Sangeetha Pulapaka

There are two very different boards of education catering to the academic sector in India, and these are CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education).

Opting for a CBSE school has its own share of pros, and the biggest advantage is that all major competitive examinations in India are based on the CBSE syllabus. These examinations include the Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE), the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT).

The CBSE syllabus is easier when compared to that of other boards, mainly due to fewer subjects and a more compact structure. Secondary subjects like Environmental Education are not compulsory under the CBSE syllabus. The subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology fall under the general umbrella of Science, and History, Geography and Civics fall under the spectrum of Social Sciences.The CBSE syllabus also does not lay as much emphasis on core English knowledge as its counterpart does, choosing to lay more importance on the disciplines of mathematics and science.

The syllabus followed by ICSE schools differs vastly from that followed in CBSE schools mainly in terms of content and volume. 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. 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.

Students may find the syllabus to be too extensive for their liking, as an average student practising under an ICSE board will face thirteen subjects/examinations during the sixth grade, when compared to the six subjects faced by the student’s counterpart in a CBSE affiliated school.

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