CBSE versus ICSE versus IB

CBSE or ICSE or IB. Which one to choose? Its a common question for young parents looking for admission for their kids. There are multiple factors that need to be taken into account while taking a decision. Some of the common questions that help decide CBSE versus ICSE versus IB are – Do you want the kid to study abroad during or after school? Do you want the kid to do more practical work than theory? Would you like the kid to do projects at young age? Do percentage scores matter to you?

All about IB

IB boards are advisable for parents who are expecting frequent long trips to foreign soil with their children. IB boards are also advisable for parents who want their kid to study in universities abroad after their school education. IB is divided into PYP (primary year program), MYP (middle year program) and DP (Diploma program). While PYP and MYP programs are project based and non evaluation based, Diploma program can be thought of as similar to board exams. IB DP examinations are held in November and May every year. The results for May exams are declared by July. It means that for students willing to apply for Indian colleges, the results are announced far late and hence the child may end up missing out on opportunities within India. Please note that less than 500 Indians appeared for IB exams every year (the count is expected to double up in next 2 years). It is for this reason that IBO authorities are yet to take a decision on pre-scheduling the result dates even after repeated requests from Indian schools. This year too, results were declared in July first week, 2018.

All about ICSE and CBSE

ICSE curriculum is more practical driven in comparison to CBSE. ICSE authorities ensure that the school getting affiliated to ICSE has sufficient infrastructure for practicals.

However, ICSE syllabus for class IX and X has been found to be 15% more vast than CBSE. And the %age scored are 1%-1.5% less in ICSE on an average since level of evaluations also differ (based on an evaluative study done by Go4Reviews on class X board results for Delhi NCR’s CBSE and ICSE in year 2016-2017). Unfortunately still, premier universities like DU do not perform normalization between ICSE and CBSE marks and both are taken at par.

One more point to consider is that CBSE is stricter and more communicative on parent’s concerns like security and safety and fees in comparison to ICSE.

Results for both ICSE and CBSE are generally declared in May end every year.

Our take on CBSE versus ICSE versus IB

  • Do not go for IB if you want the kid to study in India after school.
  • Do not go for ICSE if all that you are looking for is percentage in board examinations.
  • Do not go for CBSE if you want your kid to gain more practical knowledge.

Comments/feedback invited.

Last updated: August 7, 2018 at 21:29 pm

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KanikaShreyas kumarKreetiDr r s sindhu Recent comment authors
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English syllabus of ICSE is pretty exhaustive. For someone looking for English honor’s graduation, it’s a perfect choice.

Shreyas kumar
Shreyas kumar

I am not sure if IB makes sense at all in India


CBSE is undoubtedly the best because anyways most schools nowadays are following some indeginious curriculum.

Dr r s sindhu
Dr r s sindhu

Good suggestions which have been made on the basis of research.

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