Difference between ICSE Board and IGCSE Board

Difference between ICSE Board and IGCSE Board

In India, both ICSE and IGCSE are Education Boards sanctioned by the Government of India, the Department of Higher Education, and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). Most citizens trust anything that has been commended by the government or any other applicable body. 

Both the Boards vary to a great extent in terms of curriculum, assessment modes, and many other aspects. In India, the education system follows three levels– Primary, Secondary, and Senior Secondary Levels. Each of these levels caters to a distinctive and critical role in building a child’s career goals and accomplishments. Both the Boards foster the development and progress of a child.

About ICSE

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The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) is an examination driven by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, widely known as CISCE which is a private board of school education in India. The ICSE has been designed to provide an exam in the course of general education, as per the New Education Policy 1986, via the English medium. The CISCE Board targets a student’s overall growth, so it offers a balanced curriculum to all its learners.


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IGCSE signifies the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. It provides an English language curriculum to students so that they get prepared for the International Baccalaureate, BTEC Level 3, and A-Level curricula. It depends on the GCE O-Level. It is as well recognized and regarded as equivalent to the GCSE and another international curriculum.

It was advanced by the University of Cambridge International Examinations. For the students in the curriculum, the age limit is from year 10, which is Grade 9th, and the test is taken at the end of the 11th year or Grade 10th.

The IGCSE is honored as an international alternative to many national curricula. Its qualifications are typically based on the individual subjects of study, which means that a student receives IGCSE qualifications for every subject that they take.

Difference between ICSE and IGCSE

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Point of Distinction




ICSE implies the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. 


It is an examination provided by the Council of the Indian School Certificate Examination, a private board of school education in India. 

IGCSE, on the other side, refers to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. 


This is an English language curriculum provided to students to coach them for the BTEC Level 3, A-Level, and International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula.


Students of ICSE have to study six subjects allotted into three Groups 1, 2, and 3. 


Group 1 consists of compulsory subjects, and in Group 2 students' out of 4 options, and Group 3 students should choose just one subject out of 11 options. 


The results of ICSE are based on the best five of six, along with English marks being compulsory.


IGCSE subjects are divided into 5 Groups. 


Group 1 is of languages consisting of First Language, Second Language, Third Language, or Any Foreign Language, Group 2 is of mathematics which includes algebra, trigonometry, and Geometry, Group 3 comprises science, Group 4 comprises 


Humanities and social sciences, and lastly in group 5 students have to study creative, Technical, and Vocational Studies.


The syllabus followed by the ICSE is much more comprehensive and whole, which gives all fields fair importance. (Example: science, maths, language, arts, home science, agriculture, fashion design, cookery). 


Overall ICSE syllabus (such as languages) will give a slight upper hand to English students. This will assist them with some exams which are based on English. But further one has to read Shakespeare.

IGCSE is much more logical and includes application-based concepts. It offers students an opportunity to select courses according to their interest in the subjects of science, humanities, languages, and maths.


The courses as well provide them with an opportunity to mix these subjects with components of fine arts, visual arts, theatre, technical drawing, music, film-making, community service, etc. 

Private Students

The curriculum of ICSE does not permit private students to sit for the examination.

The curriculum of IGCSE permits private students to sit for the examination.

Localized Content

ICSE is focused on a general goal of study with common content.

The curriculum of IGCSE defines localized content to be taught in the respective regions.


The ICSE is a national-level exam provided in India.

IGCSE is an international standard curriculum.


The merits in ICSE are honored from Grades 1 to 9 spread out from 100 – 0 marks, appropriately.

IGCSE merits students subjecting to a three-tier grading system. The grades are Distinction, Merit, and Pass, whereas ICSE merits students using marks. 


IGCSE board was shaped in 1956

IGCSE board was shaped in 1988.

Course Duration

The time duration of the course for ICSE is 2 years, which comprises classes IXth and Xth.

Cambridge IGCSE covers 2 years.


ICSE curriculum is detailed and complete, which places equal emphasis on different subjects involving Mathematics, Arts, Home Science, and more. 

The IGCSE offers its students an opportunity to select subjects and courses based on their interests such as courses in Science, Mathematics, Languages, and Humanities.

Administered by

The ICSE is an examination administered by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

IGCSE is an English Language-based examination well-established by the University Of Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE).


Wisdom Academy has been in the IB, IGCSE, and A-Level education departments for further 15 years and consistently strives to be the best in the field. With their experience in unique teaching methodologies aided by their professional and purposeful educators, they have been proudly producing high-ranking students yearly.

Wisdom Academy as well provides expert Online Coaching for IGCSE to students based outside Mumbai, whether they are residing in India or anywhere else in the world. They have provided online tuition to many students all over the world from countries like UAE, Brazil, Spain, London (UK), Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand.

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