Education is the foundation of one’s future. It is the pillar on which one’s career is built. Two of the most popular boards are the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Both boards have their unique features and benefits that make them popular among students and parents.
In this blog, we will delve deeper into the differences between the ICSE and IGCSE boards, including their syllabus, levels, and grading systems, and finally, discuss which board is better suited for your child’s education.
So, whether you’re a parent, student, or educator, sit back and read on to learn more about the IGCSE vs ICSE debate.
- ▪ What is IGCSE?
- ▪ What is ICSE?
- ▪ Comparison between IGCSE and ICSE
- ▪ Difference Between the ICSE Syllabus and IGCSE Syllabus
- ▪ Difference Between ICSE Subject and IGCSE Subject
- ▪ Level of ICSE Vs IGCSE
- ▪ Grading in ICSE Vs IGCSE
- ▪ Is it Easy to Transition from ICSE to IGCSE and Get Good Scores?
- ▪ So which is better?
- ▪ FAQs on IGCSE vs ICSE
What is IGCSE?
IGCSE’s full form is the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). It is an internationally recognized secondary school education program designed to prepare students for higher education and employment opportunities worldwide. It is offered by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) board and is based on a comprehensive and balanced curriculum. IGCSE board full form is not commonly known to students.
IGCSE education is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the learning style of each student, allowing them to choose from a wide range of subjects and tailor their studies to suit their interests and career goals. The program is divided into two levels: Core and Extended, with the Core level covering the basics and the Extended level going into more depth.
The IGCSE curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced study across various subject areas, promoting the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills in students. It also prepares students for life beyond academics, equipping them with essential life skills, including communication, team-working, and time management.
IGCSE education is recognized by universities and employers worldwide, providing students with opportunities to pursue higher education and career prospects in various fields. It is a popular choice among students who wish to study and work abroad or pursue higher education in international universities.
What is ICSE?
ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) is a private, non-governmental board of education in India that provides secondary education to students. It was established by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) in 1958.
ICSE curriculum is designed to provide a balanced education that includes both traditional academic subjects and practical skills. The board offers a comprehensive syllabus that includes English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, and a range of optional subjects such as Computer Science, Art, Music, and Physical Education.
The ICSE curriculum is structured to promote the holistic development of students and emphasizes the application of knowledge and skills in real-world situations. The board is known for its rigorous examination system, which is designed to test the conceptual understanding and analytical skills of students.
ICSE is recognized as a national-level board of education in India and is accepted by universities and colleges across the country. Students who complete their education from an ICSE-affiliated school are eligible to pursue higher education in any stream of their choice.
Comparison between IGCSE and ICSE
Let’s have an overview of the difference between ICSE vs IGCSE.
IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) are both secondary school education programs that provide students with a comprehensive and well-rounded education. However, there are some key differences between the two that set them apart.
- Curriculum: The IGCSE curriculum is designed to be an internationally recognized program and includes a range of subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, and Languages. On the other hand, the ICSE curriculum is more focused on traditional academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, and Languages.
- Focus: The IGCSE curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. The ICSE curriculum, on the other hand, places more emphasis on the mastery of subject-specific knowledge and the development of analytical and logical reasoning skills.
- Recognition: IGCSE is recognized by universities and colleges around the world and is accepted as a qualification for higher education in many countries. ICSE is recognized as a national-level board of education in India and is accepted by universities and colleges across the country.
Difference Between the ICSE Syllabus and IGCSE Syllabus
Let’s have a look at IGCSE vs ICSE in terms of the syllabus.
The ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) syllabus and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) syllabus differ in several ways, including the subjects covered, and the approach to teaching.
Let’s have a look at ICSE and IGSCE differences:
The ICSE syllabus focuses on traditional academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, and Languages, while IGCSE covers a broader range of subjects, including English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, and Languages. IGCSE also offers a wide range of optional subjects, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests.
The primary distinction between the IGCSE and ICSE curricula is that the ICSE program is comprehensive, covering a wide range of subjects, including Mathematics, Arts, Home Science, and others, with equal emphasis. On the other hand, the IGCSE syllabus is more focused on practical and application-oriented learning.
The ICSE curriculum includes an array of supplementary subjects like Science, Maths, Languages, Arts, Home Science, Agriculture, Fashion Design, and Cookery, among others, with an emphasis on the English language. In contrast, IGCSE offers students the freedom to select subjects and courses based on their preferences, including Science, Humanities, Languages, and Mathematics.
Difference Between ICSE Subject and IGCSE Subject
Let’s have a look at IGCSE vs ICSE in terms of the subject.
ICSE students are required to study six subjects, which are classified into three groups, namely Group 1, 2, and 3. Group 1 comprises mandatory subjects, while in Group 2, students must choose any two subjects from four options. In Group 3, students have to select only one subject from eleven options. ICSE results are determined based on the five best scores out of six, with English marks being obligatory.
The ICSE curriculum is divided into the following categories:
Group 1 (Compulsory Subjects): English, Second language, History/Civics & Geography, S.U.P.W.
Group 2 (Two subjects from the group): Maths, Science, Economics, Commercial Studies.
Group 3 (One subject from the options): Technical Drawing, Computer Applications, Art, Dance, Carnatic Music, Drama, Yoga, Economic Applications, Instrumental Music, Mass Media and Communication, and Modern Foreign Language.
The IGCSE curriculum covers several fundamental subjects, including the First Language, Second Language, Mathematics, and one or more Science subjects. These subjects are classified into various groups such as Languages, Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences, Mathematics, and Creative, Technical, and Vocational. Additionally, students have the option to select additional courses from a wide range of options, including Creative Arts and Social Sciences.
Level of ICSE Vs IGCSE
Let’s have a look at IGCSE vs ICSE in terms of the level.
ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) are both secondary-level exams, but they differ in terms of their academic levels and curriculum.
ICSE is an Indian-based exam that is designed to cater to the educational needs of Indian students. The ICSE exam is conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and it covers a broad range of subjects, including English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and others. The ICSE curriculum is focused on building a strong foundation in core academic subjects, and it is widely recognized in India.
IGCSE, on the other hand, is an internationally recognized qualification that is offered by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). The IGCSE curriculum is designed to be more comprehensive and rigorous than the ICSE curriculum. It covers a wide range of subjects, including First Language, Second Language, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Creative and Vocational, and others. The IGCSE curriculum is recognized globally, and it is designed to prepare students for further education and employment opportunities worldwide.
The IGCSE exams are typically taken by students in grades 9 and 10, while the ICSE exams are taken by students in grade 10 only. Additionally, the IGCSE exams are graded on an international scale, while the ICSE exams are graded on a national scale.
Grading in ICSE Vs IGCSE
Let’s have a look at IGCSE vs ICSE in terms of the level.
The grading procedures for ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams differ based on the examination boards that conduct them.
For ICSE exams, the grading is based on a seven-point grading scale, where each grade corresponds to a particular range of marks. The seven grades are:
- A+: 90-100%
- A: 80-89%
- B: 70-79%
- C: 60-69%
- D: 50-59%
- E: 40-49%
- F: Below 40%
Students who score above 33% in all subjects are deemed to have passed the exam. The final result is calculated by averaging the marks obtained in all subjects.
For IGCSE exams, the grading is based on an eight-point grading scale, where each grade corresponds to a particular range of marks. The eighth grades are:
- A*: 90-100%
- A: 80-89%
- B: 70-79%
- C: 60-69%
- D: 50-59%
- E: 40-49%
- F: 30-39%
- G: Below 30%
Students who score above 40% in all subjects are deemed to have passed the exam. The final result is calculated by aggregating the marks obtained in all subjects.
Both ICSE and IGCSE exams follow a system of internal assessment and external examination.
Is it Easy to Transition from ICSE to IGCSE and Get Good Scores?
The question of transition is a common one when it comes to IGCSE vs ICSE.
The transition from ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) to IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) can be challenging, but it is possible to achieve good scores. Here are some points to consider when transitioning from ICSE to IGCSE:
- Familiarize yourself with the IGCSE curriculum: Students should take the time to study the IGCSE syllabus and understand the expectations and requirements for each subject.
- Develop new study habits: The IGCSE curriculum requires students to be more independent and self-directed in their studies. Students should develop new study habits, such as creating study schedules, taking notes, and reviewing material regularly.
- Embrace new teaching methods: IGCSE teachers often use different teaching methods than ICSE teachers. Students should be open to new teaching methods and actively engage in class discussions and activities.
- Practice past papers: IGCSE exams are designed to test students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students should practice solving past papers to familiarize themselves with the exam format and learn how to answer questions effectively.
In conclusion, the transition from ICSE to IGCSE requires a mindset shift, adapting to new teaching methods and curriculum, developing good study habits, practising past papers, and managing time effectively.
So which is better?
Cambridge board vs ICSE. Which is better? This is a common question.
Deciding which curriculum is better, ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) or IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), depends on various factors such as the student’s academic goals, career aspirations, and personal preferences. Both curricula have their unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Here are some points to consider when choosing between ICSE and IGCSE:
Advantages of ICSE Curriculum:
- The ICSE curriculum is more focused on the Indian education system and culture, making it easier for Indian students to relate to and understand.
- The curriculum provides a strong foundation in the English language and literature.
- The syllabus is less intensive than the IGCSE curriculum, which allows students to have more time for co-curricular activities.
Advantages of IGCSE Curriculum:
- The IGCSE curriculum is globally recognized and accepted by universities and employers worldwide.
- The curriculum provides a more comprehensive syllabus, allowing students to gain a more extensive knowledge base.
- The grading system is more lenient, allowing students to achieve higher grades.
Ultimately, the decision to choose between ICSE and IGCSE depends on the student’s individual preferences, goals, and circumstances.
Ultimately, students and parents should carefully consider the pros and cons of each curriculum and choose the one that aligns with their goals and aspirations.
If you are still unsure which curriculum to choose, we recommend talking to your school counsellor or education consultant for guidance. They can help you understand the differences between the two curricula and assist you in making an informed decision. Remember, the choice of curriculum is an essential decision, and it can have a significant impact on your academic and professional future.
Choose the curriculum that will help you achieve your dreams and aspirations. Good luck with your academic journey!
FAQs on IGCSE vs ICSE
Q1. Is IGCSE harder than ICSE?
While IGCSE vs ICSE is a common comparison. However, IGCSE is a more advanced curriculum and hence challenging. It has a wider variety of subjects to choose from.
Q2. Is IGCSE acknowledged in India?
Yes, CBSE, CISCE, and state education boards in India acknowledge IGCSE as a qualification for admission to Class XI. It is also recognized as a Class X qualification, which is a requirement for admission to undergraduate courses in India.
Q3. Are IGSCE schools more expensive?
In IGCSE vs ICSE, the fees of IGCSE is expensive. IGCSE schools are pricier than CBSE schools because of their global outlook and the need for more extensive resources to deliver high-quality education. The IGCSE program holds worldwide recognition.
Q4. Can IGCSE be helpful for IIT admission?
In India, IGCSE is equivalent to grade 10. Hence, to qualify for college entrance exams, one must undertake either A levels, IB, CBSE or ICSE. Furthermore, it is advisable to switch to an Indian board, particularly CBSE, if the goal is to get admission to the IITs.