ICSE Full Form: ICSE stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, it is a private board formed to offer an examination for general education. ICSE course is designed in such a way that it goes by the New Education Policy, 1986 in India. 

The medium of education followed in ICSE is strictly English and private scholars are barred from appearing in the ICSE exams. It is a non-governmental board run by the private sector to provide education till 10th class all over India. 


The syllabus of the CBSE board is lengthy and vast when compared to other boards, it also gives more importance to each and every concept in the syllabus. We can say that the CBSE syllabus is structured properly and is compressive. 

The main objective of this board is to improve the analytical skills and problem-solving skills of the students. This will help in the overall development of the student while making them independent to face future challenges.

ICSE is a new board hence doesn’t favour any scholarships and talent search exams for the students. However, the entire annual syllabus of different subjects like literature, arts and science focus more on the latest revolutions by providing useful knowledge to all the students irrespective of religion and gender. 

ICSE subjects:

Subjects in the ICSE board are divided into three groups: group 1, group 2 and group 3.

Group 1: 

Subjects of group 1 are mandatory to attempt and pass. We will discuss the subjects below:

  1. English
  2. History, Civics and Geography
  3. Indian language (choice given to the student to select)

There is an internal assessment conducted by the school authorities for all the subjects of the group 1 category. The marks allotted for internal assessments are 20% of the total marks. 

Group 2:

Students are given the freedom to choose any two subjects from the following:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Science
  3. Environmental studies
  4. Computer science
  5. Commercial science
  6. Agriculture science
  7. Technical drawing
  8. Classical language
  9. Foreign language

In this category too, 20% marks are allotted for the internal assessments by the school authority. 

Group 3:

Students are allowed to choose any two subjects from the following list:

  1. Home science
  2. Computer applications
  3. Economic applications
  4. Arts
  5. Fashion designing
  6. Commercial applications
  7. Cookery
  8. Physical education
  9. Yoga
  10. Technical drawing applications

In the group 3 category, a total of 50% of marks will be allotted for internal assessments by the school.

50% of the total marks are given for internal assessment by the school for the subjects in this group.

Advantages of ICSE:

  1. ICSE focuses more on English fluency; this is the main reason why ICSE students are better English speakers than others. 
  2. The syllabus covered in ICSE is very lengthy; all the topics in every subject are explained in detail for better understanding by the students. 
  3. Students are given many options for selecting their favourite subject. This will increase productivity as the subjects will be of student’s choice. 
  4. The other main advantage here is the students are made more independent and active problem solvers, this only happens when they are given more practical knowledge and exposure. Apart from being good at academics, ICSE students are proactive in other fields too. 
  5. ICSE is accepted by almost all the high educational institutes all across the world. 

ICSE examinations are conducted by the CISCE, the full form of CISCE is Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. ICSE conducts examinations for the students of the 10th class every year mostly in the month of February and March. 

The headquarters of the ICSE council is located in New Delhi and the rest registered offices are present all over India in different states. 

Difference between ICSE and CBSE:

  1. CBSE is a government body whereas ICSE is a private board.
  2. CBSE is more popular than ICSE as it is older compared to ICSE.
  3. The syllabus in CBSE is short and crisp whereas in ICSE the syllabus is lengthy and vast.
  4. CBSE board has talent search examinations for students but ICSE doesn’t support any scholarships.
  5. CBSE board focuses more on science and mathematics whereas ICSE is more balanced when it comes to subjects.
  6. ICSE board focuses more on English than CBSE.
  7. Students are given the freedom to choose their subject of interest in ICSE where as the subjects are fixed in CBSE.

Students who have attended schools that are affiliated with the ICSE board are eligible to attend the 10th class final examinations. Students who did their home schooling are not allowed to appear for the final exam. There is no restriction of religion, caste, gender, colour, race, economic background and sector to appear in the examination. 

Any student must have a minimum of 75% of attendance in order to appear for the final board examination. In case of a shortage of attendance, the student will have to meet the head of the institution and pay the fine. 


Q1. What is the full form of ICSE?

Answer: ICSE stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education; it is a non-government body that was formed in accordance with the New Education Policy, 1986.

Q2. What is the main difference between CBSE and ICSE?

Answer: ICSE focuses more on English fluency than CBSE. The syllabus of ICSE is vast compared to the CBSE syllabus.

Q3. Is ICSE good for NEET?

Answer: For the NEET exam, CBSE is considered a good option because the syllabus of NEET is quite similar to the CBSE syllabus. Hence it will save your time of preparation if you choose CBSE with the future planning to attempt for NEET. 

Q4. How easy are ICSE exams?

Answer: It all depends on your preparation strategy and internal assessment marks. The ICSE board exams can be easy if you prepare from the beginning with proper planning. In case you don’t focus on your subjects then you will have to work very hard during your board exams.  

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