ICSE vs IB – The key difference between the two

ICSE vs IB – The key difference between the two

There are different boards in schools that are affiliated with different curriculums. The current world is fast-paced. To sustain in this global purview of the current world, it has become very important to equip children with global skills and competencies. The education system in the current world is not confined to picking out just a school or a particular stream. It is important to decide on the board too.


There are various options to choose from such as SSC, CBSE, CISCE, Cambridge, and IB. The choice is a little overwhelming.

  1. CBSE and IB – Number of schools

CBSE is the most popular board in our country. There are over 16,000 schools from 25 countries affiliated with it. The IB curriculums are offered by 141 schools in the country.

  1. CBSE and IB – Focus and Approach

The CBSE has a traditional approach. It gives more emphasis on the assimilations of knowledge. This emphasis is usually given more in the fields of Math and Science. The curriculum of CBSE focuses on equipping the students for Engineering and Medical Entrance examinations. The CBSE does tend to give much focus to the extra-curricular activities. The students are encouraged to focus solely on their examinations.

The IB or International Baccalaureate is more expansive in the approach. They give equal weightage to all the fields- Humanities, Sciences, Mathematics, and languages. They have a broader perspective of looking at things. They emphasize the overall development of the child rather than just focusing on the examination. You can visit the website for knowing more about the IB curriculum.

  1. CBSE and IB – Subjects

The CBSE prepares students with the pre-set combinations of the subjects, these subjects are grouped according to the ‘streams’. The type of subjects to choose from is lesser such as Science, Commerce or Humanities. However, the students have the flexibility of choosing the 5th subject. For eg- A student wanting to opt for the commerce field can study the following subjects- Economics, Accounts, Business Studies, and English. There are different options amongst the 5th subject such as physical education, Mathematics, and information practices.

The IB offers in-depth knowledge and experience in the subjects. There are 6 different subject groups. The children are required to choose one from each of them. It provides the students with a lot of flexibility.

The compulsory subjects in IB are- Creation Action Service (CAS), Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK).

  1. CBSE and IB – Criteria for Assessment

The CBSE evaluates the students solely on their ability of learning and memorize. It sees how fast can a student recall and memorize the concepts.

The IB, on the other hand, emphasizes understanding, skill development, and the application of knowledge.

  1. Complexity/Difficulty level

CBSE- The degree of complexity is less as compared to IB as it is not on a global pedestal. The number of subjects is also fewer and you can score more. The professors focus more on the application of knowledge.

IB – The curriculum of IB is a little difficult as one needs to achieve a perfect score of 7 to succeed. There are quizzes, essays, assignments. These things are used to evaluate the progress of the student. The internal assessment matters the most in IB.

  1. Textbooks

There are prescribed textbooks for CBSE. Whereas IB they do not have any fixed textbook. The students can be flexible in this regard by offering recommended readings.

These are some of the key differences between the CBSE ( Central Board of Secondary education) and the IB (International Baccalaureate). However, they both are good in their own right and one can make a prosperous career if he learns from either of the two boards. There are many good schools in Chennai, however, the best ICSE school in Chennai is the Vellore International School. If you want to know more about the school, visit the website.