CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE : What's the difference?

Bharatmomsmother- bhraman blog


karma: 3514

Many of our community moms have posted questions on whats the difference between the boards of education that we follow in chennai and which is the best.

I came across an article that tells the difference between the education board: CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE. Please feel free to add whatever you know about these boards of education as well as the other boards like Matriculation and State board.


The Central Board of Secondary Education is an eminent board of school education in India. The CBSE prepares the syllabus for classes 9 to 12 in schools affiliated with it. It conducts two major examinations every year, the All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) for class 10 and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) for class 12, which is a school-leaving examination. Many private schools within and outside India are afiilicated to CBSE. The medium for education prescribed by CBSE is either English or Hindi. For class 10, students have to study 5 sujects for 500 marks. The CBSE also conducts the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), which is a common entrance examination conducted on all-India basis for admission to engineering and architecture/planning programmes in the country. Similarly Pre-medical and Pre-dental Tests AIPMT (PMT/PDT) are conducted for medical and dental colleges.


 The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) examination is an examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations for class 10. It has been designed to provide an examination in a course of general education, in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986(India), through the medium of English. Private candidates are not permitted to appear for this examination. In all subjects other than science and computers, students must submit compulsory course-work assignments. In groups I and II, they count for 20% of the student's performance in the subject; in group III, the assignments count for 50% of the performance. In science and computers, students are tested on their lab work. In subjects with more than one paper, the mark in the subject is calculated by taking the average of all papers in the subject. Overall, students have to study 11 subjects.


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is designed as a 2-yr curriculum programme leading to a certificate internationally recognised as an equivalent of the British GCSE and International GCE 'O' Level examinations. The IGCSE provides a foundation for high-level courses, such as the North American Advanced Placement Test (APT), International Baccalaureate (IB); GCE 'A' levels and the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), which has been designed as a pre-university course of study progressive from IGCSE. The AICE and the IGCSE together constitute a fully-integrated curriculam for students in their last four years of secondary education.

The IGCSE and the AICE are administered by the University of Cambridge, England. It covers subjects from a variety of areas, including languages, Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Creative, Technical and Vocational. Most OGCSE subjects offer a choice of core or extended papers in Cambridge, and foundation or higher papers in Edexcel. This is designed to make IGCSE suitable for students with varying levels of ability. In some subjects, IGCSE can be taken with or without coursework, making it suitable for schools with less specialised staff. The IGCSE allows teaching to be placed in a localised context, making it relevant in different regions. It is intended to be suitable for students whose first language may not be English and this is acknowledged throughout the examination progress.

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Tags : CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE : What's the difference?

11 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

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moms community sabreena


karma: 9

could pls let me know which school have all these boards sepratly n which is best for child, as i m looking for a good school for my daughter. i m stayi in MRC Nagar near chettinad school.

Do u have any idea whether superkids package is useful for kids.pls let me know.

  • February 4, 2009

moms community deepaselvaraj


karma: 57


 DAWN SCHOOL, NOLUMBUR, MOGAPPAIR WEST, is also a good school- CBSE syllabus.

  • April 7, 2009

moms community devichandru


karma: 47

Hi ,  Calibre Academy (Mrs. Y.G.P School ) at Mylapore is also good. I ve admitted my son there.

  • April 16, 2009

moms community kalta


karma: 2

any comments on gateway school at sholinganallur

  • June 26, 2009

moms community Sranj


karma: 1170

Kalta, post this as a separate question (click on Q&A on the toolbar above, then Ask a Question) If anybody here know about this school, they will respond.

Best Luck!

  • June 26, 2009

moms community kalta


karma: 2

thanks a lot for the inputs.

  • July 3, 2009

moms community schifa


karma: 1

what do u thik abt velammal school at mugappair

  • September 25, 2009

moms community Dhanwanti


karma: 1

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this site but I must say I am really impressed by the information available on it.  The list of schools is a great help but may I suggest that we include an extra column in the same table and identify the schools by their curricullum / board type so it will be lot easier for people to decide the education system for their child specially after reading the clear definitions of the boards /curriculums (CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE) above. Hope you all like the idea. :)


  • October 6, 2009

moms community abcd


karma: 0

i have 7er old child & 4er old. v r  planning to change sylabus from cbse to icse or igcse.

which is best????/

  • January 7, 2010

moms community Aalumattar


karma: 0

Testinside Practice Exams for Microsoft 70-640 testinside are written by capable and expert IT researchers so that the exam material is up to the mark. It is of great quality.

  • May 23, 2016

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