A Comparison Between the Different Educational Boards in India

Education Education
4-6 4-6
Mehnaaz Khan
2 years ago
Different Educational Boards in India


As a cosmopolitan country with 29 states, 7 union territories, and 23 constitutionally recognised languages, India has a unique education system with numerous education boards at the national and state levels. The four primary education boards in India are currently the CISCE, IB, CBSE, and the State Board.In India, the rate of schooling is quickly increasing. In 2019, the literacy rate in India was 69.1%, rising to 77.7% in 2020. With increased awareness of education in India, numerous education boards have developed, contributing to the country's educational excellence. The board of education followed by a school is one of the most important parameters a school should be judged on. The entire curriculum and framework a school follows depend solely on the board it is affiliated to. The Indian education system mainly has five boards present at national and state levels. 


The most prominent boards present in India are:


  1. CISCE -  Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations 


  1. CBSE - Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE is India's most popular board, supervised and controlled by the Union Government of India. The Board is linked with roughly 20,299 schools across the country. CBSE also has a global presence, with over 220 schools in 28 countries worldwide connected with it. CBSE is affiliated with all Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Kendriya Vidyalayas, private schools, and the majority of institutions accredited by the country's national government.) 


  1. State boards


  1. IB - International Baccalaureate 


  1. CIE - Cambridge International Examinations


We all are, at least, generally acquainted with the existence of these boards and have a nominal idea about their stratagems. But this is just not enough to choose a board. From the courses followed to the estimated fee structure of the schools, there are many aspects based on which the boards must be assessed. 

Check out: Reviewing Different School Boards Post NEP

Here is a table illustrating the detailed differences between the 5 main boards in India:





State Board














The CBSE board conducts two examinations in a school year but only one for 10th and one for 12th.


The ICSE board conducts two examinations in a school year but only one for 10th (ICSE) and one for 12th (ISC).


State boards across the country conduct two examinations in a school year but only one for class 10th (SSC) and 12th (HSC) 


IB has its examinations divided into 3 sections: PYP (Kg to 5th), MYP (6th to 10th) and DYP (11th and 12th).


CIE examinations at two ends: IGCSE for 14- to 16-year-olds and AS&A for 16- to 19-year-olds.


Approach and syllabus


The syllabus more or less briefly consists of every essential topic as per the age of the students. The focus is more on textual knowledge, mathematics science and the books prescribed are from NCERT. Overall the approach is to be content relevant and prepare the students for national level entrance examinations.


The syllabus followed by the CISCE board is almost similar to CBSE but is in an expanded and detailed form. It is more inclined towards language proficiency but develops the students more practically and analytically than the CBSE board.


The syllabus followed is limited and content relevant and focuses more on educating the students about their local and state heritage. Some schools follow the NCERT books, while others follow the ones prescribed by the state government. 


Prescribed with a few books, the students of IB are liberated to explore the world and their surroundings limitlessly. The approach is to instil in students the values of a global citizen. Taught in an integrated manner, the focus is mostly on developing arts, humanities, analytical and critical skills.


They solely intend to prepare the students for life after school. They have various (more than 50 subjects) to choose from and the curriculum is set according to the choice of the students. They are also focused on building proficiency in foreign languages and let the students enjoy the learning process.


Level of efforts required 












Estimated fee structures of the schools


Moderately high


Moderately high








Notable points

The syllabus prepares the students for all national and state-level entrances and being a widespread board, it is easy for the students to change schools.

The inclination towards language has a remarkable impact on the writing and speaking skills of the students and similar to CBSE, it is easy for students to change schools because of the availability across the country.

The board is beneficial for students preparing for state-level examinations or are indulged in any co-curriculum activities like sports as the academic pressure is low. But because of being limited to the state, it is difficult for the student to shift schools outside of the state.

The board prepares the students for the coming future. It is highly beneficial for students willing to pursue their higher education from foreign countries. But it is to be kept in mind that the fees are high and such schools are limited to certain metro cities only.

Similar to IB, CIE is also preferable for students wanting education abroad. Their fee structure is also quite high but the diverse options and liberty students are provided with is something unique about this board.




As the parents are concerned about their kids not getting 'real education', few schools in India have opted for a hybrid board affiliation in which students can switch the boards as per their requirements without having to change the school. Although they are very few in numbers, there is a possibility of more and more schools switching to hybrid boards in the future.


So, to ensure that children face no trouble in later years of schooling, parents must keep in mind the above-mentioned parameters of the boards before choosing a school for their kids.


Also read: Most Efficient Way of Studying - The 4 Ds of Time Management


This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• education
• school
• boards