Check out details about different school boards in India. Objective, curriculum, exams conducted by different boards - CBSE, ICSE, ISC, IB, and IGSCE.
India has several educational boards that have existed for many years, while some have gained popularity only recently. Each Board has its unique teaching methods, learning, curriculum, assessing criteria, and conducting examinations that assist in the student's overall development. In the sections below, four of the primary boards present in the country have been discussed in detail for a clearer understanding of its features and benefits offered to help evaluate the right pick for you.
Table of Contents
- Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
- Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE-ICSE/ISC)
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
- International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
CBSE is the most sought-after board in India managed and controlled by the Union Government of India. The country has around 20,299 schools affiliated with the board. CBSE also has a global presence with about 220 schools in 28 countries affiliated with it worldwide. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, private schools, and most schools approved by the country’s central government are affiliated with CBSE.
|Conducting Body||Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
One of the Board's main objectives is to adopt innovative teaching and learning methods that are student-centered by incorporating job-oriented and job-linked skillset learning. CBSE also aims to fulfill the educational requirements of those students having parents employed in transferable jobs.
- All schools affiliated with CBSE are required to follow the NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) textbooks prescribed by the Board.
- The syllabus is compact and well-structured.
- Subjects are pre-determined by the Board, therefore offering limited grouping options for the higher secondary classes across Science, Commerce, and Humanities streams.
- CBSE approves English or Hindi as the medium of instruction in schools affiliated to the Board.
The two essential exams conducted by CBSE are the All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) for Class 10th students and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) for Class 12th students in March every year.
India's government recognizes CBSE. As its learnings form the basis for all national entrance examinations (Especially Engineering and Medical domains) conducted within the country, it is one of the most sought-after board choices for Indian students.
Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE-ICSE/ISC)
CISCE is a privately held national-level board in India. As of 2019, 2247 schools are affiliated with the Board within the country and abroad.
|Conducting Body||Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE)|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
- The syllabus is more expansive and comprehensive when compared to that of CBSE. The focus is on the student's overall development by imparting practical and analytical knowledge through studying various concepts at the theoretical and application levels.
- Equal weightage is given to all subjects offered by the Board. CISCE provides a variety of combinational subject options for students to choose from that are not confined to a set of pre-determined subjects at the senior secondary level of education.
- CISCE offers education in English as the only medium of instruction.
CISCE conducts three examinations primarily -
- ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) for Class 10th students.
- I.S.C. (Indian School Certificate) for Class 12th students.
- C.V.E. (Certificate of Vocational Education Examination) for students who have completed I.S.C. exams and are interested in specific vocations.
ICSE and I.S.C. exams are generally conducted in February/March every year.
The Indian government does not officially recognize CISCE; however, school completion certificates are recognized by universities and colleges in India and the international educational boards.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
|Conducting Body||International Baccalaureate (IB)|
IB focuses on imparting young people with curiosity, knowledge, and care to create a better and peaceful world through the understanding of intercultural aspects.
- IB syllabus is more taxing and demanding when compared to the previous two boards. Traditional teaching methods are not incorporated in schools affiliated with the IB board, instead offering flexibility to students by offering them in-depth learning on subjects of their choice.
- There are no fixed textbooks prescribed but suggested readings and opportunities are given to students to explore independently.
- It primarily works on developing the analytical abilities, logical reasoning, and language capabilities of students to build the student’s profile.
- Students are assessed throughout the year based on different criteria such as quizzes, essays, assignments, fieldwork, portfolios, etc.
IB offers four different programs - IB Primary Years Programme for children between ages 3 and 12, IB Middle Years Programme for students aged 11 and 16, IB Career-related Programme (CP) for students between ages 15 and 19 IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). Two major exams IBDP and CP, are conducted in two sessions of November and May every year.
IB works with government and non-government organizations worldwide and holds itself a non-governmental organization (NGO) status recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). IB also has a relationship with the council of Europe and the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
IGCSE is the largest provider of educational programs across the world. The board is affiliated with Cambridge International, and more than 10,000 institutions in over 160 nations offer IGCSE programs.
|Conducting Body||International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)|
|South Asia Headquarters||Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata|
- The curriculum called the Cambridge pathway starts from primary, lower secondary, upper secondary to advanced. It offers education to students from age five upto age 19.
- It is one of the most flexible boards in the country as it offers a wide range of subjects for students to choose from - Over seven subjects for students at the IGCSE level and over 55 subjects for students at the AS & A level.
- IGCSE focuses on bringing in local economies and cultures within a global context to ensure students grasp a wider perspective of recognizing and valuing their own environment.
- Board is focused more on imparting knowledge by developing a balanced and inquisitive mind.
- In addition to assessing the student's written examination, they are also assessed on oral, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
The primary two examinations conducted by IGCSE is one at the end of Cambridge Upper Secondary for students aged 14-16 and another AS & A Level at the end of Cambridge Advanced for students aged 16-19. The examinations are mostly conducted in June and March in India.
IGCSE is recognized worldwide, is considered equivalent to the certificate of secondary education boards in India, General Certificate of Secondary Education, and O Level exams.