What is the Difference Between CBSE and ICSE?

CBSE and ICSE are two commonly preferred national boards of education in the academic avenue and other state boards from each state. CBSE boards aim to provide holistic and cultural growth to students, while ICSE boards aim to provide students with good quality education.

CBSE programs are more theoretical and therefore are of great help for students to prepare for competitive exams such as NEET and JEE. In comparison, ICSE Councils have the advantage of providing practical knowledge to their students.

CBSE programs are well structured and easily understandable, while ICSE programs are comparatively known to be more difficult and have a special preference for the English language.

The main difference between CBSE and ICSE boards is that while CBSE is a board, ICSE is an exam that the Council conducts for the Indian Schools Certificate Examination. Both are popular as different boards.

Comparison table between CBSE and ICSE





The Central Board of Secondary Education is an educational board that grants affiliation to public and private schools throughout India and other countries and conducts examinations.

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education is an examination conducted by the Council of the Board of Examination of Indian School Certificate (CISCE).

Medium of Instruction

The CBSE forums provide instructions in English and Hindi.

The ICSE conducts examinations and gives instructions in English only.


The CBSE syllabus is well structured and compact and thus comparatively easier.

ICSE has many languages ​​and has a variety of subjects to choose from and is therefore comparatively more difficult.

Brand Acceptability

CBSE Board qualifications are generally accepted at all universities and institutions, regardless of the course and stream you are opting for.

Although ICSE qualifications and qualifications are widely accepted, it is much more preferred for foreign schools and universities.

Marking Mode

CBSE boards assess and grade students based solely on grades.

ICSE prefers to grade students based on grades and grades.

What is CBSE?

CBSE, or Central Board of Education, is a nationally recognized board of education and affiliating public and private schools in India and other countries. It is controlled and managed by the Union Government of India.

CBSE affiliations are granted to most schools approved by the central government of India, all Kendriya Vidyalayas, all Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, and many private schools. As of 2019, India has almost 21,499 schools affiliated with the CBSE Board.

The Board is based in New Delhi, India, and is led by the Chairman, Mr. Manoj Ahuja, IAS. The Ministry of Human Resources Development acts as the parent organization of the CBSE Board. It has ten regional offices in the country.

CBSE conducts various exams nationally. Includes Class 10 and Class 12 exams every year in March. The results of these classes are usually announced at the end of May. CBSE also conducts the prestigious NEET (National Eligibility and Entrance Examination), Central Teachers Eligibility Examination, UGC National Eligibility Examination, and the entrance examination for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.

To be promoted from Class 10 to Class 11 and 12, the minimum percentage that a student must obtain is approximately 33% in all subjects, not including academic grades. For class 12 students, they must secure 33% overall in their theoretical and practical subjects.

Moderation is a practice that the CBSE has been following for a long time. This has led to the development of many controversies. CBSE had also announced that it would get rid of the practice many times, but that never happened. Even today, the practice continues in the form of grace marks.

One of the advantages of studying in the CBSE program is that most competitive exams are based on the CBSE part. It also gives more importance to subjects such as Mathematics and Science.

What is ICSE?

ICSE, or Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, is an exam conducted by the Council (CISCE) for Indian School Certificate Examination, a private board. Therefore, ICSE is an exam and not a board of education as it is commonly confusing.

The CISCE is a non-government board of education until class 10 and then changes to ISC (Indian School Certificate) from ICSE. There are around 1000 schools affiliated with the CISCE Board in India and other parts of the world.

ICSE follows the recommendations of the New Educational Policy of 1986 and its official medium of communication and instruction in the English language. According to popular notions, ICSE study programs are considered more difficult than other councils as they have a variety of subjects to choose from.

ICSE normally has a greater focus on the English language, which helps students perform better on Global English tests such as TOEFL. ICSE certifications and marks are also preferred in foreign schools and universities.

ICSE covers many topics ranging from fashion design and agriculture to languages ​​like Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu. Therefore, it is very extensive and can be advantageous for some and not for others.

ICSE follows a grading and grading system, but students typically receive their grades in numbers rather than alphabets, making it easier to understand how much the student has earned. ICSE also does not allow students from non-ICSE affiliated schools to attend exams privately.

ICSE pays equal attention to almost all subjects and thus helps in the overall development. They have a variety of subjects to choose from, from school level, exposing them to many subjects and giving an insight into what.

Main Difference Between CBSE and ICSE 

  • CBSE is an educational board that affiliates schools and colleges and conducts exams, while ICSE is an exam conducted by the CISCE board, which affiliates schools and institutions.
  • CBSE Board is managed and controlled by the Union Government of India, while ICSE is a private or non-government board of education.
  • The main difference between CBSE and ICSE Board is that the exam medium in CBSE is in both English and Hindi, while ICSE exams are in English only.
  • CBSE programs are easier and well structured than ICSE programs, which offer a wide range of subjects to study, which can be difficult at times.
  • CBSE usually declares student grades in alphabet grades, while ICSE displays two different grade sheets, one in grade form and one in grade form.


Both CBSE and ICSE are considered among India’s best boards of education. It depends on the type of career, interests, and potential of the students who choose either one. They both have their pros and cons.

CBSE has a well-structured and compact curriculum for students to learn and focuses more on subjects like math and science, thus helping students interested in competitive exams like NEET and JEE. While ICSE offers a wide range of subjects to choose from, students can select based on their interests and likes.

Reference : Orange College

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