ICSE or CBSE - Which one is better?


School education in India offers a comprehensive model to the students and the schooling system here is classified under different levels right from primary to higher secondary/senior secondary. In India, schooling begins at the age of three of a child and normally ends at the age of sixteen.

There is always a debate among parents with respect to the board of education that can offer fruitful education to the students and particularly there is a confusion as to whether to go for CBSE or ICSE education. A brief comparison between these two boards of education in India is given below:

ICSE: ICSE stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, it is actually called as ICSE Examination and it is conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which is a non-governmental private school education board. ICSE Examination is used for denoting class X examination conducted by the CISCE.

CBSE: CBSE is the Central Board of Secondary Education and it is an education board for government and private schools. The parent organization of CBSE is the ‘Ministry of Human Resource Development’ and the board is responsible for preparation of syllabus for class 9 to 12, which is followed by the CBSE schools functioning all over India. CBSE conducts two main examinations denoted as AISSE and AISSCE, which stands for All India Secondary School Examination and All India Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for class 10 and 12 respectively.

Comparison between ICSE and CBSE:

The main different between these two is that ICSE is actually as examination, while CBSE is a board by itself. Therefore, rather than comparing between ICSE and CBSE, it is better to compare between CISCE and CBSE since CISCE is the council conducting the ICSE Examination. Therefore first different between the two is that ICSE is the class X examination conducted by CISCE and CBSE is a board conducting AISSE examination for class X.

Instruction Medium: When comparing CISCE and ICSE, main dissimilarity between the two is the instruction medium. CBSE approves education both in English and Hindi Language, while CISCE does not recommend Hindi.

Private candidates: CBSE permits both regular candidates from its approved schools and private candidates from non-affiliated schools to appear for the AISSE Examination, while CISCE does not allow private candidates to appear for the ICSE examination.

Recognition: CBSE is recognized by the Government of India, while CISCE is not approved. Even though certifications offered by both these boards have international recognition, CBSE candidates can get a better footing in the sub-continent as compared to CISCE candidates.

Easiness of syllabus: Education offered by schools under CBSE enables the candidates to be well-equipped with the knowledge required for cracking different competitive entrance examinations for further studies, while education offered by schools under CISCE offer more detailed education in such a way that students can learn a lot. When comparing these two boards with respect to easiness of syllabus, CBSE is easier than ICSE.

Precise differences:

CISCE is more expensive with respect to fee as compared to CBSE

CISCE stresses on the English language skills of candidates, while English education offered by CBSE is more business-oriented

CISCE offers more project work to the students as compared to CBSE

CISCE offers a generalized education, while CBSE prepares students well for the admission test to some of the top institutions like IITs and NITs

The school network of CBSE is wider as compared to CISCE and therefore it would be difficult for parents to find a suitable school for their children taking education under CISCE education in the case of any transfer

Conclusion: Students with Class X from CISCE (i.e.) ICSE will be better equipped with respect to subject knowledge as compared to a students with CBSE Class X qualification (AISSE). However, students from CBSE board will be more equipped with the right kind of knowledge required for easily cracking the entrance examinations conducted by top rated institutions in India like IITs. So, it is the decision of parents and children whether to go for CISCE schools or CBSE schools and it is better to take this decision right in the beginning of education of children or at least when they reach the middle school level.



Do you have any question? Please ask:

Questions will be answered on our Forum section

6 Responses to “ICSE or CBSE - Which one is better?”

  1. 6

    i am in 10th and i want to switch ICSE IN 11TH

  2. 5

    my daughter is presently in prep in presidium school dwarka and she will be in first class in April. is it right decision to be in same school or should i change to some other school having icse board.

  3. 4

    can you please also add one more IGCSE. I am planning for IGCSE and confuse so please give me some information on that

  4. 3

    Which board is better ICSE or CBSE
    I want to be a computer Engineer?

  5. 2
    Hanumantha Rao M:


  6. 1
    Deepak Singh:

    Hello Sir , I have got 33.67 marks and GATE score 339 and 89.14%ile in gate 2012 ; I am from CS branch and Gen category ; (I have also qualified gate 2011with 25.33marks and 331 gate score and 86.74%ile during my be 3rd year )……what can I expect ……which college are suitable for me ………..suggest some colleges ……..or should I take drop to score better