CBSE or ICSE which is better for future? Which Exam Board is Better?

CBSE or ICSE which is better for future? Which Exam Board is Better?

CBSE VS ICSE Which borad is best

CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future? Many parents find it difficult to recognize which board would be best for their children. CBSE and ICSE are two popular boards of India. Both the boards differ in respect to many factors be it a pattern of education or learning outcomes. Apart from these boards, there are many other boards that children can opt for. This increases the confusion manifold. Hence, how can parents decide which board will be the best?

This blog deals with every aspect of these boards and guides you to choose the best one. However, if you want guidance from experts then get the SeekEx app. It has numerous education experts who will recognize your requirements and suggest between CBSE or ICSE : which is better for the future.

What is the CBSE board?

The Central Board of Secondary Education has a curriculum that’s based on the NCERT. Usually, the exams for classes 10 and 12 are held in the month of March. CBSE offers students to opt for both Hindi and English mediums and hence the study materials and workbooks are available in both languages. 

If you want to find out which board is best CBSE or ICSE, then you must understand both of them in detail. CBSE is responsible for conducting many major competitive exams like NEET, JEE, AIPMT, etc. The approach of CBSE is student-centred and thus it provides interactive study material. 

What is the ICSE board?

ICSE has an extensive curriculum and implements an application-based teaching methodology. Basically, the subjects of the ICSE board can be divided into three groups. The first list contains mandatory subjects and then comes the second and third lists that also allow you to choose subjects of your choice. To find out CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future, you must understand both the boards in detail. 

How many boards are there in India?

India has numerous boards and each one of them has its own significance. To understand CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future, you must also take a look at other available boards. There are around seven types of boards in India.  

  1. State Boards:

Each state has a board and that’s known as the state board. They follow a separate syllabus and ranking criteria and have their own educational strategy. That’s the reason there is variation in the curriculum of boards of different states. The focus of the state boards is put on state-level subjects and study materials that are associated with local interests. These study materials are usually similar to several other boards.

However, the local heritage and regional languages have a key role in the curriculum. Even some of the state boards strictly follow the NCERT books so that the students remain prepared for pan-India exams. 

  1. Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE)

CBSE is the most widely acknowledged education board in India and it is among the most prominent boards. Many parents remain confused, CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future of their children. Over the years, CBSE has implemented conventional teaching structures in most of the schools of the country and that’s the reason they are so popular among people.

A huge number of private and public schools follow this board. Even the students can opt for distance learning through this board. So, the parents who wanted to determine which board is best in India can consider CBSE. 

  1. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education(ICSE)

Over the years, CBSE and ICSE have been tough competitors whenever it is about the best boards in India. To date, it creates confusion whether CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future. The programs of ICSE majorly reflect the principles and theoretical fundamentals. This is another popular board of India that is preferred by private schools. It complies with the New education policy of 1986 and functions through the English medium. 

  1. Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination(CISCE)

CISCE is another board of India which is privately run and governed by the Indian certificate of secondary education and Indian school certificate. More than 2,100 schools in India as well as abroad are associated with this board. The main objective of the CISCE board is to offer high-quality education to the students by following a rational approach. If you were wondering which board is best for education in India then you can consider this. 

  1. National Institute of Open Schooling(NIOS)

Many students of India belong to low-income groups and for them affording education becomes difficult. For such students, NIOS is the first preference as it makes the education system versatile and free. The main objective of this board is to enable students to choose their preferred subjects and timings to learn. NIOS is a national board and conducts both secondary and post-secondary examinations. Though it can’t be considered as the toughest board in India it has similar valuations like CBSE and ICSE boards. 

  1. International Baccalaureate(IB)

Among other boards, International Baccalaureate is one of the top-tier education boards in India. It ensures greater educational services through prestigious private schools. IB is a privately run academic organisation that has its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland. There are three major programs of IB that are primary year, middle year, and graduation program. Many parents who got confused between CBSE or ICSE, which is better for the future, opted for IB. 

  1. Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

In the year 1858, Cambridge International examination board was formed and it offers international credentials to more than 10,000 school systems across the globe. The best part of this board is that the certificates offered by this board are globally accepted. CIE credentials allow entry into various universities across the world.

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Difference between CBSE and ICSE

Difference Between CBSE and ICSE

Previously, in this blog, we’ve already discussed how many boards are there in India. Among all the boards available CBSE and ICSE are the two most popular ones. Parents are often confused between these two boards. Education is a key to shaping the future and career of a child. So, parents become very conscious when it is about deciding the board of education which impacts the entire future of the child. To understand them in a better way, let’s discuss their differences in detail. 

  1. Syllabus

The main difference between CBSE and ICSE board is its syllabus. The focus of the CBSE board is toward science and mathematics whereas the ICSE board gives more importance to other subjects majorly to language subjects. So, it is found that ICSE students’ future is in humanities and language subjects more in comparison to the CBSE students. 

Then comes the structure of the syllabus in which the CBSE board prefers a precise and easy syllabus that tells about the subject matter in a simple way. The ICSE board’s syllabus is detailed and comprehensive. While comparing CBSE or ICSE, which is better for the future, the teaching style also has a certain significance. ICSE follows a methodology-based teaching style and CBSE follows a simple theoretical-based teaching style. 

  1. Competitive Edge

In respect of competition when it is compared to CBSE or ICSE, which is better for the future, it is usually found that for national level entrance exams, CBSE is the best. The national level examinations like IIT JEE, NEET, etc. have syllabus similar to the CBSE. This enables the students to get prepared for these competitive examinations easily. However, in the case of the ICSE board, students are able to gain more analytical abilities and an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. So, is ICSE better than CBSE in respect of competitions?  No, CBSE is better in the case of competitive examinations that are held at the national level.

  1. Medium of Instruction

One of the biggest factors that cause the difference between CBSE and ICSE boards is the medium of instruction. Usually, the ICSE board prefers the English language as a medium of instruction. The students with an ICSE board background find TOEFL, IELTS, and other such international exams quite easy and are able to score higher. On the contrary, the CBSE board doesn’t prefer any specific language as a medium of instruction. 

  1. Acceptability

Those who want to find ICSE or CBSE which is better for foreign countries must know that ICSE board is more acceptable in foreign lands. CBSE board is also widely accepted but students with ICSE boards get more preference in foreign schools and universities. If you want to send your child abroad for education then the ICSE board should be preferred. 

  1. Easy transfers of schools

Many parents are in professions that involve transfers from one location to another. If you are such a parent and want to find CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future then opt for the CBSE board. Across the country CBSE is followed by the majority of schools and they allow easy admissions to the students coming from CBSE schools of other cities. 

  1. Grading

In a comparison of these two boards and finding out CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future, the grading system has to be considered. These days CBSE evaluates the students through an alphabetical grading system whereas the ICSE board offers scores to the students. 

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Overview of CBSE

In 1952, the central board of secondary education was established. It is completely controlled and managed by the central body of secondary education. It is a national-level board of education and is opted by numerous public and private schools across the country.

Pattern and Syllabus of CBSE

Parents often wonder about CBSE or ICSE, which is better for the future of their children. Before selecting any board, it’s essential to analyse all its pros and cons thoroughly. Let’s check out first the pattern syllabus of CBSE.

The syllabus of the CBSE board is quite helpful for the students to prepare for various competitive exams. It follows theoretical concepts of subject matters in its syllabus. In the case of CBSE vs State board, CBSE can be considered if a student wishes to appear for competitive exams. However, the level of the syllabus is quite easy and very well structured.

In case of acceptability, the CBSE board is accepted across the world. Hence, it can be said that the CBSE syllabus is more precise and to the point than the other board’s syllabus. While comparing CBSE vs ICSE it can be said that the syllabus of CBSE is easier than the ICSE. It follows an alphabetical grading system and offers a medium of instruction in both English and Hindi. 

Pros and Cons of CBSE


  • The biggest advantage of the CBSE board is that it has a similar syllabus to most of the competitive examinations like JEE and NEET.
  • For those who want to find CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future and which is easier, the common answer is CBSE. It is easier in comparison to ICSE as it has a compact structure and fewer subjects. 
  • In India, most of the public and private schools and colleges follow the CBSE board. If students shift from one location to another then they will not have to face difficulties to get admission in CBSE affiliated schools. 
  • CBSE lays more emphasis on subjects like science and mathematics rather than language subjects. 


  • Even though CBSE lays more importance on science and mathematics subjects which are practical subjects still their primary focus is not on the practical aspects of the subjects. 
  • The English language is not given that importance. That’s the reason students with CBSE face difficulty in performing in international level exams like TOEFL and IELTS.
  • Mostly the subject matters are explained in a theory-based manner, so there’s less importance on real-life concepts. 

Overview of ICSE board

In the year 1952, an All India Certificate Examinations Conference was conducted. The main objective was to investigate whether the All India examination can replace the overseas Cambridge school certificate examination. Over time, ICSE became a popular board of India. Today, numerous private schools across the country opt for the ICSE board.

Pattern and Syllabus of ICSE board

Parents perform enough research before deciding the board of their children. Often the dilemma arises that CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future. The answer lies in the pattern and syllabus of the ICSE. The syllabus is mainly associated with practical knowledge. Unlike CBSE, the ICSE board follows real-life-related materials and focuses on English as the main medium of instruction. That’s the reason the students with ICSE backgrounds are able to perform well in international language tests like TOEFL and IELTS. 

When parents consider the fact, is ICSE  tougher than CBSE, then they have found it’s true to some extent. ICSE involves scores so the evaluation of students depends completely on the score obtained by them in the exams, However, it’s also a fact that foreign schools and universities prefer ICSE boards. The difficulty level of the ICSE board is quite high because it has numerous internal assessments and practicals associated with the concepts. 

Pros and Cons of ICSE board

Just like CBSE, ICSE has a huge number of advantages, but along with that, there are some disadvantages of ICSE boards too. To understand this board thoroughly, finding out its advantages is not enough. There’s an equal need to know about its cons so that you can handle any unpleasant situation that arises . Understanding the pros and cons of the ICSE board will provide a brief idea about its workings.  Let’s discuss both the pros and cons of the ICSE board in brief. 


  •  A comprehensive syllabus is followed by the ICSE board and it provides equal importance to all the subjects.
  • It’s the best board for those who are looking ahead to a career in management and humanities. 
  • ICSE certifications are valid across the globe. Although foreign schools and colleges prefer ICSE certifications in comparison to CBSE certifications. 
  • As the English language is given importance in the ICSE board, it is advantageous for students who want to appear in exams like TOEFL or IELTS. 


  • At times students may find the subjects quite tough and feel burdened at times. 
  • The syllabus is extensive which can be helpful for the future of the students, but the evaluation process is strict and that can affect the overall score. 

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CBSE or ICSE which is better for future of your kid?

Criteria of CBSE vs ICSE

Above we’ve discussed the differences between CBSE and ICSE in detail. Before choosing a particular board for a child, parents must thoroughly go through the pros and cons of both the boards. This will enable them to find CBSE or ICSE which is better for the future. ICSE is helpful in developing the core personality traits of a child while CBSE helps in becoming successful in career goals. Parents must take a calculative move after analysing the future requirements of their child. 

SeekEx as right Career Counsellor

How Seekex can Help in choosing right career

Even after understanding both CBSE and ICSE boards thoroughly, parents may face confusion selecting one over the other. The confusion of CBSE or ICSE, which is better for the future can be tackled only upon proper analysis of the requirements. Many parents find it difficult to analyse what will be best for their children. In that case, SeekEx comes in for the rescue. 

The career experts on the SeekEx app, have complete knowledge about the impact on the career due to aboard. Suppose a parent wishes to send their child to a foreign country for higher education, then the expert will suggest ICSE board. If there’s a parent who has a transferable job, then the expert will instantly suggest opting for the CBSE board. Thus, they can guide the parents what’s best for their child after analysing their requirements. 


If you still have confusion or queries regarding the board selection then get help from the career counsellors. SeekEx app provides you access to talented education counsellors who are available to help you with the right guidance.

Go ahead and get a consultation from experts on SeekEx! Choose the right board and secure the future of your child. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Syllabus is best, CBSE or ICSE?

The syllabus of CBSE is precise and to the point and focuses more on science and mathematics subjects while ICSE follows a comprehensive syllabus and focuses on language and humanities subjects. So, both the boards are best in their ways and it depends completely on the requirements which will be the best.

Which is harder: CBSE or ICSE?

ICSE is considered harder as it has a comprehensive syllabus and evaluation is done on the basis of scores. Whereas CBSE’s syllabus is precise and has an Alphabetical grading system.

Is ICSE recognised in foreign countries?

Yes, foreign country’s universities and schools prefer the ICSE board, and the certificate issued by ICSE is recognised in foreign countries.

Which curriculum is better, CBSE or ICSE? And Why?

CBSE’s curriculum involves theoretical concepts of the subject matters whereas ICSE’s curriculum involves the practical and real-life aspects. So, both the boards have their own sets of pros and cons.

Which board is best when parents have transferable jobs?

Numerous schools across the country follow the CBSE board so the parents who have transferable jobs must choose the CBSE board for their children. 


SeekEx Team is responsible for publishing Expert's views and opinions shared with SeekEx Technologies Pvt. Ltd. We are solely focused on providing value to aspirants who want to pursue a greater career that provides self-satisfaction and standards of living. SeekEx team is heading with the approach of providing valuable Career counseling and career development tips, news, opinions, and recommendations.

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