Differences between CBSE, ICSE or State Boards

There was a time in the past where most cities just had a few schools which followed a standard curriculum and there were not too many options to choose from. Today, every city has a large number of schools that follow different curriculums and boards, each catering towards different aspects of learning and education. Given the diversity, this has also caused much difficulty and confusion in parents and their wards on what to go with. In Bangalore, especially the area of North Bangalore, a school like Kingston High near Manyata Hebbal provides ICSE. Besides there are many others with different boards. The important thing is for parents to understand what their children learn under each board which will help them pursue their future academic career and plan their studies accordingly. Knowing what each board is can minimise confusion for everyone concerned.


CBSE Board is the most popular board that conducts two of the country’s biggest exams - JEE for Engineering & NEET for Medicine that helps students compete for seats in the majority of prestigious national institutions including IIT, NIT and AIIMS. 

Curriculum : Geared towards taking care of student’s problem solving and application skills, the CBSE curriculum teaches them concepts and how to use them in various contexts. CBSE syllabus is heavy, prepares students for the major exams they will have to eventually take and has all round focus on languages as well as Maths and Science. The CBSE English syllabus gives students a good command over their language and English speaking skills.

 Extracurricular Activities : This differs from school to school. While some schools give good attention to other activities, some focus entirely on studies.

 Scope for Undergraduates : In order to apply for engineering or medicine, it is important for students to write admission for universities anywhere across India. 12th board exams are important for such admissions and the quota for CBSE students varies from state to state. Some universities in states such as Tamil Nadu favour state board over CBSE and it is important to check with universities which board they consider. STATE BOARD State boards vary from state to state, and there are approximately 30 state boards of education in India. While some of them may promote rote learning, others encourage practicality and critical thinking. Evaluations and scoring differ from each other. Curriculum : State boards are entirely state dependent. In some states they supersede other boards and there is enough help and tuition available for the same. Since they are the board of choice in government schools, they most often focus on syllabus and rote learning rather than practical application & critical thinking. Extracurricular Activities : This differs from school to school and depends on the level of importance given to academics and other activities. Scope for Undergraduates : Students who graduate from this board have to write various entrance exams to gain admission into universities. Generally 12th exam results are considered for any future courses that require science, commerce and humanities proficiency. This differs from state to state however.


The ICSE curriculum offers a well rounded education system that gives students the understanding of various content-oriented & practical concepts. Since most learning is activity-based, students develop analytical skills, gained from topics taught in class and their application. 

Curriculum : Students develop the ability to visualise, solve and understand complex concepts in this board. ICSE syllabus is vast, with many subjects to choose from. Environmental education, physics, chemistry and biology are some of the subjects in secondary school and evaluations are very strict. Music, dance and other physical activities are given equal importance. There is plenty of reading and analysing subjects and their meaning. 

Extracurricular Activities : Since this board is all about giving students an all-round education, extracurricular activities of different kinds are a given. These may be academic oriented project work, competition in sports, music and drama and even activities such as gardening, yoga and martial arts.

Scope for Undergraduates : ISCE board is very demanding especially for students in the 11th & 12th class. Because of the strict evaluations in this board, students have to fight really hard for good scores, especially if they want to appear for various engineering and medical entrance examinations. ICSE board quota differs from other boards in every university and students even have the option of switching to CBSE or State board for their last two years in school. Given the all-round development in the ICSE board, Kingston High is one of the top ICSE school in East Bangalore that offers this curriculum. As a playschool near Nagawara young students have a mix of studies and different activities for their physical and emotional growth.

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