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CBSE vs. ICSE: Which Board Should I Choose After Class 10? (And Why)

Passing class 10th Board exam is indeed a milestone for any student. It is, what we call, a transition phase. Until now, school life has been routine and predictable. Every year, the curriculum got a bit tougher than the last year, and while juggling between school, and tuition classes, and extracurricular activities, you somehow managed to crawl this far. We hope you have been sincere, and that you have done a brilliantly in your 10th Board exams. We also hope you made some sweet memories on the way. Because now things are about to change! And drastically that too!

As a student, your focus will now shift from clearing end-of-the-year exams to planning ahead for the future. Every move that you now make will have a direct impact on your career. Sounds a bit scary right?

Every year around this time, parents and students flock together to rack their brains on two fundamental questions: Which board should one choose after class 10th? And which stream to take up +2? Have you noticed it yet that these two questions are intricately woven into one another?

Sounds confusing? Wait! Let us explain.


CBSE vs ICSE Which Board To Choose After Class 10?


When it comes to picking up a board after class 10th, here are the most popular choices: CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE (offers international curriculum) and of course, the State Board.

Well, the State Board is unique to each state. The pros and cons of choosing the State Board are thus also unique to your geographical location. And, as far as IGCSE is concerned, it is definitely a good choice for students whose parents are likely to relocate globally. This Board will also be beneficial for students who wish to pursue under graduation abroad. The curriculum under this board adheres to international standards and focuses on the overall development of students. The syllabus is application oriented and provides for a varied range of subject choices.

Having said that, for the majority of students, the tug of war happens between ICSE and CBSE when it comes to choosing a board after class 10. This is where the knowing your preferred stream comes into play. Sure, both the boards have some merits and demerits but knowing which stream you want to pursue will make the task of decision making easier for you.

CBSE vs. ICSE: The Pros & Cons





More schools are affiliated to CBSE than ICSE, including most central government schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas, Army Public Schools, Air Force Schools, etc.

Reasonably prevalent in India.

Year Of Inception

Originally founded in 1952. Reconstructed in 1962.

Founded in the year 1956, and adapt University of Cambridge’s examination system to India.


If transferring within the country, it is easier to find a good CBSE school within a reasonable distance in any city.

If inclined to relocate abroad, it is more advisable to opt for ICSE as the curriculum supports international standards.

The Medium Of Classes

Both English and Hindi

Only English

The Scope Of Syllabus

The syllabus has greater flexibility and is more student friendly.

The syllabus is more detail- oriented. It is tougher and more extensive than that of CBSE.

Subject Choice

Limited subject choices when compared to ICSE.

Larger range of options when it comes to subject choices

The Focus Of Syllabus

This board is renowned for emphasizing on subjects like Science and Maths.

Precedence is given to all subjects equally. There is a special stress on languages. The syllabus for English is one of the best in the country.

The Scope Of Scoring Marks

It is comparatively easier to score marks in CBSE

Given the length and breadth of the syllabus, students need to work really hard to score more in ICSE.

Overall Development

Both the boards provide ample scope for overall development of students

Both the boards provide ample scope for overall development of students

Extra Curriculum

Same as the other

Same as the other

Appropriateness For Competitive Exams

Opting for CBSE will be more beneficial for students who intend to prepare for JEE/NEET/ AIEEE

More appropriate for students taking up humanities and commerce. Choosing ICSE gives an edge to students who intend to appear for Civil Service or crack GRE/TOEFL/IELTS later.



Commonly Asked Questions Related To Board Switch

  1. My 10th results are out. I was studying under ICSE so far. Now, I want to shift to CBSE. Is it logical? – Well, the logic bit is for you to figure out depending on your career goals. But, if you are planning to take up Science in +2, then this move will be definitely beneficial for you.
  2. Hi there! I am planning to appear for JEE / NEET after +2. Which board is better for me? – CBSE, without a doubt. These competitive exams are conducted by CBSE itself. So, the curriculum for CBSE +2 will definitely aid your preparation for JEE/NEET.
  3. I have passed my Class 10 exams. Now, I am thinking if I should change my Board. Between CBSE and ICSE which one is better for +2? – Well, there is no such thing. Both the boards have their own merits and demerits. The CBSE syllabus caters more for exams like JEE and AIPMT whereas the ICSE syllabus is perfect for scholarship examinations attuned to the world education standards. So, the choice is entirely yours!
  4. I have completed my Class 10 under ICSE. Now, I want to pursue commerce/ humanities. Should I shift to CBSE? Or should I continue in ICSE? – The call is yours, but we would say, don’t shift unless you have a very good reason. ICSE has a better syllabus for your preferred stream. You may consider changing your school if you are not happy with the faculty or infrastructure of the school you are currently attending.
  5. I have just finished by Class 10 exam. I have been studying under CBSE. I am considering a switch to ICSE. Is that advisable? – To be very honest, no, it is not. Hardly, anyone will think of doing something like that. The syllabus for +2 ICSE can get too overwhelming for you if you are already used to the CBSE syllabus and exam pattern. However, if your situation is really unique, and you need further help, feel free to get in touch with our educational advisors for a free counselling session.  

And that applies to all students who have just passed Class 10, and are considering a board switch. Feel free to call us @ 1800-212-7858. Our experts are just a phone call away, and are always happy to help!

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