Understanding the Difference Between IB, ICSE and CBSE Curriculum and How IB has an edge Over Others

Understanding the importance of a strong start in academics, parents are often anxious and confused about the educational board that they should choose for their children. Having a strong foundation with clear basics gives a powerful head start to students in their education, which can definitely come into use later in their careers. Keeping this in mind, many parents prefer to do thorough research about all the available boards to make sure that their children don’t fall behind and get access to the best education in the country.

Most research usually boils down to CBSE, ICSE and IB board – each with its merits and demerits. This article will provide an analytical breakdown for each board to help you understand the fundamental differences between them, and which board is the best.

  1. CBSE – Central Board of Secondary Education

● CBSE is surely the most popular board in India, with over 24000 schools affiliated all over India and more than 240 schools globally spread in 26 countries
● CBSE follows the NCERT curriculum and conducts two major examinations – the All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE/ Class 10th boards) and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE/ Class 12th boards)
● CBSE curriculum comes directly under the jurisprudence of the Government of India

● CBSE generally follows a theoretical and traditional approach to education with more focus on academics and less on extra-curricular activities
● The focus is mainly on preparing the students for engineering and medical entrancesSince Science and Math have precedence, there are fewer options for students pursuing Humanities or languages

Difficulty level:
● CBSE is definitely easier than ICSE and IB Boards. The curriculum is less research-based and simpler for students to navigate and excel in. Marking is usually lenient and consistent

  1. ICSE – Indian Certificate for Secondary Education

● Unlike CBSE, ICSE is a privately governed board. It has two examination boards – ICSE for class 10th and ISC for class 12th examinations
● The board was established in 1958 and has over 2300 schools in India and abroad

● ICSE syllabus is a lot more comprehensive than CBSE, as students are given a much larger and complex curriculum and they are given an in-depth analysis of each topic
● Students of Arts and Languages have a diverse range of options
● Emphasis is placed on balancing theory and practicals so that each student knows how to apply theoretical knowledge on the field
● Compulsory subjects are English + SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work)

Difficulty level:
● The difficulty level of ICSE schools is more than CBSE, as the syllabus is more complex and marking is stringent
● Students find it much easier to score in CBSE than ICSE examinations

  1. IB – International Baccalaureate

● The IB educational program was founded in 1968 in Switzerland and is the most reputed and prestigious board of education
● It’s divided into 4 sections/programs – the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP)
● IB Board is spread in over 140 countries

● IB board has more research and exploration-based syllabi where students are supposed to have their own understanding of a subject rather than strictly following a prescribed set of books
● Application-based learning and individual research are encouraged
● There is a wider range of options for subjects. Students are typically required to choose one option each from 6 subject groups
● Compulsory subjects are Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

Difficulty level:
● The IB curriculum India is the most complex, tough, and demanding. Students are required to have in-depth understanding of each topic through their individual research and analysis

What’s the best educational board in India?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum in India is challenging and complex, and provides a holistic and well-rounded education to students. The curriculum equips them with 21st-century skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing society and provides necessary framework to make them future leaders or great thinkers.

  • IB board is the most popular globally, and is best suited for students planning to study abroad, especially in Ivy League schools
  • There is a diverse range of options and students are free to design their own curriculum and subject groups without any limitations of streams. IB curriculum also offers subjects traditionally not available in other boards, such as film studies, global politics, etc.
  • Instead of assessing students on their ability to memorize and recall facts, IB teaching methodology promotes critical thinking, skill development, and knowledge application. Students are taught concepts in detail
  • As a global board, IB board prepares its students to become global citizens who are accepting towards themselves as well as others from diverse and different backgrounds. The board makes sure that each student is confident and easily able to assimilate with students from different cultures
  • IB Board places utmost emphasis in promoting critical thinking and analytical skills. Instead of blindly accepting given facts, students are taught to question every idea, form their own analysis, and reach their own conclusions

Final Words
Every board is different with its pros and cons. Parents need to figure out what exactly they are looking for when choosing a school and educational board.

Author Bio
Dipti has spent more than a decade in the education domain. She has also been a part of an organization in developing one of the best online teaching apps.


Leave a Reply

Back To Top