Detailed guide for parents to Different Education Boards in India

The major dilemma for parents has always been the choice of board for their children’s education?
Here is the detailed guide regarding all the haves and have nots of every education system set-up that will help you choose it wisely.

The basic idea behind the different educational set-ups/boards is the scope and flexibility that they have to offer to the student depending on their basic interests and desire of exploring/polishing their skills on the latter part.

The best part about the Indian education system is that they have both Indian as well as International Syllabus to offer to their students.

Let’s start with understanding the basics. Which are the board that a student is offered:

1. CBSE: Central Board of Secondary Education
2. ICSE: The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education
3. IB: International Baccalaureate
4. IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Cambridge University
5. State Board: State Government Recognized Board.
6. NIOS: National Institute of open Schooling.

Each one has its own haves and have nots. Let’s dive into each one of them individually:

1. CBSE: Central Board of Secondary Education

The syllabus
This board have major emphasis on gathering the knowledge, especially in two major subjects that are maths and science in their curriculum. The textbooks are designed in a prescribed manner that are supposed to be use by students further, during their course of time.

1. It is very convenient to avail the books of this curriculum. The tutors for all the classes and extra activities are also very easily accessible.
2. Keeps on framing the activities/sessions for science and mathematics in such a way that they can be on application-base for the students. And also tries to do the same for other subjects as well.
3. As compared to any other board the number of students in this board are higher.
4. This board has the maximum Recognition when it comes to admission process of colleges in India.
5. Syllabus of this board is relevant for various scholarship exams such as SSTSE, NSEB, NSEC, and so on.
6. Moreover, CBSE board has also implemented “Comprehensive Evaluation” i.e. “CCE”, entirely a new system for their students’ of grade Six to Tenth. It is a system that does evaluation of students that is school-based, which covers all features of students’ development. This has proved to be very beneficial.
7. Very suitable/preferable for kids whose parents are having transferable jobs. As CBSE affiliates all the central government approved private schools in India, such as KendriyaVidyalaya, all Jawaharlal NayodayaVidyalayas and so on.

1. The school fees structure can vary from medium range to high, depending on the schools.
2. There can be comparatively lesser scope and options when it comes to the field of Arts and Literature.
3. When it comes to major entrance exams, all boards are eligible to apply across India. However, the colleges that comes under state universities have a major amount of reserved quota for state board students. So the students that belongs to CBSE board who failed to crack entrance exams, may face difficulties in getting admissions in state university colleges as they have fewer seats for the CBSE board quota as compared to state boards quota.

2. CISCE: Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations

The syllabus
This board was established in the year 1958 which gives equal weightage to commerce, science and humanities stream as well. Simultaneously, also gives little more weightage to English language as a separate wing in their curriculum. So English is always their recommended medium of instruction for students to opt.

It administers the examination conducted in India by Cambridge University. It is the private national level board of education in India where it follows the same pattern as CBSE but at the same point of time it adds more volume and intensity to the existing subjects.

Moreover, in addition to the general set of subjects of the stream, two additional subjects are compulsory for all students that opts this board.
I.e. English and SUPW (socially Useful Proactive work).

Three examinations are conducted during the students’ educational journey:
• ICSE: (Indian certificate secondary education) class 10
• ISC (Indian school certificate) class 12
• CVE (Certificate for vocational education) class 12


1. Focuses on practical knowledge and focus more on analytical skills compared to theory.
2. Subject selection option are available for students so that they can follow and explore their liking for a particular subject.
3. It has a wide range of topics to explore the overall growth of students.
4. Caters Equal emphasis on science-art languages, to encourage students to choose their choice of subject or topics.


1. If not matched with their subjective interests and exploring tendency, students may find the syllabus a bit weighty.
2. Many students may find it hard to adopt the shift to other boards or Pre-Science colleges (11-12 standards) in future.
3. Comparatively higher fee structure

4. Schools that falls under state colleges, have more reserved seats for students with low educational degrees from state sheets. So undergraduates from the CISCE board who are not selected for the tests, face issues in getting affirmation in-state college schools as they have fewer seats for CISCE Board.

3. IBDP International Baccalaureate (IB)

The syllabus
Formally known as the international baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is an international educational foundation, founded in 1968.

This board have equal emphasis on commerce, science and humanities (social science) stream as well. Here students are offered six distinctive subject groups, where they are supposed to pick one from each. Hence the given selection process creates ample opportunities for exploration and adaptability for the students.

It doesn’t have any fixed set of textbooks, instead they recommend different study materials to the students which makes the process all the more fun loving and opens immense amount of scope to explore.
However, there are three compulsory subjects:
• Creativity Action Service (CAS),
• Extended Essays (EE), and
• Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
It offers three educational programs:
• PYP: Primary year program (KG to Class-5)
• MYP: Middle year program (Class-6 to Class-10)
• DP: Diploma program ( Class-11 and Class-12)


1. IB is recognized by most of the universities in world.
2. Appropriate for applying in Foreign Universities where the CBSE and ICSE Board is not recognized.
3. This board is recognized by UNESCO.
4. Experimental-based syllabus is practiced and followed.
5. Schools are well managed and well equipped.
6. Most recommended for kids of the Non-Resident Indian parents, expatriate community members in India.
7. Students who are surely interested in going abroad for higher education and better prospects of further studies.


1. Fee structure is higher than other curriculums.
2. Considering the amenities only in big cities have schools that offers this board.
3. Students may face difficulties to shift boards if and when they want to switch to another Indian education board.
4. There are no standard textbooks so study materials are not readily available compared to other boards.

4. IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education:

The syllabus
The world’s most well-known International Board is IGCSE. The English language and educational program offered to students for IB and CIE, A-Level Cambridge IGCSE, improves their overall implementing and execution level by creating abilities in innovative reasoning and critical thinking.

More than 70 subjects are accessible to the student at Cambridge IGCSE, including 30 dialects, and schools can offer them in its desired customised combinations.
There are no fixed groups or subject combinations, so students are free to choose subjects according to their preferences and interests.

This board have equal emphasis on commerce, science and humanities (social science) stream as well. Here students are offers prescribed textbooks as well as recommended reading materials.

However, there are certain compulsory subjects:
• i.e. worldwide point of view,
• Research, and so forth, and
• A-levels to be finished (depending on the choice of the subject)

Examinations conducted during the students’ educational journey:
• Cambridge Primary: Class 5 to 11 years
• Cambridge Secondary 1
• Cambridge Secondary 2 Class 14 to 16 years.
(It offers learners two routes: Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge O Level).
• Cambridge Advanced 16 to 19 years who need advanced study to prepare for university and higher education.
(It offers learners two routes: 1.Cambridge International AS and 2.A Level, and Cambridge Pre-U).

1. Majority of the Universities world-wide recognize the International Board.
2. Appropriate for applying in Foreign Universities where the CBSE and ICSE Board is not recognized.
3. Students can experience innovative curriculum and a vast area of subjects to choose from.
4. Great amount of emphasis on Technical Subjects as well as on English
5. Appropriate option if the parents or students are planning to move abroad.

1. One may feel as a less affordable option as the Fee structure is high.
2. Schools that offer this board are found in only big or metropolitan cities.
3. Students may face difficulties to shift boards if and when they want to switch to another education board.
4. Due to innovative and wide range of subject combinations the Textbooks Books are not readily available, and also the extra classes that are opted for supportive studies are not easily accessible.

5. State Board

The syllabus
It is the Board of Secondary Education. Every state government has a primary, secondary & higher secondary education system.Here the textbooks are prescribed by the government.

Examinations conducted during the students’ educational journey:
SSC: 10th Board exams Secondary School certificate
HSC: 12th Board exams Higher school certificate

1. The admission process to this Board is very painless and instant.

Have nots
1. The maintenance quality of education wholly depends on the state government’s competence.
2. Quality of teaching varies according to school.
3. Might lack necessary facilities.
4. Quality of content (may have errors).