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CBSE, ICSE, IB, State board - What you must know about school boards in India


India has primarily 4 boards of school education, namely CBSE, ICSE, State boards and IB. Here we discuss in detail the definition and salient features of each of these. 

board of education in India - CBSE, ICSE, IB and state board


ICSE board:

At the start let me tell you that ICSE board commonly used misnomer. There is nothing like an ICSE board. Rather, the CBSE equivalent here is the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE). It is a private body that was founded in year 1956 to set and adapt University of Cambridge’s examination system to India. This body now conducts 3 examinations, namely  


  • ICSE (Indian certificate secondary education) exam for class 10
  • ISC (Indian school certificate) exam for class 12
  • CVE (Certificate for vocational education) exam for class 12


The CISCE board has equal focus on languages, science and art and encourages students to choose across diverse topics / subjects for their Class-12 exam. Main benefits of CISCE are


  • Wide recognition of board results across colleges in India and even abroad
  • Equal focus – language, art and science
  • More choice and freedom to students in deciding final subjects
  • Reasonably prevalent across India


CBSE board:

Central board of secondary education (CBSE) is the most popular school board in India with over 9000 CBSE affiliated schools in the country and presence in 21 nations across the globe.  The stress in this board is on application of Science and Maths related subjects.  Main benefits of going for a CBSE affiliated school are


  • Easy to find new schools in any area, even abroad, due to wide prevalence of the board
  • Wide recognition of board results across all colleges in India, as compared to other boards
  • Recent overhaul of teaching approach and curriculum has made the content relevant 
  • Easy to find tutors, books and activities for all classes
  • Focus on Science and Maths as well as application based subjects


State boards:

As the name suggests, each state has its own board of education that conducts certificate examination for class 10 and class 12. Some state boards, such as Rajasthan board also conduct exams in class 8. The benefits are


  • Reasonably prevalent within the state
  • Topics and content of local relevance 
  • Usually cheaper schools

However, should you choose state board schools is an altogtether different question. 


International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non profit educational foundation that was founded in 1968 and now works with over 3000 schools in 141 countries.  The board is gaining prevalence in high end new schools in India. Currently limited to the metro and large Tier-I cites in India. As per them, their vision is on all round development of the student into an inquiring, caring and knowledgeable young individual. IB offers innovative learning program and teaching approaches to achieve its stated objective. The main benefits of this are


  • Innovative curriculum
  • Very different and stress free teaching methods
  • Focus on all round development rather than pure academic performance
  • Wide acceptance across the world 


This is just a start. But more interesting would be to find out how do these school boards compare and contrast with each other. Which is the most suitable board for your child. We will start off this exercising by answering -  which is better - CBSE or ICSE board. We will also be looking in details at finding the steps involved in finding the right school and more. Join us on facebook to stay updated about our latest research and publications as well as offers and promotions. 


If you have learnt something new by reading this article or found it useful, please do leave your feedback below and +1 it on google or like it on facebook. 



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