Difference between CBSE Vs ICSE Vs IGCSE Vs IB Vs State Curriculum

Today all parents get confuse with the offerings of education offered by schools or institutes. Mainly the difference between CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, IB or State Curriculum.

Any parent obviously wants to give the best to their child. When it comes to education all parents are all the more cautious. In fact the “being choosy” attitude begins right from the time of seeking admission in schools. Obviously school education lays the foundation of the child’s career and has to be one that will mould the child in a proper way. There are several schools affiliated to different boards in India. So when the selection of school is been done parents have to keep in mind which board the school is associated with. Now the selection of board will depend on several factors like the inclination of the child towards academics, art and extracurricular and co curricular activities, the vision that parents have for their child in terms of the child’s future for example which courses after 12th they assume their child might take up, the financial capacity of the parents, whether parents have transferrable jobs which requires them to relocate with their families locally or globally.

The education system in India gives the advantage of several boards from which parents can choose from. The different curriculum in India is as follows:

CBSE (Central Board for Secondary Education)

ICSE (Indian Certificate for Secondary Education)

IB (International Baccalaureate)

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education)


It is important to understand the salient and prominent features of each board before deciding on which school your child will go to. Mentioned below are the features of various boards.

CBSE (Central Board for Secondary Education):

CBSE or Central Board for Secondary Education should be the first choice of parents who have transferrable jobs. Large numbers of schools are affiliated with this curriculum which has standardized textbooks and is in line with most of the college entrance exams. It has more emphasis on science and mathematics and hence has little to offer for those children who are inclined towards arts and literature. All Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas , private schools and schools approved by Central Government of India follow the CBSE pattern.

ICSE (Indian Certificate for Secondary Education):

You think your child is more inclined towards applied knowledge than verbatim learning then ICSE or Indian Certificate for Secondary Education is the board for your child. It has equal focus on all streams and has a wide variety of subjects to choose from. It has a more difficult pattern of education as compared to CBSE.

IB (International Baccalaureate):

If you have dreams that your child will go in for an under graduation course abroad or if your job forces you to relocate globally then IB or International Baccalaureate should be the board of your choice. With more emphasis on applied learning and analytical skills it has no prescribed textbooks. However it is difficult to find a private tutor for IB courses and private students cannot appear for their IB exams. The cost involved is also much more as compared to CBSE and ICSE.

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education):

IGCSE has international curriculum for 9th and 10th standards. There are several subjects to choose from and involves both written and oral exams. It too lays emphasis on applied learning. In this case too there is dearth of good private tutors and it is expensive.


State board is considered to be the easiest and accommodates students with different capabilities. The exams are easy to score and children can focus on their co curricular activities. However the syllabus is not comprehensive and importance is not given to analytical and applied learning.

So depending on your requirement and how you want to frame your child’s future you can select from a wide range of institutes in India which are affiliated to the various boards.

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