Between ICSE and CBSE, which one’s going to be the right choice for your kid?

In India, ICSE and CBSE are two of the most popular education boards that most Indian parents opt for. But isn’t it crucial for you to analyze each of them in-depth to determine which one of them suits your kid the best? After all, every kid is different with different aspirations and aptitude levels. Forcing them on to something would only do them more harm in the long run.

So what’s it going to be? ICSE or CBSE? This post aims to put that eternal debate to rest once and for all.


ICSE vs. CBSE: General Comparison

  • The CBSE board syllabus is in perfect synchronization with that of the major competitive examinations including the likes of AIEEE, AIPMT, IIT-JEE, etc. This is one of the biggest advantages of studying in this board because after clearing class 12 exams, the competitive examinations become the next hurdle that every student has to conquer at one point or the other.
    Having said that, CBSE stresses more on theoretical knowledge over practical applications. And that is precisely where ICSE triumphs over CBSE because it’s more application based which can result in a better comprehension of the subject.
  • The CBSE syllabus is also comparatively easier and more compact in comparison to ICSE (in fact, now there are talks of reducing the syllabus in half from 2019 and onwards). This, in a way, softens the competitive edge in students.
    Under the ICSE board, great emphasis is laid on English which can help in improving student’s performance in exams like the IELTS and TOEFL.
  • Throughout the country, CBSE board scores are widely accepted in any university or course. ICSE scores, on the other hand, are recognized around the world, be it foreign schools or universities.
  • As far as we can see, ICSE syllabus facilitates a deeper understanding of the subject matter. The CBSE syllabus, on the other hand, is more crisp, promoting better scopes of marks in the long run.

ICSE vs. CBSE: Major Differences

  • Teaching methods

Both the boards try to encourage an active form of learning. Their fundamental focus remains on learning through experimentation and experience instead of one-way teaching.

Most Indian parents aren’t very happy with the standards of CBSE education because most of them feel that ICSE offers a better overall grooming and learning process.

ICSE is all about having a detailed knowledge of the subject matter. It also has its edge over CBSE in terms of English literature and language.

The board also offers many flexibilities to students in terms of subject selection like computer science, environmental science, and even interior designing in particular schools. CBSE, on the contrary, doesn’t offer such luxuries.

  • Medium of education

CBSE offers both Hindi and English as the medium of education. ICSE doesn’t advocate Hindi.

  • Recognition

CBSE is recognized by the Indian Government; ICSE is not. The certificates given by both are globally valid, but CBSE undoubtedly has a better footing in the country than ICSE.

CBSE: Pros and Cons


  • CBSE does come with its fair share of benefits, but the biggest one of them all is that almost all major competitive examinations in the country are based on the CBSE syllabus.
  • The CBSE syllabus is relatively easier to comprehend than the other boards.
  • CBSE lays more emphasis on Science and Mathematics.
  • CBSE is approved by the Government of India and is recognized by NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training).


  • The CBSE syllabus doesn’t focus much on practical applications and the English language like the way its core competitors do.
  • The ICSE board follows a comprehensive and complete syllabus, covering all fields of equal significance.
  • Heavy stress is given to the English language; a result for which students from this exhibit a slight edge over others in TOEFL and IELTS examinations.
  • ICSE students typically perform well in scholarship exams and are more attuned to the education standards of the world.
  • The syllabus may sometimes get too extensive to one’s liking.

Final word

As you can see, both boards come with their own sets of pros and cons. You need to weigh the pros with the cons and decide which one suits your child the best. Good luck!

Information shared by LearnPick

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