis of the foreign education system.
  4. In ICSE, the medium of examination is English only. As opposed to CBSE, where the examination medium can be English or Hindi.
  5. CBSE board is approved and recognised by the Government of India. Unlike ICSE, which is not recognised by the Indian government.
  6. CBSE results exhibit only the grades of the students. On the other hand, ICSE declares two result sheets, in which one displays the grades while the other marks obtained by the student.


CBSE syllabus is most appropriate for clearing entrance exams for professional courses like engineering, medical, accountancy and so on. On the other side of the coin, ICSE syllabus very vast which demands a lot of remembrance on the part of the student. Therefore, when it comes to the content of the course, CBSE stresses on maths and science while CISCE gives equal weightage to all the subjects.


Both CBSE and ICSE certificates are widely accepted in all colleges and institutes in India and across the world. As the certificate awarded by the two boards has global acceptance and the quality of education provided is the best. Therefore, it is hard to select one of the two education boards. Before making a choice amongst these two, you should first identify what future you envision for your child. You can examine this, by optimising your child’s strengths, then select the right board of education.

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