Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) is conducted by CISCE or the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. An offshoot of the Cambridge IGCSE that existed during the British regime was taken over by the Anglo Indian Board and is now governed by the ‘Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. ICSE has taken in a lot of structures from the NCERT. The board conducts an ICSE examination towards the end of tenth grade and an Indian School Certificate (ISC) examination towards the end of twelfth grade. At Grade 10, it is as of now is the toughest board examination. ISC (Class XII) is equally difficult to crack owing to its extremely detailed syllabus.

Medium of Instruction:

ICSE approves only English medium and does not recommend Hindi.

Regular Candidates:

ICSE does not allow a candidate who has not been studying in an ICSE affiliated school to appear for the exams. It allows only the regular candidates to appear for the exam.

Board Recognition:

ICSE is recognized by Indian government. The certificates provided by ICSE are globally valid. CISCE is now recognized by many foreign education systems as equivalent to senior examination or high school.

Curriculum/Course Content:

The syllabus of ICSE is more detailed, comprehensive and complete, encompassing all fields with equal importance and requires the student to remember a lot. ICSE is extremely focused on science and maths with a lot of attention paid to the application of knowledge. CISCE (ICSE) is more balanced with equal focus on language, arts and science. Students who are interested in careers in the lines of management and humanities will find the curriculum followed under ICSE to be more interesting and challenging, not to mention fruitful.


In ICSE, internal assessments are vital and practical tests are aggregated with the overall scores. ICSE lays more emphasis on lab work. Also, a career in English Literature or Language is best suited for ICSE students. Due to the emphasis laid on English in ICSE, students from this board may hold a slight edge over other students in exams like TOEFL

Teaching Methodology:

With the changing times boards are aiming for active learning. ICSE (CISCE) prescribe a certain teaching approach and has undergone significant change over the past 10 years. The focus has majorly increased on learning through experience and experimentation rather than through one-way teaching.

ICSE includes the detailed study of subjects and an edge over English literature and language and is more flexible in nature. ICSE is recognized by colleges/universities in India. ICSE board has a lot of combinations to offer to students- such as computer science, environmental science and even interior design in a lot of schools.

The quality of education provided by board is excellent, so all you’ll need to do is assess your children’s strengths and gauge the right board for them.

However, you’ll need to keep in mind that more than the board of education involved; the quality of education that your children are receiving should be your primary concern. This is why it is more important to choose a very good school, regardless of the board of education it falls under.

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