CBSE, Education & Beyond

IB vs CBSE: Which Board Is Better?

ib vs cbse

Primary education plays an extensive role in a child’s life to mold their future. Sound development calls for a good start, and it all begins with the school. Selecting the right board of education for your child is a key criterion to a fine start. Each board has its unique strategy to enlighten the students’ lives and shape their bright futures. 

Parents searching for prominent schooling options for their child often wonder: IB vs CBSE, which one should I go for? Which board will be better for my child to help him achieve his future goals? If you are one of them, you are in the right place. 

This blog addresses your queries and gives you detailed insights about the respective features of each board. Thus, you can make a uniform decision about the school selection for your ward.

The CBSE Board 

cbse board

What is the CBSE board? The Central Board of Secondary Education adheres to the NCERT curriculum. Authorized by the union government of India, the school affiliates 24000 schools. Their curriculum takes care of the holistic development of each student. 

Generally, parents who need to relocate every few years opt for the CBSE board. Adding more to its reliability, the Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Vidyalaya belong to this board of schools. It makes CBSE one of the most popular boards in India. 

The CBSE syllabus is an ideal fit for students willing to take competitive examinations in India. Most of the national-level competitive exams adhere to the CBSE syllabus. Hence, medical and engineering aspirants have a higher preference for this board. 

The affiliated schools might use both English and Hindi as a medium of instruction. It makes it easier in the smaller areas to cope with the curriculum where English might not be prevalent. Here, practical education plays a crucial factor. The focus is not on theoretical learning, where the candidates follow a set of textbooks to cover the syllabus. Contrariwise, the CBSE curriculum stresses co-curricular activities to create a comprehensive learning environment for the students. 

The IB Board 

ib board

What is the IB Board? The International Baccalaureate is an international education board headquartered in Geneva. It adheres to an international curriculum. This board aims to impart standard global education with a practical approach. 

The board focuses on research-based learning, making the students self-reliant. A wide range of subjects comprises its syllabus. This practice helps students become good decision-makers across extensive areas. 

Every IB program covers five categorical skills: thinking, research, communication, social, and self-management. Rather than the traditional learning method of textbook-based learning, the IB board stresses concept-based learning to ensure the intrinsic development of the students. 

Since candidates can earn credits in the classroom, they do not repeat the basic courses in college. Students planning to study abroad will find it tough to adapt to this board of education. The curriculum is a perfect fit for students to develop their analytical abilities, including logical reasoning and linguistic features. It gives them an edge in top-tier examinations like GRE and SAT. 

Candidates seeking global exposure and innovative skill development can derive significant advantages from the IB board. 

Now we have a decent idea about the two respective boards, isn’t it? So, the next section in IB vs. CBSE will analyze which education is better. 

CBSE vs IB: Which Board is Better? 

cbse vs ib

IB board vs. CBSE: the debate is never-ending. Each school is special, and the environment plays a significant part in shaping the personality of every student. Based on what you are looking for in your ward, you can govern your decision. 

Students develop an interest in their respective professional options as they get ahead in school. In the beginning, it lies in the hands of parents to decide the right learning environment for their child. Analyzing the respective education system is a chief criterion in the IB vs. CBSE debate. 

If the student is more interested in pursuing engineering or medicine, the CBSE curriculum is the right fit for them. The topics adhere to the competitive exams and help students to develop the right mindset to sit for these exams. The CBSE books are a golden resource for students to wrap up the entire syllabus. 

Again, the IB syllabus means a detailed overview of skill-based learning that helps students equip themselves for practical, real-world scenarios. This curriculum is in strict adherence to global standards that build a solid attitude among students. In addition, it makes them well-suited for foreign language eligibility exams. In case a student has plans abroad for work or study, IB Board is the right choice. 

Pros and Cons of IB Board 

A must discussion in the IB vs. CBSE board debate is the pros and cons of the respective boards. Everything comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages. Let us analyze the pros and cons of studying on an IB board. 

Pros of IB Board 

Dynamic learning approach: The IB curriculum adheres to a global program and adopts a dynamic learning approach. It exposes the students to cultural diversity and in-demand skill concepts. Such education includes the syllabus requirements and the growth of young minds.

Proper Balance between Academics and Extracurricular Activities: The IB board syllabus is an excellent blend of academics and extracurricular activities to help students derive the finest learning experience with proper physical and emotional development. Personal development further helps in unveiling their interests in the future. 

Perfect Student-Teacher Ratio: One of the most significant advantages of studying in an IB board is they maintain a perfect student-teacher ratio of 25:1 for all classes. The numbers might vary a bit in the international board schools in India, but it maintains a structured ratio to ensure a smooth in-class session. 

Cons of IB Board 

Now, let us have a glance at a few disadvantages of the IB board. 

Costly: Studying on the IB board is expensive as they charge more than the CBSE-affiliated schools. The approximate tuition fees for IB boards are between 4 and 5 lakhs per annum, excluding the uniform and course material charges. In other words, the cost will further go up, resulting in heavy spending for the parents. 

Subject Load: Students studying on this board might feel overwhelmed with different essays and assignment works on various subjects. It might lead to excessive burnout and stress for students. 

Pros and Cons of the CBSE Board

The following section in the IB vs. CBSE debate analyzes the advantages of the CBSE board. 

Pros of CBSE Board

Comprehensive Syllabus: One of the popular education boards in India, the CBSE follows a comprehensive course syllabus adhering to the competitive market setting. It is easy for the students to follow the compact study structure. 

Perfect for Competitive Exams: The board curriculum is a perfect start towards competitive exam preparation in the future. Top-tier national-level entrances in the country, like medical, engineering, and other college-level exams, follow the CBSE syllabus structure. 

Grading System: The CBSE grading system is supportive of the students. It lets them study stress-free. The exclusion of the term ‘fail’ from the marking system encourages them to improve and perform better in their exams. 

Cons of CBSE Board

Let us list the disadvantages of a CBSE board.

Textbook-focused: A major area of the studies and CBSE notes focus on prescribed textbooks. It might restrict the students’ knowledge to what can be only read through bookish learning. 

Might Lack Research-based Mindset: Since the syllabus relies on detailed learning of the textbook concepts, the students might lack a research-based attitude when they get to higher classes. 

A Brief About Each Syllabus 

The IB vs. CBSE debate must have a section on the overview of each syllabus. If you have an idea of the respective board curriculums, it can help you find the right school for your child. 

IB Syllabus 

The IB schools in India and abroad follow a specific education policy to grow the research mindset of the students and immerse them in a practical learning approach. Here’s an overview: 

  • Primary Year Program: Designed for kids between 3 and 11 years of age, the IB board syllabus functions in a manner to strengthen the IQ and EQ of the candidates. This board renders a solid foundation at the beginning of their academic journey. 
  • Middle Year Program: Designed for children in the age groups 11 and 16, the curriculum prepares the students for the competitive setting outside and to face real-world challenges. 
  • IB Diploma Program: Set for students between 16 and 19 years, the curriculum helps students strengthen their knowledge and have the edge over the students studying in other educational boards. 
  • Career-Related Programs: Designed for the age group 16 and 19, the curriculum helps students upskill themselves and grow confident to set out for a journey in the outside world. 

CBSE Syllabus 

The CBSE curriculum syllabus is per the NCERT, and students need to abide by it. The board follows the general academic method between classes 1 and 12. It aims to develop the creative ability, communication, interpersonal, collaboration, and media skills of the students. 

The important subjects included in the curriculum till 10th grade are:

  • Language subjects
  • Science 
  • Maths 
  • Social Science 

Class 5 students also need to study EVS. 

For the subjects in the CBSE board exam in classes 11 and 12, students are free to choose their desired stream between arts, science, and commerce. Some important subjects are: 

  • Maths 
  • Physics
  • Biology 
  • Chemistry 
  • Business Studies 
  • Accountancy 
  • Geography 
  • Economics, etc. 

Features of IB and CBSE Board 

Next up in the IB vs. CBSE debate is the respective features of both education boards. Here is a brief overview of the same. 

Features of IB Board 

  • Child-centric board and adopts an inquiry-based learning method. Students are self-dependent and take accountability for their experiences. 
  • Promotes concept-based learning to impart detailed insights about the topics among children. 
  • A globally recognized curriculum treats children with a standard education policy. Thus, they earn credits in the classroom itself. 

Features of the CBSE Board 

  • The comprehensive compact syllabus helps create a stress-free learning environment for students. 
  • Besides English, Hindi is an instruction mode. Thus, learning becomes easy and accessible in areas where English might not exist. 
  • Both co-curricular and physical education are integral components of the NCERT curriculum.

Is IB Better than CBSE to Study Abroad? 

ib board vs cbse

We are standing at a crucial point in the IB vs. CBSE debate. So far, we have gone through the education patterns of the respective boards. Now, it’s time to answer a few straightforward questions. 

If a student is willing to go abroad for studies or work, they should sit for tier 1 examinations such as TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, and GRE. As discussed earlier, the international board follows a research-based learning scheme. It prepares the students for the external competitive setting. Moreover, their skill-based program curriculum develops the complete analytical and creative ability of the students.

They are a perfect fit to take exams required to seek admission to foreign universities. So, if you have plans for your child abroad, consider choosing an IB-affiliated school. 

Is CBSE better than IB to succeed in competitive exams?

A major difference between IB and CBSE is their approach to shaping students’ future careers. As mentioned earlier in the article, the top national level entrances like JEE, NEET, and others adhere to the CBSE curriculum.

CBSE board students study a curriculum based on competitive exams. Since they get a fair experience here, it is easier for them to take the high-level entrances in the future and score big. So, if you have a competitive entrance in mind for your child, consider choosing a CBSE-affiliated school. 

Learning Outcomes of IB and CBSE 

Is IB better or CBSE? You could answer the question by looking at the benefits of each of the boards. Here’s a glimpse.

IB Board Learning Outcomes 

  • Helps students with their personal development. 
  • Encourages them to identify their career goals and develop a plan. 
  • Assists them in exploring new opportunities and boosts their confidence to embrace new challenges. 
  • It imparts practical exposure to real-world scenarios and boosts their decision-making skills.

CBSE Board Learning Outcomes 

  • Defining the perfect approaches to academic activities, this curriculum establishes an innovative ambiance for the children. 
  • Helping students analyze their key strengths and helping them to set future goals. 
  • Encouraging students to adapt to extensive learning patterns. 

What classes are IB and CBSE applicable to?

Talking about the IB vs. CBSE debate, it’s significant to understand the classes applicable to IB and CBSE. 

The elementary classes in CBSE are equivalent to the Primary Year Program in IB board. The Middle Year Program in the IB board is equal to the middle school level in CBSE. Finally, the 10+2 in CBSE is the board’s counterpart of the IB Diploma Program. 

Grading System of the Two Boards 

IB Board 

The IB subjects grading ranges on a 1-7 scale, with 7 being the highest score. In qualifying for the IB Diploma Program, the student needs to get a total score of 24 points across six subjects. Here, the minimum requirement is 12 points in higher level subjects and at least 9 points in the standard level subjects.

CBSE Board 

As per the updated grading system in CBSE, students receive an evaluation on a scale between A and E, with A being the best. The higher the marks range, the better grades the students get. 

Wrapping Up 

The IB vs. CBSE debate will never end. Both have unique features and perfect ways to provide children with the best-in-class education. Your choice depends on what direction your child wants to follow in the future.

Do you want him to take the competitive examinations? Then, CBSE is your choice. But, if you have plans abroad and want your child to study in a foreign institution, the IB board is best. 

Which board will you pick for your ward?

FAQs on IB vs CBSE

Q1. What is the key difference between IB and CBSE boards? 

Ans. The IB board focuses on a practical learning method, while CBSE emphasizes more on theoretical learning. 

Q2. Can I go abroad after studying at the IB Board?

Ans. Yes, the IB board curriculum prepares the students for foreign entrance exams like IELTS and can open the door to foreign settlements. 

Q3. Is IB tougher than CBSE? 

Ans. According to experts, the IB board might be more difficult for students because it includes practical learning, unlike CBSE, which is more theory-based. 

Q4. Can an IB student appear for IIT?

Ans. Yes, an IB board student is eligible to appear for IIT. 

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