CBSE vs ICSE board: Comparison, Which board is good?

In our article, Choosing the SchoolBoard: CBSE, ICSE, State Board, IGCSE, IB we discussed about various boards, Compared the various boards. if you want to send your child outside of India then International curriculum makes sense but if you want them to be in India for graduation then CBSE, ICSE/ISC are good. In this article, we shall talk about CBSE vs ICSE board in detail, comparison on subjects from classes 3rd, a report card on CBSE vs ICSE.


CBSE board follow the all India curriculum with some additions. The NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) recognizes the CBSE syllabus. Alternatively, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination(CISCE) is responsible for conducting ICSE.

  • CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)
    • A Board which follows universal pattern is the first choice for parents with transferable jobs.
    • CBSE affiliates all Kendriya Vidyalayas, all Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, private schools, and most of the schools approved by central government of India and  25 Countries including India, Malaysia, Dubai etc
    • CBSE conducts two main examinations – All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) in Grade-X and All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) in Grade – XII.
    • Students aiming at pursuing a career in Engineering or Medical prefer this board, as the syllabi and pattern of Indian entrance examinations in these two domains are aligned to the CBSE curriculum
  • CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations)
    • a non-government, private board conducts 2 exams, ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) for Grade X and ISC (Indian School Certificate) for Grade XII
    • board of choice for students aiming at pursuing careers in the fields of Humanities and Management, as the CISCE syllabus is more oriented toward these streams and helps in the development of excellent language skills.
    • Students looking for overall grooming and development prefer this board over CBSE.

CBSE vs ICSE comparison on subjects

The image below shows the comparison of the subjects in CBSE vs ICSE from Standard III to Standard Xth.

From class VI onward, there is a grading system in CBSE schools which is as follows:

  • A1 – 91 to 100 marks ( grade point is 10)
  • A2 – 81 to 90 marks ( grade point is 9)
  • B1 – 71 to 80 marks ( grade point is 8 )
  • B2 – 61 to 70 marks ( grade point is 7)
  • C1 – 51 to 60 marks ( grade point is 6)
  • C2 – 41 to 50 marks ( grade point is 5)
  • D – 33 to 40 marks ( grade point is 4)
  • E1 – 21 to 32 marks ( no grade point)
  • E2 – 00 to 20 marks ( no grade point)
CBSE vs ICSE subjects
CBSE vs ICSE subjects

CBSE Senior Secondary(Classes XI – XII)
The Senior Secondary Students of CBSE boards have choices of streams,

  • Science Stream including subjects, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths.
  • Commerce Stream including subjects, Business Studies, Accounts, Economics and Maths.
  • Arts Stream includes History, Geography and Political Science.
  • There are two additional subjects, one is English and the second can either be Hindi or Physical Education.

There are English, Indian Languages, Modern Foreign Languages(Chinese, French, German, Tibetan, Spanish), History, Political Science, Geography, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Commerce, Accounts, Business Studies, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Home Science subjects included in the curriculum of ICSE board.

 CBSE vs ICSE on various parameters

The image below shows the comparison between CBSE and ICSE on various parameters.

Cbse Vs ICSE. Comparison on various parameters
Cbse Vs ICSE. Comparison on various parameters

Video on which is the best board CBSE vs ICSE

This video is a very detailed analysis of the comparison between CBSE and CISCE (ICSE) over 30 critical parameters primarily for 1st to 10th standard students

Common Questions on CBSE vs ICSE

Q. I am in class 11th and I want to crack IIT/NEET after 12th. Suggest me the favourable board to complete my intermediate which would also help me to render my dream.
The level of IIT/NEET is quite tough, so concentrate on clearing your basic concepts throughout these two classes. Put your 100% efforts to score good marks in class 11th and 12th.
CBSE board syllabus is more preferable for the exams like IIT, JEE, NEET, etc.

Q. Sir. I have a three-year-old daughter. Which board to go with ICSE or CBSE? As he is very young and it’s very early for me to decide his career, different people different advice. Some say ICSE is very tough and the child won’t have the liberty to enjoy other activities, while some say CBSE is good as the child will be able to study as well be able to participate in other activities. I just don’t want to feel guilty later, my thoughts are that well-planned schedule and hard work will make anything easier, but I don’t want to stress or overburden my kid with too much of studies.

You need to understand that it is not about the board. It’s about the school which you are picking for your child. You have to choose the school which is at a reasonable distance, has good facilities, good teachers, less attrition rate. its education pattern and structure is good enough. However, on the basis of research, ICSE is considered better for primary education than CBSE.

Q. I scored 91% in ICSE board. Now, I am planning to go to the CBSE board, I took the commerce stream. Will I be able to score good marks in CBSE as well? How is the marking scheme in CBSE ?

If you will study just like you did in ICSE, then i am sure that you will score good in CBSE as well. The marking scheme in CBSE is simple. You just have to write point to point answers. Though in long answers, you have to give every detail about your answer but overall, it is all fine.

Related Articles:

Choosing the SchoolBoard: CBSE, ICSE, State Board, IGCSE, IB

If a child is good in academics, he/she will do good anywhere. More than the board is important what is being taught and what is being learned. As Harivansh Rai Bachchan, father of actor Amitabh Bachchan said राह पकड़ तू एक चला चल, पा जाएगा मधुशाला। So does board matter?

In the CBSE vs ICSE Which board is Good? Which board did you study or which board are you putting your child it?


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