At the time of getting your child admitted to a school, apart from choosing the best school that suits your fee requirements, there’s a major dilemma regarding the Board of Education you should choose. There is a plethora of boards like CBSE, ICSE, IB, State boards (like Telangana State Board; TS Inter Results), etc. that exist in our country. Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE is the national board of India. Indian Certificate of Secondary education or ICSE is another national board in the country. International Baccalaureate or IB is a Switzerland based education system. State boards, on the other hand, are state-specific and their curriculum varies widely.

Let’s take a look at some of these boards in detail:

State Boards:

Every state in India has its own Board/Boards which sets the curriculum for schools that are affiliated to it and conducts the exams. For example, the UP board, TS board that publishes TS Inter Results, etc.Some states have more than one boards like West Bengal which has 6 differentboards;Board of – Madrasah Education, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Council of – Higher Secondary Education, Rabindra Open Schooling, and State Council of Vocational Education and Training. In India, the largest number of schools are affiliated to state boards.

State Boards usually include the state language as a part of the curriculum. Most state boards hold 10th and 12th board exams. Some state boards, on the other hand, hold primary or mid-level exams also. State boards are preferred by people who don’t have enough resources to pay high fees. Also, civil service aspirants, who want the pressure of studies to remain light, sometimes also prefer State Boards.

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE):

The board was set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in India. Several central schools, as well as private schools, follow the CBSE curriculum. It’s a complete program from 1st grade to 12th grade. It conducts two board exams, All India Secondary School Examination for class 10 and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination for class 12.

CBSE Schools are generally more affordable than ICSE schools and less than state board schools. Mobility between schools within national borders is easier than both state board schools and ICSE but the movement to international schools more is difficult than ICSE.

Indian Certificate of Secondary education (ICSE):

Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE), established in 1958, issues the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. The Council is a private institution. It was started as a national alternative to the British and American systems prevalent in the country at that time. It is a complete, kindergarten to 12th standard program. It’s called the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) for class 10th and the Indian Secondary Certificate (ISC) for Class 12th.

ICSE prefers more hands-on learning than CBSE or other state boards. A student from the ICSE board has an easier time switching schools, both within Indian borders and abroad. This is because it is certified by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) which makes it adhere to international standards as well.

International Baccalaureate (IB):

This board is run by a non-profit, International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), which is based in Geneva. It was founded in 1968 for diplomats’ children who needed to frequently move between countries. Their curriculum is divided into three parts: Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, and the Diploma Program.

Its curriculum focuses on critical thinking. Fees are of schools enrolled in IB are usually higher than of any other board mentioned here. International mobility is easier than even ICSE for IB board students.

Apart from the boards mentioned here, there are some other boards, of which most prominent are NIOS or National Institute of Open Schooling and CIE or Cambridge International Examinations. NIOS is mainly for older students or people living in remote areas whereas CIE is more like IB with more focus on practical than on theory.


Now that you know what these boards stand for and the differences in between them, (how TS Inter Results are different from ICSE), you should be able to choose an appropriate board for your child. All boards and their pros and cons overlap at some point in time, and we cannot say some board is better or worse than the others. With this knowledge at hand, I hope you make a better and informed decision.