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Difference Between CBSE and ICSE


CBSE is one of the major boards of secondary education in India, while ICSE stands for Indian Certificate for Secondary education, which is conducted by Council for the Indian Certificate Examinations. CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary education. Both are very popular and students all over the country choose one or the other for their studies. Though there are many similarities, there are differences that necessitate wise selection depending upon student’s requirements and career options. Here is a brief introduction of the two boards with their features.

The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations strives to provide quality education to children and conducts three exams which are called ICSE (10), ISC (12th), and CVE which is a certificate in vocational education. On the other hand, CBSE was instituted to serve the needs of students whose parents are employed in government jobs that are transferable. The board has regional offices all over the country to function effectively. The main exams conducted by CBSE are AISSE (10), and AISSCE (12th).

Differences between CBSE and ICSE

• ICSE is an exam conducted by CISCE whereas CBSE is a board that conducts exams.

• While CISCE is totally English medium, CBSE has both English as well as Hindi mediums of instruction.

• CISCE allows only students from affiliated schools to appear in its exams whereas students from even non affiliated schools can appear in CBSE exams.

• Environmental Education is a compulsory subject in ICSE whereas it is not there in CBSE.

• CBSE syllabus is more suitable for those desirous of studying medical or engineering in future. It is to be noted that AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) is conducted by CBSE. Thus students studying CBSE are at an advantage compared to ICSE as CISCE has no role to play in conducting engineering exams.

• Students feel CBSE syllabus to be relatively easier.

• ICSE attaches great importance to internal assessment and lab work.

• English papers of ICSE are tougher and considered to be best in the country.

• CBSE syllabus is presented in a more scientific manner. The entire syllabus is divided into units and each unit is allotted required to cover it and also the weight age of marks it will carry in the exams. ICSE has two papers in English whereas there is only one in CBSE. Similarly, there are three science papers in ICSE (Physics, Chemistry and Math), whereas CBSE has just one. In social sciences too, there are two papers in ICSE (History and Geography), whereas there is just one in CBSE.

• CBSE announces only grades of students whereas there are two result sheets given by ICSE one of which contains grades and the other one marks.

• ICSE has no program for syllabi revision, whereas there is an ongoing process set in motion for upgrade of syllabi in case of CBSE.

• CBSE is more liberal in marking and students score higher marks in its exams.


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