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ICSE vs IGCSE: Which board is better for class 8 students?

Updated on 22 January 2022
7 min read 98 views
Updated on 22 January 2022

The ICSE Board conducts examinations under the Council for India School Certificate Examination. It is a private board for the students studying in Class 10th. ICSE's full form is the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education which has included all the changes done by the New Education Policy in the traditional Education System. This board is controlled by the ICSE council.

The ICSE board is considered to be the most difficult board. The exam structure or the marking scheme includes 80% of the external marks and 20% of the internal marks for some subjects. For other subjects, there is equal segregation of 50% of marks. Both internal and external marks are combined and the cumulative score is taken out.   

If a student realizes that he/she is interested in humanities or arts, then the ICSE board is the best for them. Moreover, if you wish to apply for higher studies abroad, then you must go for the ICSE board. There is a lot of difference among the subjects of various school boards which are considered difficult too. It differs in terms of syllabus and its curricular activities. This board mainly focuses on subjects like Humanities, Art’s and Language courses. Thus, the ICSE student’s future is quite promising. 

Now, let’s take a look at the disadvantages of ICSE Board. There are not many disadvantages of this board. Firstly, the syllabus of the ICSE board is very difficult. There are thirteen subjects from the secondary sections i.e. class 6th to 10th. Secondly, there is a different curriculum which is practiced in schools. There is a difference in the methods of teaching and studying. Sometimes, students might not be able to cope up with the pressure that the ICSE board has to offer.     

Now, let’s talk about the IGCSE board. The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an international student body that follows the British Curriculum. The IGCSE board is offered by two boards i.e. the Cambridge Assessment International Education and the Edexcel. There are over 70 subjects in the Cambridge school which solely includes 30 language courses. This board focuses on the core subjects and their practical applications.

There is a lot of difference between the CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, IG and State Board. Below is a table showing the difference between all the boards i.e. CBSE, ICSE and IGCSE.






CBSE is the national board and is also considered as the easiest board.

The ICSE board is the toughest board.

The IGCSE board is considered to be moderate i.e. neither too easy nor too difficult.


The subjects included in the CBSE board are very few i.e. 6 – 7 subjects.

The subjects included in the ICSE board are more as compared to CBSE i.e. 13 – 14 subjects.

The subjects included in the IGCSE board are around 8 – 10.


There is not much burden on the students regarding studying.

There is a lot of pressure on the students as this board is quite difficult.

There is no burden in the ICSE board too.


The CBSE board focuses on all the subjects

The ICSE board mainly focuses on Arts and Humanities.

The IGCSE board focuses on the subjects and the related practical applications


You can apply in foreign universities by qualifying the IELTS or TOEFL exam.

The students studying in ICSE board can apply abroad after passing the 10th standard. Apart from that you must qualify the IELTS or TOEFL exam to apply for further studies.

You can apply in foreign universities with the IGCSE board


The CBSE board is not very flexible. It hardly makes any changes in its system.

The ICSE board is also not flexible.

The IGCSE board is very flexible and accepts all kinds of changes in the education system

Now, let’s come to the IB board. The IB (International Baccalaureate) board offers programs or courses related to international education in the schools worldwide. This board helps in developing the mental, physical, intellectual and emotional skills among students. The IB board is considered to be better as it has an international orientation and education policies. This board lays emphasis on the language courses which are considered better than the CBSE, ICSE or IGCSE boards. 

Every state has its own board. There are around 52 boards in India including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and many others. The state boards primarily focus on teaching the students about the heritage and history of the state while the other subjects are considered secondary. There are no international orientations or language studies. Students are taught in their native language along with its culture and heritage. Therefore, the state board is different from all the other boards. 

In terms of the ICSE or IGCSE board, the IGCSE board is better than the ICSE board in terms of curriculum, syllabus and practical applications. Both the boards are good but it’s difficult to make a choice between the two. Therefore, parents must be careful enough to choose which board will be better for their children in the long run that provides good career opportunities and less burden.         

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How to prepare for IIT JEE from class 8th?

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